10 October 2009

Big Day

We began a busy weekend this morning around 7:45, when we headed out on a bike ride. On the way home we stopped by the lot. (Of course we did -- we probably visit the lot 10 times a week. Fortunately, or unfortunately, it's a mile and a half from our current place and pretty much on my way to and from work.) We've had more rain this week, and a storm Thursday night apparently brought down three huge branches of a tree in our next door neighbor's front yard, which pretty much all landed on our lot. We've been concerned about trees in both neighbors' yards because some of their branches are right where our roof trusses will go and others stretch across the property line and, if not removed, would be above parts of the house. So we feel like we dodged a bullet with those branches falling before the house is built, and when we drove by this evening (I swear, 10 times a week), our neighbor, John, already had a truck there picking up the branches -- before we even had a chance to take a picture! John's the best.

After our bike ride, we rushed home to shower and get ready for R to come by to discuss his bid. Which was more than we had hoped but less than we had feared. Actually, since his bid seemed to have much more realistic numbers for allowances, it's probably pretty much in line with what we would actually have to pay for a house built by either of the other builders. But boy, that was one big bottom line. We're going to work with him and with our designer to refine the plans and bring the total down a little -- and then just close our eyes and jump, I guess.

Next week it will finally be time to break up with our other suitors. Although I'm not looking forward to doing it, I'm glad to be at that point. One of them will be easy. Since most of our communication has been by e-mail, and since he never really took the initiative in bringing us ideas or thinking about solutions to some of our issues, a simple e-mail letting him know we're going with someone else will suffice. The other one will be harder. He's a really nice, eager guy and a top quality builder who, in this economy, may really need the work, and he got really involved in helping us with ideas. I'm going to call him (which is going to be awful -- I never know what to say in this kind of situation) and then follow up with a note. Once that's done, though, I'll feel a lot better about where we are and will focus on moving forward with R.

Anyway, today's progress still leaves lots to be done before we can break ground. We need solid plans and a revised foundation plan, plus a meeting with our lawyer, before we can sign a contract, and we need a contract before we can get final approval for our interim financing (which also requires an appraisal based on the plans), and we need financing in place before any work can start. Unfortunately, it's become a race to begin construction before we leave for Hawaii in five weeks...and I think Hawaii may win.

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