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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

My Aunt says I'm stubborn

My husband keeps throwing around this word, compromise.

compromise >noun 1 an agreement reached by each side making concessions. 2 an intermediate state between conflicting opinions, reached by mutual concession. >verb 1 settle a dispute by mutual concession. 2 expediently accept standards that are lower than is desirable. 3 bring into disrepute or danger by indiscreet or reckless behavior.
-DERIVATIVES compromiser >noun.
-ORIGIN Old French compromis, from Latin compromittere, from promittere 'promise'

At this point, definition number 3 is where I am, in compromising. Maybe because of the fact that none of this feels like a compromise but more of a dictatorship, and no, it's not coming from my husband.

Unfortunately we are not in a position to pay cash for our new home. We have to find a lender. We could wait and save, and pay for it all ourselves, but we are currently in a mobile home that is literally falling apart. We fear it will not make it out another year. We have come to a point where we have to have a new dwelling, and there is no way I will buy a new trailer.

We have just spoken to our first choice in lenders. I am not a happy camper. I could compromise and scale down the house to 1,600 sq ft as this lender wants us to. All 6 of us are living in 1,300 sq ft now. What's another 300 sq ft to stretch our legs? The thing is, I only want at minimum, 1,800 sq ft, and at that, it would make it a small home. This lender claims that building a single level is cheaper then a two level house. Why then, when one goes to a small home architect, they encourage you to go with two levels to add a little more space, and the fact that from all the research I have done, building up is cheaper than building only a single level? You use the same amount of wall material, yet less roofing. Here is where I become very stubborn.

I have less than a month to prove to this first lender that I can build my dream house for less than what they think we can. One problem is going green is more expensive than using the standard building methods. One plus is, while this lender wants subcontractor bids on all the work we plan on doing ourselves, we have family and close friends that are subcontractors, we will be getting our bids from them.

But what of the materials? My husband and I were talking about the ICF systems vs concrete form and pour when the first mason called to place his bid. We told him what we are hoping for, and he is currently working on a proposal. {talk about timing} I am waiting for 2 more local contractors to call.

Greywater will not be a problem, it is a inexpensive way to irrigate. But I do need to get bids from plumbers and electricians {we know an electrician, we will need to ask around for a licenced plumber, you have a buddy?} We have contacted metal truss companies, we will need to contact timber. and so forth. {what's this we stuff? This is on me}

I have a lot of work to do in a very short time. And on top of that, talk to different lenders, maybe someone will have a better deal for us. This lender is offering us more money than we thought we would get, but are poo pooing on our wants. I really thought that this amount of money would get a good sized home. We live in Kansas, living expenses, building materials and so forth, are cheaper than most places, including our neighboring states.

Let's hope I can pull this off. Ha! Me stubborn? nah.


El said...

Well, here's the skinny, Phelan: Foundations are more expensive, so your lender knows diddly. A one-level 1800 s.f. house would be more expensive than a two-level one with 900 s.f. of foundation. Going green, like doing anything not "normal" translates to expense. A contractor does NOT want to learn on the job. He wants to be there for the least amount of time and make the most amount of money.

If you guys are at all handy, then certainly, that'll save you $$. And going with the plumber friend of the electrician you trust is a great way of getting decent people to work on your place.

And if you can stagger anything, you the graywater system, etc., so you can stretch out the construction schedule and be able to do as much of the work as you can yourselves.

Unknown said...

Persevere! I too have been called ...ahem....stubborn. I like to think it's actually determination and fortitude. Much nicer words imho.

Justin said...

I strongly recommend dropping this lender. This will be YOUR home for the next few years, and debating marginal differences in cost should not so drastically distort your plans. Consider that the average life of a home occupancy is 7 years; the lender won't have to live with the house that was compromised for those seven years.

Dancingfarmer said...

Hang in there. We had both sets of parents build retirement homes in the past year and both felt like pulling their hair out plus more. I agree with Justin---I know it's a hassle but try another lender OR get a letter from an architect stating that a two story is cheaper than a one based on same sqf because foundation is smaller or from a foundation/footing guy. Getting a basement? If you aren't you should--low cost square foot. Remember you can do two loans also. Some people borrow "down payment" from one place and mortgage from another. It's doable you just have to be creative. Just make sure it won't go beyond your budget. Don't do an ARM no matter what they say.
At worst--design the house as smaller two story and do side addition next year or so to up it to what you want. There are a number of "expandable" floor plan ideas out there you might be able to make fit into what you have wanted. So what--you live smaller than you wanted for another year or two it will still be better insulated and have better windows. Makes life grand with just that in and of itself.

Billy said...

Roop Plumbing will be a little pricey, BUT they are good. We use them for our stores.

Just an FYI.

Stephanie Appleton said...

I call it determined! (not stubborn!)

Sorry you are running into some obstacles!

Carla said...

Your reasoning is absolutely right. A two level home will be cheaper than a single level. Good's not easy dealing with lenders, especially ones who seem to know so little about construction.

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