Okay, here's the scoop. I completely freaked out yesterday afternoon when the appraisal for the refinance of my house came in about $100K below my worst-case estimate of what my house is worth (not to mention what it was assessed at only a year and a half ago). Why does this matter? Well, we've been planning to do all of this cool stuff upstairs, like put in south-facing windows (so we can see the pretty mountains), a porch (so I can sit outside on Sunday mornings and have some tea - BIG fantasy of mine), and a bathroom (so I don't have to fall down the stairs in the middle of the night), all in conjunction with getting a new roof. But in order to afford this we need to have the bank give us money. And in order for them to give us money our house has to be worth at least 30% more than the amount of money we need them to give us (which is old amount owed plus amount borrowed). And yesterday they said we live in a crappy neighborhood where it would be a bad idea to try to fix up your house.
We've been talking with architects and contractors, the whole thing is pretty much at the starting gate and ready to run, I've just been hoping to get it all completed before something terrible happened in Iraq (this actually has already happened but it only affected you if you were Iraqi - being an American with an injured conscience does not affect the mortgage or stock market), and then we hear THIS yesterday. Right now my husband is at the bank arguing with the mortgage broker about setting our "neighborhood" as the NW corner of Cracktown, instead of the SW corner of The Gentrification Zone. We'll see what happens. I'd like to be signing papers today. Then I could devote all of my attention to the Big Piles of Work I have coming down the pipe until the end of the month.