And the road goes on forever...

Friday, November 26, 2021

Starting a New Chapter


Our lives changed in the space of a couple of months and now has a new trajectory. The routine of having my mother in our lives, save for paying the last of her bills, is nearly over. Her property, after stalling out when first listed, suddenly had two offers within a day of each other so our agent put it back out for “highest and best” and we ended up a little above asking price. It is still subject to appraisal and loan approval but fingers crossed, should close on 12/31.

Marc has finally retired, for sure this time! It’s time to concentrate on what we want to see for ourselves, but so far, it’s been a difficult task. It boils down to whether we decide to keep our current home and now finish it out the way we originally planned or we turn our sights to moving elsewhere. We already made the decision after our Virginia trip early in the Spring, that we will be happiest remaining in Wisconsin so it’s only a question now of where in the northern part of the state. 

I’ve watched listing activity in northern WI and as everywhere else the prices have escalated rapidly, but then, so has our home. It really is prohibitive to try and find a home already built that suits us at an affordable price so that puts us to square one: look for land, develop it, build it, then live in it! It’s a lot to consider at our age but Marc feels he may be able to eke out another project if he has help with the harder/higher things, like framing and roofing. Fortunately, he has a good and trusted contractor friend, who has indicated he has a small crew of young guys at the ready should we decide to move forward. 

Initially, we were thinking of just building a small cabin and an RV hookup with perhaps a garage for boat storage. That has the downside of supporting two places on fixed income and needing to travel back and forth and needing to return home to keep up with mowing and watering in the summer. Hum, that doesn’t seem so appealing when really, what is holding us to Waupaca? 

More and more we are looking for larger parcels now where we can build a permanent home. We took a drive north last week and found two pieces that were interesting, but both turned out not to have suitable covenants. Ideally, we want none; we’ve always been free-spirited people who don’t like being told what we can build or do on our own property. This nice two lot six-acre piece, which was level and totally usable and on a quiet cul d sac which ended at a small lake, was first on our list until we read the restrictions. To mention just a few: the number of pets were limited to three; no burn barrels or burn piles; no outside lights excepting shinning downward on a pole not taller than seven feet; no hunting or shooting (this land is the middle of a forest) and the developer had to have first chance of bidding on a home build, no owner-builder.

A two-acre lakefront parcel I loved had an adorable shed and dock, great privacy with no other homes in sight, but just did not have enough level land for what we wanted to be able to build on it. In addition, it was in an HOA which added to the tax burden by $350 a year and we found out that the shed, despite being set up as a guest cottage, could not be used for any overnight stays.


We’ll keep looking and eventually find our new home place I’m sure.