Home Building: Answering all your questions






My sweet daddy-o, how I wish you were here. You were supposed to be here, You were supposed to be here for this, and so many other things. You were supposed to be there when you gave us the gift of a lifetime…a house. You were supposed to help us and ask questions and lead us in the right direction. You should be here to help when we move in. You should be here to hug me and ask “Do you just love it?”. Not only all of that, but so many more life events. Your grandchildren. More anniversaries to celebrate with mom. More laughs to be made with your girls, who miss you so much. Oh…what I would do to have you here with me now.

I’m forever grateful that the gift of a house will be something I’ll be reminded of everyday of my dad, and to be able to share that with our children. That their grandfather worked his whole life, long and hard. He worked everyday at a job he did well and loved, and was also well known for. He worked hard so his children could have the privilege of having mom at home, to love and care for us. He gave me so many gifts throughout my life, but besides the love and memories, this is my favorite of them all.

I’ve been hesitant to share “how we’re buying a house” for a few reasons. I didn’t want to come off as a spoiled brat, having people think we just have wealthy parents and are privileged. But I also didn’t want to give off the impression that Tim and I did this all by ourselves…because we didn’t, and we don’t want any of the credit. But when someone who means so much to you, that is so special, and that deserves so much recognition, applause, admiration, among many other things…how do you explain that to a group of people who never got to meet this person? My dad. Because even after writing this post, you won’t fully understand.

Some may say that having a house handed to you isn’t any fun. It doesn’t make it special because it isn’t your hard work that got you there. But…our situation is unique. And its special to us. And we wouldn’t want it any other way. And we know he wouldn’t either. Because after exploring moving out of state, we know we’re meant to start the next chapter of our lives right here. Right next to family and friends. Close enough to go home, but far away enough to build a life of our own. To start life in a new home, that was built off of hard work and to make it a home with the love we have for each other. All thanks to my sweet daddio.

Q: How are you able to buy and build at such a young age?

A: I answered this question up above, but to put in more clear terms…we did not save for a down payment. We got the greatest gift from my mom & dad after their many years of hard work. The gift of a down payment on a house. We are BEYOND blessed and lucky.

Q: What made you want to build instead of just buy and move in?

A: The personalization of it all. It’s mainly because of me that we decided to build. I have very specific taste, and also expectations. Everything we were seeing in our price range needed a TON of work. We didn’t have the money to buy something in our budget, and then add thousand of dollars in fixing it up. That was basically our case, so we thought why buy something older when we can put it towards new construction and I can make it exactly how I want it? I would say we, but Tim doesn’t have much of an opinion 😉

Q: How did you find the property? Love the idea of customizing!

A: Starting right when we moved into our apartment pretty much, we started looking at houses. Tim and I both hate the idea of renting (giving our money to someone else, paying someone else’s mortgage type of thing), so we knew we didn’t want to rent longer than a year. We actually looked at buying before looking at apartments, but didn’t end up going through with anything because we hadn’t decided where we wanted to live. And I’m so glad we waited and thought it out!

But in the process of looking, I just really fell in love with the area we’re moving to, so I saved a bunch of my favorites on the house apps I had. We were coming home from a wedding, and I asked Tim if we could stop by and look. He was hesitant because he really didn’t want to because he was tired (and slightly hungover lol) and we also brought Chip with us. They had models to walk through, and when we pulled up they invited us (including Chip!) in to see and…I just saw our future in those walls. I’m not kidding.

Q: Did you look at other places before settling?

A: YES! We were actually SO CLOSE to going through with a townhome closer to home right outside of Orange County. But while taking time to think about it, we asked ourselves, “Are we willing to commit to taking Chip out to the bathroom everyday for the next couple of years?”. Because at the time it was just us 3, and we were looking at a property with no yard. Once we put it that way, it was a HECK NO from both of us. That’s when we knew it was time to keep looking!

Q: How did you know what to look for when it came to new construction?

A: I wish I had a better answer to this question, but I don’t. Our future house kind of just fell into our laps. I found it first, and I was certain that Tim wouldn’t be a big fan. Beyond that, I also felt my mom wouldn’t be a big fan either. I just saw it pop up a couple times and really wanted to look because it looked so nice and perfect, and so we did. We didn’t do research on anything because we weren’t planning on buying new construction wherever we ended up. I just wanted to go buy and see it “really quick”…and the rest is history!

Q: New construction in Orange County is so expensive. Is there something I’m missing?

A: Yes, you’re missing a big factor actually. We are leaving Orange County!

Q: What’s the price range to build a home from the ground up?

A: This depends on so much. What state? What county? What city? Are you doing everything yourself? How big is it going to be? And so many more questions, that it is hard for me to answer this question for you. If you’re thinking about, definitely look around the area you want to move to and see what other prices are. Your price will most likely be around there.

Q: Where are you moving to?

A: I’ve been hesitant to share this since we announced, mainly because I knew I would get a lot of questions. When it came to moving from my parents house to in with Tim in our apartment, I never shared our location. I shared on social media that we were moving to another city in OC, but I never shared exactly where. I mainly keep it private for privacy reasons. I share a lot on here, so why do I need to share my exact location? It jus isn’t necessary to blatantly state where I live. Though, if you watch stories or follow me on Instagram, I do location tags all the time of nearby cities and places we go. When we move, I plan on doing the same thing.

With that being said though, I realize without sharing my location you guys will be very confused as to some changes that will be happening when we move that you’ll eventually see. We’ll be moving to Riverside County down south, and will be in between OC and SD, near Temecula.

Q: How do you feel about leaving Orange County?

A: So. Many. Feels.

So many…so many that I can write a whole blog post on it, ha. I grew up in Orange County and know no other place as home besides here. Same with Tim. Even for college, we both attended school here in OC and both still work here. This will be a transition for both of us, and I think it is going to be a little difficult. In the beginning, I didn’t think much of it. I was just so excited and ready to get out that I didn’t think that far ahead. Now that the move is getting closer, I’m starting to mentally prepare myself.

It’s definitely not all bad though. Even though I’m sad, and like I mentioned up above it was here or out of state—we wouldn’t be moving here “just to move here”. We both believe this is the next step for us and will help us grow, and that us moving will come with so many different opportunities and all things good. I can feel it in my bones that this move is what we need, and He has so much in store for us here in our next chapter. More than either of us could dream of combined! So it really is bittersweet. But I’m also eager to leave Orange County behind for at least a little.

Q: What is something you have to factor in that you did not realize when you started building?

A: Tim said how expensive flooring is (lol) and I say how wrong construction timelines are. When building a house and living in an apartment, its hard to match up the lease and move-in time. Our lease actually ends next month, so we have to do month to month until the house is ready. In case you missed it, the house was supposed to be done in December originally. Then February. Now April. Fingers crossed!

Q: Is this your “forever” home?

A: Unfortunately, I don’t think so. Which makes me sad because now I want to stay here forever since we’re building it and making it our own. But with three bedrooms and the amount of kids we’re planning on having, I think this might be tight quick. We definitely envisioned this being a starter home, but we’ll see where the next couple of years takes us. The goal is to keep this house though, and rent it out if we need more space and buy (or possibly build) another home. No clue if any of that will happen though—only time will tell!

Q: What was the process like? We want to purchase but have no idea where to begin!

A: The process looks different for everybody. For us, the process has looked like falling in love, signing documents, deposits, customizing, building, paperwork, escrow, closing, moving in.

Q: Is it cheaper to build than purchase an older house?

A: Another hard to answer question. Depends on the house, the location, the sizes and a lot more. Either way it is expensive, so for us, we might as well build and personalize. If you have the opportunity to do so and after researching, I would do it! For us it would be the same price because our budget was the same either way.

Thank you for letting me sharing our life with you, and I hope me writing this blog post helps answer the most frequently asked questions by you guys, and also gives you a little insight. Instagram is a highlight reel at the end of the day. Just remember that. Tim and I are extremely blessed to live the life that we do, and we aren’t taking one second for granted. This is a life long dream, and this is just the beginning. We love you guys!


Danielle Alana

Leave a Comment