1.14.2014

APPRAISAL RECAP


Yesterday = epic. I worked on my proposal from 10pm until 4:45am. Then I put the computer down and got to business readying the house for the appraisal. Who needs sleep? (I do, actually. Desperately. Send help!) I do recall painting some trim and a few other small tasks, but I can't remember much else besides the seemingly infinite trips I took literally sprinting in and out of the house carrying tools, boxes of nails and armfuls of lumber.

Because we had to tear down the garage, we don't have a good place to store our tools and building materials right now. Considering we are just completing a major renovation and there are still some details to attend to, our loan officer said it was in our best interest to make sure there wasn't a trace of any of those things in the house so it would appear to be more "finished." If we brought an appraiser into an active construction zone, he might declare the house unfinished and therefore render us ineligible to refinance. So we rented a POD, which is functioning as a workshop and storage shed for now (we're hoping to build a new garage sometime in the next year or two) and have moved operations outside. Anyway, time was ticking and I had to hustle. Ez was busy finishing up a few projects (like installing T-molding around the slate entry pad), so it fell to me to organize like things into boxes as quickly as possible, haul them down the front steps and into the POD, and sprint back to do it again. I did this for three straight hours and I'm confident I logged a good 5 miles in my work boots yesterday -- after not sleeping the night before.

The appraiser was expected at 10am, and Ez wrapped up his projects with 15 minutes to spare. He helped me vacuum, move the table back into the dining room (from the kitchen) and reconfigure the kitchen. The witching hour came, and the appraiser didn't show up. We kept cleaning. At 11 we got a call that he'd be there at 12. We took showers and kept tidying up, although steadily losing steam. By the time he arrived, we were sitting in the suddenly spacious kitchen sipping coffee, just waiting.

View from the front door. Welcome! I still have a little trim painting to do on the ceiling,
and apparently the door needs a good scrubbing. 
After such a whirlwind morning, the appraisal itself was pretty anticlimactic. Our appraiser, Daniel, was very quiet and reserved, basically a closed book. He took pictures of each room and the yard, measured the square footage, opened closets and looked in the basement. He also asked a lot of questions -- e.g. when various rooms were completed (particularly the kitchen and bathrooms), how much the renovations cost, what kind of heating/utilities we had, etc. -- but gave very little back by way of comments. Thankfully, he didn't say anything about it being "unfinished," but we noticed that he did not use the kitchen stairs. (Though the railings are very sturdy on their own, we think he may have worried that we haven't installed the balusters yet.) On the plus side, he did say he sees a lot of exposed duct work in the DC area and he thought the kitchen floor drain was neat, so that felt positive. The whole thing took maybe 30 minutes, and afterward we really didn't know how to process it. The rooms looked so empty and foreign we kind of stood around for a minute, wondering where we were and what just happened.

Coat closet and powder room doors in the entry.
At this point, we're just waiting the 2-3 days we were told it would take to get the numbers back and hoping for the best. Since this was a foreclosure and our home improvement loan was pretty conservative, we thankfully don't have to hit some completely unrealistic number. However, we are a little worried considering the floors aren't finished, the balusters aren't installed, we don't have a bathtub in the master bath yet, etc. While I wish Daniel could have given us even the slightest indication about the outcome yesterday, he did a very good job at being a neutral party which, after all, is his actual job.

After he left, Ez and I hopped in the car and went to our favorite Mexican place for lunch. (I hadn't eaten since dinner the night before.) Then we went grocery shopping. I finally collapsed for a two-hour nap at 3pm while Ez picked up his laptop to catch up with work.

And now we wait.

In the meantime, I am feeling pretty proud of how hard we've worked to get through this phase, and I am thankful for my parents, who have gone above and beyond the past couple months to help us out -- my dad helping Ez with carpentry, and my mom watching Johnnie so I could paint. Group hug!

12 comments:

  1. It looks amazing! congrats and gets some sleep!

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    1. Thanks. I took some NyQuil Sleep Aid the past two nights, and I am feeling rested now. :)

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  2. I remember the feeling - the big push to getting everything sorted for the appraisal after a huge renovation. It looks amazing! Hope you guys get the number you're looking for.

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    1. Thanks -- we should hopefully find out today, and if not then definitely tomorrow!

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  3. EK:

    I appreciate a couple of the new angles not ever seen before. Through the front door in particular.
    That is one crazy wall angle next to the coat closet. Almost there! I’d bet that you passed easily.

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    1. I know, that wall is crazy. The more we've worked on this house, the more I've thought it was probably meant to be just a temporary homestead when it was first built.

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  4. You have every reason to be positive and proud of this! You are such an inpsiration and have truly worked your behind off!

    We had an appraisal on our rental property when we bought this house, and we "had" to come in at a certain number because the bank wouldn't lend for our current house as a HUD foreclosure. Anyhoo, I was on pins and needles because I really didn't even have any control over the home itself (because our renters were living there). It all worked out, but whee-o, I was a ball of nerves.

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    1. What a sweet comment, thank you! I'm trying to distract myself to keep the anxiety at bay... only a day or two left to wait.

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  5. These pictures are blowing my mind right now! That shot in from the front door?! Hello!! To say you guys have been busy would be the biggest understatement of the year! Congrats!

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    1. THANKS, Lace! Yeah, we're tired of this crazy pace and ready to chill for a bit, but walking in the front door has felt so good the past couple days. We used to walk in to the most incomprehensible mess, and now it's so clean and open. I can't wait to stain the floors and start adding some personal touches. Then it might actually feel like home.

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