Last January, DH & I purchased the 2+ acre lot next door to us. The original owner lost it to foreclosure. A developer tried to buy it to put up two McMansions (our town has a 1 acre requirement) but he lacked enough road frontage to build two houses so he withdrew his offer. The foreclosure people came to us with a ridiculously high offer which we countered with a much lower offer. The lot was a mess and the old house was trashed and unlivable. The bsmt had been flooded for several years (with literally tons of water-sogged debris still in it) and had mold growing on the walls. The house and garage would need to be demolished plus there were outstanding issues with both the Health Dept. and the Conservation Commission, so we held firm on the price. Finally the company realized they wouldn't get a better offer and accepted ours. It has taken us nine long months of cleaning up and working with Town officials to prep for the house/garage demo and to correct the outstanding conditions. (I think I'll write a phamphlet on how to get through the red tape at Town Hall.) We finally got the necessary permits and set a date to do the demo. The demo people allowed me to get in the excavator and actually swing the first blow into the roof of the house. What a thrill that was! DH & I drew up plans (which also had to be approved by six different departments at Town Hall) and hope to break ground in the spring. We decided to go with a modular house which will be built to our plans. I want this house to be as maintenance free and as well insulated as possible. This had been a huge project. Neither of us has ever built a house before and I am terrified I will make a mistake I can't live with. We also already have a buyer for the house we're living in. Hopefully, we'll sell it for enough to pay off the new house and have no mortgage. I'll keep you posted when we break ground. Wish me luck.