Why Truss Day was a Great Day

Yesterday was a good day. Before sunrise yesterday, Pepper Tree didn’t have anything above the vast majority of the walls besides sky and palm tree views while every new roof truss was laying in the driveway. By mid afternoon, the trusses were loaded and for the very first time – Brian and I saw the shape of the house we’ve only been picturing in our heads until that moment. A giant crane cranked out our new roofline in half a day and while I was only there for a few minutes of it all, I was mesmerized by the process and very thankful for the hard working team who didn’t stop for hours on end.

But that was yesterday; the good day. You see, I had been anticipating the crane coming several times before yesterday. Four other times to be exact. And while it is all completely understandable and every time had a good reason why “that day” was canceled before the “actual day” came, Real Estate In Real Life exists to tell you the ups AND downs of the home renovation process. So here are the cliff notes:

It was before Thanksgiving that Brian and I were getting ready for our out of country trip, and we thought when we returned two weeks later that the framing would be done. It was before Christmas that we thought the trusses would be loaded. A few weeks here and a few weeks there quickly add up to months delaying move-in day!

Different reasons would arise as to why the crane couldn’t come that day or why we weren’t ready for the trusses. Sometimes they were waiting for a part to come in, sometimes they had to redo some of the framing that was a little off, and one time a crane actually did come in but it was too small and couldn’t reach the center of the house! Then it took a few days to reschedule a new crane. And so on and so forth.

Every time it was supposed to be “that day” and wasn’t, I would be so hopeful and then of course a little sad that we didn’t make the progress I thought we’d be making. Brian tells me to just never get my hopes up, but somehow I just don’t have that in me. The result, however, of the emotional rollercoaster ride of expectation, excitement, optimism and disappointment has led me to feel the high and feel the low. Which means that yesterday I was really, truly happy. It was a great day. I felt proud that Brian and I have gotten this far in a major project, despite how delayed in the process I sometimes feel.

For the first time we have seen the outline of the dream house we’ve been envisioning since purchasing in May 2018. What a gift! Pretty soon (well no, sometime in the future..), Pepper Tree will be done.

Until then, we’ll continue to just, love life.




remember to follow along real time on our instagram @RealEstateInRealLife

A Real Life Reno

If you haven’t heard, Brian and I are attempting to renovate a future dream home that needs a major transformation. It’s fitting to use “attempting” because at this stage, we feel like so much is out of our control. We’re very on-top-of-it kind of people, and even so,  it’s felt like we aren’t getting anywhere at times. We’re constantly waiting on others to get our project moving or have to bug people five or more times before they’ll respond, and that lack of communication drives us (mostly me) nuts.

If you’re new to our story, here’s the condensed version:

We purchased a home in Scottsdale because of its lot size and location. The curb appeal of the house did not speak to us but the potential we saw couldn’t be ignored. We quickly tried to get somewhat of an estimate for a renovation bid before putting in an offer, but most companies told us there was no way to give us a bid until we had the architectural plans. But c’mon, on TV they have contractors able to give quotes right on the spot! We had to use our best judgment with only one quote and moved forward with the purchase and closed on May 18, 2018.

We then signed a contract with a draftsman on May 21 to get right to work on our design and plans. We already had a great start, we thought, because we basically new what we wanted to do to the house. It should only take two-three weeks before we would submit plans to the city, right? Wrong. We didn’t submit our plans to the city until July 23.

The City of Scottsdale then reviewed our submittal in good time as we had notes back on August 10 – three days sooner than what was estimated! But unfortunately what they came back with required an additional surveyor to come to the house and another engineer to review those plans. That should only take two weeks, right? Wrong. We still haven’t gotten that far, or at least we don’t know if we have. Every day this past week they told us it would be ready… any day now.

I also fast forwarded through months worth of tackling the bidding process, price negotiation, messy disagreements with contractors, design decisions, and oh, the kicker of it all: PAYING FOR A HOUSE WE AREN’T LIVING IN. Then there was also that time a new neighbor of ours called a complaint on us because we let the front yard grass grow too much, the pool was green, and a gate broke. All costing us money, and none of it getting us closer to our dream house.

Anyway, these are all first world problems of course and we are so fortunate to be in the position to build a home that will hold years’ worth of memories. We just wanted to share our story because we know there are thousands of people likely going through a similar journey, yet all we see is the HGTV version of renovations done in six weeks and under one hundred thousand dollars. That isn’t real life. Our journey, however, is real and we hope you’ll enjoy following along the realistic version of a major renovation.

Until then, just love life.

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