Wow am I getting antsy for the Mar Azul project to get back on track. The condo is amazing, but its tight for people who work from home, do school from home (+summertime!), and 2 kitties who think it’s fun to wake up everyone about 4:40 every morning. Seriously NOT funny KARL.
But in other news, things are wrapping up quite nicely on the real estate front, so that’s great!!
It was sad, but the oceanfront lot sold.
Yesterday the Mold House final payment came in (EARLY WOOO HOO!) and now we’re just tidying up paperwork.
Now if we could find someone to buy the pre-construction condo in the Shores at the Aruba, we’d be in business!!! Fingers crossed someone wants an awesome 3/2 oceanfront, 1st floor walkout to the pool + beach, brand spanking new condo.
Our DJI Phantom 2 drone + GoPro 3 decided to make a break for the waves today and live with the dolphins and manatees.
Important to note, this was not due to pilot error. Our poor little drone is old and the battery failed.
Craig tried to swim out and find it and bring it back so we aren’t contributing to yet more ocean issues + trash + contamination, but wasn’t able to find it. 😩 A few locals said they’d keep their eyes out and make a rescue if it came back ashore.
Hoping on a bike ride this week we may find it washed back up on the sand and can bring it home for safe disposal.
It’s the third week of July + that means that Neil is starting on our project!!! SO EXCITED. Can’t wait to see what he comes up with. Oh please please please let’s hope he’s on schedule and starting on Mar Azul this week!!!
Now to the fun part! We’re moving forward with new plans, building a fun house to live in and love for many years to come (or at least maybe 5-10 years??).
Most importantly we have AWESOME people we are working with. We couldn’t love our builder more.
Forever Homes — Jack and Lisa Nunez — have stuck with us through this crazy indecisiveness of building on the ocean, building across the street, scrapping the first 2 sets of plans, and now moving onto yet another set of plans. I’m quite certain they think we are nuts. Luckily they haven’t fired us because we cannot wait for Jack to get started!
We’ve done so many plans at this point with our architect, we decided to take all of what we have worked so hard on for the last year+ and make it into a smarter home that works great for us. It will give the girls all the private space they need + fun areas for them and their friends. It will give Craig a dedicated + quiet office (WOAH!!!!). It will give the kitties proper spaces for their food and LitterRobot. We’ll have an awesome pool again in the back yard. And with a little luck, we’ll be able to get some sneak peeks of the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse + the Atlantic ocean if we are lucky. 🤞
Jack + Lisa have an engineer they work with on many of their projects named Neil. I met Neil a few weeks back and he had great comments and thoughts on the house + he’s already called and asked questions and is already busy working on the plans for the house!!! HAHA…ok not. He can’t start till the week of July 22nd.
About a month ago I had a little meltdown that Neil couldn’t start for so long on our project, but summer is crazy with camps + fun, so the time has flown by so fast.
Seriously though, even though it went by fast, we are so excited to get started with Neil to draw these up (aka, fix them + tidy them up to plans that are amazing + make it look super awesome on the exterior!!) + get permits (again) + FINALLY clear the lot @ Mar Azul.
This week was a little bittersweet. In between the Mold House + buying the Mar Azul land, we had a different plan!
We wrote letters to everyone in Ponce Inlet who owned land on the ocean, and see if they would sell their lot to us. Wow, did we get lucky. Of 10 or so letters, we had 2 calls + purchased one. We put in lots of time + $$ to test the land, design a house, and estimate the house. And then we changed our minds and reconsidered our great idea to buy oceanfront land in Ponce and build a house there! Hence Mar Azul.
See the thing is, after lots of thinking about things like global warming + oceans rising + incredibly crazy high taxes + things rusting before we get them installed, not having a street to play on and ride bikes on with other kiddo friends, we decided we wouldn’t build there.
Along the way we decided maybe we should hold onto the land and then the people who live next door approached us about purchasing it to add to their home for their kids and family. How amazing is that? We couldn’t have asked for more wonderful people to have purchased it + know they will love the property and give it amazing love and life.
We’ll sure miss the lot and the idea of building a home to live there. I shed quite a few tears in the car to pick up the girls from surf camp after the closing was complete. Luckily the girls snapped me right out of that! They are more excited about living across the street and riding bikes to their friends houses to swim and play. 😍
Super cool modern house all filed away in the hopes we can build something like that on another lot, another day.
But what to do now? Our architect is out of town for a month. We aren’t going to build the super cool modern house (aka “spendy house”).
Craig told me I could be patient and just wait till the end of July when an engineer could work on some ideas and plans or wait for our architect to come back. Or he said I could try and come up with ideas too while we wait.
So of course I got my supplies all ready — pencil, eraser, ruler and paper. Then I cut up all the giant plans from the spendy house into puzzle pieces. I spent a TON (like days and days) of time on ArchitecturalDesigns.com sending Craig every plan that was pretty cool and interesting + could fit on that crazy piece of land. Google + Pinterest became new best friends for floor plan and house ideas. And then, we worked on a few ideas.
Crazy as it is, we have 2 new floor plan layouts that we love even more than the other house! We cut the square footage by about 1500 square feet and we have just as much amazing and cool and fun stuff in the house + a much needed gigantagarage to hold all the cars + toys!
Next up I guess we will see if we learned from our mistakes of the past. Can our ideas actually be built in reality. AND in budget??
Okay so this house rocks. We love this house. The architect couldn’t have nailed a more cool, appropriate for us house in terms of style + everything inside + outside.
Who wouldn’t love this? A 3rd floor deck to look at the ocean? A mix of materials. Super cool modern design.
Windows! Check out the amazing windows in this design. Casement. Two together in the corners to give a super cool view. Black trim outside and inside. You can’t even see the backyard and pool on this image, but its so amazing too. And the inside?? ❤️❤️❤️
All of it is perfect! Till it’s budget and estimate time. UH-OH.
Big lessons learned here. Understand if your design is in the budget early on; before you fall in love. Get an estimate as early as possible without driving your builder crazy. Before you get excited and apply for permits, get an estimate. Most importantly, before you even buy the lot and build, you should look to understand what’s going on in the market, what people are spending on their builds near you + what people are selling homes for around you. Based on all those things, our budget was too high for what we should be spending. And the estimate came in higher than the budget.
So can we build it? No can do. This pretty lady is just going to have to stay in our back pocket for the next project.
Our journey to Mar Azul started a couple of years ago. Here’s a quick timeline recap:
April 2015: Moved from ATL into the “mold house.”
From 2015 to 2017: Moved in and out of the mold house to the cottage while we renovated.
November 2017: The ceiling fell through (for the 2nd time!) in the mold house + the new flooring was popping up and buckling upstairs. So we moved out of the mold house + into our cottage.
June 2018: Moved into a condo thinking it would be just 6-12 months to fix the mold house. (Along the journey, we did a little side planning in early 2018 and bought another oceanfront lot and planned to build a house and live there + either rent or sell the mold house. But that’s another story!)