The promised update:

As you may have noticed progress on the house has been slow. Embarrassingly slow. It got to the point that when people would ask us how the house was coming along we got all shifty eyed, mumbled something unintelligible, and took off running the other way.

But we’re pleased to announce that we’ve made several changes to or initial plans/intentions and things are starting to pick back up. As you may remember, our initial plan was to buy a ramshackle house by the beach and completely renovate it into a gorgeous modern home. We made the offer in July of last year and managed to score the dilapidated crap shack house for almost $100k less than the asking price. The house was a foreclosure and was in such terrible shape that no bank would lend on the property unless we either A) put 20% down and then pay for the addition and any and all repairs out of pocket B) with seller’s permission arrange and pay for all repairs to be made prior to closing then pay for the addition out of pocket or C) choose a 203k loan and jump through hoop after hoop.

We chose option C.

The 203k loan works for any property no matter how bad it is and the costs for all the repairs are included in the loan. Plus it only requires 5% down. It sounds good in theory, but in reality there’s all sorts of fees (about $15k of our closing costs were just fees!) and the aforementioned hoops to jump through (red tape coming out the wazoo). If a buyer knew up front everything that was required for the 203k loan and was able to work quickly, the soonest closing date is on average 90 days out.

By Thanksgiving, the seller was tired of granting us closing extensions so we reached an agreement that they could re-list the property until we were able to close. In January, after much thought and consideration (and prayer!) we decided to officially part ways. Although we were nervous, we’re very happy with our decision. We were prepared to lose nearly $7,000 when we walked away, but we’ve been blessed to recover almost all of it. We’re still loosing out on the money we paid for various inspections and surveys (totaling a little over $1000), but we’ve decided it’s worth it in the long run.

So here we are. Everything is ready to go. We have the architectural plans and the structural engineering completed. We’ve hired a new contractor and we have an itemized budget that we feel comfortable with. All that’s left to do is find a lot to build on. We have it narrowed down to two lots. I’ll share details and pictures on both tomorrow. Stay tuned!

P.S. In case you’re curious about what the crap shack we almost bought looked like, here is a picture:

**WARNING** The picture you are about to view is of the world’s ugliest house. The Modern Home is not responsible for any loss of vision or other injuries that may occur while viewing this insanely ugly house. Proceed at your own risk.

modern house remodel

Pink stucco. Faux spanish detailing. Mansard roof. Awesome.

I wish you could see the inside, but I’ll spare you the hideousness.

Now before you question our sanity, the location was amazing and the price was right. Our plan was to tear the majority of the house down. There was really bad water damage and the 203k loan only required the foundation and at least one wall remain intact. We planned to keep as much as possible and modify the foundation to support the additional two stories. Our structural engineer examined the property and determined that the proposed plan was feasible.

Although we’re no longer purchasing this property, we’ve decided to build the same floor plan on the new lot. We’re feeling a lot better about starting with a clean slate and our general contractor is pleased to not have to work within the confines and limitations that he otherwise would have been dealing with on this property.

Let me leave you with one last picture. Check out this planter/mailbox combo… sweet.

modern house remodel

4 Comments The promised update:

  1. Kimber J February 27, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    No Worries! Haven’t we all taken on a project that was WAY bigger than anticipated??? You’ll get there and it will be SO worth it and it will be yours alone 🙂 but allow yourself to vent a little about it online, no need to hide. Those of us who’ve been there get it and can offer support and a shoulder to whine on.

  2. Beth March 1, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    Thank you, Kimber! We’re going to try to at least post an update once a week on the house progress – even if there’s hardly anything to report! It’s very slow going, but you’re right – it will definitely be worth it! I’m actually glad it’s taken a little longer, because otherwise we would have missed out on the opportunity to get a bigger/nicer lot in a much better location for less than we were spending on the house we were originally going to buy. Thanks for your encouragement!

  3. KJo April 14, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    Is this a house on Bradley Beach Road in Hilton Head, SC?

    1. Beth April 14, 2010 at 6:37 pm

      Yes, it is on Bradley Beach Road. Isn’t it terrible? I hope that since we aren’t buying it someone comes along soon to tear it down.

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