Friday, August 6, 2010

A brief introduction to the site of our future home

Yesterday we drove out to the property we're in the process of buying to take some photos. My idea was to get a good one for Project 365. But when I downloaded them to my computer I realized it would be hard to "show" the lot with only one photo so I decided to do a whole post about it.

For some people photos of an almost empty lot could be be boring, especially taken in the dead of winter when everything is gray or brown. But in my mind I can already envision what it will look like one day. In fact, I have to admit that -- because in my mind I was already seeing what the little house will look like with some TLC -- I was a bit taken aback to be reminded how bad it really is right now! LOL

As I've mentioned, we're trading our house by the lake for a house by the river. I've shared PLENTY of photos of the lake and now here's one of the river.
It's really low right now because we get very little rain in the winter. In fact, aside from some random snow flakes on Monday, we haven't had any precipitation in over a month.

We were excited to see the work is slowly progressing along this stretch of river with them widening the road where needed... further down they're already grading and installing curbs and gutters... it looks like they might actually make their goal of being done by the end of the year! When we first arrived to take photos yesterday it was a little before 5 p.m. and a front loader was just finishing up for the day. You can see here where he'd been digging.
Ivan says there's a spring that feeds from the neighbors behind us to the river and they'll be installing these big cement pipes to direct the flow of water under the road. I basically stood in the same spot and looked one way to take the above photo and then turned 180°to take this one.
One day this will be a beautiful new costanera!

And to provide some perspective on where our lot is located, here's a photo from right in front of our lot looking toward the river. See those same big cement pipes just left of center?
We're not sure if the couple who own the corner lot are going to build any time soon or not. Maybe Ivan will find out when he calls them-- we learned they also own a dumpster business. And as you'll see from the following photos, we will be in need of a VERY LARGE dumpster!

Okay, I mentioned the neighbors behind us have a spring that feeds into the river. It's quite a large property owned by an order of priests and, from what we understand, they plan to leave it a green space and not allow it to be developed. Suits us just fine!
All that garbage you see along the fence? Unfortunately that appears to be from our property, blown over by the wind. The lot we're buying is a MESS. Piles of cement rubble, broken tiles and pieces of granite countertop, garbage just tossed...
...even an old refridgerator! We'll definitely have our hands full cleaning up the area once we take possession! We figure we'll rent the biggest dumpster possible and invite all the young people over to help clean up the yard, with the promise of pizza and ice cream to follow :)

We also have to immediately start fencing the perimeter. Since we don't have house plans yet or know exactly where and how the house will be oriented, we'll probably put up a temporary fence and gate in front. Although it's possible we will have house plans by the time the property is finally ours. This process is a little more time consuming than what we would experience in the U.S.

Here's a photo from the front looking straight back. The casita sits along the very back of the property line. (photo is a little cock-eyed; the house isn't crooked, I just made it look like that way with my mad photog skilz)
Obviously we have our work cut out when it comes to the casita too! Ivan will have to put on a new roof and run the wiring to the two rooms and bath. I'll help with tiling the floors and the bathroom walls, and it will be my responsibility to paint the interior walls. 

Like I said, I can already envision how cute it will be when we're done! The outside will get a nice new coat of paint, maybe some window boxes and a little stone patio. Just not sure those will be a priority. Since the casita will serve as storage for materials and tools while we build a house, we may wait until after to "prettify" the exterior.

The architect is coming out Saturday to look at the lot and sit down with us to discuss what we need/would like in our future home. Not positive, but I'm pretty sure we'll have to build in two phases -- just like most Argentines do! Phase one would include the main living areas with a separate dining room that we could use as a bedroom until we have the time and money for phase two: a second floor with two bedrooms and second bath. The open kitchen/living area would be big enough for a small table and chairs, at least, so it's not like we'd be without a place to sit down and eat. Even after we have the second floor, we'll still probably eat most of our meals at the smaller table in the main area. It's just that I'd like a separate dining area eventually because we host a lot of meals for large groups, and that space would also be great for in-home Bible studies or crafty get-togethers :)

We have a long way to go but it's exciting to be at the point of beginning!


The Bug said...

Boy I'll bet your neighbors will be THRILLED that you're cleaning the lot up. I'm so excited to be on this journey with you!

2Thinks said...

Yes it will be exciting. Exciting and a lot of work. But worth it!

Betty said...

You´re right. Looks like lots of work. But it will keep you young. I´m excited for you!

Sharon said...

Need more pictures of the casita. Since I will be staying there...eventually

skoots1mom said...

omgoodness...great plans and eager to hear about your signing the final papers and it being yours! the views are beautiful...can i come down with Sharon?

rita said...

You and I, Sharon,(well, maybe Skoots1mom too;) need to plan a vacation together!
Does this remind Ivan of the SR building process?

Mari said...

It's so exciting! I'll enjoy watching things change. Looks like a nice lot, once you clean up the garbage!

Lhoyt said...

How exciting! I wouldn't have the stamina to undertake that kind of projecteven if I was just directing it. There is something to be said, though, for owning your own place, and I'm sure it will be a wonderful one.

blueloom said...

Building your own home must be so exciting. Share your work in progress as you start the construction and have fun planning every detail.
Will your future home reflect Argentina's culture?