We're building a house. Can't be that hard, right?

We're embarking on a home building expedition, and here's what we have to say about it!

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Friday, June 25, 2010

Slip-sliding away....

Is there a more depressing title for this entry? I don't think there could be. It's like there's 6 seconds left, we're down by 4 points. Our only hope is to hit the 3-pointer, get fouled, tie it up and redeem ourselved in overtime.


Here's the latest. Steve the Builder did not sign the altered P&S for the new house. If you remember, there were 3 issues.

1. The date. We are clearly not going to sell by our original deadline of July 12. So, we asked to extend until August 31.
2. The "hold-back". The bank will want fund leftover to finish the landscaping and driveway since the house is supposed to be done in December and they want it from us. We don't have $20K or so lying around, so we asked that it become the developers responsibility.
3. Our lot. We needed Steve to honor our deposit until the end of August.

How'd we do? Here's another sports reference. 0 for 3. Bottom of the 9th, two outs, down by 3, bases loaded...and it's a called 3rd strike.

I'll walk you through it slowly, so you can experience the disappointment with us.

1. The date. Steve did agree to honor our house plans until August 31st (small yay!) but....he will not hold the lot if someone wants to buy it and has no "must sell current home" contingency.  If someone comes in and says, "hey, lot 36 is great! We'd like that one please, oh and we have nothing to sell and here's our mortgage committment letter"...Steve can say OK. As a business person, I wouldn't blame him for taking the quick money. I will be very mad at him, but wouldn't blame him in this economy.

2. The "hold-back". Steve took this out of the P&S entirely. From his point of view, it's a punch list item and he has up to 1 year to finish it. Sounds like another small victory, right? Nope. The bank won't go for that. Banks think punch list items are small, like 'fill in that crack', fix the nail that's sticking out', 'tighten the faucet'. They don't consider paving a driveway, or landscaping a 1/3 of an acre lot as 'small items'. I kind of agree, while it annoys me to say so. If there's no mention of the tasks in the P&S, the bank won't OK the mortgage.

3. Our lot. Sadly, I covered what will happen to our lot over the next 6-8 weeks or so above. It's too painful to relive! :(

We are waiting to speak to Howard the Lawyer one more time to see if he has any advice for us. His home was also built by Steve the Builder (well, it was 20 years ago, so it was Steve the Builder's Dad) so he has gone through this before. Yes, times have changed, but at least he knows the company.

Consider the phone call to Howard the Lawyer as our last Hail Mary attempt to still build our lovely little house on Ridgewood.

I'll give you a little hope to get you through these extra innings. We had 2 people come take a look at the condo this week. While we are still not FHA approved, the process is still in the works, it's just going to take awhile.

The first guy loved it so much he had his agent call Margot the Agent and ask how quickly we could move. He wanted to know if we could say yes to a 30-day close. Ummm YES! That would actually give us a chance with Ridgewood. BARELY, but a chance (yes, we just sunk that 3-pointer and are waiting for the ref's whistle for the foul).  However, it's been since Monday and we've heard nothing. Tick-tock, tick-tock. We think he probably couldn't get decent funding...just like the other 2 couples that were close to (or actually writing) an offer.

The second couple liked it so much, they are coming back on Sunday. I just want to scream at them...GET YOUR FUNDING FIRST!!! You are getting our hopes up!!

We'll see. We have no doubts that people will like our place and want to buy it, it's just the funding that's crushing our dreams.

In the meantime, we panicked and did a little house hunting. We found a very pretty house that's not as new (built in 1998, which in house years, is very young. It's like a house baby) but about 300 sq ft bigger in a good neighborhood, in our price range. We decided we are going to take a look at it next week. Just in case. That way, if our place sells in the next 3-4 weeks (the QB drops back, there's an open man about 75 yards down the field....) but our lot has been sold (and he drops the ball!), we have a back up plan (but wait, there are flags on the field!)

Who knows, after all this hassle with builders, P&S forms, lawyers, lots, houseplans...we might just like the new house better. It's already standing.

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