House Saga Part 4: Finances + Reality

If you need to get caught up you can do that here!

Where did I leave off? Oh yes, the elevation! It was so cool to finally be able to see what the outside of our house looked like! We went back and forth for a while ironing out the details of the exterior and making sure that everything in the floorpan was exactly what we wanted.

This house was my inspiration. I loved the colors, the wood details and the knee brackets.

One of the most eye opening things was that people do things like have beige houses for a reason. Living in such a harsh climate, things that I love (cedar shake I’m looking at you) just aren’t practical, or require serious maintenance. I would love a fair amount of stucco in the world to die, but it can’t. Cause cement board is 3x as much.

I think there is this thing that happens when you’re building a house that I didn’t realize was a thing until we got to this point. You have your non negotiable right? And then you have the things that you really really want. And you think that its ok to put a little extra money into things cause you can pull it from somewhere else, right?

Getting bids back showed me that there aren’t really that many places that you can pull from. I don’t know about you guys but I want to splurge on the things that I can see, and cut out the things that I can’t. Well the things that you can’t see sort of can’t be cut out. I can’t be the only one that experiences this phenomenon right?!

Another huge wheel that was in motion at this point (that I haven’t brought up yet) was our financing. If you are uncomfortable with money talk, feel free to scroll past this part!

Also, I’m openly sharing the financial side of this because so many of you requested it. Obviously talking about $$$ is a little unnerving so I’m sharing it in the hopes that you’ll be kind and respectful. ❤️

About 6 months before we decided to do this (so July/August of last year) we went in and met with our mortgage guy. We knew that it was eventually coming and we wanted to be as prepared as possible to get the best loan rates and know exactly what needed to happen rolling into it. We’ve done a fair amount of damage to our credit and knew that we would need to put a larger than normal downpayment to get a good rate. We wanted to be prepared (which is really hard for someone like me who lives by the seat of her pants.) He recommended that we didn’t get a loan over $416,000 because then it would be classified as a Jumbo Loan and there are a whole slew of hoops to jump through with that. So anything above $416k was our responsibility. We had about $150k to put down (after our current house sold).  The blog also provides a really unique situation where I can collaborate with different brands and reduce the materials cost of some things. So we had a little bit of wiggle room. The bids in full and the lot price came back at over $600k. That meant it was our responsibility to come up with $184k+.

Thats a crap your pants moment. It wasn’t impossible, it just would have taken everything we had.

For the next lifetime.

And possibly my children’s lifetimes.

Its fine.

The biggest hurdle that we ran into though was that we couldn’t get a normal construction loan for the house. The lot that we wanted to build on wasn’t recorded yet (and wouldn’t be until Jan 2017) and you can’t get a loan for a piece of land that doesn’t exist on paper. Our only option was to go down the private funding road. The downside of this is that the rates are higher 7-11% and its a lot more complicated (I don’t know a lot of people who have $500k just hanging out).

I feel like up until this point I’ve touched on the actual events, but emotionally I was struggling with it. It seemed like every turn we were hitting a block wall, everything was doing the opposite of falling into place. You know the confused feeling of “is this not working because its not right, or because I’m not working hard enough to make it happen?” I felt that a lot. A LOT. So I would double down my efforts and it still wouldn’t work out. This was so much more than just a house. Not only am I putting my family’s home on the line but I’m putting all of our financial stability and my entire business into it as well. Everything was riding on this.

I remember so clearly sitting in my bedroom talking to Court one Saturday in June. We had just had a meeting with the developer and the builder and finally gotten all of the info that we needed for the private investor. The timeline was almost impossible. In order to get the loan we needed to put $184k (anything above the $416k that we had been prepared for) into an escrow account, which meant we needed to sell our house. STAT. Even if it sold that second and had no hiccups and the fastest 30 day closing of all time it was still a month before we could start the loan process with the investor. Then another 30 days to close on that. Then before we could actually start building we had to get permits and all of those fun things, which our builder was estimating being another 3-4 weeks. That meant that the house couldn’t actually start being built until End of Sept/ beginning of Oct. and because we were putting it in the homeshow it needed to be 100% finished/staged and perfect by mid January. That meant that all of the projects that I wanted to do, all of the cool Vintage Revivals touches, all of the tutorials that I wanted to share weren’t possible.

I was SO frustrated.

Back to my bed, I was sitting there talking to Court, running over the numbers and feeling all the feelings when I said “Maybe we’re not supposed to do this?” That was a thought that I hadn’t allowed myself to entertain at all. The only thoughts I had were along the lines of “THIS WAS HAPPENING I JUST NEEDED TO WORK HARDER.” As soon as I said “Maybe we’re not supposed to do this?” I had a huge rush of tingling confirmation hit me like a flood from the top of my head to the bottoms of my feet. That this was my answer. This was the answer to all of the prayers I had prayed. This was the answer to why things kept going haywire, this was it.

It wasn’t right.

So what does that mean?!!?

To be continued….

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Author: Jeff Donaldsons

Good day everyone, I'm a family man who loves hanging out with friends & meeting new people. Family Friends and Coding Yeah!. I also love helping others.