Foxfire, NC 5 miles W of Pinehurst________Questions welcomed: meldrumridge@gmail.com

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Meldrum Ridge Mini Ranch

 

Transition from Congested to Quiet

It's a 70 mile move from high traffic to a quieter setting. From a house of 32 years to a downsize means bringing the older house up to more current features for selling while clearing the lot to begin the build of the new house.

Financing this relocation

The number one thing to do is to get an expert in mortgage loans. We thought we had a loan product that was a perfect fit for our situation but because of a lot of issues as we went through the process, we have withdrawn our application with the lender and this particular loan product.

We fired our lender on Sept 11, the day before closing and after 101 days of underwriting because:

  • After 89 days, they discovered they miscalculated our VA Entitlement and required a downpayment increase from $0 to $44,000.
  • They then broke Rate Lock Agreement when we noticed in the Closing Disclosure that it was 1% higher. They would not change it nor provide a valid reason for raising the interest 3 days before closing.
  • Our closing attorney advised us that the non-NC company doing the closing was failing to distribute funds in accordance with NC laws. Then they wanted another $7000 in down payment to cover other closing costs.
  • Finally, the day before closing, our loan officer released personal financial information to third parties without our permission and did it on a non secure email.

We then looked for a lender who would provide better service whil we scrambled to get the lot purchase contract extended. Upon the advise of a former colleague from the NY Times who advised in an article that seniors with multi source fixed incomes should consider a community bank. re: Mortgages for Seniors? Available, but Exacting By Vivian Marino June 2, 2017

Our builder, our closing attorney and our real estate agent spoke highly of Shannon Harris, the mortgage loan officer First National Bank of Pinehurst where we had our business account and one of our personal accounts for over 7 years. She and Rhonda Duncan, Assistant Branch Manager, came up with a solution.

We closed on the loan on November 30 thanks to the diligence of Shannon.

We will cover the lessons learned in a future blog post.

Clearing the Land

Under the supervision of Bill Huckabee of Stewart Construction, the clearing began in mid November 2017.

In the same week Chad & Mike of Timberwolf Property Solutions were clearing the new lot, Virginia & Maria of CK Home Design Group of Chapel Hill, were doing staging consulting of the Durham home. The plan continues to be to sell at prime time of the year when Spring is in full effect and the real estate market is at its best. The idea also is to give yourself enough time to take care of the many little to do's and posibly one or two big ones.

In late December, it was also a time for a truck. After six months of research, I chose one and found the best dealer in North Carolina for our needs was right in Aberdeen, Leith Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM Aberdeen. The current star sales advisor from multiple online reviews was Jamaan Bailey, who is a solid community contributor & super dad. I sought him out. We cut a deal with the excellent help of business manager Tim DeSpain, who came up with a set of options to solve one issue. General manager Scott Weaver and I afterward discussed the marketing value of well written reviews of the business online mentioning specific staff by name such as Jamaan. See the truck below.

As an aside, one of the goals is to have a pool but since there are tradeoffs with the cost of a new truck, one follower to this case study website suggested this.

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Landscape Sculpting

Ken Bouldin, owner of Bouldin Landscaping and son in law, Robert Barber then took out several of the larger trees and sculpted the property to return the deep roadbed created for early development plans to it's original contour.

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The Lot

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The lot before it was cleared by Timberwolf Property Solutions, a business in Star, NC. Timberwolf is the environmentally friendly alternative to conventional land clearing. They convert trees and undergrowth to cleared land and mulch.

Timberwolf was followed by Bouldin Landscaping of West End

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The Clearing

CLF Horses & Sofi

Timberwolf unique business model is able to be very selective in clearing the site, leaving select trees, such as wild dogwoods.

Two Deere 333G's with Mulching Heads make quick work of forest thinning with predominantly smaller trees. Black Jack Oaks, Pin Oaks and moderate undergrowth can be surgically removed. Other hardwoods, softwoods and ornamentals can be saved.

This surgical clearing requires the many years of expertise of Chad and Mike.