Hi there. We're the MacLellans, and we're impulse buyers of the worst variety - the big-ticket purchase kind. I talk myself out of insignificant purchases every day, and once forbid Regan from buying a $100 dehydrator when he was on a health kick, but when it comes to major life-changing purchases like land and homes we jump right in! It seems so illogical when I type it out, and yet we've done it almost three times.
The first time was our house. Back in 2008, Regan and I had been dating for two years and shared custody of Brew but didn't live together. One Friday night, we spent a quiet night in at my apartment (it's true, Mom! I didn't spend all of my 20s at bars) and were discussing how we'd like to build a house someday. Regan said we could build a new house for less than buying one if we built it ourselves, and logged on to MLS to prove his point. While we were checking out home prices in and around Charlottetown, we came across a cute little house that was listed for $45,000. Surely there must be a mistake, we thought. I mean, the house needed a ton of work and it was only 800 square feet, but still - $45k?! For a house?! Just like that our discussion about building a house someday changed to buying a house right now. Regan called the listing agent the next day and we had a showing lined up for Monday. By Wednesday, Regan had met with a mortgage specialist. It turned out the house was a foreclosure which was why it was priced to sell, but also meant we had to buy it 'as is.' The bank wasn't going to negotiate much on price and also wasn't going to do any repairs. We had Regan's carpenter father come look at it, and once we got his OK we put in an offer. We were official homeowners just three weeks after seeing the listing.
By the time I got home from work the first day the house was in our possession, Regan had it looking like this:
Carefully thought out plans are overrated.
Fast forward a few years, and we are talking about building again. We spend many Sundays driving around the 20-minute radius surrounding Charlottetown looking for our dream lot. We find a lot of dream lots, but none we could afford. And then we found one that seemed too good to be true. Cue the foreshadowing.
My dad bravely trudging through swarms of mosquitos to check out Lot #1.
Sound the trumpets!!! This lot had it all!
This lot was within our budget but seemed way underpriced for the area. We were on the horn to the real estate agent within days lining up an offer, who suggested getting a lawyer to look over the contract first. And thank goodness we did! Our lawyer discovered we wouldn't own the right of way to the lot, which was one kilometre down a dirt road from the main road. She said the dirt road wasn't built to government specs, so it would never be paved by the province, and school buses and garbage trucks wouldn't go down it. And if the current owner of the right of way ever sold it or died, we'd have a major headache on our hands. So needless to say, that put the kibosh to that plan.
Our lot hunt continued for another year, and after our close call we restrained ourselves from diving in head first. We did get briefly excited about a few options, but ultimately decided against them.
This lot with a distant water view made the short list, but didn't win us over in the end.
This lot made a pretty Instagram photo, but we decided against it because the dirt road it was on would be a muddy mess come spring and not fit to drive down with a car.
Then one day we went to see Regan's brother's new build, and took the scenic route home. Along the way, we stumbled across our dream lot and this time we immediately knew it was it. In true MacLellan fashion, we bought it the next day.
And now, 20 months after buying the land, we are finally ready to build on it! It's been a long time coming, people.
These photos were taken the day we found the lot back in the fall of 2012. Our neighbours (and new friends) built their home themselves as well, so it can be done!
Just under 1 acre is all ours!
In case you found the last two photos underwhelming - BAM! This is our view heading down the lane to the main road.
The lot is within 20 minutes of our jobs in Charlottetown, is just down the road from Regan's brother and his family, and is about 40 minutes closer to Regan's parents and his sister and her family. Our current house is east of Charlottetown, and after living in it for five years we realized that we wanted to live west of the city to be closer to his family. My parents live in Nova Scotia and my sister and her family live in Ontario, so the new house will have the room we need for extended visitors.