Step one: buy land

buying land to build a new custom house

Mark and I have always loved Hintonburg. We lived here when we went to University and moved in to our first apartment together on Bayswater after we graduated. As long as we're in Ottawa, it's the only neighbourhood that really feels like home. And now it's starting to live up to it's potential with all sorts of amazing restaurants and shops moving in.

When we bought our first house, we knew there was only one place we wanted to live – in Hintonburg. I remembered a sweet little house on Bayswater from when we were renting further up the street and said to Mark "I wish that little house would come up for sale, that's the only place I want to live". Low and behold, a couple of days later, it was up for sale. We made our move and have been blissfully living in our sweet little home ever since. But it wouldn't last long. We found out we were pregnant again after only a year and a half in the house! With our growing family, we would either have to renovate or move...or build.

Directly across the street from us was an empty lot. We had no idea whether or not the owners of the lot intended to sell it any time in the near future. But we liked to dream about it anyhow. "How amazing would that be...", "imagine..." we would say to eachother as we stared at it outside our living room window. So when we found out we were pregnant we started doing some digging. We looked at other land opportunities, in other neighbourhoods, but we'd always come back to the one across the street. There really was no where else in our minds. That was it. 

We enlisted the help of real estate agent extraordinaire, Kerry Millican. She is amazing. Having just gone through the whole process of building her own home in Hintonburg, she was on our team. She found out through the neighbourhood grapevine that the owners were going to sell the lot in the spring. Ack! Mark and I had to get the gears in motion if we were going to act on the lot. Kerry hooked us up with Etienne from Desjardins who helped us understand how construction mortgages work and how much we would be approved for. (Mark will write more about construction mortgages in a future post for those wanting to understand how we made this happen). Much to our surprise, the numbers were working in our favour. So when the lot was listed in the spring, we went for it.

We're movin' on up! From 106 Bayswater to 105. Let the fun begin.