By Machelle James
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The past two weeks have been a blur of emotions. We had families come in and love our home, but no offers were made. Then one couple came in and were there for 20 minutes and left. We thought there was no way they were interested and then BOOM, they made an offer. We accepted their offer and celebrated with our Realtors! We close on the house June 7th. It’s about to get real here!
I am not going to lie. We have been going through some pretty tough times with my husband, AJ’s, job. We had a bomb drop on him that changed our financial future. We were scared we couldn’t even afford our current home, let alone build the campground. We sold our home just in time before we started selling our blood. (Just kidding … well, kind of.)
Then the reality of HOW are we going to build this campground really kicked in. Even though we did as much financial planning as possible beforehand, we still have blanks in many areas. How much is electricity for each RV spot per month? How much is our commercial insurance going to be? How much can we get for a loan now that his income has changed? All the companies want our campground layout and specs and we just don’t have them yet. June 7th is when we will hire the engineers!
This is where the transition comes from working for someone else to being your own boss. Being an entrepreneur isn’t for the faint of heart. The constant worry of how are we going to afford this always is in the back of our heads. The fees/permits for all the municipalities are adding up. What goes on behind the scenes is truly eye-opening. Every step needs to be paid for, approved and permitted.
This is why I am so honored and humbled to share our experiences with you. It’s honest and real. Not many people understand why campgrounds cost so much nowadays. It’s not just plowing some trees and there you go. The town had to approve everything, every step of the way, as in: water, electricity, septic, fencing, ADOT (the roads), drainage inspections, fire department approvals, an arborist for bark beetles. And that’s just the approvals off the top of my head.
We have been fortunate to have a really good support system and have been offered good advice, such as contact the local church as the teens have to serve so many community service hours. They can help mow the grass, trim trees, pick up trash. So I am reaching out to them to see if we are a candidate.
Also the hardest thing is actually asking for help. How many times do we do projects alone so as not to bother anyone. Always, for us. Now I will get out of my own way and ask for help. This is something we cannot do alone. This is a new venture for us, asking for help!
On another note, our cabin is coming along nicely. We have water now and there are no leaks in the plumbing! Way to go AJ! for your mad plumbing skills. He also had to jack up underneath the house as it was not level! The electric wiring is almost done and so far it all works. He is so handy, that I feel so blessed he had been taught these skills. (Thank you, Pops, for passing on your construction skills!) I also am so thankful our families continue to support us and offer advice from afar.
While we have been getting the well wishes and good luck on our adventures, we hope we don’t lose our friends and family in the process. We will be alone up there working hard for the next few months. If we don’t reach out, it doesn’t mean we don’t care. It means we are working hard to make this happen. Just pop on up the hill and come visit. We welcome your company!
These next two weeks are going to be very interesting. Our middle son and his wife are having their first baby next week. Wish AJ luck moving and taking care of Jenna while I’m gone to Florida for 10 days! AJ is the hardest working man. I am a lucky lady and I am so thankful to have him with me on this next adventure in our book of life! As the saying goes, “What matters is not where you go in life; What matters is who you have beside you.”
Thank you for following our journey and as always, see you in the trees. And please leave a comment!
Machelle James and her husband, AJ, are building, from the ground up, a 15-acre RV park in Heber-Overgaard, Arizona, in the beautiful White Mountains 140 miles from Phoenix. Follow them on Facebook @ AJ’s Getaway RV Park or on Instagram at ajsgetawayrvpark.