Yesterday was our much-anticipated return visit to the property we are interested in buying. When we got there it had been drizzling, but after about 5 minutes it cleared and the sun came out. We spent a good hour wandering around the property, checking out everything we could think of. There were three kids (our two, and our realtor’s son who is DD’s age) and they had a blast. Every time I turned to look at them they were bent over some insect-of-interest, or walking through tall grass, or running around. We basically just let them roam free and said “stay in sight” and they did and it was all good.
In the one hour we were there we saw: a beautiful young male deer who stood and stared at us nonplussed for some time before calmly walking off into the forest, three golden yellow finches, two brightly coloured hummingbirds, some kind of swallow – a pair dipping and swooping and performing amazing aerial acrobatics, and lots of interesting beetles. The birds in particular mesmerized me. It was soooo quiet there, except for the birdsongs. They weren’t loud or raucous as the crows and gulls in our neighbourhood are. They were sweet and musical and just the right volume. Several times I would just stop and listen and marvel in how my soul felt light and bouyant, and how the breaths I took seemed fuller and sweeter. The silence (lack of traffic or any other city noises) was lovely and restorative.
As I wandered, I imagined the days spent in a place like this: the kids out exploring every day, from morning until evening, building forts, collecting bugs, playing with sticks and puddles, collecting leaves and interesting seeds; all the opportunities for learning occurring right outside our door (nature’s classroom indeed!); the opportunity for me to do productive work, like gardening and landscaping, without having to try and contain the energy of two rambunctious kids; and of course the opportunity to enjoy peace – sitting on a deck sipping lemonade and reading a book while the children play and muffins bake in the oven.
I become more elated with each minute we spent there. I am not one to contain excitement, and it was all I could do to not babble incessently and excitedly about every little thing I came across. Finally I looked at DH, who gave his nod of approval (he’s the “silent type” in our family), and we talked about sitting down and generating a 5- and 10-year plan for the place. We went over the draft offer our realtor had put together. All was good and I was almost bouncing on my way out.
We went into town for lunch and then headed over to meet the listing realtor for a chat and to ask a few questions. And that’s when he dropped the bomb: the lower corner of the property, which provides a perfect drainage outlet for the gently sloping land, is an undesignated wetlands area. What this means is that, at any time now or in the future, if someone decides that this particular spot needs to be protected, they can slap a “wetlands” label on it and from that point onwards we would be severely restricted in our use of the land: if we hadn’t built a home yet we may be prevented from ever doing so; if we had we’d not be allowed to replace it or add to it; we might lose the right to have livestock on the property, and many other issues related to protecting wetlands. Now I’m all for protecting wetlands and it’s not like we wouldn’t keep that part of the property exactly as is anyways. But from a financial perspective this is a potential death sentence for our investment.
Our realtor is going to get in touch with the relevant government offices to follow up on this information, but right now it’s looking pretty unlikely that we’ll be pursuing this property any further. The only glimmer of hope is the parcel of land next door, which is owned by the same guy. His realtor said the owner wants to sell that piece in the near future and he might be willing to consider an offer on it first. It’s on higher, flatter ground and is actually more valuable. But it has a creek running along the side of it that drains into the same wetland area and that might make it vulnerable to the same restrictions. We’ll persue that as well this coming week.
So the manic state of happiness I experienced after touring the property was replaced by a crushing feeling of disappointment and frustration. Being out there for that brief hour made me want this even more. And I despair that it will never happen (“never” meaning “not soon enough”). I know I need to be patient. I know that somewhere there’s a property out there for us. I’m just no good at waiting!