The Year of the House

The Year of the House

It’s been just over two weeks since we went back to the bank to formally apply for our construction loan.

Back in March we were pre-qualified for an $85k construction loan, and we’ve been busy gathering all of the necessary estimates and documents together so that we could finalize the loan.  When we met with bank representative Jack Ducharme at the Madison branch of the Skowhegan Savings Bank, we were told the process typically takes 30-45 days to finalize.  For the last three years Keith and I have worked to get to this point, carefully crafting a plan that included a sharp household budget, systematically paying off debts, and even taking a small loan with our local credit union to improve our credit rating.  Yet even with everything seemingly in order, even with a good credit score, we’re holding our breath, watching and waiting, as though one wrong move could bring the entire house of cards tumbling down.

This feeling, I think–is best described in song.  😀

Obviously the house we can afford is not going to be anything large and elaborate.  We’ve had Hammond Lumber design the blueprints for a 28-foot by 40-foot ranch-style home, with a large kitchen, an office, and a deck in addition to a living and dinning room, master bedroom and a single full bathroom.  The house will sit on a full-foundation, which will be partially finished to accommodate the two bedrooms for the boys.

Later on we will add a rec-room, cold-storage, walk-in pantry, laundry room, and a stone chimney.  You know–just for starters.  😉

Facing a southerly direction to make use of passive solar heating, and sided with cedar shingles, we will be able to look out our large kitchen windows to view the yard, the antique apple orchard, and down over the Runamuk gardens, meadows, and pastures.  We plan to use “green” building materials where the budget allows, and we’re hoping to be able to use some of the reclaimed timbers and lumber from the original farmhouse in the new one.

Naturally we’re eager to get the house started so that we can begin the long process of bringing our vision of Runamuk to life, but tempting as it is to plunge in head-long with livestock, we’re taking a wait-and-see approach.  With mid-October as our tentative move-in date, it doesn’t make sense to get a lot of livestock at that point which we would have to feed all winter.  So we’ve decided to hold off on most animals until next year, the only exceptions perhaps being the family milking goat and her companion, our first trio of meat rabbits, and a small flock of laying hens.

I’ve got a good layout designed for the Runamuk farm, including Keith’s garage/workshop, a large barn, my honey-house, an orchard, extensive gardens and more, all utilizing the permaculture design principles keeping the house at the center of the hub.  It’s been 16 days since we were at the bank–as soon as we ‘ve closed on the loan then we can get our excavators, well-drillers, and construction crews out there to get started–only another 15-30 +/- days….

Share your thoughts, comments or questions!

Runamuk Acres Conservation Farm
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