housework: general update

Progress on several fronts the past two weeks:

1. Landscaping: The landscape designer seemed to go AWOL (hadn’t heard from him in a while...). After asking if he was still interested in doing our yard (we were concerned he got a little hinky over our comments and washed his hands of our project...) we finally heard from him. He’s finalizing the plan and guesstimating the price. 

2. Been working on the financing (but not as much as we should...). Ideally, we want a single-close loan. Traditionally, when building a house, you get and close a construction loan and then you get and close a final loan one construction is complete. With a single-close, you close once, avoiding the fees on the second close and adding certainty to the financing of the final product. 

We’ve been very happy with the bank we used to finance our lot, so we called them first. The good news: they have a final close. The bad news: It’s not exactly what we’re looking for. They have a single-close where the final loan is fixed (good) for 15 years (bad). We’re really looking for a 30-year note. They have another product that closes into a 25 year loan (we can live with that) with the first 5 years fixed (good) but the last 20 ARMed (and dangerous; bad). Rates are pretty gol-darn low right now (how low will they go?) but with a risk (in my mind...) of going up sometime in the (near?) future, perhaps radically (Euro-crisis; debt issues; alien attack). It would really suck to be trapped in an ARM with rates gone wild. The banker didn't think this was an issue: Just refinance into a fixed rate. But that defeats the purpose of avoiding a dual-close loan. 

3. The interior designer is chasing down samples (you have to see stuff up against each other before finalizing choices; you don’t know how it’s going to work until you see it all peanut butter and jellied with your own eyes). Also heard back on our pendant light choice, the Chromos:

Round, glassy, and metallic (to compliment the dining room chandelier) but minimal (to not compete with said chandelier):

At 9.75 inches across, that pendant is a good proportional size for the penninsula and architect-proposed fixture spacing. I was really digging the black bit in that fixture until I realized that's a reflection of a door (at least I think it is...).

4. Chose a fixture for the rear entry. The architects specified cans, but I really want a fixture fixed on the ceiling there. Because of the limited height (8 feet), we’re going for a ceiling hugger. Some potential choices:

The Drift ($200):

The Contempra ($290):

The Square ($106):

The Possini Euro Design ($300):

The Conde Square ($180):

I'm partial to the Contempra (although the maximalist/neoplasticist in me really likes the Possini...). And the Drift is pretty darn cool. I'll have to do a bride-check before deciding one way or the other...

5. The builder delivered the hard bid at the end of the day on Friday (more on this soon...).

Woof! Woof!

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