60. Bringing in the New Year with a BANG

Monday 12/27- It’s been a little bit over a week since we spoke to Jose, our cabinet maker. He has had a chance to draw up plans and we’ve had a chance to think more in detail about what exactly it is that we want. We met with him at the house today to take some more measurements and finalize the plans. Once it was all discussed and agreed upon, Jose asked when we needed it ready by? We told him that Geiner said the house would be ready for the cabinets at the end of January. This would give him a month to get everything built. He looked kind of nervous, and said he would do everything he can to get it done by then, but with New Years in there and the possibility that he wouldn’t be able to get his supplies as quickly as he sometimes does, he said he might need until the first week in February. We told him that we could work with that. Since he was doing everything from cabinets and closets, to doors, beds, night stands, tables, and chairs, we asked him to focus first on the

18. Checking Out the Big Property


Saturday 6/19- Today is the first day that we really got a chance to talk to Geiner (the contractor that will be building our house) about plans. While we haven’t picked a property yet, we wanted to get some ideas from him about what we can do within our budget. We brought him out to the large property up the mountain in Playa Hermosa to see what it would take to build a house there. The property isn’t on a steep hill, which is good for us, but it is on a gradual hill that starts with the driveway access at the top and continues all the way down to the end of the property on the bottom. The lot right next door has had the excavation started to flatten the property to build a house there, but their hill is steeper than this one is, so we wanted to find out from our builder what he thought. He says that some excavation will definitely be required on this property, and that will cost more of course, but he assures us that the extent of the excavation isn’t as much as the one next door, so that’s a good sign. We talked about ideas for how we could lay out a house, patio and pool on this particular piece of land, and he was certain that there is enough room here to lay it out pretty much however we want to. Of course he and an architect would help us design it, but he told us to start coming up with ideas of what we would like.

Ramie nor I have ever designed or built a house before, we don’t even know the first thing about doing this!! We asked him to give us some starting points, so he pulled out a notebook and started sketching. Since his job is to build houses, he knows what he has done before and what seems to work. He also knows our budget and the things we are looking for in a home, so he has some ideas on how big we can go and can compare it to houses he has built in the past. Also, we are planning to keep our house very simple and small, 1000 sq. ft. or so with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a large open concept kitchen/living/dining room area, and covered patio, pool. No problem, right? It’s just like putting a puzzle together! 

After chatting about this for a little while, Geiner (pronounced Hay-Ner) wanted to show us a property nearby that he was building. He explained that he started on this house before COVID, but once COVID started, the owner didn’t have the money to continue, so it sat for nearly a year. He has just begun to re-start slowly on the build. The house really was just a few minutes’ drive away. It was near the top of this mountain, and it had an amazing view of the ocean. You could see for miles and miles




Oh, and the house—well this was a FANCY house as well. Even from just seeing the shell of this house, since all it was so far is foundation, roof, some of the walls, and patio/pool, you could tell it would be an amazing house. I joked with Geiner that I wanted him to build this house for us, just on a smaller scale. He just laughed--

Well, now that we kind of have our heart set on this property that is over our budget, and we are finding out that there would be extra expenses for excavation and things like that—we might have to think about earning some money. We knew going into this that we couldn’t be completely retired forever. We just aren’t rich enough to stop working or old enough to draw on retirement yet, so we started our search online to find some work for me and maybe to find some online work for Ramie too. If we really want this beautiful piece of land, we sure are going to have to work for it!!