Tuesday, April 2, 2013

An Overdue House Update

About two month ago, I gave an update on building our dream house.  At this point, we had hoped to have a loan in place and the builder preparing to break ground.  However, we had more hiccups along the way, but they weren't exactly due to the builder or the bank.  Nope, I can thank our wonderful Congress folks who let the Sequester come into affect.  For almost a month, we were extremely worried that I would be on a reduced work schedule (20% reduction in pay) with an imminent threat of a full furlough.  Thankfully, one of my projects I had been working on was approved early and is not affected by the funding disaster brought upon by Congress.   While we were going through this crazy situation, we continued to move forward with the house plans, but could not go further with the bank because the appraisal is only good for 3 months.  Well, the Sequester affects the fiscal year through September 30th, therefore, we didn't want to waste money on an appraisal if we had to wait until October or later to build.

So here's an update to the last list posted two months ago:

  • Subdivided the land - 100% Done and paid for
  • Met with the POA - 100% Done
  • Agree to New Easements - 100% Done and paid for
  • House Plans and Site Approved - 100% Done
  • Bids Recieved from the Builders - 100% Done
  • Chosen a Bank - Application is in process.
  • Completed the Refinance on Our Current House - 100% Done
 To Do's from the last post:
  •  Record the new parcel with the county - Deeded with the county, paid for, and official! We now own two plots of land.
  •  Finalizing the bank application - The builder has submitted his paperwork, we submitted are required paperwork, however, we still need to send in a final contract with the builder to the bank so the appraisal can be completed.  There are also some outstanding questions the bank has to answer so we can determine if we need a licensed surveyor to complete the foundation layout or if it can be approximate.
  • Choosing a builder - We have chosen a builder!  We have been hammering out details since the costs were over our budget, but we are practically ready to sign the final contract. 
Behind the Scenes progress:
  •  Samples, samples, samples! - Hardwood samples, cedar plank samples, stone veener samples.  We are trying to get a feel for what we like and piece together the textures and colors that will be near each other.  Colors and textures are not my strong suit.  I want a dark hardwood floor with a little cherry color, but I want the same for my kitchen cabinets!  Will they clash? Also, the beams in the living room and the terminating beam at the kitchen will be a natural wood color...will it clash?! Gah, we need help with this. So hurry up Lacey and post pictures of your hardwood floors in your KITCHEN. :)
  • Well installation scheduled - We are opting to put the well in outside of the contract, so AJ has been working with the installer to set up the date.  They have a two week lead time, but we hope to have it in by the end of April.  This is one of those items that could be relatively cost friendly or expensive, but from the soil reports and the DHEC analysis, we shouldn't have an issue reaching the water table.
  • Exposed Beams - AJ will travel to the low country to oversee the cutting of our interior exposed beams.  His dad harvest timber and will be cutting the hardwood we will need for these beams, so we are paying the mill's processing fee.  This is another out of the pocket expense since we can get a better beam at a lower cost.
  • Timber and Wood Ceilings - Much like the exposed beams, there is timber and wood ceiling panels (not panels, but that's the best word I have for it), AJ can get equal or better would for a lower or same cost (as the cheaper stuff), so he already has an agreement with a supplier that they will hold their prices.  The savings is offset by the other wood costs going up since the original bid, but the higher grade paneling will be the same cost, but much nicer.  So it's a win win.
  • Construction Permit - The permit is being applied for, which can take a few weeks, but it doesn't have to be paid until the builder picks it up.  By the time it's approved we should have a signed contract.
 Our Next Steps:
  • Have the appraisal on the house and land complete
  • Negotiate with the land loan bank how much land it will release free and clear - Any land not released free and clear will come out of our pocket or be rolled into our new loan based on the appraisal value. We have a max amount the bank will loan us, which happens to coincide with what we are comfortable loaning.
  • Sign the contract with the builder
  • Well Installation
  • Exposed Beams cut and delivered -  These need to dry for 5 months!
  • Groundbreaking 
My hope is the house's foundation will begin in May, but who knows how the rest of this process will go.  We have less than one month, and it feels like there is still a lot to get done!
In the mean time, I am preparing the house for two kiddos, which means cleaning up our closet aka big storage closet for Aidan so that the nursery set up can be used for the new baby.  I mean, why do twice as much work, when only one room can be affected.  Plus, this would give Aidan more space in the room.  I have a long list of "to do's" for this undertaking.  It'll keep me busy and make time pass quickly.

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