Monday, June 1, 2009

It's official - we're gonna build a house...

My wife and I went to the bank this morning and signed the papers. Here we go.... :-)

I don't think I have yet mentioned our bank by name. We are working with Washington Federal Savings; they describe themselves as a "portfolio lender" which from what I can tell, mostly means that they don't immediately sell their loans off to Countrywide Bank of America - instead they hang onto them for the long haul (works for me). I initially started working with them because they were one of the few banks in the area that offered jumbo construction loans. WaFed has been very stable during the recent financial turmoils and I'm very glad we ended up with a bank that didn't go belly-up in the middle of the process. Our loan officer is Susie Garcia at the Bothell branch and she's been great to work with throughout the process. The loan is a construction-to-permanent loan that will convert automatically at the end of the construction process, without another closing. I know there's pros-and-cons to this type of construction loan, but I'm satisfied that we're getting a good deal.

Our contractor, Paul Davies, met the with the county "pre-con" inspector ("pre-conditions" - basically a last-look at the site to make sure things are ready to begin construction) last week and got the final thumbs up. The inspector was pretty reasonable and said we don't need any hay bales (eg, along the driveway) for "drainage control" - yay. Next step is to clear the rest of the building site area so the foundation excavation can begin. I met with Paul on-site after closing today to do a rough scan of the area and make sure we were in sync before he meets with the clearing contractor and tells him what to do. We took a compass bearing and dragged a super long tape measure into the woods to about where the center of the house will but the vegetation is thick in there. I can't wait for all of the clearing to be done so we can finally see where our house is going to sit.

One cool thing: whenever I got close to the well, the compass went crazy and tried to point to it. All that metal was clearly influencing it...

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