Friday, December 20, 2013

We are having a little BOY

Early Visit. 9.5 weeks
18 Weeks and a BOY!
Went in for a 2nd ultrasound. Baby was sticking tongue out, kicking, waving. 
Much more REAL than expected. 

I was kind of quiet about my desire to have a little boy. I already have 5 chickens, Dot Dog,
 and my Wife... we are covered for Estrogen in this home. 

It is funny, almost "knew". As soon as the Doctor began showing what was happening inside, I just knew "That's a Dude". A minute after my inside thoughts, the doctor let us know "It's a Boy!".

Now we can plan. I can look out for the Toys I grew up with for us to play with (old Tonka trucks and Fisherprice, that's my Living Vicariously Through choices). I am currently looking for bikes for kids, seeking that trailer for getting around town... researching best bike and baby to kid options.

Stoked. Scared. But, Stoked.

My Recent Commuting and all around Utility Bike: I am a Wald basket Believer.

It began with fenders, some swept back bars and then discovered it needed a  higher rise to the stem (I added an adjustable quill per lower right pic). Decided to go with some fat Bontrager Hard Case 2.0 Tires.  Found a rear rack on a bike someone trashed. Found the Wald basket in a trash bin as well.

Let me just say that I LOVE my front basket. I can hold bins of food, cake, bungee down all kinds of stuff that sometimes was awkward in my rear panniers. Plus, unlike my panniers (which are VERY handy in their own right, situationally), I can leave without remembering to bring them. I can leave the bike without having to bring my Orlieb bags inside a grocery store.

Steel frame classic Bridgestone MB-3, fat tires, fenders, swooped bars, and a Wald BIG basket? Comfy, Tough, Utilitarian, and FTW!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

ADU Loan Option & Electrical Costs

The current situation is that we do not have enough equity in the home to pull funds. The closing costs ate the additional equity.

So I looked into a home equity line of credit. I am allowed as much as 15k. The way I look at it, at 4.5% interest, and a $350 fee to receive this loan... I could avoid cleaning my entire 10 k of personal savings out, or at least pay for the build in it's entirety if it ends up being over 20k.

In the end, it is about $2500 in interest if we pay back in 2 years. To have a rental in the end? Likely worth it.  That DOES mean I will need to have a monthly renter consistently to pull this off, using every dime in rent to pay down the loan. Which does not seem unreachable. If it takes longer, that just means paying more in interest.

My biggest hurdle has been electrical. The bids have been over $5000 (many as much as $6800). We are now exploring a friend or a friend handling the electrical for about $4k, or handling demo of current wiring and another highly recommended local contractor adding the new 200 amp service in the home, sub box, digging, wiring, etc. Leaving me with a $5000-5500 bill.

Seeing I have a strict budget as it is, I might have to go with the friend of a friend from Tualitin (he is still bonded.. important!) for $4500 or less, doing the same work. He requires that I buy the supplies needed and pay him the labor. To save $1000 that could be used for framing an interior, or adding a front shed style porch... it is likely worth picking up the goods and having him do the work, over hiring a local contractor. He is pulling permits on his own/like the local contractor would have, and I appreciate that a lot.

I am waiting to say Yay to the loan until I have confirmed the costs that a main contractor quoted, meeting with a city rep at my home to get the low down on requirements with my architect present, and pulling the permits with that architect once he puts together the site map and engineering.

That's the latest!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Quick Update on the ADU: Home Refinance helping fund the ADU, Water Heater Thoughts.

I have been gathering bids. I think I found my plumber.

The one change I would like to make is sharing the current relatively new gas water heater in our main house with the ADU. I see little reason to put an electric one in the limited space. It would be more efficient to share our 50 gallon tank as well. We are only 2 people, and when/if we have a child... it will still be only 3 people in our home that has 1 bathroom.

Still not sure where the closet will be in the ADU.

I have 3 contractors working out bids. I figure who ever gets to me with a solid # and a start date will be my guy.

Our home was appraised. We are getting a (much) lower interest loan though a Credit Union since we had a bad experience with B of A. So happy that all our hard work making our home spiffy paid off. We were under water since we purchased as the market fell in late 2006.  Our home is 20k above what we paid..

Meaning? I can more effectively finance the ADU. It looks like the 4k I needed to get this rolling will be available.  At 2.75% interest rolled into the loan.. there could not be a more affordable means of getting this done!  It will still be a tight budget (12k, plus 4k.. =16k total to build this 227 square foot home, including permits)... but should be doable.   If worst did come to worst, I got approval for 3k on a 7.9% interest credit card. I will leave that for incidentals if they come up in the build. Then I will need to find a renter ASAP when it is built (hopefully within 3 months!) to pay that back since I really have no discretionary income, just enough to pay my bills. Need the rent money to pay back that loan to avoid big interest costs.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Firmly Decided on a 1 Story, Bizarre City Fee, and The Final 1 Story Layout

I have 3 contractors in the mix working out bids. I will see which one makes sense both from a financial point of view, and from a bigger picture "best ideas, best examples or work, best references" point of view. 

After hammering the heck out of this. I have decided a 1 Story is best. 

The trouble with the 2 story concept is that I will need to most certainly do this thing on credit. The city will likely impose a Land Use Review that would cost upwards $1500+.  They will also double the general scope Permit fee of $550 to over $1000. Adding square feet is not as simple as the one city official at 4th and Hall shared. 

There would also be the the additional 5 grand to add the 2nd Story. The extra materials (windows, flooring, lighting, heating, etc). IT. ADDS. UP. FAST. 

Another thing that helped me make the decision was the fact that even though the 1 story quotes are within my budget, I would not have anything for incidentals. I might need to borrow 2-3 grand if something comes up. Some odd fee from the city, or a plumbing or electrical thing, or there is something we just can't do without for the build.  I don't want to end up deep in debt due to an incidental. 

KISS Principle it BE. 

Speaking in terms of some odd fee from the city.. wait it til you hear THIS one. Sit down for this. It's a entertaining "WTH??"

So, I called the water bureau. One plumbing guy said we might not have even capacity for all the faucets. We added up the chart and it appears I would be off by 2 more than the current waterline could support.  The city said it was a simple $180 piece added to allow more fixtures. That's all I was told about 1 year ago when I investigated the fees. 

This time when I called? The rep told me that I would ALSO be required to sign a form that essentially states that I agree to add a waterline to the ADU if it EVER became legal to sell it, AND I chose to sell it, and DID sell it. $550 Smackers. 

Okay. So. Let me get this straight... I would be "required" to pay a fee to sign a form stating that if something that is totally not legal right now was to BECOME legal, that I would be willing to send a specific waterline unassociated with my home, before I Sold it. "Pay for something in case something becomes something, even though it may never become something, and I want to do that something if it becomes okay to ever do that something in the first place". Why would I also pay for simply agreeing to something that is not something... (I need to just stop thinking, it is going to brake my mind). 

What?. My brain hurts thinking of this one.  Not only is that a total "WTH??" but the place is 5 feet from my home. 228 square feet. Has absolutely ZERO property line of it's own. The ADU is facing my Alley Way. To top it off, it is also part of our only carport. It is technically connected by the roof to the roof of the car port ! ! !
This will never be a place I can sell. I never want to. Never would. It is just a rental that my aging relatives could also one day live in, or kid while he/she is attending school.  

So I will most certainly do everything I can to get out of this fee that I can't afford really, anyway, and it is not relevant to my build- AT. ALL. 

To end this post. Here is the design my friend came up with. I really like it. For one, it creates a nice kitchen layout with a place for a small fold out table on the East wall.  The bath will be a simple stand up shower, preferably 36" to avoid being too tight to stand in comfortably. I might just have shelves high up and a medicine cabinet for storage. The shared plumbing wall was was lead this design to be. I really wanted to avoid possible freezing pipes. 

We are still debating on where to put a closet. Might just buy something from IKEA in the end, or, allow the person moving in to fill in their own "Vision".  

Any ideas?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Reality Check: Most Work Will Need To Be Contracted OUT

Reality Check. Remember that whole** I have 6 grand and can't exceed it** thing was discussed? Well.. my friend has awesome intentions, and I think he would help til the bitter end working on everything but the plumbing, windows, and most electrical as discussed.

However, him and I (almost)  *never* have schedules that mesh well.  I'm not handy.

So... I had a reality check. 

Seeing we have worked a total of 3 days, over the course of 2 months and accomplished only a wee bit of work.. I think it is time to consider a professional.  At this rate, this will take us 3 years to do! I could be collecting rent and paying back a relatively small loan to complete it through an indie contractor. 

I had 5 bids. 2 were so out of hand that I did not even bother negotiating with the firms. I am sure they do incredible work, and use the most eco friendly materials, would insulate up the Wazoo, etc... but I don't have the cash opportunity to get the best of the best.  I need clean, thoughtful, rentable, AND affordable enough. 

 1 contractor was not to crazy off the charts, but in order to be sort of within my budget, "I" would have had to deal with all city permitting. I found that a deal breaker because I want the contractor up to snuff with the city. 
Another one was as affordable as the one I think I am going with, but very wishy washy about knowing the permit process, and his bid was incomplete. The one I chose was ready to deal with all the permitting without even a glitch.  His Bid was pretty thorough. He has done it prior, and is prepared to create that relationship. Plus, I just got a good feeling about him. 

Let's get real. It is either going to end up being a 220 sq ft  Micro Studio, or, a 440 sq ft 2 story. Even up to code, just based on the foot print alone... it WILL be efficient.  A 440 sq ft place done up to code will be more energy efficient than the most LEED certified 1600 sq ft home known to man. 

So, I found a contractor that offered a bid based on using conventional pink insulation, carpet ( I am going to ask for the carpet squares over the middle of the road carpet he mentioned in my bid), floating floor flooring in the bath and kitchen, middle of the road cupboards, hollow doors, electric 30 gallon water heater (I heard so so stuff about the on demand electric ones anyway, and I think adding a gas line will be complicated/more expensive), Kadett heating upstairs and downstairs (I may look into Mini Split, if there is -$1200 options, or PACT Hotel Style HP), Low E windows (as apposed to more expensive double or triple pane options, granted, I will look into affordable 2 double pane) etc.  Totally serviceable and livable.  To meet my price point, my friend with limited time and I will paint in/out, might put in the floors, and handle just about all demo needs, removing the garage door, etc.  

I need to ask him about adding an upstairs deck over the front entry/concrete patch. I think it would add so much!

I will need to take out a bit of credit to do this. I figured a standard credit card is likely the best option. I will exhaust 95% of my savings, then take out another up-to 10 grand (if needed) at 7.9% interest.   If I choose a 1 story, we should be able to get it done for cash. 

Upon completion of the 2 story ADU I can get a tenant on a 1 year lease and pay down that credit card with the rent likely in under 2 years.  This will = about $700 interest. Not bad!  A house... for the price of a Mini Cooper or Subaru Forester, and the credit portion is only that of a Hyundai Accent? 

Yes. Please. 
Sounds like my money will work better for me under this scenario than at 1.5% interest in a CD. Right?

Saturday, February 16, 2013

We have started Demo!

We have begun the demo! Exciting stuff. 2 days of taking off peg board, removing and selling the air compressor that was in the ceiling. Hey... I made $200 that can be used toward the ADU!

There is R-13 in the walls. I am assuming it could be filled with additional Batt insulation to boost the rating to R-21. But I think it is likely best to go with R-21 from the get go. Perhaps the R-13 could be re-purposed and sold for a low price to someone on Craigslist?

The studs at 2X4. They need to be 2X6 to meet the space necessary for R-21. I heard about people staggering in some way to make it more insulating? Or, add another board on top of the 2X4's to create the right size?