This was a very big week for house developments  – even if nothing was physically completed.  We had been told from the start of the process that getting the construction loan from the bank was going to be a nightmare.  Having never applied for a loan, I could only believe that it was going to be long and painful process.  Fortunately, we had the exact opposite experience.  We evaluated a few banks: the big guys, the small ones, and the best rated for construction projects.  After selecting SunTrust, they told us the loan would close anywhere between 30 & 60 days.  My strong suit is not waiting on anything – especially red tape.  But I knew there was literally nothing I could do, so I just sat back and enjoyed the ride…. And by that, I mean that I was in almost daily contact with our CP processor 🙂

But the bight side is not the horror stories, or my slightly neurotic behavior, but that we are going to close the loan this Thursday!  Just 21 days after submitting the building plans!!  The builder and our renter were both amazed – unheard of turnaround from their point of view.

Have we told you about our Renter?  He owned the house on Tobey, and has been living there with his wife and child since we closed back in April.  It was the perfect situation, we got paid some rent while he lived there, and we couldn’t do anything with the property as we completing floor plans, construction drawings, and selecting building materials.  He is building his new house a few blocks away on a lot that he purchased for a steal during a foreclosure.  He has shared all his lessons learned, vendors, and bids with Charles and I.  He has pretty much hand-held us though the entire process, and we are so grateful for all of his help.

His house should have been finished back in July, but construction is running behind due to some last minute changes he made to his plans (adding a garage that required additional permitting and variances).  His original lease officially expired today, but Charles and I could not bare to kick them out after all he has done.  So we extended their lease for the next 4 weeks.  His house is to be completed in 2 weeks – and I know he wants to get out of the tiny space on Tobey and into his brand new home as much as we want him out.

Why does all of this matter to us?!  Well we need to get the asbestos tests done on the Tobey house (remember build in 1948) before we can file for our permits/remove trees/begin work.  While it is safe to do the testing with renters, we didn’t really want to inconvenience him.  And we thought we had time because we would be waiting on the loan…. As payment for extending the lease we asked that he allowed us to get the testing done.  He was happy to comply, and the tester will be there on Tuesday.  This is one of the last unknowns for us.  The removal could cost anything from 2 – 6 thousand dollars depending on how much there is.  We are keeping our fingers crossed for two, even thought we are naturally budgeting for 6.

With the asbestos test scheduled for Tuesday, and the loan closing on Thursday our next steps will be to apply for permits.  The builder works almost exclusively in Brookhaven and has a good relationship with the permitting board, so he estimates this will take 2 weeks.  All of this means that we will finish up planning and paperwork by the end of September and should break ground no later than October 1st!  With a 6 month build time, that gets us into our new home at the end of February.  A little later than we would have liked, but literally, all of the cards have fallen as best they could to get us that date, rather than March or April.  Now I will just keep my fingers crossed that we don’t find any unexpected bumps in the road 🙂

In the mean time, we will continue to build our custom Charles and Jes furnishings!  We completed the outdoor coffee table this morning after sanding, conditioning, staining the wood this week.  I knew I didn’t want a perfect finish on the table, as I wanted it to have the rustic and distressed look.  What I didn’t realize was that getting a pretty destructive finish was going to so complicated!  I had to stain it 3 times to get the different shades and coverage that I was going for, and sanded by hand and with the power sander at least 10 times.  I was about to give up and just paint it…. when I took to Pinterst for my inspiration.  Where would a DIY’er would be without Pinterst?  I just don’t know!

Once I had a clear vision, I was shouting for Charles to come see the completed table with-in 15 minutes.  After that, we made a new rule – You must know what you want before you start the finishing process 🙂  Yes, we are both ashamed that we didn’t have this rule before I got started!

Anyway – here it is the coffee table for the screed in porch.  Custom built & finished with LOVE:

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