Building Oak Haven – How it all Started

1032-bridlewoodIn April of 2014, my husband and I ran into a neighbor who had moved to a new neighborhood and he excitedly told us about his new home. He mentioned access to a private park on a river and immediately had my husband’s attention.

We took a ride that afternoon and my husband did something very out of character. He pulled into the parking lot of a realtor’s office at the front of the neighborhood and went in. After a brief discussion, the realtor gave us a list of lots within our price range and an access card to the river park. We drove down to the river park and then around the 1700+ acre ranch-turned-country neighborhood and fell in love.

A couple of months later, after lots of prayer and much exploring of potential lots, the realtor called with a new listing she thought we might like. She was right. It was perfect. A one acre lot with several groves of live oaks that backed up to a draw on an out-of-the-way, no outlet street. We purchased it, fulfilling the dream we had of owning a piece of the Texas Hill Country close to civilization.

In September of the same year, following several discussions with a friend of ours, we signed on with UBuild It.  The company enables customers to build their own custom home through their network of expert home construction and design consultants for less than it would cost to go through a traditional builder. We hoped to start building our home after our youngest graduated high school and after we sold our house in Mississippi.

We spent the next year and half clearing our lot, envisioning where the house would be placed, and dreaming of what it would be like to live there.

In January of 2016, we hired a home designer and began turning our sketches (derived from hours spent perusing floor plans on the internet) into a buildable house plan. We were amazed to see how our home designer took everything we asked for, fit it all together and even added some wonderful details to the vision of our home.

May of 2016 rolled around, and after our daughter and her husband moved out of our Mississippi house (our daughter and son-in-law lived there while she attended her Navy C-school at Keesler AFB), we put the house on the market.  In June of 2016, our youngest graduated high school and was ready to head off to college.  Over the next few weeks, we anxiously waited for an offer on the house. It finally came and by the end of July, we were no longer homeowners in the state of Mississippi.  It was time for the next step.

We finalized our house plans in August and then in October, we submitted our paperwork to the bank for our construction loan. As we waited, we visited home decor stores and business and made appointments with experts for cabinets, granite, stone, plumbing fixtures, windows, doors and flooring.  I also spent way to much time online shopping for everything from cabinet fixtures to furniture.

I have to admit, I have a ton of pictures from open houses, Pinterest and Houzz, depicting what I liked and what I wanted.  It helped me stay engaged and get an idea of what we wanted while we waited for the bank to give us the go ahead.

We also spent a lot of time on our property, doing additional clearing, walking the boundary lines and praying for how the Lord would have us use it, laying prayer paths through the trees, and enjoying the peace and beauty of the place.

This week, we received the news our loan has been approved! We still have to close, but once we do, we will schedule another appointment with UBuild It and begin the construction phase of our home.

We are so excited and so blessed. We look forward to what the Lord has planned for this little slice of Texas Hill Country. I invite you along on our journey as I chronicle the ups, the downs, the joys, the frustrations, and the over all process of building of our new home on a piece of land we call Oak Haven.

Grace and Peace

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About Jill English Johnston

God writes His story on every heart, if we only pause to read it. My heart has lived in a fantasy world since early childhood and am delighted that God has finally brought me to the place where I can bring the fantasies to life through story. I am currently working on a fantasy trilogy (of course) but I also post thoughts, reflections and (hopefully) inspiration to my website: tabletsofhumanhearts.wordpress.com I am a follower of the Rabbi Jesus, married to my best friend and inspiration, and the mother of three incredible children, one daughter and two sons, with one son-in-love. When not writing, I passionately pursue prayer, reading (never enough time to read them all!), and the outdoors. My husband and I both served in the US Navy and have lived/travelled through many states and all over Asia. We both still enjoy travelling, but we really love our home in Schertz, located at the crossroads of Texas, just northeast of San Antonio.
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