Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Things are looking up......

When I'm done here I will go out and start on some yard work. One of the constant gifts of the silver maple in the back is twigs. Big twigs, little twigs, entire stout branches--in a good wind it will slough off a good bit of itself, much as we constantly shed skin and hair to make room for new. This maple detritus makes excellent kindling, so instead of throwing it away I gather it up into fireplace-size bundles--faggots. I imagine Martha Stewart would do such a thing, or at least hire some underling like myself to do it. So I call them my Martha Stewart faggots.

If you get the joke, you're allowed to laugh.

House progress: We have jumped off a cliff and applied for a construction loan. This will commit us to starting work on the Delaware property no later than December; the work will be in the form of trailer demolition, lot clearance and installation of the septic system. Yes, this is before we know how Steve's job situation will evolve, and before we sell this house and know how much we will be able to contribute to the final real estate fund. But our finance person gave us a call while we were in North Carolina alerting us to interest rate moves and telling us we should strike while the iron is hot, and we decided to do it. A construction loan is an interest-only line of credit; you pay only on the amount you've drawn. If worse comes to worst and the entire scheme falls down, we will only be out the cost of the land clearance. If we see we can't get enough for the house and decide to wait a year to build, it means we will not have the trailer to stay in next summer--it'll be in a landfill someplace. But right now it's feeling like that won't happen. I think we've set ourselves on a path now and it will take a huge catastrophe to get us off it, and a catastrophe seems less likely now, because:

Steve's company finally submitted its plan to the Transporation Security Administration for the transition to the new contractor. The plan envisions the company needing until July 2009 to complete the transition properly. This is more than enough time for Steve to get his vestment in the company, it gives us plenty of wiggle room for the economy to do whatever it's going to do (improve, we hope, over that long a time); we are even pretty sure that if we go ahead with the house plans and move to Delaware, the company would allow Steve to telecommute, as it does everyone else on the project.

Bureaucratic inefficiency! How could we live without it?


Kat said...

Wow, Ralph, all the news sounds really good, and I hope to see a new house by summer. Shall I send my choice for wall color in the guest room?

Don't forget to take extensive inside shots of the trailer, for posterity, of course!

Peewit said...

Given the death of Lehmans, the merger of Merrills and BoA and the impending uk banks mergers this is a very brave time to enter the loan arena. I'm lucky that I have no outstanding debts on the house as it was paid off out of my Dad's estate. I've managed to persuade my wife this is not a good time to move! Nevertheless I look forward to seeing your progress in building your dream home. (Do you get the UK show "Grand Designs" on cable anywhere it's all about self-build projects. It might be worth checking out)

Ralph said...

Peewit, you couldn't be more right, and our ultimate move will depend on what we can get for this house when we put it on the market next spring. My optimism may well be misplaced. Oh, well. Won't be the first disappointment, if that's what it comes to...we'll just carry on. But like the old French song says, "as long as there's life, there's hope...."