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Posted by Gabriela in Readington Twp, NJ on 6/11/2009

I am so pleased to report we have our Temporary Certificate of Occupancy and our Demolition Permit to remove the old house!!! We had to have the tax assessor come out last Friday (June 5th) to ensure the assessment for the COAH fee was correct. She confirmed it was, and we had to pay the remaining 50% of our COAH fee, which was $3,800 (I think I hear a FLUSH...), then another $115 for our demo permit, and we were officially on our way. Some of our old furniture (not much) and a lot of new stuff is now in the new house. I took last week off from work to move and settle in. Lots of fun events happened, including delivery of our new kitchen table and our office desk & matching hutch. Our new recliners for the family room are to die for. I have to admit I've already crashed in them for the night one evening. I also went a bit hog wild with new towels, bed sheets, rugs, drink coasters, garbage cans and place mats. Small stuff to decorate and make the house more of a home. There's still plenty to get and to do, but I'm making lists, checking them twice and crossing off some stuff as we go. We already had a small dinner party at the house which was a gleaming success. There's lots to get used to, but overall the space is amazing, and the hubby and I need pinching every so often to make sure it's all real. Some splurges happened too. The hubby NEEDED a new TV and a new grill to mark the momentous move, and I figured certain battles are worth fighting, just not those...
We still need a new bedroom set for our master suite that does not look like dollhouse furniture. Additionally, we have space for an actual dining room set. Both of these will be heavy hitters in terms of big $$$$$ - so we are pacing ourselves and planning, maybe by years end, to have the bedroom set. The dining set will likely be longer term than that, but I'm willing to wait a while and really get the set I want instead of settling just to fill space. I see these items as once-in-a-lifetime purchases so they should be what you really love.
We have drawn up plans for a new deck as well, but are waiting to submit for permits until the certificate of occupancy is issued. Not sure how much more that will add to our taxes, but I'm bracing myself for that bill alone. I secretly have plans to fight our assessment but need to do a bit of investigation on the right procedures to undergo for that. I just can't believe the assessment by the tax office, especially in these economic times, they seem to assess at market value if not above. It's ludicrous and they need to be called on the carpet for it. I'm just biding my time...
On the old home front, the local fire department has asked us if they can use the old house as a fire-drill training site. They would like to detonate smoke bombs, cut holes in the ceiling/roof and walls and hose the place down to simulate rescue scenarios as part of their training exercises. We are amenable to allowing this, however I have requested to meet with the fire chief personally to discuss some concerns I have regarding our newly-planted lawn and how that might fare with loaded firetrucks all over it? It cost us almost $3K to lay down the new lawn according to county soil-conservation specifications, and I need assurance that any damages will be paid for and replaced by the town as needed after the drill if they choose to use our old home. I also need a copy of their certificate of liability insurance because we cannot be liable for any damages or personal injury incurred during the drill. If they are willing to concede to these requests, then I will happily allow the drill to proceed on June 17th. Demolition of the old home is slated for June 19th, after which point we will qualify to apply for our permanent certificate of occupancy and convert our construction loan to our permanent mortgage.
I also reached out to the bank to find out what requirements they might have for the loan conversion. There is a short laundry list I am working on including the final build survey, an updated homeowners insurance policy, final title insurance, appraisal, new tax bills, etc. We will also need the final cert of occupancy before they will convert our loan. I see that happening at the end of this month, if not by early next month!!! Then I look forward to a long restful period with no projects and lots of us vegetating on recliners...
We are so excited about this project winding down, and the awesome rewards it's yielded, but are too exhausted at the moment to throw any huge parties right away. We will have to pace ourselves on that. Latest pictures to follow:


Posted by Kristen in Snowflake, AZ on 6/12/2009

Kristen's Forum Posts: 19
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Congratulations on being in your new home!  That is so fabulous for you!  Would you mind telling me where you got your registers for your heating/ac vents in your ceilings?  I've never seen that type before.  Thanks.

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