Living in San Elijo Hills wrapped up in our close-knit community is certainly a wonderful way to live your life, but maybe you have a dream of one day buying a piece of land and building your dream home – away from it all. No HOA.
No immediate neighbors. And, just enough land to feel a connection to nature that is hard to duplicate in a fence lined yard. Or maybe you dream of one day bringing that custom home design you have envisioned in your mind or sketched out on paper into the real world.
If so, you are not alone. In fact, that’s exactly what your neighbor Debbie Lawes has been up to for the last couple years.
You probably recognize Debbie’s name and face from here in SHARE. She advertises her real estate business here in our print publication each month and has been an active member of our community for over 13 years. Many people know her as “The Hat Lady” because she was always seen walking her boys to and from school wearing various protective hats.
But, what you may not have known about Debbie is that she always dreamed of building her own home. Coming from England and having grown up on farmland, she has always dreamed of having more land and building her own custom home.
That dream became a reality last year when she moved into her new home just over the hill – a home she and her family built from the ground up.
It’s so fun hearing Debbie share the story of the whole process. In fact, if you’re dreaming of doing something like this, you should definitely reach out to her. She will save you a tremendous amount of time and will help paint a very realistic picture of what lies ahead when you make a decision like this one.
There are so many unknowns and things that happen in the process of taking a piece of land here in San Marcos from a lot to a home. And, it’s not just the permits and the construction. There’s so much more to it. Even as a professional realtor, Debbie was amazed at all she learned through the process. You will become very well-versed in things like hydrology, grading, sound decibels and soils. You will become very familiar with the city engineering department and things like bond fees, fund control and construction loans.
Debbie warns that building a home is definitely a labor of love and will cost you a tremendous amount more than you think it will – both in terms of time and money.
“If you can’t make a decision quickly, don’t build a house,” she shared.
Throughout the process you will be troubleshooting, problem-solving and negotiating. There is no time for debate. When decisions have to be made, they have to be made right then to avoid delays and increasing costs.
Debbie also advises making sure you have a phenomenal building contractor who is well-versed with City regulations. It’s important that they know more than the inspectors and can anticipate potential issues before they even have the opportunity to materialize.
“Everything goes wrong. I was on-site every day throughout the process – often more than once, but I loved it!”
Seeing Debbie in her new home and the smile on her face immediately confirms that it was worth it. Being surrounded by open space with chickens and horses nearby, Debbie feels more at home than ever before. Every little detail from fixtures to floorboards to closet doors, every plant and landscape detail, every skylight…a reminder of what it takes to bring a dream to life.
If you’d like professional advice or simply to pick Debbie’s brain, you can reach out to her directly at www.DebbieLawes.com.