Are You Freaking Kidding Me?


So, our remodel is costing a relatively large sum of money for us. We knew it would. We are remodeling the kitchen/dining space, after all–and it is a full third of the space of our house. Plus, we replaced all the windows and light fixtures throughout. Major, major improvements for our quality of life and for our house.

Or so we thought.

Due to our home’s location in a “declining market,” we were not able to get the full amount of equity out of the house. Yes, we wanted all the equity. So we got some. But we needed more money. What to speak of money to pay off the loan.

The plan really was hinged on the fact that I am awesome and was going to get a full time teaching position for next school year. Little old me was going to pay for the entire kitchen all by her lonesome. Plus have some spare cash to spend on kids’ extracurriculars and the occasional shopping spree at Ross Dress for Less.

And I got a job offer. In April. Totally ahead of schedule.

And then one week later I took a test and there were two pink lines.

Talk about perfect timing.

So, on to Plan B.

Refinancing our HELOC after the kitchen was completed. Our loan lady at Sunstate Federal Credit Union said we could *definitely* do this. This was one month ago. My husband called yesterday to schedule the appointment for the appraiser to come out. Of course, we were not expecting the appraisal to increase in correlation to the amount of money we spent. We spent the money knowing that if we had to sell, no one would appreciate the awesomeness of our kitchen. But still, the remodel should increase the value of our house at least a fraction of what we spent. Shouldn’t it?

Ummm, that’s what we thought.

But the loan lady is now telling us something else. Since we did not increase the square footage of our house, we did not increase the value. We merely did “beautification.”

Really? It’s not like we just painted the freaking old, falling off the walls, doorless cabinets.

The housing market is a total mess and I understand lenders are cautious, but sticking to some whacked formula based solely on square footage to determine equity value…I just never heard of such a thing.



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4 responses to “Are You Freaking Kidding Me?

  1. Wow! I guess we’re “beautifying” our house too. Makes it sound like you’re just decorating. So odd that at the least, new windows didn’t add value. That’s a structural change! Can you find a different lender? By the way, we had a similar surprise third baby/home renovation/money curve ball. (We really must have some weird karmic link.)

  2. Hope things go well at the at the bank today.

    Long term you will have added to the value by the renovations – how can you not – it is just the stupid situation created by a greedy few and the majority suffers for it

    • sabjimata

      Thanks, Elizabeth. Yeah, clearly we added value! Like, our house sat on the market for a year before we put an offer in…and we were the only offer!!! We have made this place so much nicer!

      We have no plans to sell, so really, we are happy we spent the money because it adds so much to our quality of life, especially with a new baby on the way. In 3 or so years I will be able to get a teaching job, so our distress appears to be definitely temporary in terms of finances, and i am hopeful we will figure this interim session out, as well.

      Thanks for the well wishes!

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