This summer has seemed to fly by. We spent the first part of it researching and meeting with different homebuilders for our Canyon Lake property. That was followed by a month long road trip for Mrs. SSC and the kids, and I got to catch up with them for the last half in Montana and Idaho. I even got to spend a day solo exploring Seattle on my way out there.
I even met up with a reader who was kind enough to let me pay homage to one of my childhood idols, Bruce Lee. Thanks again for the ride, Max!
We didn’t escape the heat of Texas, but you can’t match the beauty of Glacier NP anywhere in Texas I’ve seen yet. Coeur D’Alene was beautiful too and we spent almost a week there as well.
We were home just a short time before heading out to San Destin to spend a week on the beach.
With one of the kids in school, our vacation is now timed with every other family with school aged children. Sigh… On the plus side, we were able to not have either kid in daycare/preschool over the summer and that saved a lot of coin. Woohoo! Our spending was good for most of the summer, even including the big road trip and beach vacation, but man was August spendy! We had a lot of big expenditures hit as we are starting to prep the house for sale in a few years. Why start this far out? Well, we want to enjoy some of those things as well and not just make improvements immediately before moving out.
Home Costs Stay High!
The biggest expenditures of August were all home related. We installed new carpet in the entire second floor and the Master BR closet and that ran close to $5k. We’d been putting this off because we knew it would be a lot, but at this point, I can’t believe we waited so long. OMG, the difference is amazing in look, and feel on our bare feet. Well worth it! Now we don’t have to make an allowance for replacement when we list the house.
We also painted out Master bathroom, the guest bathroom, and the upstairs common area and man did that take some time. It has been SO nice not looking at a drab, light, milk chocolate brown on all of those walls, again, I can’t believe we waited so long. It’s amazing what a difference changing up the colors can make. We got all of our paint during a Sherwin Williams 30% off sale, so that stayed at a reasonable cost.
Our last section of fence got replaced. I could spend 300 words describing the boondoggle that ordeal turned into, but in short, it cost us nothing and we can leave it at that.
We replaced our side yard rotted deck with some more dirt and grass. Yep, our side yard had been covered with a deck, and after 13 years, it had rotted significantly. I removed it all and was left with a mud pit and a cluster of a sprinkler system. Who knew there was an open sprinkler line just pouring water under the deck the past 4 years? Not me… That took some spending to get those issues taken care of but now it drains well again and has grass on it. Hooray!
** Termites! I forgot to mention termites. Ugh, we found out we had termites, of the formosa variety and that was also a few thousand $$ to get treated. That event is what caused me to take out the side deck. They’re gone now, but man, what an unexpected cost.
** IRS snafu. I also forgot about an IRS snafu from MRs. SSC’s old megacorp. They screwed up some paperwork on their end, which caused our tax numbers to change. However, this was sent out AFTER tax season and AFTER we had already filed. With life being life, we got busy and forgot about filing an amendment and this ended up going by the wayside. Whoops! The IRS didn’t forget about it and sent us a $2k tax bill, d’oh! It was purely our error just an oversight, but still another unexpected expense we hadn’t planned on.
Home Building: So Much to Consider
We met with a couple of home builders over the summer and inspected some homes currently under construction and we were pleased with the level of quality in both companies. They both had great workmanship in everything from the ground up and especially all the workings behind the drywall. When we thought we had made our choice and started to proceed with Company B, we found out that what their owner thought they could build a house for and what their estimators came up with were WAY different. They knew our budget target up front and after spending multiple days with them discussing this and other building options, we found out that their price per square foot ($/.sq. ft.) was approximately $150-$160/sq. ft. Hahahaha, yeah that’s WAY outside our price range. They essentially started off saying that they couldn’t do it for our budget and the closest they could get would be $50k over budget with up to $25k possible expenditures on top of that. Yeah, thanks, but No.
We chose Company A, which was one of our favorites to begin with. They have a standard price of $130/sq. ft. which includes levels of trim, fixtures, countertops, and exterior finishes that we are pleased with. There is much more stuff covered in that initial price as well, and like Company B, they have great construction quality throughout the process. This past Friday we met with them and started the lot survey, tree survey and geotechnical soils report for our lot. We also spent an hour talking with the designer and going over the floor plan, layout, and design aspects of the house. So, exciting for that to finally be moving forward!
3 Years Blogging!
We also hit our 3 year blogging milestone! Yep, it doesn’t seem like it, but we have been blogging for 3 years now. Man how things have changed. Our initial timeline had us being able to leave our jobs this year or next year for sure. Instead of grinding it out for the money, Mrs. SSC quit corporate ’Murica and our lives and schedule has been way easier and happier. Our timeline was pushed to 2019 instead of 2017, but that’s perfectly fine with us. More money doesn’t equal more happiness.
Our plan changed from relocating to Virginia, to the Northwest’ish (MT or ID), in fact, this summer’s vacation was designed to be a scouting trip for Bigfork, Missoula, Whitefish, and Coeur D’Alene (CDA) as possible retirement landing spots. We were even tempted to go to some open houses in CDA, but ultimately stuck with the current plan. That plan is to retire out in Hill Country, in our house at Canyon Lake. Well, retire is a strong word, I’ll just switch from petroleum geologist to stay at home dad, and Mrs. SSC will keep teaching for an undetermined number of years. Retirement doesn’t quite fit the bill, which is why we refer to it as our Fully Funded Lifestyle Change (FFLC).
The summer came, the summer went, we spent money, we saved money, we made solid decisions progressing our latest version of the FFLC and the world kept spinning. While it’s great looking towards the future and what those plans may or may not be, don’t forget that life goes on, every minute of every day. Stop and smell the roses of the day you’re currently living, because you never know when those days could end.
** = edits made because evidently I forgot a few things. Not sure how I could forget almost $7k in expenses. Probably my mind blocking them out since they were all unexpected expenditures.