An Eye on Value

Do you remember when I made mention of a "future” upstairs. Well, it’s no longer a phase to be completed at our leisure.

Do you remember when I made mention of a “future” upstairs.

Well, it’s no longer a phase to be completed at our leisure. As we prepared all the farmhouse’s paperwork and construction quotes for the bank, our lender requested that we work the upstairs into the equation—without altering the budget. The reason is that the value ratio for the house needed to be a certain percentage higher than the land at appraisal to allow us to get the loan without putting down more money upfront—a strange and perplexing requirement in my opinion but one we struggled with and were happy to have resolved with the bank’s help. (Working with a good lender is invaluable!)

A project this big was also not something bank would approve without a licensed contractor, aka not us. After more searching and quote requesting, my father-in-law offered to stand in as our general contractor—after all, he was on site daily and oversaw much of the construction in our absence, so it just made sense to appoint him the position. He wrote up the quotes and put his licensed stamp of approval on it, and we sent it off to the bank.

On the day of the appraisal, it didn’t just rain—it poured. The partially removed roof had large tarps with pools of water that were seeping and weeping throughout the house. The gentlemen that came to see the house were definitely not prepared for the construction site that awaited them. Their dress shoes and slacks were covered in mud and soaked halfway up their calves. I, on the other hand, was quite accustomed to the uncooperative weather and wore my muck boots, rain jacket and carried an umbrella.

I walked them through the house as best as possible explaining the purpose of each room, presented them with a floor plan, and explained how we planned to use the old finishes, such as the 8-foot doors and 7-inch baseboards, as well as new finishes, including countertops and hardwood flooring. I also explained the new upstairs, how it would be accessed and provided the newly revised floor plan for its addition.

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The men took notes, filed the papers I gave them and made a hasty retreat to the shelter of their car. A week later, I received a call from the bank that the appraisal had come back around the price they hoped for and that we were approved for the loan free of a down payment. As the lender got all our paperwork in order, we pushed forward with the remodel as planned—when weather permitted, that is.

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