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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Wednesday, October 27, 2010


It finally happened. We signed. Signed, sealed and almost delivered.

This morning, we actually closed on the house. The air conditioning unit has been fixed, the gas fireplace is fully fixed, inspected and permitted, the house has been painted and Old Friend is almost out. The only two things left are the windows (they have been ordered and paid for but probably won't be installed for another week) and for Old Friend to actually move out.

Because of his rental situation, we closed today, but he has until Sunday, Oct 31 to move out. Happy Halloween to us! He thinks he'll be out by Friday or Saturday morning and will let us know. We did get one set of keys, but not both yet. We also get a nice little 'rent' check in a week or so for the few extra days he's staying. Funny, it's just about enough for new curtains for the bedroom and family room! ;)

There's still a dumpster out in the driveway and that will be there until Monday, Nov 1 since they can't pick it up on the weekend, but that's OK with us!

For once, in this WHOLE process, we actually had a funny thing happen that was in our favor.

We went to the bank this morning to get our cashiers check for the closing cost, and a separate check for Margot the Agent's commission. We decided to pay out the commission separately because it lowered our monthly payments by about $50 and we didn't want to be paying commission for 30 years. So we got two checks.

At the end of the closing we handed Margot her check and the lawyer had a funny look on her face. What's that for? We told her it was her commission...she said, oh no, that's already included in the closing costs.


We were told by the bank that our closing costs were X amount, and that DIDN'T include commission. (this was yesterday)

There was a mixup somehow and this morning, we found out that we didn't need a separate check. AND...this is amazing...the bank over estimated our closing costs and actually owed us money!

When does that ever happen?? Never!

So we walked out of the closing with a new house, and a check that should cover not only the carpets we are having installed next week, but possibly the hard wood throughout the first floor that we orignally were going to install until we had to install the radon unit, fix the toilets and a do a few other little things in the house that Old Friend refused to negotiate on.

Thanks TD Bank! We'll take your bank error in our favor any day!!
This weekend, Lowes and Home Depot become our best friends...Let the upgrading begin!

Friday, October 22, 2010

You would think we'd be excited...

Next Wednesday we should be closing on our new house. Notice how I said "should be".

You may remember all the issue with had with Old Friend refusing to really do much (if anything) on the house by way of repairs that we thought fell under the 'standard home maintenence' category. And, how we finally got him to agree to fix the windows, paint the house, fix the AC, and repermit and fix the gas fireplace.

Guess how many are done-only 4 days from closing?


That's right. Nothing is done.

Last week, Old Friend invited us over to see if there was any old furniture we might want to keep and to give us an update on the repairs. Kind of odd, but this whole thing has been pretty strange so we figured, why not? At least we can see the house again, especially since we've started thinking about colors and carpets and wanted to visualize a bit. Plus, there was a big picture mirror in the basement I spotted during the home inspection that I want!

So we went by (with Margot the Agent's number on speed dial just in case things got weird). Old Friend's son and daughter were there helping clean out, which made it a lot easier. We thought it could get weird if it was only us and him. At least we had someone else to talk to!

He showed us what he thought was wrong with the AC unit and said he would be making a call to get it fixed. We still aren't sure if that was fixed or not yet.

The painters had some and cleaned and powerwashed the house, but hadn't actually painted yet. They were supposed to come by and finish on Monday. As of last night - 4 days later-...-4 SUNNY days later- it was still not done.

We went inside and checked out the gas fireplace that we still think was installed without permits. According to Old Friend, they need to take out the damper and repermit due to 'new regulations' (riiight, sounds to me like you couldn't produce the permit we requested because you didn't have it so you had to get it redone...)
Old Friend told us he would get the damper removed and a new permit OR...we could replace the whole thing for a couple hundred bucks! No way! We couldn't believe he was trying to pass ANOTHER thing off onto us just to save $25.  We both said no thanks, you need to get it done yourself, since you did sign the P&S saying you would...

He was supposed to make a call on that this week, we hope it's been done.

Lastly, the 5 windows we argued about for weeks. According to Old Friend, they have been ordered and pre-paid for, including labor. But...they won't arrive for another week or two, which means it might be after he moves out. Of course, now we're really worried that the costs will be more and we'll get stuck with it. So we have our lawyer drawing up a document that says whatever happens, it's on Old Friend.

Today, we emailed our lawyer and asked 2 questions:
1. Can we have the documentation that the repairs that might happen after the close will be paid for by Old Friend?
2. What if not everything is done yet?

You know what he said?

Sorry guys, but if all repairs aren't completed by the close...there IS no close.

Yup, after all this, we STILL might not get to own this house next week.

Margot the Agent is on her way over right not to ask Old Friend what the heck is going on. Hopefully we'll hear back that the AC and fireplace were done this week, the painters are coming tomorrow and the windows miraculously arrived a week early and will be installed by the close.

I doubt it, our luck has not been at all like that throughout this entire process, but I can still hope.  I didn't even get the mirror! It was gone. :(

We think that at the very least, we can still close if the windows aren't done yet, because they have already been ordered, so the process has started. If we need wording in the closing docs to support that, we're fine with it, as long as we don't have to pay for anything.

Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Done deal?

Finally, after many hoops courtesy of TD Bank, we secured our mortgage!

We had to provide boatloads of paperwork and then we were away for a few days and then the girl handing our case (who's not that great...) was out, and then the lawyers started to get antsy so we had to put some pressure on the bank, but after all that, it's done.

Nothing has been easy, so we aren't surprised with our 11th hour trip to Bank of America yesterday for one last form that we needed to prove we had the downpayment money in our account. Luckily, it was very easy to get, so we faxed it over and found out this morning that everything finally checked out.

Looks like nothing is going to stop us now!

Two weeks from today we close on our new house!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Three more weeks to go!

The appraisal was last week and we passed! It actually came in a little higher than our purchase price, but according to our agent, that's not a problem for us. It can in fact help us in the future if we wanted to refinance or something because now, according to the bank, the home is worth just a little more than we settled on. yay!

Yesterday we got our cashiers check for the rest of the down payment, and are just waiting on our new home owner's policy to come though. After that, all paperwork should be done with and we just have to wait until the close!

I went out on a limb this weekend and got some paint samples and checked out carpet prices for the upstairs. We're sticking with warm neutrals for the downstairs since it's so light and open and I'm leaning toward a lighter shade of cobalt blue for our bedroom.

I have been checking out all sorts of home decor blogs and am getting so many ideas! Once I figure out how to post all the 'cut and pasted' images I'm stealing from them all, I'll do it (with proper credit, of course!).

Some of my favorites are:

Thrifty Decor Chick
Emily A Clark
Centsational Girl
Honey We're Home

These ladies really know their stuff and their homes are beautiful! I'm getting lots of inspiration from them.