Got the final inspection for AnnaMarie's cottage today. I was at work but AnaMarie knew what to tell him....there are still a few little things, like the trench for the phone line and checking all the propane appliances but it is as of now a legally habitable structure.
It's in AnnaMarie's name. It's hers to do whatever she wants with. She's decorating right now---I haven't seen her this excited in a long time. Late last night I prematurely moved all the furniture in (you're not supposed to before the final but now she can start placing all her treasures whe's been accumulating around)
The first place we built, I put a lot of effort making it my idea of the perfect cabin for that space. I learned lots about what my style is. So the challenge this time was to pull out of AnnaMarie what HER idea of the perfect place is. It took awhile before she was able to picture things, and not just say what she thought I wanted to hear. I learned how to present decisions to her so they weren't overwhelming, but not influencing, either. By the end of this project she had figured out a direction and knew exactly what she wanted. It's going to be fun seeing what she does with it from here.
The other houses are a bit neglected at this point. Our main residence really needs exterior paint, bathroom remodels, new carpet. The beach house will slide off the bluff soon thanks to industrious ground squirrels unless I build a retainer. Our tenants at the cabin want a laundry room built. What's missing though is any sort of deadline. I can go to Patrick's soccer games. I'm going to become a familiar face at church again. Lauren needs driving lessons. McKenna needs college funding and the overtime's available.
Speaking of funding---when I go back through bank statements it's astounding what it costs to buy a house one piece at a time. More often than not, I'd stop at a hardware store on the way home from work and spend a few hundred dollars. The expense of owning this house is now down to upkeep, utility bills, insurance and taxes.
The one thing we didn't backburner through all this was date night. AM and I have always made date night a priority. Next date night, though, won't be a trip down the hill---it'll be right across the street at her new cottage.