Sunday, May 24, 2009

The New House

The first thought in walking in the door was, "Oh [Sally] what a view!" (this comment will become important later) The house sits a few yards from the beach and public park at the head of Holmes Harbor on Whidbey Island. The main floor and deck faces the north towards Saragoga Passage.

My wife Lorraine and I tagged along on this property hunting trip because it seemed like a harmless way to spend a Sunday. I hadn't been up to Whidbey in 30 or 35 years. My son, Matt, a realtor, had been showing houses and lots to my sisters Patti and Sally for some time. We all had a mild fantasy of some day owning a large family vacation property together, but for me, it was mild fantasy, very mild. Who has that kind of money these days? I have never owned vacation property and never really had a desire to. I don't enjoy taking care of one home let alone two. But never say never, right?

Matt lined up a number of properties from the Multiple Listing System for about the third time and he gave up another Sunday to indulge his aunts. One offering had two small houses and a boat house and even a marine railway leading into the water and Patti wanted us to see it. Despite the three buildings it would just not suit as any kind of a family compound. Who needs a marine railway? One place we didn't even go in.

Then we parked in the driveway of the house in Freeland. We walked in the front door and immediately took notice of it and its sweeping view. Without going into all the details, it's a 30-year-old house of solid construction and a sensible layout. It has tons of room not to mention an amazing location yards from a beach. All the land to the front is public park and immune from development. Did I mention the view?

Immediately plans changed. Things shifted from a remote fantasy to a definite possibility. Except for being one structure, versus several in the classic idea of a family compound, this met our needs. Our extended family often spent vacations together and had already booked a house at Sun River, Oregon for July. The house was bigger than anything we rented in Oregon.

Looking at the rest of the houses that day was a formality. We all met the next evening and began to make plans. We would visit the house again to make sure, but we agreed to explore forming a limited liability corporation, a LLC, and finding financing. On the second visit later that week, we made our decision. This is the house.

Lorraine and I had never considered how we would pay for such a thing, but a phone call to the credit union solved that. They would be pleased to extend our line of credit. And at a very low rate.Patti and Mike made the official offer with the buyers being "and assigns" permitting us to lock in the deal ($200K below the asking price two years ago) and have time to form the LLC.

Lorraine found the lawyer who set up the LLC for us and that went together in a week or so. Once the LLC was official I could set up a bank account and we wired our contributions. Once we could show the LLC had the money, Matt scheduled the closing. By next Wednesday night, we should be occasional residents of Freeland, Whidbey Island, site of the Freeland Land Association.

The colonists who founded Freeland spun off from another utopian colony in about 1900. They set aside the park in front of our house in perpetuity for the people of Freeland.

The colony dissolved in the 1910s. We plan to last longer than they did.

As for the quote above, we needed a name for the LLC. The question came up what was your first thought?
So we named it the OSWAV Family LLC.