Monday, January 07, 2008

Man, Why You Gotta Hate?

The house hunting is over.
We're having a house built.
The contracts are before us, the costs are in, the financing is all lined up. And when it's all said and done, I'm getting what I want, and Vince is getting what he wants. We're having a five bedroom, 3 1/2 bathroom house built on a one acre lot, in a very nice gated, yet rural area that is a forty minute commute for Vince.
We're getting to pick out the brick/stone, the flooring, the paint colors, lighting fixtures, appliances, the cabinets, the granite, etc, etc. The builders have pushed out walls, converted rooms, and pretty much done what we've wanted to make us happy.
The new year is here, Vince is doing well at work, the kids are happy and healthy, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and all is right in our world. It's a time for celebration. And yet. And yet.
We attended a baptism yesterday for one of our friends newest additions, and even people we've met through these friends wanted the latest news on our house quest. One of the people there was our realtor, so maybe that made the topic fresh on their minds. We did not bring the subject up.
Everyone there knows what we've been through what with all our stuff being stolen, it taking so long for Vince to find work, being screwed by AAA, and I think they all were just genuinely happy for us. All but one couple. And the thing that bothers me, the thing that boggles my mind, is that this couple is one of our original "friends". A couple we knew from California. A couple we've knows for five years. And nothing, absolutely nothing, positive can come out of their mouths when the topic is us building a house.
When the topic first came up about us thinking about just having something built, her response was that it would take at least nine months, and most likely a year. I told her the builders said they could have a house completed for us in four months. She almost laughed at that, then went on to tell me that when she was having her house built it must have sat there for weeks, just waiting for the inspector to come by before work could be continued. Then when something wasn't right, the whole process would start all over again, and weeks would pass before the inspector would come out again. I dropped the subject. That was over a month ago.
The second time she asked if we had found a house, and that's always how it goes, the question is never positive or supportive, it's always, "So, have you found a house yet?" I told her we found a custom home builder in the area that we liked, but I was afraid the spec house was too small. Her response was, "Oh yea, you need a bigger house than that. You'll be miserable." Now maybe that was her trying to be supportive, but it didn't come across that way.
Then yesterday, one of the women at the baptism luncheon asked when the builders would start breaking ground. With my realtor/friend standing right there, I responded that I thought it took about four weeks to get the paperwork/permits lined up once we signed off on everything and groundbreaking begun. Then the house was supposed to be done 120 days from the time ground breaking started. The husband half of the "friends", piped up about how we have to be careful because his neighbors lot sat there empty for five weeks, without any activity, because someone didn't pull the right permits. Before I could say a word, our realtor jumped in telling him that we were having a "custom" home built, and it's not at all the same thing. He responded that they had a "..." custom home built, and it took almost a year for their house to be built. She retorted that we're not dealing with a mass produced home builder in a subdivision. We dealing with a private custom home builder who only builds one, maybe two, houses at a time, and they are on the building site at all times. Those mass produced builders aren't even in their trailers most of the time, etc, etc. She shut him down fast.
Now a huge part of me was grateful that she was there to back us up, because honestly I'm sick and tired of being made to feel that everything we have/do is inferior.
Then another part of me was angry. Why are some people like this? Why can't they just be happy for someone else? Why is everything a threat? A competition? He has stated that he wouldn't work for twice what Vince makes, that's just too little money. We don't drive $70K cars, our kids don't attend private school, we don't go on extravagant vacations every year or so. Why can't we just have this one thing? And why can't they just be happy for us that we've reached an agreement between what will work for Vince, what will work for me, and what will work for our budget. We're not snobby. This is not about "having a house built". We'd be perfectly happy buying a house that was already built, even an older house, as long as it would suit our family. The problem was that we weren't finding that. We lived in a 1972 ranch style house for eight years that was a constant construction zone it needed so much work. Why should we buy something that's not going to work for us, when we can have one built that will? And if it does end up taking nine months, at least we'll have what we want at the end of those nine months. We're not going to buy something now, just to buy something now. Not even in this market. These are our "friends"?
Then a part of me is sad. Obviously we wouldn't have wasted five years with these people if they truly were terrible people. They're not terrible people. They're usually pleasant to be around, very social, nice to our kids. And because of them, we've made friends with couples here in Texas that we've met through them.
Vince keeps telling me to stop trying to understand crazy. You just can't understand crazy.


Jessica said...

Well we are just thrilled for you guys!!! Congratulations! I'm so happy you found something that you both want! Sorry you're having to deal with some negative people. Vince is right--you can't understand crazy. :)

Lena said...

It sounds like it will be a beautiful home. I am happy for you. I can't wait to see pics.