It takes all the restraint I have to not sound like my children on road trips. " Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? This has been the question in our minds as we have moved this project forward. We have this crazy luck. We had to go through 2.5 appraisals before we got the go ahead from the bank. Each time taking at least 6 weeks. I think it is because there are restrictions on who you can go to for an appraisal as a bank, to help ensure we don't get an overinflated market like we experienced before the bubble popped. Also, whenever there are several layers between the people with the questions and those with the answers there tends to be a lag. But I digress. The appraisal of the project and the property was finally finished. The value was not in questions but all the little i's that needed dotted and t's that needed crossed. With the appraisal finished we were finally able to close the construction loan. Yay!!!!!! Unfortunately, and I am not a downer, but the same day we were to sign on the biggest loan of our lives we also found out the city did not accept our engineered plans for the project. So the dilemma becomes do we move forward with the loan that took us 10 months to get, or do we push pause to know how much the changes to the plan will cost before signing on the dotted line. We opted to not hold up the loan process any longer and sign. I wanted to throw up and eat a huge celebratory meal all at the same time.
OH, man, now the real pressure begins. As soon as the project was funded we started tearing down the existing buildings, although we had dabbled in removing out buildings and fences, the houses needed to remain until we actually owned the property. We have purchased a mini excavator from an auction to do this work with plans of selling it when we are done. We figured it would be cheaper in the end then renting it, and would be available all the time... Someone forgot to tell Bessy the mini-escavator about our plans. She has been in the shop more than she has been on the site.
Our family tag teamed the other equipment we rented and we did multiple round trips to the dump, recycling center, and our back yard wood pile. It wasn't until after we tore down the barn and disassembled the big beams ( not my idea) that we found out someone would have paid us big bucks for the old beams, and would have even disassembled it for us. Big money, I can't even say...It makes me ill.
Okay, the buildings were down, and the battle with the city engineering department was in full swing. It all came down to the storm water treatment plan. We wanted to use each rv site with filtered materials to filter the water returning it to the groundwater below, we had adequate filtration and the rate of absorption was good and there was plenty of room before it returned to groundwater. The city finally agreed to this system of filtration, however, they didn't want this filtration to take place within 25 feet of the waterlines. Well if we use each RV site to filter, and each RV site needs waterlines it would be impossible to have the separations. We went several rounds but in the end our option was to change the system or go through a lengthy uncertain process of appealing. We opted to change the system. Currently we estimate it will be at least $50,000 more and we will lose 6 sites which is potential revenue of $30,000 annually. Ouch. We would also lose our orchard trees, the ones I based my decor theme around. Caldwell has many farms and orchards so the interior will be fresh farm. We will still have gardens and chickens but no fresh apples, pears, peaches and the like for a few years.
With the changed plans the city finally approved the engineering of the project. I am working on submitting the buildings for permits but we have already cleared the land, cut the roads, the sewer is finishing any day now and the pressurized irrigation system, which we are doing ourselves is chugging along. We had many saves thanks to a great person at the power company who has expedited our project, including overcoming a 90 day waitlist to have power moved over a canal.
I don't even dare to estimate our opening date, I know I need to so we can start taking reservations, but that is a lot of pressure for a project that has never been on schedule. ( I usually pride myself on having projects on schedule, they say that pride comes before the fall, I think in this case I am being humbled)
So, " Are we there yet?" Not yet, but I am not even threatening to turn this rig around, we are not stopping until we are there!