After the mammoth travel days of the last few weeks, this week we've been in recovery mode!
It took us a couple of days to unpack all the boxes that we picked up from our storage unit on the way back into Vermont, but we used the opportunity to sort through everything. We had bought some sturdy, waterproof plastic storage totes on the way back as well, and we've filled those with things that can stay in our storage unit.
Unfortunately, because of Vermont's travel restrictions, we had to quarantine on our return to the state - so these boxes have just been sitting in the back of the truck!
Anyone entering Vermont has to quarantine for 14 days, or 7 days followed by a negative test result. Last time we chose to quarantine for the full 14 days, but this time we were keen to get out of quarantine so we tested at the earliest opportunity and received our negative test results the next day!
Despite being thousands of miles from Vermont last week, we were still able to keep working on our land search. In fact, we put in an offer on a property - our first time doing so!
The property had everything we were after. 30+ acres of raw land, about half an hour from grocery stores, quite location, fiber internet to the property and no zoning laws.
We had visited twice - once on our own and once with our realtor. We had an engineer lined up to do soil testing as a contingency of the sale. We had put in a strong offer.
After some back and forth on the price and terms, we heard back from the seller on Friday evening that they were happy with the price and they just wanted to run a couple of details past their attorney. It sounded promising!
On Monday morning we had a call back from our realtor. The sellers had accepted another offer. Erm, what?!
That's the first we'd heard about another offer! The property had been on the market for well over a year and now two offers come along at once?!
To me, it's odd that the sellers didn't come back to us and see if we wanted to raise our offer. If I had to guess, I'd say that they probably sold it to a neighbor or family member, but who knows!
Regardless, our offer was dead. Back to the drawing board.
But we weren't back to square one - we had learned a lot during the process!
We now have a relationship with a realtor, attorny and engineer that we trust. We are even clearer on our must-have requirements (e.g. must have fiber internet and no zoning laws).
We made some tweaks to the search criteria we've been using to find potential plots, and shortlisted three candidates to check out once we had finished quarantine.
Within 20 minutes of receiving the email to confirm our negative test result, we were in the truck on the way to view the plots!
After checking out the first property, we stopped to chat with a neighbor (hi Tim, if you're reading this!). He was really friendly and helpful, and in addition to giving us some great information about the local area, confirmed our thoughts about the land - it probably isn't right for us.
It was getting late in the day so we did a quick drive-by of another property. Like many plots in Vermont, this one was a long, narrow plot just over 10 acres - a relic from when plots over 10 acres in Vermont didn't require a wasterwater permit for septic. Between its shape and location too close to the village, this one too we ruled out.
Later today we're heading out to view the third property - on paper it looks promising but oftentimes when you see land in person, you can very quickly tell whether it's going to work for you or not.
The search continues.