Thursday, December 16, 2010

It Never Occurred to Me

(Image source:

In the process of putting floor plans together, interviewing builders, going through soil tests, receiving bids on electric, septic, water, researching land slope, considering angles of the sun, assessing equity - we never imagined that the appraiser would undervalue the cost of building.

Today, the appraisal was completed, submitted, and reviewed. Our land is at its highest historical value. Fantastic! And our house plans were valued at less - MUCH LESS - than the actual cost to build the house. Fantastic! Values have receded nationally - we all know this. However, in every possible configuration of how the house build might play out, it never occurred to me that the appraiser would tell us that the house would be worth a fraction of its cost to build. After interviewing 10 builders and receiving 6 bids, it never occurred to me that our lowest, and arguably fairest, bid would still be considerably higher than local values. Meaning? No loan. No house. No build. Until markets recover or a wealthy relative leaves us a large sum of money - no house.

An interesting realization on this day, the anniversary of my birth, in which I (we) feel so very ready for the next phase of life, whatever that may bring, to discover that we're more deeply rooted than ever in our current situation. Here in suburbia it seems we're planted, despite the daydreams of land and forest and donkeys and tractors. At what point does one heed the warnings and retreat? This might be the wrong property. Building might not be an option. I looked at real estate listings tonight for 15 acres with a house. They're out there. They might be the next step. 2 years of planning, scheming, organizing, interviewing, drawing, re-drawing - culminate in this most disappointing revelation. Onto the next phase. We'll let you know when we figure out what that happens to be.


Jud H. said...

Mourning with you... seriously.

On a not-quite-as-terrible note, just think if the appraiser was one of those fraudsters who helped destroy the economy by fudging the numbers, and you were stuck in an underwater loan? That's probably not too much comfort though, I realize.

We're here to help you drown your sorrows whenever you're ready.

Jud & Eug (& A)

jennakl said...

You rock - thank you Jud & Eug & A.