Did I ever mention it took us an entire year to actually own this land? I may repeat that now and then because it’s a scary reality, and yes, it did take that long. It took weeks to just walk through the land and clear through to be able to see what we were looking at in the beginning. Then you have your bank and lender issues to walk through. Did you know (this is only true for the time we purchased at – I’m sure things change depending on the market) that most banks will not finance a construction loan for any parcel of land over 10 acres? Oh you did? That’s nice for you. We didn’t.
In Snohomish County, there were only 2 or 3 banks that would even take us on for a 40 acre parcel. I understand now, that most people when they buy and sell are not in the market for a piece of property that large. It’s not average, so in theory, it could make it harder to sell in the future. Also accounting for the fact the value will only increase in time with the market rising and the addition of a home and/or out buildings and landscaping/fencing etc., it’s potentially a risk. It makes sense, it really does, but it’s a bit scary when a bank won’t accept your money.
Then came what needed to be done to actually have the construction loan approved. We needed to ensure the land was habitable, which meant water, which means drilling a well. Land without access to water is virtually useless, so this was one of our first steps. Keep in mind at this point, there’s no construction loan, so the well is out of pocket at this stage, and even more scary, we didn’t even own the land we were drilling a well on! Yes, we put a claus in our real estate agreement to have a lien on the property should the deal fall through, but still, well drilling is not cheap and it’s always a risk from many perspectives.
If you are a Washington State resident, you may also remember that in 2016 there was a lot of talk about moratoriums on new water well installation. The WA State Supreme Court voted in favor of Eric Hirst. Which was a challenge for approval of all new private wells on rural land. The Supreme Court then ruled that the individual counties across the state would then determine if adequate water quality/quantity exists before a new well was approved. Many banks and financial institutions got scared and refused to lend on properties with this looming issue. (For more information about this, I would suggest a quick Google search. It’s very interesting!)
This new pending issue put a wait on things for us yet again, but it turned out in our favor with Snohomish County not approving this moratorium and we were able to move forward and drill with no issue. Thankful, is the word I’m looking for when I think back to that!
It was winter for us now, and Brent, our incredible well driller was finally able to come out and look at where we wanted to drill and move forward. I had no idea how much of a gamble well drilling can be. To pick a spot on 40 acres of land that’s only a couple of inches wide and have to decide totally on your own “Yup, I think that tiny little piece of dirt looks like it has water under it. Let’s close our eyes, cross our fingers and hope for the best??”. It was obviously an educated ‘guess’ on Rob’s part, and by 78 feet, we sure did find water. It felt like gold panning to me. Like we totally struck it rich.
I will never forget Brent standing beside that big pipe, sifting rock, then dirt and sand and then water. Water gushed out of that pipe! It was raining really hard that day and I was sitting in the truck with Judah, watching out the window as it happened. It really felt great. And if any Grandview neighbors are reading this, we sincerely apologize for the many days of well drilling noise. I had no idea how loud that was!
So we found water, and it was good, cold, pure water, that will serve us in many years to come.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 it says, “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Yes, it’s just a well, but a well that sprung forth with water that we needed. Water that will keep us going. For us, our animals and our land, to grow in health and flourish. It was a good day, and boy oh boy were we thankful.
– The Homesteaders Wife