Necessary adjustments; creative living in a down real estate market

by Kerry on November 12, 2009

Green building LEED GoldI started writing this Blog in January. January 20th to be exact. My first post was about the Presidential Inauguration and the  hope for the future that the our new democratic government represented. It was a fitting beginning for me. Hope, change, environmental conservation. We were on the same page!

Soon after the election of our first black president, my husband and I began our journey into real estate development  and green building. With much trepidation, apprehension and a little excitement mixed in, we built Martha’s Vineyard’s first LEED certified gold standard residence.

Most of my blog posts have been about the building process and a learning curve  and what we experienced as a couple building this house together.  The apprehension evolved into pride as we pulled off  an incredible building project and a ground breaker to boot. We were able to build that house within our projected time frame (which was unreasonably short in hindsight) and came in at our projected budget. Granted we did not allow for a great profit margin, but our primary goal was to build a better house for a reasonable price and hopefully make our investment back at the same time.

Oddly, it  didn’t really occur to us that the house would not sell before our loan was up with the bank. Ok, maybe it occurred to us, but sometimes its best to ignore the danger signs if you want to stay on the road. We could not afford to quit so better to live in a fantasy! Despite the slowed to a crawl real estate market, we had a very popular destination and everybody wanted to see that house.  We have shown the house to almost everyone we know. My husband continues to put out the Open House sign at any opportunity, at a minimum of once a week. We received some great local press and we are thrilled by all the positive feedback.

There have been a couple of serious inquiries to date, but no contract  and we have run out of time. The bank that was so gracious and enthusiastic about funding our project has had a change of opinion of the viability of construction in a down market. As we traveled the construction road with them the assurances and encouragement were a relief to our anxieties. Our fears were met with a happy “don’t worry” and we were satisfied that a reasonable extension would be arranged. What a relief! Well, the extension just came in…at almost double the original rates.

The last couple of months have been very stressful, it has been difficult to keep writing posts about our amazing house when it looked like we may not sell it after all. It’s certainly not that I have nothing to say, I’m just concerned about how I’m going to say it. Meeting challenges, having acceptance, continuing to forge ahead…and not murdering my husband in his sleep have all exhausted my resources.

Now we are making a new plan. One thing we have learned through our mutually diverse life experiences is resilience. It took awhile for the obvious to reveal itself, but we are finally seeing a way to move ahead and make the best of this situation. As of right now, we will be the new residents at #15 Green Avenue. We are putting our primary residence on the market and will be buying ourselves out. The financial benefit will be immediate,  we will be able to convert an unmanageable construction loan into a traditional mortgage. Of course the house will remain on the market, we do need to sell it.

Having made this decision we are finally able to take a breath and look at the situation in a positive light. We will have both properties on the market, and may in fact end up without a home of our own, but the relief at being proactive and doing everything in our power to forge ahead compensates for any fear of the future. Seems silly, but putting on blinders and walking through the fear can be liberating.

We will sell Green on Green, it simply did not happen in our ideal time frame. So we will move in for the meantime and set up house. We are hoping to have a great big holiday party and be able to enjoy the fruits of our labor…for now. Tomorrow will come whether we are ready for it or not, so why not enjoy today.LEED house Martha's Vineyard green building

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{ 1 comment }

Deborah Hammett November 14, 2009 at 5:34 pm

We can’t wait to have you in the hood!

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