Thursday, February 25, 2016

HOW TO BUILD A HOUSE

    Or rather, how NOT to build a house.


Learn your lessons by someone else's sad story, In this case, from me. Now, don't get me wrong, i am VERY excited to be building a house. But for us.... How shall I put this... The "City" actually hates us. I MIGHT be putting it rather strongly but it's not too far off from the major "dislike" that we get. Lets start from the beginning.
Once upon a time. A LONG time ago, we discovered a tract of land that was being developed to be ready for purchase. It had half the price tag of the going rate for developed lots in the area. So, the price was right, the location was close to family and friends and this was great! Lucky us, we got first pick of all the lots. Though we could have had any, we still had a budget to stick to so we picked the one we felt was the best fit for that. And no complaints of course, we have a full acre to split with my brother. BUT, this is where it all began.
 To be Able to afford the lot, we collaborated with my brother and decided to build a duplex townhouse. This required separate lines, so double for everything. We bought the lot with cash so we could use that  as a down payment of sorts to qualify for the building loan at the bank. Bank approves the plan and tells us we need to send our house plans to the city for approval and adjustments if any.
this was in September of 2014. So, into the City offices we go, and they ask "Who's your builder?". Red flag to us, the "City" didn't like our builder due to a building that was built before the city was even a city and had some adjustments when the rules changed and things didn't go well. So that was that. BUT THEN, we decided to use buildbloc. AKA, foam forms to build our house. Again the "City" was like we don't know anything about this type of house. Umm, yes, yes you do. See our builder that they don't like? He has built one, which is why he is our builder to begin with. He has built it IN the "City" that claims to not know anything about it and also doesn't like our builder. And on top of this, they don't know how to place our house into a category for evaluation because it is a duplex. Whaaa? This "City" is FULL of them. We know, because we have looked at them. 
And so began a LONG process of  us sending revised and re-revised plans to the city from our architect and back again. so fast forward to september 2015 and hooray! Good news, finally. the City has approved our plans! we have a building permit!
    This is good news but was not where the story got better. You see, the bank now wants us to resubmit everything to be approved for the loan because apparently pre-approved bank loans expire after 6 months and we are long past that mark. It's not just a matter of using the same paperwork either. Don't ask why because I don't know and I was too mad to care. So again we submit all of our check stubs, tax returns and etc from the last two years. All done! Whew. Or so we thought. Turns out our Loan Broker is just a middle man. He is not authorized to approve loans and we literally never see or even know of the one who is. So weeks of asking the Loan broker if we can build now and his answer was always the same. basically "no" was the answer. So, we had our third baby NOT in our new house and our two bedroom rental was now cramped even more.

     Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year.. nothing. Then, we get a notification from the city saying our permit expires in two weeks, January 13, if we don't build soon. UGH! no loan and almost no permit too! Relaying this message to our loan broker, along with the added note the we want them to pay for the renewal fee if we don't get it in time. Building permits are not free guys! But instead of getting the loan, he contacts the city to postpone the date to February 13. Well the expiration date is farther away but what we wanted was a loan!  The end of January was close and we felt exhausted from doing nothing. An odd way to feel. But, suddenly things happened! We are approved! Ben and my Bro went to the bank sign as many pages as a Jane Austen novel but lacking in any good story line. Basically prosecution to the full extent of the law if we fail to comply to pay for it. but whatever, it's all out of the way and we can finally build! 

But first, we dig a hole. check it out!




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