Sunday, May 9, 2010

Friday, May 7, 2010

Today, May 7, 2010, is a big day.
We are the happy new owners of Lot #2
44°45' 05.12"N; 85°53' 32.26"W

How cool is this? Although we do not have a street address we do know where we are on the planet. 

The property in northern Michigan that we have been looking at for over two years and finally decided to buy is now officially ours. Closing took place at approximately 8:00 a.m. on Friday, May 7, 2010 in the office of Crossroads Title, Traverse City, MI. We did our part electronically from AZ. In 5 - 6 weeks when the state of Michigan has registered the land in our names (takes states awhile to do their paperwork) the deed will be sent to us and will go into our safety deposit box.  

Our land is 5 acres, partially wooded on the north side with open country views to the south, east, and west. This land as well as the land all around us is dotted with many varieties of both hardwood and coniferous trees as it rolls gently in all directions. The views in the fall will be magnificent. We have one other neighbor (Lot #1) on our 1/4 mile private road, Clara Lane, and one neighbor adjacent to our property on the south (not on Clara Lane) - a small farm with 2 horses who come to the fence to visit. We will have to learn their names and lay in a supply of carrots for them. The property is about 17 miles west of Traverse City and just a couple of miles south of Hwy 72, the Leelanau/Benzie County line. We are on the Benzie County side of that line. 

Part of our woods - bare trees on north - coniferous on east
View: Northeast corner of our land

The plan is to have our contractor, Matt Kroll of Kroll Contracting, build a pole barn in the fall. This structure will be about 40'X40' and will eventually be my husband, Doug's, work space for his business, BarnesAero. In the meantime it will be our work space for the tools we need to build our own house. It will also house a small trailer which we will attempt to live in with our 2 dogs and 2 cats while we build our house.  Matt will (future date to be determined) put up the shell for our house and garage, close it in, and provide some help with the inside. We plan on doing most of the finish work ourselves.

Matt Kroll and Doug staked out the pole barn

We are designing our house - a bilevel octagon with a relatively small footprint - 948 sq. ft. on the main level, same on the lower level and an entrance large enough for a coat closet and stairs; the entrance will connect between the garage and the house.

After the pole barn is complete Doug will take a load of our belongings (stuff we need to keep but can do without for a few months) from AZ to Michigan in a UHaul and fly back to AZ.  Of course, the house here in AZ does have to sell and we cannot put a time frame on that. Doug plans to remain at his current job until on or about Feb. 1, 2011. In the meantime I will retire from teaching school here in AZ on May 21, 2010. We will then spend the ensuing months doing a "fix-up, clean-up, paint" job both inside and out on our AZ house in preparation to sell it.

Looking west - pole barn will be in the center of this picture. Our only other neighbor on Clara Lane can be seen in the center toward the back.

It was March when these pictures were taken. The land and the hardwoods were bare having recently lost their winter blanket of snow. We are anxious to begin now that we own the land but we must wait and be patient. There is so much yet to do here in AZ before we can make the move.  We have many plans for this property: a small fruit orchard, gardens, a few chickens,  a windmill to help provide electricity, a greenhouse attached to the house, a potting shed and . . . the list goes on.