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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Just the facts and Reflections

The facts are pretty straight-forward - if hard to believe.

We closed on a house in January, two in February, 2 in March, 1 or 2 in April, am sitting on 3 signed contracts, and have 2 $10k deposits sitting in the bank in order to reserve a place in line. My team and I are feeling very fortunate to be ripping a hang 5 atop this economic tsunami.

"Builder" magazine is doing a feature on 'niche building' and we made the cut, finally. Although from my limited experience, the people who make the papers and magazines aren't the ones actually doing anything noteworthy - they just have friends in high places. I know that's a class-ist statement, but hey, my dad was a house painter so a little chip on the should never hurts anyone.

Spring is here, and so far this week the weather has been great. The ground is drying out and a few more days like this we will be able to tidy up Bella Drive and the houses that reside there, get the grass growing, and leave it as neat and natural as possible.

We executed our winter gameplan pretty well on target - another week and most of the work will be done at Highland Farms. Given the respite of finishing homes gives us the opportunity to take care of some loose ends like build a deck at my new office, finish Cheri's exterior stone patio, repair a small leak at Farm 7, troubleshoot a basement moisture issue at Farm 8, review a 6 month post closing walk-thru with the gentlemen at Cottage 1, etc... Amazing, 1 yr ago Cottage 1 was not even finished, and now we are reserving Cottage 14.

Well, no need to beat a dead horse (what a terrible saying), but we have our fingers crossed that all the interest in our homes results in closed sales and happy homeowners.

Here's a pic of me and my dog in front of Farmhouse #1, the very first house I built. It sold in April 2004. It wasn't bad for my first try at country building.

And then our first attempt at grassroots marketing, when the marketing budget was around $45. It's been suggested my buzz cut is not the best look for me.

And then, after 12 months of planning, begging for money and early advances, pleading with my help to show up, reinventing every wheel ever invented and rolling along on a huge learning curve -

...this happened on the final week of construction.

To say the least, it took a lot of gumption to get past this pickle. I remember Curtis calling me up and trying to break it to me easy - 'um, uh, 2 trees fell on the house last night."