the final decision on water therapy

Water therapy has been a huge topic at our house over the spring and summer. The debate was between a lake house or a half acre pond in our front woods. I did A LOT of research on lake houses at Lake Gaston, Badin Lake, and Lake Royale. We even found a place at Lake Royale that we were considering making an offer on. The trick with this property is that it is not a single family house… it is a camper converted into a cottage. This was not a deal breaker for us, but as we got to the financing phase we ran into some issues. The property did not meet any of the traditional rules for lending. It is not mobile b/c the camper has been built over, but there is also not a foundation on the entire house.

Around this same time, our kiddos’ school changed the tuition model. This change caused a lot of parents to be very upset, mainly because of how the changes were relayed to parents and made with zero input from parents. The changes started with a 10% increase in tuition for families who can afford the full tuition for next year. This was after a 10% increase this school year. After the initial backlash, a revised model was sent to parents. A 5.5% increase next year and 9% the following year.  15% is more than 10% any way you slice it. Keep in mind that 30% of the rising 9th graders chose an alternative school for high school this year. The school was able to make up for this loss since 9th grade is a natural year for kids to switch to a new learning setting. I am pretty sure based on the reactions of parents that we will see a similar level of loss across grade levels next year. I know of many families already moving or researching other schools for their kiddos. But like Rahul reminded me, unless we move we have no other option. I will NOT send my kids to their public school which has been dubbed The Heroin High School.  Plus we only have 5 more years before that glorious Duke college tuition benefit kicks in. College is pretty much for free for us.

So this brought us back to the pond in the woods idea. The 2 companies that I reached out to in the spring and summer tried to sell me $30,000 water features. I don’t want a water feature with goldfish. I want a REAL pond. I gave it one more chance with a builder recommended by the landscaper we use from time to time. This guy was awesome and got what I was looking for. After surveying our property, he said he could build a 40×60 pond with a damn to help funnel the water into the pond vs the excess run off we have that leaves standing water next to our fence. To put 40×60 into context, it would be a pond double the size of our pool. The builder said he could even put in a small dock for me to put a bench on to sit and enjoy the view. The pond on Wild Azalea Lane will look something like this (minus the structure in the back).

Screen Shot 2017-12-01 at 7.40.24 PM

We can stock it with catfish and bass, and it will be deep enough to paddle around in or jump in (if you so desire).

This feels like the right decision for our family right now. We can always revisit a lake home once we are closer to retirement and do not have the expense or stress of ever increasing private school tuition. Our focus right now needs to be making sure that our kids finish high school and have all the college opportunities they deserve.

The pond can be completed in a week… yes a week. Then an additional 2 weeks for the pond to fill from run off. So here’s hoping for a wet winter so water therapy will be on Wild Azalea Lane soon!


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