Lots of talk about budget… We’ve known all along what our budget would be. We are at the limit of what we can borrow, so we knew there was a limit to the amount of construction loan we could get. It is no surprise that the builder did not seem to register that information. His budget kept going up and up and up, and we kept trying to bring it down, down, down, knowing that we would not even qualify for as much as he wanted/needed to spend. In the end when the bank came back and said “here is what you qualify for”, it was no surprise to us, but the builder was surprised at how low the number was and had to make adjustments, He was way over what we could realistically borrow. I think this is pretty typical of builders, so we just had to dial a few things back and we are moving in the right direction. I still think the builder thinks we have an off shore account with hundreds of thousands of dollars in it, but he’s gonna find out the hard way. He has no idea that we have been maxing out credit cards and scraping together money just to pay his fees, the designers fees and all the other “soft costs” that are associated with the process. But we know where we stand and will just dig in and keep things on track.
Next order of business is permits. We should have permits this week. We knew permits would take a long time. We had some special issues with the sidewalk we have to install and the sewers associated with that. Yes, these things are all our responsibility. That part got really complicated so we had to wait a bit longer for permits, but the approval is near. This sidewalk thing is frustrating. It is really for the city, but we have to pay. Just a way for the city to manage its own costs. We plan to engrave our initials in the cement they pour on that (damn) sidewalk. “Bill and Karen forever” will be permanently part of city property that we paid for. I’m not joking… With the loan approval and the permits in sight, we gave the builder the OK to at least get started on some “soft” demolition on the house. Major milestone right there.
So now this has all become really real. Very recently, very real. It’s been so long since we met with Darren who designed the house, we decided to revisit the plans and figure out what it is we are building. I know, you’re saying, “seriously”??? Yes, we designed the floor plan of the house which was submitted to the city for permits, but after that, it’s been out of sight, out of mind, just waiting. Busy lives, work to deal with, big MagnaMemos orders, lots to do, stuff to deal with, and we have not focused on this endeavor. Now suddenly we have a loan approval, permits are almost upon us, the builders crew is ready to move, and we had an “OH SH**!” moment. Seriously, what is it that we are building, and before the construction starts (and when this builder gets started, he moves FAST), are we happy with it??? Called a panic meeting with the designer and builder, discussed many things, adjusted designs on a few rooms, and revisited many past discussions. Much resolved… WHEW! Good, back in tune with what we have going and we are VERY happy with what we are building. This might be a more fluid process than we originally thought. Sounds like we have room to make changes as we go along and we are getting a feel for how this is all going to work. That was a big relief. Amazing what can happen when you get engaged in the process.
So, we have an interior designer. We have met with said designer. We have discussed floors, tiles, and many other finishes. Spent 2 hours with him and we were exhausted. I have a feeling we are going to be exhausted a lot in the future. Our homework was to go and look at houses. Go tour open houses on new construction and start to get a feel for what we like and how we want things to look. This is our new pastime. Every opportunity we have, we are nosing around trying to see what we like. Now we’re starting to have some fun! Lots to be decided and lots of homework to do, but somehow we will fit it in. We are really finding our style and it is going to be a 360 from what we have now. Can’t wait for you all to see it. So I’m attaching a few photos of the house and some of our picks from our first “design day” and you can let us know what you think.
Took some last photos of the existing house before they demolish it…