Monthly Archives: July 2013

SOLD! 2.33 acres near Harmon Lake

With the purchase of the lot, I am off and running.  The property that I purchased was the last lot in this subdivision so I feel pretty fortunate to have gotten any sort of a discount on it at all.  The more I started driving around my soon to be neighborhood, the more excited I got.  My property is 2.33 acres in a development about 8 miles north of Mandan, ND.  The roads out to the property are well maintained and traffic is minimal.  I have friends who live less than a mile away so project helpers won’t be too far away; nor will cold beer and someone to B.S. with.  About 1/4 mile away from the property there is a new lake with abundant recreational opportunities. 

Harmon Lake is still being developed, but has been stocked with fish for several years and I hear people are catching fish there like crazy.  The lake has a sandy beach, boat ramp, picnic shelters, campsites and miles of mountain bike trails surround it that also connect to the city’s trail system.  I was also happy to find out that they have moved the local triathlon to the lake.  Maybe someday I’ll get back into shape and check that off my bucket list.  See more about Harmon Lake at  It will go to a facebook page, but still has lots of fun stuff on it.  

Picture of Harmon Lake

Harmon Lake is a new recreational area approximately 8 miles north of Mandan, ND

There are houses going up all around my lot this summer.  There were 3 completed homes in the subdivision with 2 being my neighbors.  There are an additional 5 going in right now.  Based on my experience in the lending industry I would estimate that most of the houses in the area would appraise in the high $200,000’s to low $300,000’s.  The road that starts 1 house over from my lot will have backyards that face the lake and I expect most of those will appraise for over $500,000.  Hopefully that will help my property appraise for financing but the remainder of the houses will help keep the taxes down.  Wishful thinking I’m sure.

Leave a comment

Filed under Neighborhood

Why did I open my mouth?

I have wanted to build a new home for some time and felt a real need to get out of town to my own little piece of property.  I have been living in a small townhouse with less than 1000 square feet for 10 years already.  I knew I wasn’t going to be comfortable here much longer, but how much space can 1 guy, his girlfriend and a dog need?  I had made a critical mistake though.  I told my girlfriend that I was thinking about building a house and she got EXCITED!  As soon as she found out I had to get started now and the house needed to be done in a month… not gonna happen, right?  I was just thinking about building is all. 

The journey has begun without much deliberation or regard for finances.  My main considerations for purchasing a building site were first and foremost affordable, followed closely by ease of access and the ability to provide myself some sort of self reliance from the land.  I knew I wasn’t going to be operating any kind of a hobby farm so a large piece of land wasn’t necessary.   A quick search of one of my favorite websites and the local MLS site showed about 3 pieces of property that would work, but only 1 that was affordable.  

I haphazardly sent an email to the listing agent (without representation for myself) at almost 10% less than the listing price; even though I had done a search of the county records which showed that all of the lots but 1 in the development were sold at full price or close to it.  What did I have to lose?  As expected the seller counter-offered but fortunately still had knocked off 5% from the listing price which I considered a pretty good deal.

A $500 deposit and a few signatures on the purchase agreement later I was waiting on title insurance for the property.  To be honest, I should have done a little more research on the area and the property but so far I haven’t seen any glaring problems with it.   Two weeks later, I wrote the check for the remainder of the balance and I was a proud “land” owner!

Now what?!?!

Photo of my lot

The front of the lot looking from West to East

Leave a comment

Filed under Milestones