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After a lullish past 30 days or so, it's been an exciting past week. The appraisal came in, the permits came in, and this afternoon we closed on our single-close construction loan. The only glitch during the closing, and it was a small one, is that the builder was supposed to be there (as it turns out, the builder has to sign about half the documents). No one told us that the builder was supposed to be there, so we hadn't made arrangements. He'll sign the paperwork tomorrow morning, so no worries.
Part of the reason we like this bank is that they're down-home personal, laid-back, and a little goofy. One of the checks we wrote to the architect a number of months back was going to bounce, and the bank called me up to see if I wanted to move money from the money market fund into the checking account so we wouldn't bounce the check and incur the associated fees. You read that right: They. Called. Us. Up. Still can't believe that. We were hoping that down-home small-town service would carry over to the construction loan, and it has.
I've had the LEGOhaus at the office for the past week and was planning to hand it off to the bride after the closing so she could take it to her office. A co-worker saw me with it, knew I was going to the closing, and yelped "Do you take that darn LEGOhaus to every house-related meeting!??!?!?!" And I yipped back "No! But that's brilliant!!!" So I took the LEGOhaus into the closing. The closer and the banker were both quite impressed (or perhaps politely respectful...). The closer took a photo, and the banker said he needed to build his house out of LEGO (he's building over in Crestview).
The banker mentioned that they've been funding a lot of construction loans lately and that some of the appraisals have been a struggle. Because the market is on the front part of a (hopefully sustainable) upswing, the appraisals aren't reflecting the increased prices. In other words, appraisals, since they are backward looking, tend to lag the market, which makes it difficult for the daring folks entering the market on the initial upswing. He also noted that it can be difficult for an above-average green home to money out in an appraisal unless the other houses are also above-average green homes. The only way out of that is cold hard cash. Something to keep in mind in yer thinking of building...
So by tomorrow morning all the paperwork will be signed. Hopefully the ground will be breaking soon...