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Sunday, February 13, 2011

I know I know ... working through yet another dream

Good morning. This is me. We’re back to writing, but it’s already late in the morning. It’s about 10:45 A.M. We’ve been on another tangent in that we discovered housing plans on our table that Rich obviously printed out. There were like 8-10 models and we were up until late in the morning after Rich went to bed looking at what we liked best. We eventually ended up back at the Builder’s site and we found one model in particular that has us bowled over. We felt optimistic in that Rich found the models first so he obviously is more invested in it than in the past. We thought maybe he was still considering land over by his mother’s, but anywhere on lake or river would be good for me.

I think before we go into all the other things that have been happening, we are going to look point by point on what we’ve been seeing with the house. So, bear with us … but, we’re planning on spelling it out … Ann style!


This is the general first floor plan. It’s pretty awesome, right? I’m not sure where to start there is so much to go through. I guess maybe we’ll look at the plan and then let the ideas play out as they may.

First thing is that the place is about 2400 square feet. It’s about 1600 sq. feet on the first floor and about 800 sq. feet on the second floor. As to rooms on the first floor, there is the great room, dining room and kitchen that are all open to each other. The great room is 15’-5” x 22”-3”. To the west of that is the dining room which is the other half of the front at 15’-5” x 11’-11”, and then the kitchen finishes off that basic square by being 15’-8” x 10’-6”. The living room and dining room has a huge 14 paneled full wall size set of open windows on the south side. It lets a tremendous amount of light into the place, and it has a triangular overhang to cut down on some of the sun. On the east side there is a large stone fire place that is just tremendous. It looks about 4’ x 5”. On either side of the fireplace are nice long windows which face the same side of the building as the covered porch which is 5’ x 8’.

There is a nice entry that opens into the great room and there is a regular size coat closet. Going straight forward you go up to a U shaped landing and there is a linen closet to the north of the stairs. I could see a big quilt going on the wall at the bottom side of the stairs. The stairs look wide.

For the kitchen there are three accesses going into the room … You can enter a large wide space to the east side of the room coming in front the entry/great room, or a wide opening toward the south end going to the dining room or on the north side you can enter the small hall next to the stairs.

From that small hall, you can access the half bath and beyond that on the south side is the mechanical room and a door going out to the garage. There is a slight 90 degree turn north and you find a couple of closets. One – the small one would be for the kitties, and then the back closet would be for extra pantry items … there isn’t a formal pantry. In back of that is the utility room with the washer and dryer. You know what I feel about having laundry on the same floor as the bedroom. And, we haven’t gotten to that, but the master bedroom which will be to Rich’s great pleasure is on the first floor.

If you come back outside this L-shaped hall back to the stairs, just to the north of the stairs is the master bedroom. The master bedroom is 19’-8” x 10’-8”. I think it’s ok being long and narrow in that it allows the bed to be the short way with 3’-4’ getting past the bed, and then with 7-8’ on the other side of the bed you can set up a comfy reading chair and maybe a small TV. Rich and us really don’t watch TV in the bedroom, but I like the option. But, the most important thing is having a reading chair and light.

There are two closets in the master bedroom. On the south wall there is a closet which would be for things like suitcases and laundry. It is at the SW corner of the room. On the east side of the room is the second closet and master bath. The walk in closet would be used for both Rich and me, because it is big enough. It is 11’-2” x 5’. Directly south of the walk-in closet is the bath and that has an open toilet, shower, and double sinks both on separate walls which is nice if we’re both in the same room at the same time.

The only other thing really on the first floor beside the garage which you access from the west wall between the mechanical room and the kitty closet - it is a two car, but I could imagine you could maneuver the design to make a three car garage so Rich could park his boat. With this particular elevation the garage is on the west side. It has a door going out the south side which if there was a lake or river would be the front of the house. Now the kicker part of this particular design is that wedged in-between the garage and dining room is a sliding door going out to a screened in porch. I know the builder has options, so I’m sure you could frame this in with glass, but I’m kind of like the idea that it is screened to get us outdoors, without the bugs.

What made the screened in porch which is 11’-9” x 15’-9” so important is that I’ve decided that is the space where we would build a Jacuzzi. Yup yup … whatever it takes to make that happen. There isn’t a large garden bath in the master room which is really nice because it takes out the guilt in having this whole room for a huge Jacuzzi. I figure it could comfortably be about 10’x12’. I don’t know the general size of Jacuzzi, but after I figured this part out it seemed everything else was a done deal. In this particular design … oh by the way this design is called a Capistrano. Anyway there is a deck which is optional, but I would like that goes the length of the front making it about 40’ x 7’. Nice!

Ok, as far as the layout … this about explains the first floor … we’ll come back to it again, because we have some design ideas – particularly in putting in our furniture without having to pay for more. At this point, it seems the most efficient to not add anything to the cost. It has to be comfortable with our lifestyle and I hate the idea of there being waste.


So anyway let’s imagine now we are going upstairs. The stairs are in the center of the upstairs. The first thing you notice is that the stairs are fairly open and to the right of the stairs you are drawn to the 32’ of hand rails over-looking the Great room and dining room. 2 of the 3 sides of railings frame in what they call the family room. It is 15’-5” x 14’1”.

This is another maker-breaker deal going into this design. The family room if you could guess would be our sewing room. Almost the whole south and east sides of the room are the railings overlooking the downstairs. I would put my 8’ x 5’ (8” at edge of other table sets of tables in the railing corner and I would make it a u-shaped like I have it now so that I could get the three sides of sewing, cutting and ironing. And, just like the ironing table is next to the couch … I would add that same couch to the west wall. It would mean about 3’ between the couch which will be under windows to the smaller ironing table. This is better than the current situation.

There is a solid corner about 3’ x 3’ in the south-west corner which I would place a TV. There are a couple things I would do differently in the room than is happening now … First on the north-west part of the wall opposite a bedroom to the north and divided by a 6’-9” x 6’-10” walk-in closet from the bedroom, well it’s a nice closet, but I would make it a walk-through between the sewing room and the NW bedroom (#2) and then the closet and the bedroom would become my fabric and notions room.

There is one more bedroom on this floor on the NE corner which is the bigger of the two upstairs bedrooms. It is 11’-2” x 14’-3”. That room bedroom #3 would be saved as a guest room. It has a walk-in closet too 6’-8” x 7’3” which I would leave alone. This room would be a guest room. But, it serves one more purpose on both upstairs bedrooms, I would pretty much square in by wooden bookshelves. In the guest bedroom I would leave alone the wall under the triple set of windows for the bed itself. I’d get a queen size bed.

There is enough room for nightstands on either side of the bed.

On the south side of the wall on the east side is the walk-in closet, but then there is about 6’ x 4’ of space for shelves (and in front of that room for a chair like Rich’s and then on the west wall is the door about 3’ and then a plain wall about 7’, which would be covered with books There would also be another wall for books on the north side and that would be about 11’ wide. So in total there would be about 28’ of wall x 6 – 1’ shelves (leaving a foot at the top of a minimum wall for decorative stuff) giving us about 168’ of shelving space. With the exception there would be two areas built out as drafting table size platforms. They would both be about 2’ x 3’ x 3’ bringing the shelving to about 150’ which is really fine.

I like the idea of a built in centered one between the 7’ wall and the other in the middle of the 11’ wall, so for the 7’ wall there will be 2’ on either side and on the 11’ wall there will be 4’ on either side. On the 11’ north wall table would be where the TV sits, and then across the bed on the 7’ west wall would be a writing/computer desk. With such a big walk in closet … there is no need for dressers in the rooms. Right now we’re using up about 100’ of shelving, so this would give us room to grow and also room on the shelves to add warm decorative touches. SO the room would serve both guest and library. The library is an important aspect since so many of the downstairs walls are windows. I am thoroughly in love with this whole idea!

As mentioned before both rooms would have shelving throughout. With the smaller bedroom, I would make ALL walls into one foot shelving and this would be because this smaller bedroom 11’-2” x 10’-8” would again be for fabric. I am estimating 2’ on either side of the west window, 11 feet alongside the north wall and about 7 ‘ on the east wall would be about 120’ of shelving space. This is leaving a small 5’of space half and half of the south wall between room entrance door and closet door blank.

Maybe I would put something there, but in general that 120’ plus an additional 12’ x 6 shelves on either side of the walk in closet (72’) would give me nearly 200’ of space for fabric and notions. This would keep the family room/sewing room real clear for just the tables and machines. On the north wall toward the west side will be the walk-through to the closet/fabric room. There will still be the north side of the sewing room that is about 10’ long. I would put the design board or two along this wall and I would in front of that just leave the ironing table. It’s important to incorporate that in the design.

Can you imagine why I am just excited to no end??? There is one more thing on this floor – there is a full bathroom between the two “bedrooms”. It’s got a single sink, but I figure that is ok. Oh. A couple more things. In the hall on the east side there is a nook that is about 7’3” I would put my desk/hutch for the computer usage here. To the south of this we’re at the railing overlooking the downstairs and this seems to be optimal distance.

If I could do one last thing, I would look toward making the wall above the couch on the west side of the room into a partial wall to ceiling atrium like wall of windows. I figure that if I’ve got the huge opening down below going into the family and dining rooms and that is across from the great wall of windows, the only other thing would be to add a window space letting in the stars. Wouldn’t it just be something as to open and airy?

So that’s about it. It’s my grand plan. There’s only a little more as to decorating downstairs. I would keep my dining table, but put in the full leaf, and there is a wall to the west of the big windows about 5’ wide – it’s just to the south of the double doors going out to the Jacuzzi. That 5’ wall I would put the two baker’s racks and let that be for both grandmothers’ sets of dishes and then on the Great room side across the fireplace would be a space for my couch, and then toward the windows next to the couch (tv goes above the fireplace) would be two chairs like Rich likes with the round table in the middle.

Hmm, forgot something in the 2nd bedroom for the fabric, I would just place my drafting table so like the walls with shelving would bring the room to be about 10’ x 9’ and the drafting table is 4 x 3, so that would allow all around that 3’. That should allow space to work on things in pulling together fabric, but still have room to move around. I’d loose a little because of needing chair clearance, but pretty much figure that is the perfect size and destination for the table. Because the cutting from the loft area is so close to the family room, there would be no need to keep the drafting table in the great room.

As to the kitchen it is pretty normal. There is a L shaped wall to the west and north walls with there being a cornering island marking the SE corner of the room. I like that the sink and dishwasher are in that island area because it is so common to be at the sink or doing something on that counter toward food preparation and it is what faces out to the dining room and the Great room. Along the North wall toward the west side is the stove, and then there is an opening to the back hall and then a counter about 3’ right next to the dishwasher. Virtually the fridge is directly across the dishwasher counter. There’s about a 1’-6” on the west side of the sink and the counter over the dishwasher toward the east is about 5’. Along the west wall which is about 10’-6” is an entire long wall of cupboards and counters. It’s a dream! It is broken up by a double window overlooking the screened porch/Jacuzzi room. There isn’t a basement.

So … now that’s my explanation of how the household sits. As to where it would be built that’s another thing, but I know in the back of Rich’s mind he’s thinking of area around his mother’s place in Millington. I worry a bit in that I’d rather be on a lake rather than a river and I worry with his mom being 80 that she’d die before we could get out there so then there wouldn’t be so much purpose in having chosen that location. I also think the land is at a lesser price because it is so run down as to being a city/town. It’s real old and garbagy like a lot of clapboard. If there was enough land and we were careful as to what was across from us it might be ok, but again I’d much rather live in a little woods/lake area.

I think that is a question I would ask the Lindal people.

Ok, I think we’ve done enough in this direction for the time being. We went back and read about as much as we could. There’s a lot of information, but pretty much built around selling. I think the next thing is to talk to Rich and then maybe schedule with him a trip to the Schaumburg Convention center the weekend of March 4-6. I think he has the poker day on that Saturday, but it’s a lake home and cabin show. There will probably be people there selling lake front property too. I’m willing to give up on all my other dreams if we could do the deal up above. But, I’ve done pretty much what Rich warned against … I’ve been a bit obsessive with this. It’s basically the nature of the beast.

Every test I put up against it it passed. We can even have the three car garage. Now we are going to need a place with water close enough so we can maintain our jobs, but live in luxury that we can consider our retirement home. That’s not a term we used with some of the other places we’ve looked.

This is a very luxurious deal.

I like the cedar classic post and beam series and I like the art/craft models as to d├ęcor. I think you heard a lot about my other desires. Just so excited to think of something new … though pretty sure it’s going to be a dash of spirit.

One thing that happened over the week was that Rich used $4000 he had saved to by a spot on the lake.

We’re back. It’s been a while. Rich has been home for an hour, it’s about 5 P.M. and we’re going to go out to eat in about an hour. I just got out of the shower.

By the time he had gotten home we were pretty depressed about the house.

Seeing something you want very much next to then not being able to do something about it is just hard … In this respect I keep beating myself up.

But some groundwork has been made.

Both Rich and us had to work on our communication skills. He had come in with nice Valentine stuff, but we were like … no diamond ring – which was pretty pissy of us. I don’t think I’ve ever used that word before on my blog, but that’s pretty much how it was … best word to explain. It was obvious to me that all I wanted to do was talk about my dreams and he was back to there are dishes on the table. I had a hard time with that. I don’t know how we made it from that point out to a place that I’m actually looking forward to going out to dinner with him, but it’s been a good jump.

There was something in there were we asked, why go to dinner? What are we going to be talking about? If I was going to be dragged through whatever to go out, I wanted a part of the conversation to be about something I was interested in. Otherwise I could just go back to my sewing. He’s been upset for 3-4 days about getting “gypped” in buying his fishy property for too much. He’s a Bohemian and doesn’t like to spend money and someone had said $4,200 so he figured that’s what it was worth, then he found someone else was selling the same thing for $3,000 – at that point things became unbearable for him.

The guy he’d given his down payment too didn’t want to cut him some slack, so eventually what he did was to write off the $600 paid and go with the $3,000 … that way he still saved $600, and the other guy lost the deal – still gets to keep the $600 down and still sell his thing to someone else who wants to pay too much money. Very likely Rich won’t get it back, but at least he saved $600 and half his integrity.

But, one way or another … Rich hasn’t told the first guy yet he changed deals. So he still wants to talk about all this, but as far as I’m concerned we about tapped that whole conversation out.

As we were saying … a couple of things happened … first thing is in all our dialogue with him, he was figuring out my income/expense thing again … and he made the mistake in saying that he would match me in money toward a house.

SO, the new deal which is really the best deal in a long time is that. Each month he is committing to put down $1000 and we are committed to putting down $250. That means we’ll both have to cut back prospectively. I always take my account back to 0 so it will be a big challenge to me, but the benefit is that if the way I figure it … we can both be used to saving $1250 (together) then we could be used to paying that much more toward our living. So intead of paying $900 then we can afford to get a mortgage for $2100.

I know though that he is thinking about retirement. He wants us to get used to spending less – like capping out at $1600 because we want to afford one day both being retired. If we could put in more money that be great, but it has to be at least this much.

Ok, I got it figured out … we’ll say we buy a house for $300,000 and in 5 years Rich will have saved $60,000 and I will have saved $15,000 so that’s a little over 35% on the house. And then we’ll get a 10 year mortgage with about 5.5 interest … plus there’s about 4,500 in tax and insurance … and we start Feb 2016 … so that means we pay until 2026 when I’m then 67 and fully retired. That be then sweet … like we caught up to people in life. Oh and the total … It would mean we’d be paying about $1925 a month. If the first 5 years we’re saving up $1250 between us … that would mean that after we moved in the house we’d actually be paying $225 less a month … this could obviously then go into maintenance costs. SO …

It would mean that oh … forgot something … Rich would have to get money from his Mom and wife for about $40,000 each. I can hardly wait til the wife leaves his money go back to him, but the other part would be sad … it would be because his Mom or Bud died. We figured out that we would probably get something from my mother as well, so then it was like ok, can we make a deal that no matter who gets money first … we put it toward the house?

That would only seem fair. One way or another it’s the most hopeful thing in a long time because it would mean that by the time we retire we’d own our house and then the majority of our money would be for normal expense. I’ll still paying for school, but in 13 ½ years I would have paid off the $65,000 … the present car will be paid in about 3 years. SO, between the car being done … most likely a new loan along the way, but it would mean saving $900 a month less … so with paying … hmm, paying off 10 years at $100 a month would take care of the $12,000 loan too.

WOW … that would mean that by the time I turned 67 … I would have a house completely paid, no more school loans, no more car loan, and no more hospital debt. I’d be DEBT FREE!!!! Oh Lordy … I think we’re now over joyous!




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