The Big Stupid House by Kristi Roberts. Real Estate from a personal angle.
Like with everyone, life changes. Sometimes it changes when you least expect it or plans change or a random decision you make will change your life. Our travels are long, winding, and sometimes life changes are difficult, unwanted or unexpected. One thing is for certain, life will change and many times, our motivation will change as well.
In 2006, life was good. It was a great time to be a real estate agent and I was having the time of my life. Everyone was happy to see me. The days were long, but the rewards were great and I was loving life.
On July 3, 2006, my (then) husband turned to me and said “Did you see that house?” I said “What house?” He said “that partially constructed house. They dropped the price again.” I said “They’re never gonna sell that thing. Who’s going to buy a partially constructed house?” One thing led to another and on that warm summer evening, we drove up to that partially constructed house and walked through the steel structure, looked out over the French Valley area and marveled at the view. I was hooked. Although we weren’t even looking for a house, the possibilities started to fill my head and the vision started. I went back to my home office and armed with a nice glass of red wine, wrote an offer. I was very clever too. In my offer, I wrote that should the seller counter on anything, then she would owe me the commission (which was a significant amount of money). If she accepted the offer as is, I would forgo my commission. The seller signed and we were off.
Ten months of escrow, lots of inspections and we closed. We had a construction loan and needed to get the house done in a year. I really loved building the house and it was quite an education. The house is 5721 gorgeous square feet on one level. We changed every room except for the dining room. The view is spectacular and it has a marvelous infinity edge pool. It also has a 2.8 mile gravel road that leads from civilization in French Valley to our mountain top nestled against the Lake Skinner Preserve.
It’s now 2018 and in May, I will have been here for 10 years. Life has changed in many ways. I’m 10 years older [sigh], the boys are gone and Carlos and I are empty nesters. The house is too big, too expensive, still needs $100k spent on it to put in the marvelous Tuscan landscaping, prominent gate and entry to this estate and I’ve ran out of steam and energy for this project.
On one hand, it makes me sad. I had such a vision and I’ve only completed part of it. On the other hand, there are things more important than a house and that’s living life fully. For me now, it’s more than scraping by making house payments on a house I don’t want anymore. This home is now for someone else, someone else with a vision, someone who has the energy to complete this project and continue to live the dream I’m over. Oh yeah, and someone who doesn’t mind paying a gardener or a housekeeper because it’s too much house and grounds for one person to keep up. Is it going to be a winery, or a wedding venue? I think it would be a great spot for either. Or will it be another happy family moving in here with their alpacas, multiple dogs, horses or whatever their deal is? I’ve been happy here. I’ve learned a lot in the past 10 years. I’ve had some lessons about living with wildlife, gardening, chickens and taking on too much as well.
I would leave with this thought. During the last recession, I met with hundreds of people. Hundreds of people living their lives, working, making money and moving forward ~~ happy with their lives. The recession changed that. People lost their jobs, spent their savings, and many did everything they could to hang on to their homes until they were calling me to speak to them about their options. Short sale, foreclosure or deed in lieu. Selling, staying, or loan modifications. The one thing I would tell my people over and over again is that you have to think about what is important here. What is important to you? Your family? Your health? Living your life? Every single time, the most important things to them were their family and their health. They just lost sight of what was important for a minute or two. At the end of the day, they made their decision based upon the things that were most important to them. I haven’t forgotten that lesson and in 2017, I had to revisit what was important to me.
I’m going to another house (home). It will be a home back in the neighborhoods of French Valley with paved streets, a little less land and Carlos and I will be making that home together. I’ll miss this house on the hill sometimes, but I typically approach life with a glass half full attitude, so it will all be good.
In the meantime, if you know of someone who’s looking for a million dollar view with a REALLY big house with a killer pool and 20 acres, have them call me. Kristi Roberts, Broker @ 951-252-7766.