Saturday, February 22, 2014
It has been 16 months since Sandy and most of us in NJ are still not back in our houses. After 3 attempts to close for this Grant I finally signed the papers. It has been very stressful because they keep changing the terms. First I was allowed to use my own contractor and now I am being kind of held hostage to use their chosen contractor.
If I use my own contractor who I have known and trusted for well over 10 years I am not eligible to have an extra $15,000 available to me for all of the permits I have to have obtain to rebuild the house, architect' s fees, survey, elevation report, etc. I also would not have access to an additional $18,000 in funds in case they find something else that needs to be taken care of or if builder goes over budget. You know my luck in the past, this is something I need if something goes wrong.
I had many conversations with my contractor on what to do. Stay with him and know the rebuilding will be done correctly without cutting corners or go with the State. He said could rebuild the house from the amount of insurance money plus the Grant money minus the extra $15,000 I would not be receiving. He could manage to pay for the permits and the architects plans if I choose to keep the floor plan the same with the amount they would give me. He asked that I give him a few days to make some calls.
He made many phone calls to builders he knew that were not on RREM's approved list. These are quality builders but every single one of them that are rebuilding homes for the RREM Grant funds are being failed 2 and 3 times. Boyd says he knows their work and it should not be happening. He said in my best interest I should go with the state builders. He believes he can still do it at budget but knows it will be one huge headache of fighting back and forth. He also knows that my mental state of mind could not handle that. Yes, that is how well I know him. He knows all of the hoops they have been making me jump through. He knows that I am still going to PTSD counseling.
So I signed to go with the Grant agreeing to use the RREM's builders. He said he would go with me inspect the work as it is being done so they can't cut corners on my house. What a great guy!
So after I signed I asked when can we start rebuilding. Much to my dismay we are still months away. There are additional meetings that have to take place first. One of which is I need to meet and sit down with the General Contractor RREM has assigned me. Guess where they are located - in Maryland. Not NJ but Maryland. I will end this blog here because I am getting too upset.