Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Closing Day

Wednesday, December 1

Closing Day - 3pm.
Meeting with Jim @ the County Clerks office downtown.

Wednesday, December 1

Well... I'm a land owner!!!!!

And..... I finally got to meet my long lost God Father. It was very cool to put a face with the voice. I'm not sure which was more exciting..... becoming a land owner or meeting my God father.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Split-level issues

Tuesday, November 30

So.... get this...
I talked to Jon at Robar. He said that apparently the bank, as of a yr prior, doesn't see anything below ground as living space. This means that the bank will only lend us the money for 970 sqr feet, instead of for 1442 sqr ft. Basically, the bank won't give us the amount that the house is actually worth. Here's the best part... because of this, we have to pay the rest out of pocket. oh yeah... lovely.

There is good news as well. Because we are doing some of the work ourselves and we've decided to make monthly OFP payments on the interest... it should (in theory) balance out at the end. Key words... "in theory".

Though this sucks.... Jon said that hopefully, because the bank sees it this way, we might be able to talk the tax assessors into having lower taxes. He said that if the bank doesn't recognize the sub floor we have a case to attest to for the taxes.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Closing date on lot - almost

Monday, November 29

Well... closing day (Dec 1st) is almost here... and there goes my bank account. I'm excited, but at the same time scared as hell. I keep thinking... all that money.. all those hrs working and poof, it's gone. It sucks, but in the end I know it will be worth it, and Tim and I will have a cool little place of our own.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Soil test - approval

Friday, November 19

I received a faxed copy of the soil test from Barden. It seems like everything is good and they approved the lot as buildable.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Closing date on lot

Wednesday, November 17

Jim called...
We found out that the affidavit has been signed and has been mailed to Jim.

to-do list...
-Find out how the perk test & soil test are doing (once those are in we can close
-Try to see if things would be ready by tomorrow

Jim will be away late Fri-Tues. He can push the close date til Tues 30th, but recommends not too much later. So we decided on Dec 1st as the Closing Day.

Monday, November 08, 2004

left message for Jim

Monday, November 8

Today I called Jim, though I knew he was out of town, I just wanted to at least leave a message and tell him the good news about the birdhouse. I figure the neighbor must have signed the affidavit.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

birdhouse removed

Saturday, November 6

I drove by the lot this morning, on my way to see Tim, and I was pleasantly surprise to see that the neighbor has removed the birdhouse and baby tree. I was sooo excited I couldn't wait to see Tim and tell him, so I called him from the road. H he was excited as well.

ahhhh.... finally good news :)

Friday, November 05, 2004

possible closing day

Friday, November 5

Talked to Jim...
He said he hasn't herd anything from the neighbor yet. Also... Jim said he'll be out of town till Tues 9th or Wed 10th (at latest) and hopefully we'll hear something by then.

Jim said that we have a possible closing day on the lot on the 19th, that is if we receive the signed affidavit and soil test by then.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

soil test

Tuesday, November 2

We received the go ahead from Barden for a soil test via fax. I had to fax back a signature for the approval. Now they can go ahead with the soil test and get that over with.

It was kinda amusing... later on, at home, I actually receive by snail mail the same darn thing I signed and faxed earlier. Ha... ya gotta love snail mail.

Friday, October 29, 2004

received affidavit

Friday, October 29

Today I received a copy, via snail mail, of the affidavit Jim had sent to the L neighbors. I must say... it sounded pretty darn impressive. He definitely made it sound legal and professional.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Closing postponed, soil test

Thursday, October 28

Due to issues with the L neighbor, the closing for the land has been postponed, until we have a signed and returned affidavit from the neighbors. Jim sent me a snail mail of a copy of the affidavit. He said he tried to make it sound as legal as possible. He wanted to take Tim and I out of the equation and so that, if the neighbors are agitated, they'll be at Jim and legalities, not us.

On another note.... talked to Tim... he said he heard back from Barden and apparently the town requires a soil test for new builds. This sucks, considering we were hoping not to need it to save 1000. Oh well..... better be safe than sorry I guess.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

others advising affidavit

Wednesday, October 27

Jim has talked his colleagues, Beck (lawyer) and Joe (Title guy), that feel the same way about getting an affidavit signed.

Joe advised that either a new survey be drawn, including birdhouse..... or have the neighbor sign an affidavit. He also stated that if they had done it 15+ yrs prior, he's advising not to buy, due to adverse possession. Though... I don't think it looks like they had done it that long ago. The grass looks new, as well as the birdhouse and baby tree.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Funding paperwork

Tuesday, October 26

I received the all the paperwork (contract for construction loan) from the Funding company today via snail mail.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Jim advised an affidavit

Wednesday, October 20

I talked to Jim today about the neighbors' encroachment. He said that would talk to the sellers lawyer and see if he knows anything about it. He also said he would set up an affidavit, have them sign it. It will state that they weren't claiming the land as well as asking them to remove the birdhouse and any other items they have put on the property.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

looked @ L neighbor (problems)

Sunday, October 17

Well now... this could be a problem. At Jim's request, I checked out the neighbors landscaping to see how close it is. Well... it's not just close... it's encroaching prob about 25-30 feet on the property.

As Mom, Dad and I were driving past, we were looking for the placement of the utility poll, which was the landmark for the edge of the property. To our surprise, the poll is waaaaay before where I thought it was. When eyeing it, it's obvious that the neighbor was mowing at least 25-30 feet (pie shape) of the property.... probably cut down tress, even put up a birdhouse on a poll and planted a baby tree.

Oh... it gets better.... It looked as though they had extended their house at some point and put a bay window on the north side. This could present a problem due to it sticking out only maybe 1-2 feet from property line. I find it kinda amusing that anyone would want to build a bay window on a north side of house anyways, but maybe they wanted that room dark.

Anyways.... according to the survey... the properties are not rectangular and actually are kind of parallelograms and not perpendicular to the road. So basically the neighbor was trying to straighten out their property, either knowingly or ignorantly. Either way, it was evident that no matter how this turns out, it will probably be a touchy issue for yrs to come.... esp after we start building.

Friday, October 15, 2004


Friday, October 15

Jon, from the Funding company, who's partnered with our builder, called around 9:50am. He gave me the lowdown on what I'll need for the approval to move forward with the appraisal for the construction loan. Damn.... it's a lot of stuff he'll need. It's a good thing I'm fairly organized. Next step will be to get the approval and appraisal.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Look into Lt neighbor

Thursday, October 14

Talked to Jim. He gave me an update and a list of things to take care of:

Title exam is done

Look into L neighbor about position of landscaping before Tues
-Options about if they are encroaching:
-Affidavit - issue a legal doc stating they are not claiming land
-just eliminate landscaping
-Adverse Posession - after 14-15yrs you can claim land

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

not closing on 17th

Wednesday, September 1

Talked to Jim today about the contract and closing day. He said that we're not going to be able to close on the 17th anymore. Apparently, when we originally set the date, it was conceivable, but the lawyers didn't get it until the 30th.... so that pushes everything back.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Preliminary Plans

Tuesday, August 24

Tim and I met up with Mike at the Lancaser model home today. Mike wanted to meet with us there so that we could see the siding and brickwork on that model cause that will be roughly what we want to do to our Valley Forge. As far as the meeting, we met up with Mike to make a list of the revisions we wanted to the plans.

We got to see preliminary plans today. They had basic measurements on them and a front, back side view as well. Nothing really in too much detail though. We talking to Mike about bumping out the back wall of the kitchen and family room/bed1 walls 2ft. He roughly estimated that as 5,000, which was better than both Tim and I were dreading. We also mentioned adding some extra windows in the bed and bathrooms, putting in a deck door in the kitchen, a linen closet in the hallway, a side loading garage. and baton board vertical maintenance free siding.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Drawing up official contract

Monday, August 23

Don said that he'd be drawing up the official contract today. We have to meet with him @ 8pm at home, so that I can sign them.

He also asked me to:
-Find a lawyer
-find out about a soil test

I'll have to tell Dad to contact my long lost god father Jim, who's a lawyer. I say long lost, cause I haven't seen him since I was baptised. And I have to find out about a soil test for the property as well.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Took the Bid!

Sunday, August 22

Don called with good news..... the seller decided to take our offer! I'm sooooo excited!!!!!!!

Saturday, August 21, 2004

counter offer

Saturday, August 21

Don called @ 10am this morning. The seller counter offered offered to lowered their bid by 3,000. Tim happened to be over, which was nice, cause we could just discuss it right away. We decided to counter offer back at 2,000 less than that.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Still waiting

Friday, August 20

Still waiting to hear from the seller, if they accepted the bid or not. They were suppose to call Don back yesterday at 6, but I hadn't heard anything last night. I received an email from Don this morning that said he still didn't hear anything. I just called him... he said that the realtor and the seller have been playing phone tag..... and that's why there hasn't been a reply.

I figured after that I'd just sit and wait til I got word from Don. This the point where the differences b/n Tim and I are evident. I'm kinda ladeda I guess.... I'm spazy, but know that things happen and there's not a set course for anything....... what happens, happens. Tim... I guess I'd say he's a little more "need to know", than me. This caused a slight conflict today that I wasn't expecting.

mental note:
When Tim asks me why I haven't ask Don, or others something...... tell him that "I've give him a call".

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

500 for plans

Wednesday, August 18

Found out we'll be meeting with Mike at Barden on Tues 24th @ 2:00p. And I'll have to have a check for the Valley Forge plans for 500.

The awesome part about it is that Barden has their own architects, so we don't have to pay extra for them. The also said we can make as many changes as we like because of it. The 500 is a deposit for them and will get subtracted out of the overall cost of the Mortgage.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Sign initial Contract

Tuesday, August 17

Today we're meeting up with Don so I can sign the contract for the bid. As a nice gesture (aka... to take the bid seriously), he suggested a check for 500 bucks. Yep.... here we go, the beginning of the end of my nicely save money for the last 4 yrs.

Also, I better find a lawyer as well to go over the contracts. This is something that, if I had the brains, I would've done sooner....... oh well.... live and learn.

Monday, August 16, 2004

The bid

Monday, August 16

This morning I talked to Don and put down a bid for the lot. I had some major butterflies flying around in my stomach..... excited and nervous at the same time. They are asking about 9,000 more than we had wanted to go.... so we offered a bit at 8,000 lower than theirs.

According to Don's research, the lot is no where near what they had wanted... with reference to other lots in the area, so hopefully we can get it for a better price.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Found the lot

Tuesday, August 10

Today, after not being able to find the mysterious lot, we finally got to see it. It's a 120x220 wooded lot. Don said that he talked to the agent, who said that he propped the sign back up, as he was unaware that it wasn't standing upright anymore.

We met up with Don there at 6. This time we had seen the sale sign. It wasn't on the side of the intersection that I was expecting. I was expect it to be next to one of the farm lands. Instead, it was b/n two established properties, which both Tim and I liked better cause a... we knew that the utilities couldn't be far off then..... and b... it had a more neighborhood feel to it.

The lot has a pathway through it, probably atv we're thinking, that we walked down. The path led us to the back of the property in which was a small clearing next to the neighbor on the right. It was beautiful! I felt right at home. Don liked it too, as he agreed and said that it was the best we've seen and even he'd buy it. Tim liked it was well and said that it was a cute street. We all agreed that this might be the one and automatically wanted to know more about the lot and it's features.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Browse 4 lots

Monday, August 9

Today we met up with Don, our broker, and had seen 4 lots for sale.

One was in a cute area. It's a lot like my parents, lots of trees, but it's way at the other end of the town, where there's nothing around and it's not really close to anything. I'd have to bike forever just to get to where I like to bike..... not that it's the deciding factor, but it's one of the small things I can see adding up.

The 2nd one was a no way in hell. It had lots of potential, 5 acres, but high traffic and high speed traffic. The second Tim and I stepped out of the car and a car passed by us, it was like forget this one.... too damn noisy.

The 3rd one... well.... it came with a small garage... and that's about all that was good about it. It was right by the expressway and waaaay too close to neighbors.

The 4th.... well.... who knows.... we couldn't find it. There was no sign, no way of knowing where it was on the road. Don had left the tax map at his office, so we couldn't even find it that way.

personally.... I'm hoping that it's nice, cause the other 3 sucked.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

We chose Barden

Wednesday, July 28

We decided we liked Barden. We met a Barden rep at one of the model homes and she gave a great impression of what Barden is about.

On the other hand.... I rarely truly butt-heads with people, but the man we met with from the "other' builder was waaaaay too arrogant for my liking.

In the last couple of days I have been researching and looking up plan ideas on-line trying to decided what I like and dislike about house designs. I decided that I like fairly contemporary designs and ranch type homes. I am a lover of Frank Lloyd Wright, ranch homes and Ikea furniture. Tim, seems to like more two-story or split-level home designs, but he's also fairly contemporary minded. I printed out some designs that I like and figured that would give, which ever builder a good idea what was on my mind.

Well... the person we had met at the "other" builder totally and completely irritated me. Not only was he arrogant, but stated that contemporary was "old style". I was like.... do you not know what the word "contemporary" means? Then he got even more under my skin after Tim had mentioned his parents built 2 other homes with another builder.... he then insulted us by saying "ooh yeah, they're one step above renting".

He had gone on and on about how he loved the design of the model home, which I didn't particularly like. He mentioned that he like the kitchen cabinets. At that point I was so irritated I actually said "well... do you have any other designs, cause I tend to like Ikea designs and these are way too foo-foo for me". He actually asked "who" Ikea was. I just looked at Tim and said "oh that's it we are so outta here".

When we got to our Barden Homes appt.... guess what the first question I asked was? Yep.... "what do you think of Ikea". She said.... ooo.... I love Ikea. I smirked at Tim and said I liked her already.

The Barden rep started showing us the catalog and wouldn't ya know it, Tim and I pointed to the same house at the same time and stated we like it. She smiled and said that was funny, cause she just finished building that particular home for herself. The name of it is "Valley Forge". I love how these builder all name the designs.

The Valley Forge was not only a design that we both liked, but was in our price range as well. It's not a ranch, but has a ranch look to it. It's actually a split-level. The sketch in the catalog shows it with board & batten siding, which is a vertical siding.

Here's the best part..... Barden lets you be your own general contractor..... which means we'd have a lot of control over everything. Not only that, but we could do as much or as little work on the house ourselves that we wanted to. This meaning that, if we wanted to, we could do things like, painting or put in our own floors.

Tim and I both looooved the look of the Valley Forge and the feeling we got about what kind of a company Barden is..... so... we'll see where this takes us.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Barden appt - Valley Forge

Tuesday, July 27

Well... today Tim and I have an appointment at Barden Homes.

Actually we have 2 appointments, the first one is with another builder and the 2nd is with Barden. We don't know anything about building, so we're going to try a couple of places. Barden was recommended by Tim's parents, who had heard very good things about them.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Building a house?

Monday, July 26

So... here I am, possibly ready to embark on the craziest adventure of my life, 2nd to getting married next yr..... the possible planning of building a house.

So far, the reception of this idea has been diverse. Mom seems all for what ever feels right for Tim and I. On the other hand, Dad is definitely on the leery side of things. He just wants me to make a good choice.

Not sure how to feel about all this at the moment. It's scary and exciting all rolled into one. Wish there was an easy choice what to do and which way to go.... build or buy. Hmmmm..... tough one.