A few days ago Eben got a Facebook reminder that we had received all the final paperwork for the purchase of our land, “1 Year Ago”.
It’s pretty crazy to think about all of the changes in plans that have happened since we have moved to Baja! We are now Pros of the pivot, turn, and make new plans!
How We Got Here
We first moved to Todos Santos to go into business with some friends we had here. The plan was to build a boutique hotel. We envisioned casitas up on stilts. But sometimes things move slow. Paperwork, permitting, and such. One year after that project had begun, it fell apart. Things were going too slow for our business partners to keep interested so we amicably parted ways.
Eben and I then set out to find our own chunk of land. We walked around town looking for ideal spots. We reached out to our contacts and asked around to find the owners of the land we’d stumble upon. This was also a slow process. We eventually found “our land”.
Our plan was to continue on with the boutique hotel idea, just without partners. We were chatting with an architect and talked to some friends that wanted to be investors. But…then we changed our minds!
We realized that the “Need” in our town was not for another hotel, it is for long-term rentals. “Ok, change of plans”. Now we were designing to build 4 long-term rentals on our property. Wait…our architect let us know that permitting wouldn’t allow us to put that many units on lots our size.
“Ok then. New plan. Let’s build one house. And either sell it or rent it long term.”
We Got The Plans
After a couple of months of designing and back-and-forth with an architect, we had our plans engineered and we were good to go. “Let’s start getting some bids from contractors.”
We still had to figure out how to get power, water, and sewage brought to our property.
The bids started coming in and WOW! We thought building in Mexico was supposed to be cheap! Apparently not for the house we had designed!
We talked with several contractors and thought we found “the one”.
We went to see him, to say, “Yes let’s do it”, but at some point in the conversation he mentions “You realize this quote is just for my labour.” Everyone else had quoted the labour and materials together, so we ASSUMED he did too.
When you ASSUME you make an ass out of you and me. Now it looked like it would cost double of what we had thought.
That was only days before we were set to go to the USVI. We decided to go to the USVI for a month, think this all over, and come back fresh.
The USVI And Coming Back To Todos Santos
While in St Thomas we got this renewed feeling that we need to be there. Everything feels so right when we are there. Our friends. Our connections. That water. The island. It just feels right.
So what did that mean for Todos Santos? Another pivot, turn, and change of plans? Yes and No. We still have a huge desire to have something here too.
For Eben’s birthday, I rented this nice Airbnb in Cabo San Lucas and, once the girls were in bed, we spent the evening in the hot tub chatting about where our desires, and fears, lay. We decided to make 2 plans, for two different scenarios in two different locations. And move forward with both!
For Todos Santos: After toying around with the house plans, trying to figure out how we could build it in phases/parts to save money, we decided to RE-design the house altogether. We decided on a smaller footprint, and a different style. And funny enough, what we came up with we love even more!
We started plugging away at getting things we wanted at the property anyway (power/water/sewage), and then…WHEN IT RAINS IT POURS! Everything started falling in line. It just took the right connections.
Now our property has power and water, will have sewage next week, and Eben and the contractor are in the process of clearing and excavating the land for where our house will be built! It’s crazy exciting!
Our thoughts with this house are that we will live in it when we are here, and rent it out long term when we are away (in St Thomas). Or maybe even sell it and someday build “our” home on our top lot.
For St Thomas: I will have to keep you waiting on this one. What a tease right!? But there is chatter of a move soon. More on this…once we know more!
If you’ve made it this far you can see that a lot is going on for us right now. On top of Covid, homeschooling, and everyday life. Eben and I both feel like we have 100 tabs open on our computers, and 100 conversations going with different people across Email, Messenger, Texts, and Whatsapp! But it’s exciting. Options are exciting.