We have decided to refinance our home along with millions of other Americans who are taking advantage of the low interest rates. It has been ten years now since the original purchase of our home and the interest rates are low enough that it will be lucrative for us to finally cover the closing costs of a home refinance. We have lived here for ten years and the original interest rate was much higher. Our home is just a small raised ranch home but it feels like a mansion to us and we feel very blessed. We love our neighbors and we are close enough to my parents to be available should the need arise.
Let me take you through the steps to refinance:
I called the credit union where I have been a member for over thirty years. We filled out the application and submitted the necessary documents for refinance review and hired an attorney to assist with the closing. We paid the six hundred dollar fee to lock-in the low refinance rate. Then, we scheduled the necessary home appraisal and passed with flying colors. All was going well until…
The title search came back with “A Violation”. The attorney phoned, “The bank has stopped the refinance. It appears that you have an illegal addition on the home.”
Illegal? We have not made any additions to the home. It had to be a mistake. I called the bank’s attorneys and discovered that the “illegal” addition turned out to be the front deck that my husband built some ten years ago.
I went to the Town Hall to speak with the Building Inspector and explained the situation. When we moved into the home, the front cement steps were approximately 9-1/2 inches tall with no side railings. Since I am height deficit (standing only 5 ft 1 in tall) I tripped and fell just about every time that I exited the front door. My husband (standing 6 ft 2 in tall) never had a problem other than having to pick me up every time that I fell down. He decided to build a deck over the existing steps to prevent me from breaking my neck.
Explaining the situation to the Building Inspector was going fairly well and he was nodding his head in agreement along with me as I told the story. I half expected that he was just going to say, “Oh, okay, that’s fine then, we forgive you.” This was not the case. When I finished speaking he smiled and said, “You still need a building permit and an inspection. It costs $50 and can take two weeks to schedule the appointment.”
Two weeks! We didn’t have two weeks to spare!
I pulled out all of the stops, teared-up and begged forgiveness, “Please help us, we are sorry, we didn’t know we needed to get a permit to correct a problem. Will you forgive us? We will lose the six hundred dollars we paid to lock-in the rate if you don’t forgive us and help.”
You know what the price of forgiveness is? It’s fifty dollars. The Building Inspector came to the home the same day, inspected the beautiful deck that my husband built ten years ago and wrote a letter saying, “No Violation. Permit issued.” Praise God.
Forgiveness is there when you need it; sometimes all you have to do is ask for it. But, if you are dealing with the Building Inspector – it helps to bring your checkbook with you.