Happy Monday! Things are moving along at the house. Last week was absolutely frigid, but there was still a lot of progress both inside and out.
Now that the drywall is done, the painters were in to prime. The primer is dyed to match the final color (Knitting Needles by Sherwin-Williams), so it gave us a great idea of our final “look.” We went with white ceilings to offset the gray walls.
If you guessed cabinets, you’re right! I definitely can’t wait for these babies to get installed this week. I’ll finally be able to have a visual of what my kitchen will look like!
On the exterior, siding installation continues. Both sides of the house are complete, but there is still work to be done on the front and the back of the house. It was amazing to see how much the color of the siding changes depending on how brightly the sun is shining — sometimes it’s more of a blue-gray, sometimes a brown-gray. I’m sure the color will also look different when the trees are full of green leaves.
Not pictured is the grinder pump that was successfully installed last week. Also not pictured: the front porch, as it was too cold this week to pour cement.
On a slightly less enthusiastic note, we got some unfortunate news last week: the appraisal that was ordered by our lender came back severely under the sale price of the house. This threw us for a major loop — yes, we’d included some upgrades in the plans for our home, but the appraiser was claiming that our house was worth less than the base price as set by the builder, which has even increased since we initially signed our contract. How could that be possible?
I don’t know a whole lot about the appraisal process (well, I know a lot more now than I did a week ago…), but from what I understand, a lot of the appraisal is based on comparable homes in the area. Unfortunately for us, many of the houses in our neighborhood with similar floor plans were sold over a year ago, when the market was very, very different. Even more unfortunately, the appraiser that was sent out didn’t take into account two of the most recent (and highest priced, thus most helpful to us) sales. He also docked us incredible amounts of money for things like not having a third garage stall and for a lesser “quality of construction” than our neighbors…who had houses built by the same builder… I’m telling you, none of it made any sense at all.
Luckily for us, we were not the only ones surprised by this outcome. Both our saleswoman at Allen Edwin and our contact at our lender could not believe we had been appraised at such a low amount and with such shoddy reasoning. We are now working on applying for financing through a different lender, who will order another appraisal. Additionally, the original lender (who is great and I’ll be very disappointed if we aren’t able to continue working with them) is also considering ordering another appraisal because they, too, are baffled by the outcome of the first one.
So we’re kind of in another (frustrating) limbo as we wait to hear how the lenders are going to proceed, and when additional appraisals might be conducted. Our best-case scenario is that another appraisal is ordered and the appraised value of the house is at or above the sale price. Even if we have to bring a little bit more money to the table at closing, it will be worth it. As far as worst-case scenarios…. Well, we’re trying to think positive for now and not dwell on the worst-case.
Thanks for all of the support from friends and family that we’ve explained our situation to. While this is definitely not one of the fun parts of building a home, I want to be transparent about the entire process — including the lows. I have said from the beginning that I want this blog to help others that are considering or in the process of building a new home, and for me that means sharing all parts of the experience.
I’ll keep everyone updated — we should have some additional information and, hopefully, next steps sometime this week.
Stay warm out there!