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  1. Hey there – I’m late to the party but want to say congratulations on the land purchase. We’re on 3.2 acres in Raleigh that we bought through a tax foreclosure auction in 2000. We built a moderate-sized home 1800-1900 sq ft depending on how you count them.

    Do you already have a builder selected? It literally took us longer to find a builder than to build the house and the house took over 9 months.

    We’re also late-comers to FI/RE but we’re getting there. Better late than never!

    I have a road trip ahead of me today and will be listening to your episode of Choose FI.

    All that stuff about the home-building process solidifying the bond between husband and wife – yeah, that’s all true, every bit of it. True in the sense of what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Hey Brian, thanks for the comment. Mr. Groovy will reply but I wanted to jump in about he builder. We met with one after the closing but we want to get 2-3 bids. Were you happy with your builder enough to recommend? If so please contact me. ([email protected])

      3.2 in Raleigh? That sounds like a great find!

    • Mr. Groovy

      Hey, Brian. Sorry to hear that your builder has moved on to a higher calling. We have one builder to submit our plans to and we’re looking for at least two others. The one builder we’ve already had a preliminary meeting with seemed pretty cool. He’s Italian, from New York, and in the construction business. What could go wrong? But we’re old enough to realize that we need to “trust but verify.” Our game plan is to choose a builder by April. If that comes to fruition, we should have our 1,400 sq ft home built by the fall. We’ll see. We’re fully prepared for some anguish in our future. Thanks for stopping by, my friend. And welcome to the FI community. They’re a wonderful bunch and I’m sure you’ll fit right in. Cheers.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Hey, Chris. Sorry for the late reply. No, unfortunately. We’re going with a small farmhouse with a wrap-around porch rather than the Quonset hut home. Mrs. Groovy was open to it, but upon doing some research, she found enough naysayers/red flags to make her very leery of a Quonset hut home. I think her biggest fear was finding a builder who was familiar with Quonset hut homes and was comfortable with curved framing. I was up for the adventure, but when the boss isn’t, you can kiss adventure goodbye. Haha! No one every said marriage was going to be easy. Thanks for stopping by, my friend. Cheers.

  2. Sorry about being so behind on your posts – but a big congrats!!! I can’t wait for all of the updates from this new adventure Mr. and Mrs. Groovy. And maybe someday I can bring the whole crew to visit Groovy Ranch.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Stop it, Harmony! You know you’re one of my favorite bloggers. You come by whenever the twins give you a break. And I’m going to hold you to a Groovy Ranch visit. Perhaps we can get you and the tribe out for our first Groovypalooza! Hope all is well. Talk to you soon.

  3. Steve (NWOutlier)

    Hi Mr. Groovy – I’ve popped in and out of your blog over the years; but never quite ‘stuck’ – until recently I listened to your pod case with the ChooseFI team. I was born in Boston, lived in Framingham, Ashland, Marlboro… moved to the Pac NW (Washington) when I was 13.. (49 now)… I noticed you visited out here recently! Anyway, we have a lot in common – I found the FI late in life and by all calculations I won’t hit FI until around 56-57… I felt I had failed (since most FI bloggers are much younger) – hearing your story was highly motivating… your ability to do a MUSCLE UP is also freakin awesome! Anyway – just wanted to drop you a line and say, nice work to you and your wife. and thanks for taking the time to tell your story on ChooseFI…. I now feel I won’t be ‘too old’ and I don’t think I’ll feel like I have failed.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Made my day, Steve. Your kind words really mean a lot. And, hey, I have Massachusetts roots too. My mom is from Stoughton. Love Boston. My friends and I used to go to the Beanpot Tournament every year. And we love Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. Have you ever eaten at Serious Pie? Keep me posted on your FI quest. Hitting FI at 56-57 is still a nice achievement, especially since you, like us, were a late-starter. Hail the late-starters! Proof positive that the tenets of FI even work for oldsters like us. Thanks for stopping by, my friend. I really appreciate it.

  4. I always love it when I hear people downsize and are happier! In our first home, we lived it in 8 years and because of the economy and some small home improvements we made, we sold it for 100K more than what we bought it at. We see the current house we are in already ranking above 50K in value of what we purchased it. I keep daydreaming too of snatching up a small piece of land and building a functional home with no future plans of home improvements in mind! Oh – and don’t worry about house building! I heard it does solidify a marriage. I have a friend that has built THREE homes with her husband, and she’d do it again in a heartbeat because of the process, bonding and partnering that went into it with her husband! & I think they are close to celebrating their 30 year wedding anniversary! Best of luck!

    • Mr. Groovy

      Hey, Mrs. DS. When we first moved down to Charlotte from New York, we had a two-bedroom condo that was 950 sq ft. And we loved it. We bought our current home a couple of years later and it’s 2,000 sq ft. We love it also, but recognize it’s overkill for two people. When we build I would be happy with a 1,000 sq ft home. But Mrs. Groovy wants and little more square footage and she’s the boss. We will be under 1,500 sq ft and that’s what counts. A quarter downsize is still nothing to sneeze at. Thanks for stopping by, Mrs. DS. I really appreciate it, especially the encouraging words you shared about your house-building friends. Building a house need not strain a marriage.

  5. Yay congrats on the find! I hope you will be able to finalize the deal soon. It looks beautiful!

    I’ve also discussed buying a ranch or a farm with Mr. FAF. He’s not totally on board, but I think he will in the future! πŸ˜€

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thanks, Ms FAF. The simple life isn’t for everyone. But there’s something wholesome about having your own spread in the country. Fewer people and cars. Less noise. And Mrs. G loves the idea of one day having some chickens. Best of luck on changing Mr. FAF’s mind. If you do convince him, however, you’ll have to change your blog name to Frugal Asian Farm. Guffaw, guffaw!

  6. Cool. And Funny. Do I note a bit of sarcasm in those last few comments? My wife and I bought a new existing house and moved this year. We hadn’t communicated so much in many years. We were glad when it was over so we didn’t have to talk so much to each other and “normal” communication patterns could resurface. Good luck! Tom

    • LOL! I love your normal communication patterns. It’s the natural order of things between husband and wife. Right now I mainly communicate with Mrs G via grunts. I’m not looking forward to actually using words.

  7. Congrats. That is a nice lot. Plus you got it for a great price. Good luck with building your new house. I look forward to reading about the progress.

    • Thanks Mr G. I think there are two ways a couple can bring adventure to their lives. Have children or build a house. We missed out on the former. Will we survive the latter?

  8. SO exciting! Looks like an awesome piece of land. Can’t wait to see what you do. I’m so busy I can’t even write about our renovation. Story is coming – but I almost spit out my wine when I read – “I hear building a house really solidifies the bond between husband and wife. ” GOOD ONE! And prepare to spend most of your waking hours at a big box store. We just got back… kitchen cabinets/countertops/flooring the last 3 days.

    • You’re a peach, Vicki. And a trusted resource who will definitely help smooth out my bumpy ride to come. And what’s with wine on a weekday? Sounds like someone is getting used to retirement.

    • Haha! Definitely sarcastic. I wasn’t thinking of Burning Man. I was think more along the lines of Groovypalooza. But Burning Man without the dust does sound intriguing.

  9. Congrats! Hope it goes thru smoothly for you guys! Yes, building a home can solidify a relationship, so I’ve been told. We’re almost done with the layout/footprint of ours and are about to move on to elevations, electrical, etc… It’s been interesting so far.

    Like you, the land was coming in higher than we expected but we were also able to find a good deal on ~2.5 acres NOT adjacent to visually unappealing neighbors. πŸ˜‰

  10. That’s great! Congratulations. I’d love 3-5 acres at some point too. We enjoy living in the city, but I’ll be ready to shift down at some point. Good luck!

    • Thank you, Joe. Nothing wrong with city living. Every time I visit NYC, l marvel at the energy and the opportunities. But then again, I do love country living. Something about sitting on the porch with a beer and listening to the crickets. Enjoy the city for now, my friend. You’ll be down shifting soon enough.

    • Hey, DDD. Yeah, California is in a different real estate universe. For $450K, I could buy several hundred acres in NC. I look forward to sharing building experiences. Can you build a house under 3200 sq ft? Or is that the minimum for your subdivision?

  11. Jeez, I thought I was coming over to find you had located some elusive salad (ranch) dressing that you had been hunting down. Then I find you are buying up parcels of land and building upon it. There really is no end to the amount of time and fun you have in retirement, is there?

    Speaking of ranching, I am reminded of the quote:
    “Don’t squat with your spurs on”. Please be careful…..

    Cheers to the little cowboy in all of us! And best of luck lassoing those builders and keeping them from building like bloody cowboys! Will be cheering you both on from the cold north east.

    • Mr. Groovy

      “Don’t squat with your spurs on.”

      I’m a freakin’ American and I never heard of this expression. How the heck did it become part of your lexicon? You’re an amazing person, Mr. PIE. Thanks for sharing some folksy wisdom that should have been as familiar to me as apple pie (no pun intended).

      • Mr.G.,

        Mrs. PIE likes to remind me very often that my head is full of utter “tosh”

        In British vernacular, that means “rubbish”

        Such a quote on squatting with spurs on is another example of my brain holding large amounts of fun information that then finds the light of day on my favorite blogs!!

  12. We went through the building process just over 2 years ago – it is mostly fun to watch

    Some builders use some really cheap crap to finish houses these days – keep an eye on em.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Will do, my friend. I can’t wait for the inevitable switcheroos. “Yes, Mr. Groovy, we had to use average windows because the super duper windows you ordered were going to take six months to arrive.”

  13. Woot woot! What news!! I am in awe of you guys wanting to build a house. Major props to you, don’t think I would ever have it in me to do that. Can’t wait to read all about!

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thank you, Mrs. WoW. It should be interesting. And the only thing that makes the heartache to come palatable is this blog. Having a place to vent should do wonders for my sanity.

  14. LOL, congrats and good luck. We feel very lucky to have our acre in N Raleigh. Jon would love to have more room, but at least since we back up to woods it feels bigger.

    I can’t imagine trying to make the choices to build a house from scratch with Jon…he is of the “better to beg forgiveness than ask permission” school when it comes to home furnishings and home decorating choices.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thank you, Emily. What we would give for a reasonably priced one acre lot in N. Raleigh! You and Jon got in at the right time. As far as home furnishings and home decorating choices go, I appreciate Jon’s style but I surrendered my manhood to Mrs. Groovy a long time ago. As long as I can design my bedroom and bathroom to my tastes, she can hold sway over the rest of the house. Happy wife, happy life.

  15. Ron Cameron

    I think you should buy some property in the street view. You could do daily installments of Talkin’ Trash without leaving your street, AND might even be able to redefine the title!

    • Mr. Groovy

      Haha! Keen observation, my friend. I imagine I could really enliven my videos by having my neighbors join in the fun. I’m sure some unforgettable pearls of wisdom would fall out of their mouths.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thank you, Amy. We’re looking forward to it too. Thankfully we’re retired. I don’t know how people swing building a house when they’re working full-time.

  16. Congratulations, Groovies! My ancestors came through NC and I’ve always felt a draw to the area. That land looks like an an amazing place to call home. Best of luck with the closing!

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thank you, sir. Any thoughts of visiting your ancestral roots? Just let me know. I’m determined to get you on Talking Trash. Are you going to FinCon 2018?

      • Luke and I watch Talkin’ Trash (he loves your voice!). I’ve been quiet for the past few months, but I’ve been around! πŸ˜‰

        Would LOVE to make it back there and you can bet that if/when I do, I’ll reach out!

        FinCon 2018 is currently a part of the plan, but the timing is really bad. Going to take some creativity to pull it off, but with a bit of planning I should be able to.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Hey, Mr. FF. Yeah, the land is nice. It’s part of a farm that is being parceled out. I’m figuring it will take three months to complete once we break ground. I’m hoping to break ground in March or April in 2018. So Groovy Ranch should be up and around by September. Got my fingers crossed, my friend. Thanks for stopping by.

  17. Happy you finally found the Groovy Ranch (land)! Can’t wait to read about the smooth process of building. Ah, the joys of relocating. I can’t imagine trying to build the house in the middle of all of that. Oh boy, this is going to be LOTS of fun for us readers!!

    • Mr. Groovy

      Hey, Fritz. Our ace in the hole is that we have family in the Wake Forest area. We plan on putting our Charlotte home on the market in March. Hopefully we won’t be too far from breaking ground on Groovy Ranch. Anyway, once we sell our Charlotte home, we’ll move in with mom and dad for a couple of months. That should be interesting. How many bloggers in their 50s move into their parents’ home. Sounds like Norman Lear missed out on a good sitcom idea.

  18. Congrats on identifying a reasonable parcel of land! It’s exciting to take a step forward in this downsizing journey.

    We downsized but stayed local… but planning to purchase some land in Western NC once our daughter graduates college and decides where she’ll settle for a while.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Hey, Brad. Mrs. Groovy and I love Western, NC, especially the area around Asheville. One of the towns we really loved was Highlands. But we just couldn’t find the right land. Either it was too costly or too mountainy. Hey, let me know the next time you’re heading to Western, NC. Perhaps we can have a beer and do an episode of Talking Trash. Cheers.

      • It’s a bit of a journey from Charlotte. πŸ™‚

        We used to live in CLT and had a house at Lake Lure. It was right around 2 hours and perfect for weekend getaways. We sold it though when we moved to Charleston.

        When we go now, we usually head to either Hendersonville or Brevard. Would be a journey for you unless you happen to already be out there.

  19. Awesome news Mr.Groovy, I wish all the best in terms of closing the deal and good luck with house building πŸ™‚ Just keep us informed, I would really like to see a detailed report on US house building process with prices included. I often wonder why is it so expensive over there.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thanks, HCF. I’m both terrified and excited. I don’t know anyone who has had a good building experience. But most are generally pleased with the final product. It should be very interesting, to say the least. Thanks for stopping by, my friend.