Thursday, August 13, 2009

Just when you thought it was over

This just in, the basement at the old house flooded with the torrent of rain we had last week.

Naturally I get a call from Rob: the buyers agent for our old house called and they want us to pay for repairs to ensure that the basement doesn't get wet again!

They are getting a mold analysis today and they already have a quote to fix the sidewalk $930!

So the good news is that Rob and his lawyer don't thing we are liable as that area of the house was never wet while we lived there. We also disclosed when the basement did get wet while we lived there, so what would our motivation have been to hide an alleged wet basement...

Just another chapter in a book we thought we had finished.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Old House is Sold

Well our old house is officially out of our hands now. We closed last Friday, went pretty smoothly except that our realtor didn't show up, didn't call us to let us know he wouldn't be there and didn't get us the settlement statement before hand.

Jen called him today, here is what he said:
  • Guys I was at a family reunion, I sent Shelly in my place. She said no one asked about me. Fact is that we definitely asked about him, we made fun of him for probably about 10 minutes, with the other realtor... She might have been there, we weren't sure. There was a woman there that we thought was from the bank, because she didn't introduce herself and defend Rob at all.
  • Sorry guys I forgot to call...
  • Guys the settlement statement should be given to you by the title company... Maybe, I don't know. But the woman who was there said that our realtor should have given it to us...
  • Bonus point, he said he would charge us 4.75% commission. But had to write it up as 5% for Keller Williams. Of course talking with him today, no guys that was only if I sold the house by myself... However, he also told us that he would not do that because of the conflict of interest.
So anyways, we won't be using him again. It is too bad, because he is a really nice guy and good at drawing houses. But clearly, we can't tolerate him lying to us.

We ended up paying the 5% ($10,000) for realtor commissions, then about 1700 in other bullshit fees that get piled on.

Also, we had to go recover the old fridge, the buyers didn't want that... Anyone interested in an old fridge?

Monday, June 29, 2009

We have ants!

So big bummer, we have ant problems. Jen has been seeing quite a few of them recently. I would say I kill a random ant about 4 times a day... Jen said she found about 10 in the garage bag in the kitchen yesterday (she decided we could use a new one...).

I sprayed the perimeter of the house with some home protect stuff (will check the brand later) on Friday, hopefully that will help.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Pull-up Bar

The homemade pull-up bar I constructed. 1/2 inch vertical pipes, and a 3/4 inch horizontal bar. Couldn't find a 3/4 inch flange to attach to the joist. Also, I am not sure the larger flange would have fit on the joist.

I attached some 2x4's to the webbing to hopefully add some support to the flange screws. I don't have any concerns about the vertical force on the joists, but I am a bit concerned with lateral movements.

It has worked really well for the sets I have done so far. If it ever feels unsecured, I figure I can put blocking between the joists. Total cost was about $35.

Monday, June 8, 2009

[rebates] IPod, Activa

Apparently there is a class action against Apple for the 1st gen nano's. Because the scratch... Jen and I both have one, and they are scratch, so why not. The rebate amount depends on the number of participants, so it is variable.

Sent in a rebate for Activa, it will reimburse the cost of the product, so we picked up a pack and sent in the rebate. 6.99

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Long lost update

So needless to say it has been awhile. Jen and I have had a busy life the last couple weeks. We introduced our new son, Nicholas, into the world and finished moving into the house.

Our folks have been over numerous times, we planted seed on the hillsides around the house to slow erosion. Then of course it didn't rain for 2 weeks... But it finally is today, hurray!

Today I am finally running some Cat5 to the bedroom, so the internet isn't so slow. I can now just remote desktop to my PC and work from there.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Concrete problems

Looks like Lighthouse is going to have to come out and do some work... Like jack hammering up all the surface concrete they poured. I just hope it doesn't look like that under the garage floor. We haven't even started driving on the apron or garage floor yet, but I suspect they would crack pretty badly if we did...

Would love any advise people would have on alternatives and if they would be sufficient or not. I am sure LH will try to fix this as cheaply as possible. Or maybe it will be the responsibility of the sub that poured the concrete. Not sure.

Garden Update

So now it has been about 3 weeks since I started this project. The beans and peas are really doing amazing, there are already some beans coming in.

It is about time to get them outside I think. My folks dropped off a tiller for us to use, so I need to till up some ground and get a fence for the bunnies/deer.

Kitchen Table

This is the kitchen table that we put together for about $30. We went to Basset Furniture to look around and found this table top in the clearance area for $50 (I think). It has some pretty significant flaws, hence the low low price (I think it probably retails for over $1000). Jen and I hemmed and hawed about it for probably an hour with the manager there, eventually he said to just take it and shop there in the future.

Of course we could take it that day since we had the golf, and um yeah that wasn't going to happen. So we came back the next day with a truck and they gave it to us.

Fast forward to a couple weekends ago and I bought 4x4 Douglas fir posts and some paint. So for about $30 I built the legs.

The chairs were a Walmart clearance item for $50 per. Which we thought was pretty reasonable for dinning room chairs. We couldn't find anything cheaper.

Rock around the house

While Jen was working on seeding I was working on putting in edging, landscape fabric and rock down around the house. You haven't lived till you have hauled rocks of rocks around the house... You can see the bags in the lower picture. This is going around the garage on the Rich Valley side of the house.

Seeding the hillside

Here is the the hillside that runs next to our driveway. The driveway had to be brought up to grade with many dump trucks of fill... We starting seeding the area last weekend, then my folks brought over some extra straw bale then had gotten. Jen did most of the raking and seeding.

Friday, May 1, 2009

[rebates] Apollo Graphics Card

Sending in the rebate for the graphics card that has give me problems, but I think I have them sorted out now. $13 rebate.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

One more thing

I am also building some shelves in the basement to hold our copious amounts of "stuff". FYI the top shelf is still in progress...

This setup has been replaced to go all the way across to the wall I built for the utility room now.

Garden Update

So it has been about a week and a half since the garden was started and I thought I would post a couple of updated pics:


On Friday we stopped by the post office to send a package off to Sister, and we thought to forward our mail to the new house while we were there. Of course they are going to stop delivering to the old house immediately, but it will take 7-10 days to get the mail at the new house. On Saturday we stopped by the old house to do some cleaning and painting and found this.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

[rebates] Dlink, Coors

Since this is also a Dollars blog, I thought I would track my rebates here as well...

Dlink 5 port gigabit switch $10
Coors Light $8

Then Coors was a pretty ridiculous deal, 24 pack of cans for 7.99 after the rebate :)

[update: received Coors rebate on 6/8/09]

Begin the Garden

I started the garden about a week ago, just bought some of those degradable starting kits and some seeds. We also used some of the seeds we had left over from yonder years. I just hope they don't get too big before I can plant them outside.

Here is a link to the list of plants that I am hoping to grow: Google Docs.

Up goes the mailbox!

We put the mailbox up Sunday night. It was pretty cold and the ground was hard, but it went up without too much trouble.

The move is just beginning

90% or our "stuff" is now in the new house. It is pretty amazing how much stuff one (or two) acquire in such a short amount of time. Our task now is to separate the wheat from the chaff. We are hoping to empty 1/4 of the boxes to good will / trash/ craigslist, whatever.

As of today, we have the kitchen mostly cleared out and the mudroom down to a couple of boxes. The hardest part for Jen, I think, will be going through her cloths. The hardest part for me will probably be going through the copious boxes of random computers parts that I have collected.

We still have the garage to move over and a few things from the utility room. Oh and I ordered a TV for the family room...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Start the Move

The house is ours as of yesterday. There are still a few things that contractors will be stopping back to finish.

We started moving some stuff last night, and then packed some boxes. We are going to be taking car loads over, unpacking and taking the boxes back to repack. Kind of an involved move process, but it will allow us to sort and put things away as we go.

The cable was installed yesterday, so we have a Comcast phone number now... It was free for 6 months and reduced the install cost, so it would have been foolish to turn it down. Of course now I have to remember to cancel it.

We also bought a "Magic Jack" it is so ridiculously cheap and actually works. We are going to switch our cell phones to pay as you go and then use them like a pager.

I moved our 37" TV over last night to try out the cable. The TV doesn't have a tuner though, so I brought over my computer to use the tuner in that. Unfortunately, I ran an hdmi cable in the wall and thought I had a hdmi to dvi adapter (the TV doesn't have hdmi only dvi). But it was the opposite "gender". Radio shack wanted $38, and Menards wanted $30 for the correct adapter. I found one on Amazon for $1 plus $3 shipping...

So I thought wouldn't it be nice to have a small local business that stocked cables and adapters for a resonable price...

FYI, I am just going to be patient and order the adapter. I brought a monitor over to hook my computer up to.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

ARMS are good...

So we may have an offer on our current house. I say may because it is Rob, and the offer is to "buy" then house but pay rent to us until the buyers current house is sold. However, Rob assured me that he would ask for enough earnest money to pay his fee... We will see how this all works out, Rob said he would get together with them today and get back to us.

We have been meeting with another Realtor, and through his analysis he feels we should list the house at $209k. That is a pretty depressing number, since the buyers would still probably ask for a reduction, as well as something towards closing. It is that kind of market. Which leads me to want to rent, but Jen has valid points concerning why that is a bad idea. So hopefully this sale can work out (we would both kinda get what we want).

But as for the title of the post. I called our mortgage broker to see what the rate on the house is going to do in June (it is a 3 year ARM that is 5 years old now). And she told me it will go down to about 3.5%. So I have to say that ARMs are awesome, when the economy is in the tank. (ARM is 2.275 plus 1yr treasury, which is at .68 right now).

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


They started to move furniture in yesterday. We were able to actually sit in our living room :) It is pretty nice stuff, she put up paintings all over the house. There is a couch and 3 chairs in the living room.

Friday, February 20, 2009


Put some pictures up on Flickr.

A very busy week (final)

Today I call up the warranty company to inquire about getting the work yesterday reimbursed. It actually sounded pretty promising, she said that calipers are covered, but that I was supposed to get the repairs approved prior to having them done. It was pretty dumb of me actually, I could have just had Firestone call them and they would have paid them directly. As it is I had to fax the invoice and now wait for a response via snail mail.

So we will see how honest Tech Serv is, cause it should definitely be reimbursed.

A very busy week (cont.)

Yesterday was pretty crazy because I also had to get some repairs done on the car in the morning. Luckily Firestone was a ghost town so they were able to get me in right away. I called them and asked what it would cost to replace the brake pads (160). I dropped it off and expected to wait, but was told it would be at least an hour (couple people had come in since I had called...), so I walked to work (very cold out).

I received a call from them about 11, a caliper had seized so that needed to be replaced (580)... I called up VW and asked what they charge (680), and if it would be covered under my warrenty. They wouldn't commit, so I just told Firestone to fix it (I knew VW probably wouldn't be able to get me in till next week).

Firestone had told me that they would have it done by 2:30, so I call at 2:15 and ask about the status and I get this "Oh yeah, I told you it would be done at 2:30..." Great... So they offer to get it done as quick as possible. I start walking back over there, it is still cold out...

Long story short, I leave Firestone at 3, with a bill for 838.78 (new rotors required as well, plus a brake flush, and of course tax). Rush home to pick up some papers that I ended up not needing and speeding to closing at 3:30 in Roseville, hurray.

A very busy week

We had the closing on yesterday. It actually went very well. I don't have the closing docs with me, but I will post them later. Of course we got raked over the coals with fees, but what else can you expect? I think we ended up paying about 1300 for the modification.

Mel and Rob were there representing Lighthouse, they were very nice and paid us the full amount that we agreed upon for renting the model. They even gave us a house warming gift (set of kitchen knives), which was very nice. Stacee was there as well and great as usual, she brought us a plant.

The title officer was a different woman (Amy) then we originally had, and apparently she was new to the file. So there was a bit a her getting up to speed. I guess there were many calls back and forth between Mel and her and Stacee that morning. But it all worked out :)

Received an invoice from Tom (the lawyer), I think that will be the last one, unless he charges us to close the account as well... I guess he provided some piece of mind, but it was an expensive piece (637.50).

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Appliance Delivery

The appliance delivery was on Tuesday morning. I received a call at 7am, and Keith told me that he would be at the house in 30-40 minutes. So I had to hurry out there... ;)

Keith and Freddy were the delivery men, and worked for a company other then Home Depot. I can't remember what it was called at the moment. They were really good though. Friendly and helpful. They got the stuff in and hooked up without a problem. Keith didn't need the expandable pipe to hook up the dryer so he said that he would credit that back to me, not sure if that has happened yet.

I didn't have any cash otherwise I definitely would have tipped them. All i can do is give them a 10 when Home Depot calls for a review of them.

The delivery was delayed from Saturday to Tuesday, so I was a little upset by that, but the delivery went very well. 4 stars (out of 5) for Home Depot appliance purchase.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Walk thru

We had the walkthru with Steve last night. It went fine, he was nice and didn't have a problem with anything that we noticed. Informed us that we have a one year home warranty, which will cover pretty much any problems that we have... We'll see.

Closing is going to be at 4ish in Roseville on Thursday, so Jen won't have to take a day off. House looks very good. I am guessing they will take good care of it. Steve last night that other builders are the harshest critics of parade homes, funny.

Steve was also saying that they are going to be building two new houses, or at least that is what Rob is saying. Also, apparently Rick left Lighthouse, and they now have a firm that drafts plans for them.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Update, Walk-thru

Well, the house is pretty much complete. Steve called today and asked if we could do the walk-thru on Monday at 5pm. YEAH. He thinks we will be able to get to closing on the 19th, as long as the bank is ok to not have the certificate of occupancy, since they need to do a final survey...

Friday, February 6, 2009

Structured Wiring plan

This was what I put together in October and pretty much what we went with. Didn't do the speaker in the entry way, as it is pretty open to the great room. We also don't have speakers in the master, but we did run wires in the wall.

- Circles are ceiling speaker placement, just have to run 14/2 CL2 to the box over the woodbox. Was thinking it might be nice to run the external speakers to a volume control first though. Probably need about 380 feet for the main floor.
- Boxes are the wall plates for "stuff", at this point I just want to run conduit to the basement and wire it later when I figure out what I want where. There are 6 boxes, one external one (I can run the two over the fireplace on the inside wall), so 3 low voltage brackets, a large indented bracket behind the flat panel (saw one at menards today), a 2 gang box (or larger) over the firebox, and call it 60 feet of 3/4 inch conduit (just to drop it to the basement).

- Circle is again a ceiling speaker, run that wire to the boxes over the woodbox on the first floor again 14/2 CL2 call it 60 feet.
- Triangles in the bedroom are wall speaker locations. I am thinking of just leaving the speaker wire running the length of the wall top to bottom, until we get what we want there figured out. That way we can open the wall and grab the wire, for in wall speakers, or attached to brackets on the wall. Run the 14/2 CL2 to the double box in that room, about 180 feet.
- Boxes run up to the attic, 10 boxes about 10 feet of 3/4 inch conduit per box for 100 feet.
- Blue box is a structured wiring panel, which has 2 2 inch knockouts on the top and bottom, and I think only 2 2 inch knockout on the bottom. I think there will be more wires coming into the top so we will put that up. And run that up to the attic as well. So 20 feet of 2 inch conduit and 20 feet of 3/4 inch conduit.
- Also have to run 2 inch conduit down to the basement from the blue box. Call that 60 feet of 2 inch conduit.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Their reply...

This is promising:
We want to make you happy and will make every effort to accommodate your situation and will let you know in a week where we are at.
Thanks, Steve

My Reply

Here is the email I sent in reply to the last one:

It is true that there is no formal agreement about a closing date, however I would ask that Lighthouse consider how flexible we have been with everything so far and take that into consideration.

First we had an agreement for the purchase price to go no higher then 340k, Jen and I agreed to append the agreement and pay more then we had a contractual agreement to pay.

Second we had a tentative closing date of December 17th, it will be over two months late at closing at a cost to us of over $5,000. We have not mentioned that and accepted that as part of the way construction goes.

We are asking that the closing date be moved up to accommodate an agreement that we made in good faith with Stacee, with the assumption that we had plenty of padding in there for delays. We can’t make you close on the 18th, but we would appreciate it.

Also, we never asked for a wet bar, we asked for a drain under the stair, of which Steve is very aware as he brought it up at the meeting on December 22nd.

Also, we understand that you will not bring potential customers through our house until our lease goes into effect, that would include moving model furnishings as well.


Not so much problems as inconveniences. Lighthouse wants to do the final walk-thru on the 18th, and closing on the 23rd. However, our financing agreement with the bank (4.875%), ends on the 23rd. Apparently it takes a couple days to go through, and there are fines for each day late. So I sent LH this email:

After talking with Steve and Stacee this week, Jen and I would like to propose closing on the 18th of February. Steve you indicated that you would like to do the walk thru on the 18th, so we don’t see any reason why we couldn’t do that in the morning and closing in the afternoon.

This is actually a necessity, because the lock on our rate expires on the 23rd, and Stacee indicated that the paperwork for that takes a couple of days. There is a daily fee for being late, and we would not want Lighthouse to have to pay that, since you indicated that you would be finished in early February at the meeting in December.

To which I received this:

Chris & Stacee,
Lighthouse Custom Homes made no written agreement to any closing date. Our projected closing date will be February 23rd. Enclosed is an invoice from Five Star Plumbing for $125.00 for a wet bar that was requested by homeowner that was not previously disclosed to Lighthouse. This was done outside of the scope of the contract and will be billed under the guidelines of the contract with regards to change order.

After receiving this I was pretty upset, so I had a long email reply that was a bit critical. However, they resent the email with this added:

We will help with what we can and will try to move up the closing date but we cannot guarantee that we will be ready on the 18th. We do not have a certificate of occupancy and still have numerous inspections to complete. Thus the reason for our 23rd statement.

So after receiving that I moderated the email, but I still don't think they are going to like it...


Well as of last night, I think the painters are about done, their equipment was still there, but the final plumbing and electrical was getting done, so I doubt they would spray too much more paint around. Everything looks much better now that the painters have cleaned up.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Call from Ty

Well, received a follow up call from Ty, it appears that LH paid him what he was due and all is well in the universe...

After the previous experiences he had with Steve, he was quite surprised by the apparent change in demeanor. Ty said that he gave Steve some invoices he asked for, and then asked for his payment. Steve asked Mel if they could write him a check, Mel said yes, and they wrote him a check.

So I guess the moral of the story is be sure to catch Steve when he has money... So I hope he has money when we go to closing.

Call from Ty (1/28)

Received a call from Ty today, he wanted to tell me that he was going to talk to Steve about the money owed him. He also said that he had been invited to a meeting with LH and there subcontractors to discuss there future. Actually, it sounds like LH is going to be sticking around from what I have heard. Or course we will see how long it takes for them to pay Ty and Joanne.

It is actually quite ironic, because when we first met up with LH they were very insistent that we pay them up front, because they had a policy of paying their subs ASAP. Now they have this 2 week delay.

Ty also mentioned that he thinks the rails on the porch don't meet code (they are too far apart). Also that the ceiling over the staircase is too low to meet code... I don't know, the building inspector didn't say anything, so I am not going to worry about it. I think he wanted me to use it as leverage to get LH to pay him so...

Bills from Joanne (cont.)

Well, I called and talked with Joanne this morning. She said that LH had paid her for some of her work, but then instructed her to bill us directly. I replied that we had already paid that in the last draw request. She indicated that that is was news to her, so I asked if she wanted to call them and straighten it out. She thought it would be better for me to call...

So I then called Mel, got his voice mail, but received a call from him about 20 minutes later. I told him the situation and he referenced the overage agreement and realized his mistake. Apologized and said that he would pay her, but he did not recall getting a check from the title company for it, so he was going to check on that first.

I think the title company made the check out to LH, which was then deposited and forgotten about... But in any event it was actually a positive outcome I think. I asked if they were still planing on using it in the parade and he said yes, nothing has changed yet. Maybe it will all turn out as planned.

Bills from Joanne

We received a bill in the main from Joanne, stating that we owe her $260 for bath supplies and materials. And that she was instructed by Lighthouse to bill us directly...

This is very interesting since at the meeting this was one of the items that we specifically paid for, and a check was written by the bank to pay this. Now we could assume that LH is confused and this was actually done in good faith, but at this point I am starting to think that it is going to get messy going forward.

I just looked at the draw 7 request and it looks like the check for the bath materials was actually made out to LH, so that is unfortunate. It is really quite sad, when you hear from people about the problems that they have had with builders and all the legal safe guards that are put into documents, ect. I thought that is ridiculous how could a business person act that way, but I guess this is the experience that causes all the safeguards to be put in place...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Meet with Ty (part 2)

Ty was telling us that he met with Lighthouse and presented them with an invoice for additional work that he had performed at Steve's direction. The first time that he presented them with that, Steve got mad and yelled and cursed at Ty. Can't say exactly about what or how that went down. Ty said is wasn't pleasant. Ty agreed to adjust the figures (as he put it, screwing himself), and presented them with an adjusted invoice (going from 1 thousand something to around 800). Apparently Lighthouse is going to try to recoup the cost from Sterling (some of it, some of the work was fixing problems with the windows). Lighthouse agreed to pay Ty, so he asked when he could get a check and they new policy at LH is to pay the contractors 2 weeks after the work is performed... So needless to say Ty is nervous about getting paid and just wanted to keep us in the loop. He also mentioned that we could pay him, then deduct that from what we pay LH. Unfortunately, we don't owe them anymore money, and they owe us One other interesting bit of new from Ty is that LH moved their office. Apparently, they are now shacked up with Rob at the Keller Williams office... That is very concerning. And disappointing, they had such nice plans for setting up a showroom, ect at their old offices.

Meet with Ty

Ty gave us a call and asked us to meet with him so he could check out the house and discuss some other issues. We all concur that the painters aren't doing such a good job, they didn't sand enough, so there are rough patches on the trim where the saw at the mill scoured it.

We found a cigarette butt on the floor, that was classy. Ty is such an interesting guy, he was telling us about the time he spent working on Hollywood sets and he would travel all over for that. He told us some other stuff as well, that is probably going to be affecting us in the coming weeks. I am planning on writing drafts of posts and then posting them after this is all over, so stay tuned...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Cleaning at work

I was cleaning out my desk at work today and wanted to recycle the old alliance statements, but I thought I would post the amounts for posterity:

9/18/08 - 114,859.25 -- 659.89
10/18/08 - 272,077.99 -- 1372.85
11/18/08 - 368,605.73 -- 2023.68
12/18/08 - 400,743.33 -- 2283.89
1/18/09 - 464,970.06 -- 2711.19

So again I will grumble about the delay...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Washer and Dryer

Jen and I purchased a washer and dryer yesterday, HD was having one of their 10% off sales so we thought we had better jump on it. They are the Maytag EpicZ 600 series. Here is the deal we got (pretty good I think).

Normally 797 - 10% = $717.30.
Maytag is doing a rebate of $100
Maytag is doing a promotion with Tide so we get a years ($80) worth of Tide.
Purchased through Discover Shopping for a 5% rebate.
Dakota Electric will rebate $50 for buying an Energy Star Washer.

$65 Delivery charge (w/ installation)
$102 in taxes (ouch)

So total with all the promotions, ect will be 1311. Not too shabby. Could have used the HD card and had it interest free for a year. So that was a tough call. Also, Discover called to confirm the purchase which was a nice peice of mind :)

Update from the Home Front

Well it has been awhile since I posted, but that is because not too much has been happening. Ty was working on trim and the staircase for a long time, and they couldn't do much of the staining/painting till he was done because of dust.

We had to make an interest payment last week, it is up to 2700 a month now (ouch). So the month and a half delay from Lighthouse is going to cost us at least 4000, so it makes me really happy when they ask for an extra 1000 for something that was discussed at the meeting.

This week they are actually getting to the staining, hopefully this is the beginning of the end.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Meeting (part 6)

So we go back into the room with the agreement in hand. Of course what do you suppose Lighthouse proposes... We feel you should pay the 1500 because we put in the heated floors in the bathrooms. That is a surprise... We stare at them dumbfounded for a minute, look at each other, and just wait. Rob asks if we want to talk about it in the hall.

We exit stage left and go to the hall. Jen is very sure that we should not pay the 1500. She agrees to do the negotiating and we return. She explains in plain terms all that we have been thorough and how the agreement will stay as it is. Steve asks his partners what they think and they demur, so he agrees. And that is that.

Then we discuss the model agreement. They brought there a model agreement and we agree to it with the penciled in changes. And that is the last time we talked with Steve.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Meeting (part 5)

Now where was I...

At this point Jen and I agree to pay 8200 over the original contract price. At this point Mel and Light house want to have a discussion w/o us, so we leave the room and hang out by the fireplace (which is very nice btw).

We are waiting for probably a half hour, Rob stops out at one point for some conversation, saying that everyone in there is pretty blindsided by these developments... We chat with Stacee for awhile, then she goes back to meet with Mel for a couple minutes.

After that brief meeting she comes over and says that Lighthouse is will to settle for 8580.79. Which we are fine with, it is only 300 more then we had already agreed to. So we have Stacee write up the following:

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Counter tops are in

Counter tops are in, as well as a first coat of stain in some places. We are a bit concerned that it doesn't appear that the trim has been sanded prior to being stained... We will probably have to ask Steve about that.

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Meeting (part 4)

So the resolution of these items:

3k for the appliances, was understandable to Lighthouse and they agreed. Of course Mel had thought that there was 5k in the original bid for appliances, which we had taken out to save money...

The 605 was discussed for a bit, with Steve claiming not to remember the 50 feet included. So we basically passed that over. The 794.20 for the gutters was accepted and agreed to.

We discussed the credit for waterproofing and Steve showed us were we incurred other increases with the foundation and electric to offset the credit I had given us, so we agreed to remove that credit. Also, we agreed to an overage of 263.59 for bath materials that Joanne had purchased. With these changes Jen and I were agreeing to pay 8253.40.

The charges for the hookup of the electric and gas, was discussed and we were told that the hookup payment was over a month late and we would have to paid any fines incurred. We said that was ridiculous because when we received the bills in the mail, they were stamped accepted and paid... We were told that is the process they use when bills come in and we would have to pay any fines.

Stacee entered the conversation at that point on our behalf and said that how would we know to pay the bills when we haven't paid any other to date and the bill was stamped paid. So they are going to pay the bill fines (if there are any).

We went back and forth about the retaining wall, with Steve repeatedly telling us that he was not going to pay for any of that wall, and us saying that we weren't going to pay for all of it. It was a pretty heated discussion...

The Meeting (part 3)

Yeah, this is the 100th post on this blog...

The overage agreement that I had written up and sent to Lighthouse was what Jen and I felt were fair overages and we feel obligated to pay (well I felt obligated, Jen humored me...).

The 3k for the appliances was what we had discussed with Lighthouse, when they decided to upgrade our appliances and pay the difference. We had discussed 5k, but had also obtained a letter from them granting us 2k as a credit for appliances. That was obtained when we went to sign the sworn construction statement and expected to save some money, but were faced with another increase. That was another interesting meeting...

The 605.51 was for trenching the electric to the house. This was an area of contention, because Jen and I remember Lighthouse agreeing to pay for 50 feet of the trenching, which of course Steve didn't remember.

The 794.20 was for putting up gutters. This was something that Lighthouse asked us to add, and we agreed that it would probably be necessary. So Steve told me that they wouldn't charge O/P, and presented me with an estimate for $625. Of course they ended up charging us almost $800. That was an interesting conversation with Steve as well...

The 3128.50 was the main issue of contention and constitutes the concrete retaining that was "necessary" to add while pouring the foundation. We felt that it was an added cost w/o our consent or discussion with us, so were only willing to pay for half of the addition. We were told after the fact that it was done and we would have to incur the increased cost. Of course at the time I was told that it wouldn't cost that much and would probably be offset with savings on other items.

The 872.10 and 200 was the charge from Excel (natural gas) and Dakota Electric for the hookup charges.

The 610.50 was a credit to us, because we had installed the low voltage electric in the house, instead of using their contractor (550 was included for that (plus 11%)). The 1338 was the savings that we realized, because the foundation crew had done some of the waterproofing that the waterproofing company was planning on performing.

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Meeting (part 2)

Jen and I were the first to arrive at the meeting, we got there about 8:20. At 8:30 we went into the bank and waited by the fireplace in the lobby. Stacee and the Lighthouse crew got there about the the same time and everyone filed into the conference room. Rob stopped us and told us about how they all came down in the same pickup truck and that he was freezing in the back, because something was wrong with the heat or something. It was very cold that day.

We got into the room and Stacee opened the meeting by suggesting that we go over the numbers. Mel, Stacee and I had all brought "number" sheets so we started going over them. My numbers were a bit off because I hadn't updated them from the most recent draw request, but we all had similar numbers... However, Mel still had 17,000 in profit, but the draws added up to 349k. He didn't realize that we were only going to pay 349k, or didn't connect the fact that we had paid all we were going to pay for the house.

When the facts started to sink in, Mel and Stacee went off to a cubicle to discuss the situation. In the mean time Jen and I were left with Steve, Rob and Rick in the conference room. We decided to discuss the overage agreement that I had written up.