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Because law school wasn’t enough to worry about

March 5, 2010

The town of Evergreen is situated west of Denver about 30 miles, tucked in the mountains, surrounded by evergreens (hello) and crowned by a sky-blue lake. It’s become a popular bedroom community of Denver thanks to its close proximity and beautiful setting.

It’s the type of place that boasts a Walmart and a Home Depot, yet few homes are visible to the passerby because they are tucked into lanes and valleys, hairpin turns and slopes. Most homes have acreage, and it’s a popular place for log cabins (or log mansions, as the case may be).

My husband and I have dreamed of owning a log cabin for years, and we have spent the last 10 years or so searching for just the right place. Evergreen is relatively expensive because the wealthy tend to be attracted to it. We bought a 3-acre parcel of land high on a mountain nine years ago, but have never built on it, for various reasons. So we have continued our search for the perfect place (at the perfect price, mind you).

Several months ago, we came across a place that was going into foreclosure. The owner had bought an old log cabin (circa 1960s) and built a new, modern structure around it. Unfortunately, he ran out of money and into trouble before he could finish the project.

When we first saw the place, the price was still too high for us. But, as is common with foreclosures, especially ones with unfinished work, the price did come down. Now, my husband takes a long time to make decisions. Every big decision like this is agony to him. After several visits and several months, he finally decided to go for it. We closed on it about a week ago.

It’s a unique place in that a few remnants of log walls remain, as well as the original stone fireplace and foundation, which crops up indoors here and there. The rest of the house is modern, by which I mean style, not just that it’s new. It contains some unique angles and materials including copper. The colors are a little … WOW. But somehow, it works. It’s beautiful.

But there is a lot of work to be done. There are well issues, roof issues, tree issues, concrete issues, plumbing issues, and so on. That’s why it went so cheap–not many people will put up with all that. But we decided to take it on because once it’s done, the value of the property will increase dramatically. Also, its location is ideal for a vacation rental property, so that is the plan–to put it up on the internet as a vacation rental to help cover the mortgage.

So what does this have to do with law school? Well … the timing. Couldn’t. Be. Worse. Perhaps it’ll turn out okay, but I’ve been crystal clear to my husband: once law school starts, I will not be spending any time worrying about what needs to be done on the cabin. How will the pressure of having a second property mesh with the pressure that law school will place on the family? How will we handle the financial obligations of both? That is what we shall be finding out come Fall.

Hang on tight–it’s a wild ride!

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