Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Our New House: Update #3

Today, we finally started framing!  :)  Yes, I know in my last update two weeks ago I said this would happen "any day now" but turns out, Ocean City was even slower than we thought and we just got our building permit on Friday (!!). 

And thennnn our framing crew didn't show up on Tuesday.  So, we're just getting started now!  Like I said before, timelines are more like rough estimates in construction! 

Anyways, since I don't have much or an update or many pictures to share right now, I thought I'd share a little bit about our decision to build.  (And you'll finally get a sneak peek at what our new house will look like!)

We made the decision when we bought our first house in Ocean City in November 2009, but building our own home has been a dream of ours since before we met.  So when we bought our first house, we bought it for its location (great street, right across from the bay) with the hopes that we would be fortunate enough to be able to knock it down in Spring 2012.  Ambitious? Yes.  But somewhat realistic? Yes! 
Our little beach cottage by the bay...

View from our kitchen / front porch

But when we started investigating the process to knock down our house last November / December, we quickly learned how crazy Ocean City zoning laws are...and found out our lot was unbuildable (without a variance, or 6+ additional months plus $$$ lawyer fees).  Basically even though all the new houses on our street are set back only 12 ft. from the curb (zoning varies by street in OC, so the general rule of thumb is to look at the newest house on your block), the zoning law stated our lot required 25 feet.  And with a lot size of only 65 ft, you do the math.

Disappointed, we began exploring our options.  We could go for the variance but that meant we wouldn't be able to start building until the fall... Or we could look for another lot or tear down opportunity in Ocean City.  So, we decided to explore both until we were ready to decide.

Luckily, and I really mean that because there aren't many vacant lots in Ocean City, there was a lot for sale 3 blocks away that we had been on the market for little while.  It was much bigger than the lot our current house sits on, which meant we could build an even bigger house.  Although we didn't love the street as much as our current one - our old house is on Pleasure Ave which is so beautiful and wide - the fact that we could buy the lot much cheaper than what we bought our our house for made our decision a little bit easier.  (More $$ for my construction budget, right Nate?!)  Plus this time we'd be one of the newer houses on the block, not the little beach shack!

We made an offer two days before Christmas and we were under contract by New Years.

Now, the funny / ironic part.  After all the years of talking and planning our dream beach home...our ONLY requirement was that it was not "barn style".  We wanted beach modern and hip roof lines.  But again, Ocean City Zoning is a funny beast.  After our first meeting with our architect we realized that the best way to maximize our square footage (mainly on our 3rd floor) would be to have that "barn style" roof line. 

It took some convincing not to sacrifice square footage over aesthetics, but we both eventually agreed this was the way to go.  And to be honest, it's really growing on me!  I am so excited for it!

Our NEW house!

(I'll tell you more about the floor plans as we continue with construction...  But this should be a good start as I start posting pictures of framing.)

Barn style and all, I can't tell you how many times we catch ourselves thanking God and each other for our blessings - we know this is a privilege and not something most people get to do in their lifetime.  And I now know this is something I could never undertake without Nate.

But our next house (because with my husband, I know this is not our last),  you bet your ass it won't look be this style!  :)


  1. LOVE the plans, is my bedroom on the 2nd or 3rd floor? haha, CONGRATS KAIT AND NATE!

  2. Great post!!! Love the story. Can't wait to have a slumber party!!:)

  3. Awesome! Living near the coastline is very conducive to creativity and gives you the sense of being more open about your feelings. Also, the sea air makes you sleep more soundly. It also has healthy negative ions that increase your capability of absorbing oxygen. Good luck on your house, Kaitlin!

    Kathrine Landau

  4. Buying a house is already a big move but building one? Talk about double the stress! But hey, I see how optimistic you guys are and I’m pretty sure you’ll build your home sweet home with less trouble. So how’s the construction going?
    Avril Copperfield