I haven’t written much about the hell-saga of the elusive house that will never happen, because honestly, it’s hard to be funny or poignant about it, and I’m a little superstitious that talking too much about how pissed I am all the time will make the house really never come. However after careful consideration and weighing of risks, I’d like to share with the Internet a litte about the House That Lives Just Outside Our Reach. I’ve written a little bit about our saga here and here and over here. Oh and here, too. Note the dates on those entries. We have been “in the process” of getting a house for well over a year. Quick summation of what has happened-keep in mind we have not broken ground yet:
July 11 2005– we write a check for 1 thousand dollars to builder (Julie, who has a horse farm– Maybe when we sue her we’ll get a horse!) and sign contract
July-Oct 2005– we wait for asshole survey guy to do his job. For whatever reason, he is contracted to do a survey in May and doesn’t show up to do it until October. Interestingly, the day after he completes the survey and we are ready to submit our plans for approval is also the day after the county raised impact fees for new construction from 2500.00 to 6500.00 I have visions of four thousand dollars going up in flames in my front yard. Goodbye, garage.
Oct-Nov 05– a hundred million phone calls to the factory and to Julie. Where are the plans we were supposed to get via fed-ex? We can’t apply for permits because the set of plans we have do not adhere to the new FL specs. After being told EVERY DAY for 2 WEEKS that the plans are on their way via overnight mail, we realize they are never coming. So we call the http://www.precisionhomes.biz/precisionhomes/contactus.htm owner of the company that builds our house. The plans get to us in 2 days.
Nov 2005-My last phone call with Julie, the woman who we gave $1000 as earnest money. She rails against the factory and proclaims she will never do business with them again, after she gets us our house. Then she stops returning our calls. Nov-Dec 2005- We are finally able to convince the district sales manager that Julie will not return our calls, and he promises to help us get our house. Through talking with him it becomes clear that Julie has given us the wrong price by over 10 thousand dollars, and that when she put the order in for our house, it didn’t have the second story. The price of our house begins to creep up, when we are informed of this omission and the additional omission on Julie’s price of set-up costs, cranes, and commission. Goodbye, screened in patio. Suddenly we understand why Julie stopped returning our calls. There was no conceivable way that she would be able to sell us the house we ordered for the price on the contract. We call her every day for several weeks anyway. We discuss a lawsuit. During this time we also find out that the manufacturer has refunded our $1000 – to Julie. Thanks, guys.
Jan 2006– we meet with what we think is a contractor about getting us the house. As it turns out the factory can’t (by law!) sell us the house directly and we have to buy it through a contractor. Except this guy isn’t a contractor, he is a broker. And he has added 10 thousand dollars onto the top of the price of the house. That’s his fee. We take my dad with us to the meeting and during the course of their conversation the fee shrinks to 4 thousand dollars. Good-bye, landscaping. But yay, dad!
Feb 2006– the mortgage broker says we have to have a contract with a builder, because the lender doesn’t do owner-builder financing. We pay a contractor $2500 to write up a contract saying he will oversee the project. Goodbye, upstairs drywall and bathroom. The broker also informs us that the application we filled out BACK IN JULY is now out of date and we have to do another one. We do that and get it back to her in a hurry, because now that we have a contact she can give the project to her appraiser. Since we’ve been “without a contract” all this time, she has been unwilling/unable to ask the appraiser to value the house, and without the appraisal we can’t get the loan.
March 2006– SIX WEEKS after the appraiser gets our house plans, he gives her a number. YAY! The project appraised for a LOT more than we will pay for it. Oh, but one more thing: since the subcontractor bids (foundation, septic, tile, paint, a/c) we gave her are so old, and the contract isn’t worded correctly, they’ll need us to re-do all that paperwork. Again. She mentions that the lender must have a locked in price from the factory on the actual house part. We remind her that the builder refused to give us a locked in price until we pay a deposit. She suggests we go ahead and pay them the deposit. That’s when I start cursing in the background. Michael reminds her that we don’t have a spare 10 thousand dollars just now, and that we won’t be paying a deposit on a house we haven’t been approved to mortgage. In the background I snip that I want Janice to relay a personal “fudge you” to the man who languished for six weeks getting the appraisal done. Michael says to Janice “well she’s very upset, I’m sure you understand,” while shooting me daggers of death across the room and stepping outside onto the porch to continue his conversation in a civilized manner. Whoops.
So, Internet. This is where we are. The contract we paid 2500 bucks for isn’t going to work for the lender, and the contractor left the mortgage broker’s office 10 days ago with his phone in hand saying he was going to call us right then to straighten that out. No one has heard from him. We have to re-submit all sub-contractor bids, which we’ll do on Monday after I use white-out and a copier to change the dates on the old ones. I hear a rumor that once we’ve jumped through these last few hoops of toxic fire, we may end up with a scheduled closing, where we will go in, bend over and beg them to give us the loan that we asked for a year ago, when we could afford the interest rate and the total amount was 25 thousand dollars less.
Internet, I have something to share with you. Don’t tell anyone, but we may not be able to provide you with a baby this year, or ever. But stay tuned for new pictures of the baby we CAN afford.