Saturday, November 18, 2006

Mr. Nola Continues

The nice pace of progress at Maison Derriere has stalled. Badly. Yet work there has been moving at a lightning pace when compared to the progress at That Old House.

As mentioned by Ms. Nola, there is very little that can be done at TOH until our shoring company finally comes and gets the house up in the air. If we replace the roof, it will surely be damaged while lifting the entire structure eight feet. Same for sheetrock inside, and even most framing changes. So we're at the mercy of a shoring company that has been promising to begin work "in two weeks" or "next week" since May. The current promise (from Monday) was to have started moving equipment to our site by the end of this week... Saturday is upon us and nothing was done. The idea that we could have hired a different company --perhaps an out-of-towner that wasn't already familiar with the this house-- and had the work finished by now is frustrating, unsettling, and oddly comforting, all at the same time. Rather than play armchair quarterback, I just hope that our contractor will do a better job than another could have. If, of course, they ever get started.

Another issue which has represented at least part of the delay is funding. Our insurance settlement --the part that we did receive-- is being held hostage by the mortgage company. They won't issue any part of that until we can show progress, but we will need to write some enormous checks on the day that the contractor starts working. We're keeping money on hand, but we're broke. Go figure. The FEMA/SBA loan is a similar challenge, further complicated by the arcane bureaucratic quagmire that you've probably heard others complain about endlessly, and I'd rather not go on about here. The sad thing is that we're not asking for a handout... this is a freaking LOAN that we pre-qualified for within a couple weeks of Katrina. But all the red tape has required the effort of a full-time job just to cut through. Ms. Nola is a real trooper here, and she deserves a lot of credit for her persistence and organization. Without her, the entire financial side of this equation would simply not have gotten off the ground.

Speaking of funding and the SBA loan, Chateau Danneel can't put on the market yet. It would be nice to cash out and run, but there is some complexity with new liens on that property. To be on the safe side, we would like to make a big dent in the work for TOH (and its associated cash outlay) before we list CD for sale. Hopefully we can sell it before the larger capital gains tax kicks in, which is (I think) 2 years after moving out of a property.

The lawsuit against our insurance company, who "forgot" to activate part of our flood coverage, is going to be a longer battle than we hoped. A settlement would have been the smart thing on their part, but they seem to think that we can be scared off if they drag this on long enough. So this case will probably go to trial, maybe sometime in 2008, and we eventually expect to win. Our lawyer is skilled and enthusiastic, and the facts are solidly in our favor. But it will be a long and frustrating fight.


Post a Comment

<< Home