False hope on buying that house. We were all set to go with the offer. And then, there was a thought: “Why not build that perfect house on a perfect lot?”  It was a custom home, so we found the builder, and started looking at the few available lots in Amherst. We found an 11-acre property in a neighborhood we liked, but it is one of the last un-built lots in the development for a reason. The build site is planned to be right near the road at the small top of the triangle-shaped expanse, the ultimate deal-breaker for Lou. And now he’s decided how much he doesn’t like the lot that the original dream house is on, rendering that a non-viable option as well.

I decided to go back to the vacant lot on my own and walk the property with the builder to see if there is possibly another location on the land to build a house. We found a nice, relatively flat area positioned behind an antique farm stonewall opening, near a babbling seasonal stream. I can imagine sitting on my back deck listening to the tranquil sound of running water. It is smack in the middle of the 11-acres; about 1000 feet back from the road. If you look closely through the winter-bare trees, you can see the outline of one house to the left. It is private. There can be no argument there.

We had looked at a house in Hampton, just a short walk to the ocean beach. It was an older home that needed some work, but it was priced right, and the work would be easy; as we walked from room to room, we talked about what we could change to bring it up to date and make it ours. The focus wasn’t on how bad it was, but on how we could make it nicer. Then we got to the back yard. It was a great spot for a garden, and dining outside. But then, the realtor casually commented, “the lot is very private.” Lou retorted that this was by no means private. You could see the neighboring houses above the tall fence, and people in one house could see into the yard from one of their upstairs windows. How was that private?  He ranted a one-sided heated argument with the woman, whose perspective was clearly just different in relative terms. Yet, he took it as a sign of deception, which invalidated everything she said about the entire property. Hence, that house was out of the question. I would have loved living close to the ocean where I smelled the salt water and felt the breezes from the yard and open windows.

Currently, I have a good feeling that we can build a dream house on Lou’s dream lot. I worked hard to find this new spot and have the scars to prove it. I brought sneakers but failed to change into jeans from my work skirt. I came out from those woods with my hose torn to shreds and my legs bleeding from the thorny underbrush and general bushwhacking to find the perfect site. I showed Lou the spot on the lot map, brought him to see it the following week, and was relieved that he approves. Now, we wait for test pit results to see if it is suitable.

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