First, the good news; I finally got a closing date. Closing is set for 1:00pm Jan 18th. I have to call to set up an appointment for my final walk through. Really, that's just to choose a time, because the builder has said it should be on Jan 14.
I've also switched lenders. See the page on TBI mortgage to understand my experience with TBI Mortgage, but a long story made short is TBI would never quote me a correct rate (and they had two good faith estimates to do so), and it was difficult to get a hold of people in a timely manner, so last Friday I shopped. I went with Waterstone Mortgage and got a rate of 3.5%. I am extremely glad that Toll doesn't force you to use their lender, because otherwise I would have to say I'm having a negative experience, but since I was able to switch lenders, I'm able to rate the actual builder highly thus far.
My new lender has taken the time to fully optimize my scenario to use all of the builder's incentive money, AND my realtor's rebate fully. I will cap out on the amount of closing cost I can have, so the lender has told me to have the builder use 7k of the incentive money to lower the house price (which the builder has already agreed to do when I first told them this situation may happen). That 7k lower house cost will in turn lower my down payment and the portion of closing costs (taxes) that are a percentage of the house price. None of TBI's calculations maximized my 3rd party money.
Finally, a bit more good news. I purchased my homeowner's insurance, and it is significantly less than what either TBI or my new lender estimated, $498 a year as opposed to $1200. This reduces my closing costs by $1668 since I've already paid for the first year ($1200 in the estimates), and I have to put 8 months of insurance cost in escrow ($468). It also reduces my monthly payment by 58.50
I'm getting pretty excited. The house is practically done. In fact, Toll told my lender that the appraisal can take place on or after Dec 26. Kind of makes me wonder why the builder set closing for 23 days after that point... even why the final walk through isn't until 18 days later. Seems to me that nothing is being done during those 3 work weeks (5 day). At the very least you'd think they'd move up the date to make the final punch list so that they'd have more than 5 days to fix any outstanding issues. I'm probably just being impatient, and the house won't just be sitting there with nothing going on for 18 days, so we'll see.