About a month after the color selection, we received the building contract (with plans and consolidated tender) for signing. We reviewed it for a week and found a few significant mistakes that could affect our bank loan, the most significant being
(1) our names are shortened - I have three first names and Bjorn got two!, and
(2) the flooring was not included in the quotation.
It took about 3 weeks for both parties to sign the contract as well as the variations. We are running out of time to finalize the building contract, and so we can then submit our construction loan application to the bank. We are concerned that we won't be able to get our bank loan approval within the timeframe we are bound with to start construction. The construction companies are so clever, we have to start construction within 150 from the date of deposit (april 30 2011 in our case) beyond which we would have to pay additional 1K for each month od delay. It makes sense considering that material prices will most likely increase by then. Our 150th day is on nov 30, I don't think our construction loan will be approved by then, we'll probably be ready to start by mid-december. But again, it's Christmas holidays and chances are construction companies will be closed for 2 weeks (xmas and new year holidays). My gut feel tells me we will only be able to start construction in January and we'll have no choice but to part with another 1k or 2 as penalty. Hopefully McDonald Jones will give us some grace period.
The moment we received back the signed contracts, we immediately contacted our ANZ mobile banker (who I highly recommend for being not a "hard sell" and a really good customer service), to get the ball rolling for our construction loan. He's been to our House fives times, without qualms of going back again if we needed to see him over some minor things! Quite a nice and sincere chap, and we are quite comfortable with him. The bank interest is going downhill so we couldn't be any happier to conclude these financial matters at this time of the year. The downside is, in a matter of months, our hard-earned savings will all be wiped out for sure. But I guess we'll just have to bite the bullet and let tomorrow take care of itself ;)