Margaret dropped by Stanton Estates this afternoon, and found that some wooden forms have been added, to outline the future footings & foundation …
Alerted by Joe, we headed to Stanton Estates at lunchtime to see the first actual progress on our new home! It’s a very small step forward but it’s the beginning for sure. Dirt has been added to the lot to raise it for drainage, and the “footprint” of the home has been sculpted. In the final picture, Margaret is standing where the front door one day will be:
The next steps hopefully also beginning this week will be forms for the footings, and then plumbing (which is buried in the dirt, in / under the eventual concrete slab that will be the base of the home).
(and with David Bowie coincidentally playing in the background – though Starman instead!)
I noticed recently that the Google Street View of where our new home development is, had a “time travel” feature that shows views from the past – 2007, 2011 and 2015. I took a “now” picture of the same spot, and used this website to create an animated GIF sequence. It’s interesting to see the trees growing over the years (until they’re all chopped down, of course!)
Here’s each individual picture:
There’s still nothing but dirt for our future home, but there is now a “sold” sign! Jones Homes USA had delayed showing this, because our lot is far away from their current construction zone and they hadn’t wanted to encourage other buyers to this part of the development.
We chose this particular lot because it’s 15′ longer than some other lots, and we need that extra length to fit a pool/patio. The new home is mostly on one level and so has a big footprint, very long front to back; the development also requires that construction be set back a long way from the road and so once we’ve also added a pool/patio at the back, we’ve used up almost every foot of the long lot!
When we bought our current Lennar Independence home, our design choices were very limited: one of three exterior color styles, a couple of almost identical kitchen colors, and whether or not to pick the upgraded appliance/carpet/tile package. Even the “shape” (garage side, etc) had already been decided.
But for our next home, Jones Homes USA has provided us with a nearly unlimited amount of choice – quite overwhelming! Not only did we get to choose the home design, and the lot, but nearly everything within the home, even switching one bathroom from tub to walk-in shower. We’ve now spent a total of 15 hours at their design center in two visits, but we’re finally happy and pleased with all that we’ve picked!
Here’s a collage of some of our final choices – hints of a future some months away …
Back in 2013 we chose Winter Garden as our new home town, and purchased our current Lennar Brandywine home; we love living here, with our beautiful pool / patio and Lake Koval water view, and heaps of space (too much space, really – six bedrooms for two people!)
The one thing that’s a bit disappointing is that while our address is Winter Garden, we are quite a long way out from the town center – at least by English standards! It’s a 20+ minute drive to the town, and so we feel less part of Winter Garden than we wanted to be.
Now that we’ve finally sold 8002, we felt ready to take a look at homes closer to the town center; our hope was to find a home within easy walking distance, without compromising too much compared with where we live now. But there’s very few homes for sale – smaller town, people like where they are, that sort of thing.
We found only 4 or 5 homes worth viewing, and of those we had: too old, too small, too far, the Goldilocks principle at work! The last home we looked at appeared to back on to new construction – the owner said it would be no problem since there would be a retaining pond, and encouraged us to check it out … which we did.
While checking out the site, we figured why not visit the show home too – what we found was a brand new development of “estate homes” built to a very high specification; and only 10 minutes walk along the West Orange Trail, to town (the new development is where the cluster of trees is, top left):
What’s more, there’s a home design which is basically a single level home with a second level “bonus room”, perfect for my office. The downstairs master suite offers a huge walk-in shower, and no tub – which is what we wanted (we’ve only used the tub maybe once a year in our current home!); other nice features include high ceilings and an extra large garage:
Choosing to move here, we get our desire of walking distance to the town center, along with a home that’s a better size for the two of us, and more elegant. We do lose our beautiful view (there will just be a street and other homes behind) but hopefully that’s an acceptable exchange … we signed a contract a few days ago!
I’ll post more updates in the months ahead, although we don’t really expect the new home to be finished this year. We’re also going to need to work out selling and buying at the same time, which we’ve not had to do before (we’ve always had somewhere temporary to move in to).