September 4 – October 11, 2020
So I started this post quite a while ago (last year!), but I much preferred being outside on the new property to sitting inside and writing. Sorry you had to wait so long for the rest of the story. I’ve given up on being “caught up”, but I’ll get back to regular blogging eventually. For now expect it to come in dribs and drabs. Now on to the story…
We’ve quickly moved from Property Hunters to Property Developers and we’re learning a lot along the way. Moving to our new property is so close we can taste it, but patience is a virtue so they say. Not my strong suit.
Let’s Talk Water
I realize this isn’t the most interesting photograph, but it represents huge progress for us. Here’s the back story. We go down to our local water company with all our proud owner paperwork to start the water acquisition process. Fortunately the property runs along the county road with a water line so we don’t have the expense of running that all the way up the road and we can get a water meter set right there. We pay our handsome fee and are given two flags to put in the ground where we want our meter. Really we don’t know what we’re doing, but Pat eyes the spot and places the flags. And within a day or two – wah lah! We have a big OK spray painted there indicating (we think) that all is well. Picture if you will in that blue spray painted area, a nice new water meter, or at least the cover. Within a week we have a meter! Of course it doesn’t do us much good…yet. Patience my friends, yes patience.
Let’s Talk Septic System
Now I know this is quite the sexy topic, but have you even seen an original septic system installation? We hadn’t either. Closest we’ve come was the installation of a new drain field at our former DeLand home. Not nearly as exciting as this.
First you need a tank for all the solids, so for that you need a BIG hole. And here it is.
Then you need the tank. Here’s our big beautiful septic tank being plunked into the big hole by the most interesting truck. It shot the tank off the back and lowered it into the hole. This is a tank big enough for a three bedroom house even though we’re not planning on building that big a place. We need it though since the Lucy sewer connection counts.
Then you need a drain field for all the liquids to percolate into the ground. How about that for a drain field! I was sad to take out so many tall pines for this, but it couldn’t be helped. Permanent plumbing is one of my must-haves.
At this point we’re oh so close to having all our services on the property. Our man Rodney installed a water line from our nifty new water meter and finished it off with an RV hydrant. He also installed a sewer line with a connection next to it for Lucy to dump. Water – check! Sewer – check! What’s left? Yes, we need power, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Let’s Talk RV Shed
Rodney did a superb job of hurrying the grading and graveling along to beat what seemed like the monsoons and make the deadline for the shed installation date. After all the tree-cutting and excavation work, we had a nice flat graveled pad ready for the RV shed that we ordered.
There you have it. The biggest “garage” Bitsy will ever have. Ah but she’ll have to move over for Lucy shortly. I realized while writing this post that I have zero photos of the shed build which is a shame since the crew that did it was amazing to watch. They blasted their music, hardly spoke to each other and knocked it out in record time. We marveled at their efficiency.
NOW Let’s Talk Power
Power was quite a process. It was the one link in the chain that seemed to grow with each step we completed. I’d check one step off only to find out we have two more things to do. In a nutshell, the electric guy came out in August and quoted us the job to get power from the pole in our neighbor’s yard across the road. Sure, throw money at it. We’re getting super good at that. But not so fast he says. We need notarized permission from the neighbor to dig our underground line from the pole through her yard across the road and into our lot. Oh and by the way, everyone on the neighbor’s deed has to have their signature notarized.
“Hi there, I’m Judy. So nice to meet you. And by the way, do you think you could notarize this document for us so we can get the power company to come dig up your yard and give us power?” Yeah, that’s the first conversation you want to have with new neighbors. Our lovely neighbor agreed, but she has to have her daughter (who is on the deed) also sign and she, of course, is not local. Mailing, signing, notarizing, mailing, signing, notarizing and just like that we’re ready to dig.
Not quite “just like that”. Here’s where a few more steps get added in. Before the power company can do their thing, we need to have an RV pedestal set on the property. Pat, handy guy that he is with his electrical background, is quite capable of installing said pedestal and the county is cool with that. Here he is doing a fine job. But wait, remember that little issue with COVID-19 where stuff you order takes forever to arrive and lots of building materials are affected? Well this little pedestal gem took a whole month to arrive and turned out to be the biggest delay in the entire electrical process.
Finally we’ve jumped through all the hoops including that time when the fabulous crew from Blue Ridge Mountain Electric Membership Cooperative came to install our power only to find we still had stumps and no pedestal. I apologized, thanked them profusely, and they did come back when we were really, really ready. Here they are parked prominently in our neighbor’s yard working on our power.
Oh my gosh – isn’t that an attractive thing at our entrance. Hey, but this transformer can power as many as four houses and we are grateful!
Just look at that. They’ve run the power line and it now completes our magic triangle of services – sewer connection, water hydrant (that blue thing) and RV pedestal. Now we can “move in” with Lucy.
Happy Are We!
Here’s Lucy all tucked into her new home and connected to water, power and sewer. Best campground we’ve ever been in, but certainly not the cheapest.
Tall Pines in all her glory. We think we can get used to this.
Of course there was permitting and documents being bandied about along with countless phone calls and a few inspections, but we’re truly official now. We even have our 911 address post to show we’re on the map. Well, not exactly on the map since Google will send you way down the road if you try and navigate to us. And we aren’t yet “official” in the eyes of the US Postal Service, but that’ll come in good time along with fiber optic internet.
Next Up: That’s a hard question, but I think I’ll now backtrack to the other stuff we did during our property development adventures. We had visitors and we did manage to enjoy the property and surrounding sights. See you on the way!