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Posts Tagged ‘banks’

It’s been a while since I have officially updated what’s happening at the building site.

It’s amazing how fast people can build. The only reason it’s taking a bit longer is cause there are other factors delaying delivery of some materials and now our house is sort of in limbo.

But let’s play catch-up quick quick.

The foundation got dug earlier cause the builder had a gap where he was waiting on bricks from our local brickworks Namakwa Stene. [We’re also using these bricks – more on that later. ] The looked really small – I mean, really small. I know it’s an illusion, but still. On a positive note, our garden looks bigger than we expected. Maybe when the house is roof-height we’ll differently, but the garden is bigger than a postage stamp – yay!

After about a month, the contractor had finished his other job and tackled our house – I mentioned I forgot to mention that he prefers to work in one town at a time. I think the plinth is simply gorgeous. I love these bricks. AND they are cheap, cause there is very little transport involved. We’re using Namakwa Stene’s range of clay bricks for the whole house – focus wall and all. Although I would have preferred to have the red clay ‘ugly’ bricks as my focus wall, and not the decorative bricks – but that’s another can of worms I decided not to open.

I met with the builder one afternoon – he came to my workplace – and I showed him … dun dun DUN…  The Book. This book is where I pasted all my ideas for the house. And then it decided to rain inside our current house (the geyser sprung a leak RIGHT above where my pc stands – I still cringe when I think of walking in on indoor rain that steamed up the windows) and The Book got wet. The pages dried ok’ish, but some of them stuck together, so now it looks more like a toddler attempt at spoeg-en-plak. Needless, it seems like he has worked with women before.

I’ve called him a few times since then to discuss ideas. Sounds like this man is also doubling up as my interior designer – or at least my soundboard. I’ll give him my idea and he says if he can make it work. And he’s honest about costs too. He’ll tell me what option is the more expensive one – it’s usually the one I have my heart set on anyway.

He gave me some brochures the other day to look at tans and san. Apparently he can get a good price if I choose there. But tap-wise, there isn’t anything that REALLY catches my eye. Still trying to convince Henk to got with a range I saw at Bathroom Bizarre, but we can get it for a lot less from Builder’s Warehouse. (we need to fit in another Cape Town trip)

(almost up to date)

We’ve changed our minds about the bathroom twice now. They are small. The inside walls are high enough that you can get a sense of the house, and they are tiny. And I asked him to build extra shelves in the shower wall too. NOW the shower are even smaller. Or they feel smaller. But size, too, is sometimes only an illusion. Henk and I saw a way to make it appear bigger. We’re going to use a half-wall with a glass panel on top to give it height, and then still a glass pivot door. Think Henk still has to talk to the contractor to see if he can make it work.

They haven’t started with the braai area yet – and I KNOW Henk has changed his mind on the size and spot for it. Will have to see if we can alter it a bit.

Way at the beginning I was a bit vague with the ‘house in limbo’ part. Specifically, we are waiting for our windows. We had settled for steel ones, but heard from a few people what bad quality our local shops are supplying. So we decided on wooden ones – although I’m dreading the maintenance. And then a funny thing happened. Somehow Henk mentioned our windows to a guy who builds aluminium windows here and he says that really, they are not THAT expensive. Wooden ones a about the same price. Think about it: Wooden frames don’t have glass in yet – you still have to buy that separately. But aluminium windows already have the glass installed. *bing* the light goes on, and now we are waiting for our windows. Apparently they are arriving tomorrow.

Also would have helped if the bank had done the first payment on time. Standard bank assured Henk that all the paperwork was in order – few days later they phoned to say that they need some original wat-wat-wat. So we didn’t have the money ready to buy the windows – and THAT is why the house is sort of not quite on track. Will check out tomorrow how it looks like so far.

That’s it – now you are up to speed, and I’ll do my bestest to update more regularly on our house – and I need to upload the accompanying pics.

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After giving up on finding financing ourselves, dealing with incompetent bank employees, and wasting time in waiting rooms… we contacted a type of broker.

ABSA (of all places – I left them because of repeated bad service) offered us a 90% loan, which was one of the fairest offers we got. But the broker lady suggeted we wait until all offers returned.

And then we got our ray of sunshine. Standard Bank is willing to give us a 100% loan! At a pretty decent rate. And they accept the bought-and-paid-for empty property as security for a full loan. Bliss! Local lawyers will contact us to come sign the agreement that they’re drafting. Super! No problemo! Right! Right?

More like Not-right-now. We would have signed the document today. But turns out it was set up as if Henk and I are married in community of property. *sigh* we’re not. We did the whole pre-nup/ante-nuptial thing outside community of property.

SO now the bank has to resubmit the request to the lawyers to draw up the contract yadda-yadda-yadda. It’ll take another week at least. Technically we can start building, cause the bank pays out an in 4 installments, the first of which only after the foundation is laid and I tink window sill height. But we’re not going to risk it. Rather wait for ALL the paperwork to be complete.

Here’s to wedded agreements!!

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Surprise surprise, FNB stuffed up our loan application – more precisely, the consultant to whom we went to consult and aid us in applying for a building loan.

Henk phoned the bank and asked what the problem was. Apparently not all the paperwork was submitted (from the consultant’s side) and even though were are pre-approved for a building loan, we have to have 50% deposit. That is not a typo. 50%. If I had 50% of what we are planning to borrow, I would be building my home cash.

Nedbank on the other hand ALSO pre-approved our loan, but for some funny reason they don’t accept the already-paid-for-we-own-it property as security and something or another – Henk doesn’t accept their terms and conditions. Basically comes down to us having to build our house cash.

In the meantime, an assessor from Piketberg came through, on behalf of one of the banks – I don’t know which, I forgot to ask Henk. Point is, he said (the assessor) that the house we want to build is too grand for the area. I wanted to klap someone. Not only is our property on one of the smallest plots in town, you should see the colossal houses in that town. Our plot was part of one big plot, and then the original owner divided it in two. There is already a house standing on the one plot – and get this – It’s cash price is about 40% more than what we are planning to build. If we were in a city, it would be prime property. We are right across the school, walking distance from church and shops. (well, everything is in walking distance.. it’s a small town; besides the point). So I cursed the assessor and his little wannabe-actuary-attitude.

We decided to try ooba. They are like a broker between the Banks and us, and are Experts in Home Finance. Henk phoned their branch in Vredenburg and the lady told him that she knows exactly what we want to do.  She will help us apply for a 100% building loan. We must just submit our docs to her. She will ensure all our paperwork is correct and include us wanting to use the property itself as security.

Today she wanted my Feb pay-slip. Yes, that one. Let’s see how this goes. Wonder if they’ll send a different assessor this time. And with my luck, Standard Bank will approve us.

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We got the plot. We got the plan. Now we need the money. We definitely don’t have the cash, so we gather all relative documents and get ready to humbly grovel on the scotch-guarded carpets of our local banks. Even make appointments: We start with FNB and Nedbank (Yes, I will name them, cause then I get to shame them)

Henk fetches me from work a few weeks ago for our back2back appointments with relative consultants. We get ushered us a creaky staircase at FNB (notice how FNB banks are always in the oldest, museum-y type buildings). We announce ourselves at the little window; gosh, that lady was rude. She asks if the consultant is expecting us. We reply yes, we have an appointment. She looks over to a closed door; says that it looks like there is someone in there with her, we have to wait.

Now, I am sorry but since when is having x-ray vision a pre-requisite to work in a bank?! She didn’t phone to check if there’s anyone in there, but we trusted her judgement – LAST TIME I EVER WILL. And we wait. We wait 20mins. Another customer stumbles up the stairs and insists he is waiting for important documents and wants to see the consultant NOW – presto, no one in the office except the consultant lady herself. Glare-glare mumble-mumble we walk in; only to be told that this is the first time in 12 years at working at the bank that she has to apply for a building loan. We should have turned around and walked out. But we didn’t. We waited patiently while she downloaded the needed paperwork – No, she wasn’t prepared for our meeting. (I was tweeting furiously by then about staff incompetence; cause I like my coffee with a bit of passive aggressive milk in it.). Half an hour of answering questions later, we trek across the road to our next appointment.

At Nedbank the consultant was ready with papers and terms and conditions and advice and a pen. I felt more at ease when she said that she regularly applies for building loads. Our expenses were also more thoroughly discussed and documented. And she understood what we meant by using the plot as security to get a 100% loan.

I had mixed feelings when returning to work. I was excited at this next big-huge step we have taken… but apprehensive at the outcome of our applications.

Why only apply at these banks you ask? Henk and I both have accounts with FNB, so hopefully that counts in our favour. Nedbank is known for good service and competitive interest rates. I’m still boycotting ABSA after my 10 years of loyal service cause they stuffed up a LOT the previous year; and we don’t know anything about Standard bank, so ignorance is bliss.

Now we wait and see if we get some money.

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