The unbelievable journey towards home ownership in North Carolina has left me absolutely gob-smacked.
So many ridiculous problems. So many ridiculous people. Some pretty
stupid none to smart people, too.
The first hurdle – finding a house. Looked at 69 houses. I can tell you the layout of a house without even go inside the front door at this point. I know where the land is too low and water pools. I know the exact mileage from any point in the county to the University and the kids school. I know where the best schools are. I know about heating, and cooling, and water tanks, and joists, joints, and the importance of ceiling fans. The ‘great room’ concept completely escapes me. Why would I want to have to keep my kitchen clean at all times because it becomes practically the focal point of the house? Not me – doors that close it off, please.
And the space issue – yes – admittedly, we require (need/want/spoiled brats) a lot of space. Two kids who fight – a boy who destroys and a girl who has a million tiny princess things that g*d forbid, the boy should even look at. Equals, two bedrooms.
Then one for us – I guess I can share with my husband! And wouldn’t it be lovely it even had a closet(!!) and a private bath!
An office for him and his gazillion tech gadgets.
A space for me and all of my hobbies (you wouldn’t compromise, would you?)
A fenced yard to keep the above mentioned children from escaping.
An attached garage so we can unload groceries just a little easier…
A nice lookin’ house – one that you are happy to drive up to.
A well-kept house – one that doesn’t scream – I am so flipping old and ugly – look away, just look away.
A house that doesn’t stink like dog, cat, or any other animal that although I am not against, I certainly don’t want to smell.
And I found it. And then some. A beautiful house. A house that is WORTH all of the absolute bull@#$# we have been through to get it. At one point, I asked if I could see it again to remind myself that yes, it is a great place. I can deal with the ridiculous problems, people, and dummies. (a spade is a spade).
Before I continue (and if you have gotten this far – congrats – because I think this more about ‘getting it out’ than informational at this time!) I shall show you a picture of the house!
Here is the front of the house from the right hand side. I wish I had a picture from the other side because it is so much prettier! But this ain’t so bad!
Here is a (short list) of the issues we have faced:
1- a Realtor who basically talks out of both sides of her mouth and has given the seller (for sale by owner) more advice than she has given me. Granted, that advice has come in the form of 8am SUNDAY morning calls so I am not that upset. But still, she’s a nutcase.
2 – We were told to pay off all of credit cards and then not use them again. OK, now, we are the type of people that pay off our balances each month and hate to pay interest. However, we do USE credit cards because otherwise, we wouldn’t be able to buy food at the end of the month because the man only gets paid once a month. So, those CC’s do come in handy. Why did we have to do this? Because our income to debt ratio was a skwinch over the acceptable percentage. Fine. Whatever. Weird! but, whatever.
2 – a rental house from ((*&* that wouldn’t answer us 1 way or the other until November 30th about whether we would have to continue paying rent if we bought this house. So even though we had made an offer to purchase on October 3rd – we didn’t even know if we should rent a truck or start packing until nearly 2 months later. With many phone calls, tears, leaky roofs, lead testing, lawyers, and negotiations.
3- a broker who was recommended by No. 1 above (need I say more) that over promises and UNDER delivers. Man, just tell me the truth. Don’t tell me everything is a ‘go’ when clearly, it is not. This is the dummy in question. I receive an email on the 30th of November (what a joyous day! both a letter releasing us from the lease in hand AND an approved mortgage!!) saying that we had been approved by the lender.
4- Apparently, our flood insurance is not the quoted $300 per year – it is $3,000 per year. Can’t afford it. Can’t buy the house. Cry. Find a new insurance agent. Back to $300. Hurah!
5- We were not actually approved by the lender. We had only passed stage 1 of what is, apparently, a FIVE stage process. I won’t go into details about that here because honestly, even I am tired of typing this up – but we were told an un-truth. WHY were we not approved through all of the stages? Because they never ran a new credit report showing that we had paid off all of the cc balances referred to in #2 above. So – we have nothing on the credit cards, about $15 bucks in the bank, and they are still counting all of those balances against us! No logic. How to argue where there is no logic?
6 – On the 13th of December – we received a call from the dummy saying that the bank needs a gazillion more dollars in downpayment before they would approve the loan. Um. What? This is when I have HAD IT! I went to the broker’s office and basically said that either we close on the 15th (WHICH HAS BEEN IN WRITING ON THE OFFER TO PURCHASE SINCE OCTOBER 3RD) through them or we would be closing through someone else. They reduced our fees significantly. The idiot (he has been downgraded from dummy) was REMOVED from our file and I would be dealing directly with the owner.
7 – Need to get another line of credit elsewhere so that we could get a gazillion more dollars.
8 – More money from Canada. Canada sure has a lot of money. Oh wait, there is none left.
9 -The original offer to purchase has now expired because we have missed closing. Need to sign a new one. Oh wait, I signed the first one with a verbal power of attorney from the man (mortgage in his name but I am doing ALL of the legwork on ALL of these parts) in front of the crazy realtor who never ever not even once said that the power of attorney would have to be drawn up by an actual attorney. She has been a realtor for 48 years (retire, lady) and didn’t know that??? So because of this – the loan is withdrawn from the bank and then put back together again and re-submitted.
10- We are now 8 days passed closing. We have been given 3 different, new, closing dates which never materialized. Like I said, if you don’t know for sure, please don’t say it is for sure! Because, for each new closing date I have had to re-schedule:
a – movers
b- carpet layers
c- time warner and all of the other utilities.
d- coordinate with the seller
e – change the appointment with the closing attorney. (more on that later).
f – cry!
g – explain to the kids that their favorite toys are still packed.
(oh and let’s not forget that during all of this we had halloween, the kids’ birthday party, channukah, trying to launch SeamedUP, and now – CHRISTMAS!)
11- We all into the full-swing of everything being closed for the holidays. So even if we get this mythical closing package from the lender (which is step 3 of 5 in case you are wondering) we cannot get to the next step – attorney because his office is closed from the 23rd through the 3rd.
12 – find a new attorney.
13 – Now we need to work around the holiday schedule of the records department because even if we ‘close’ with the attorney – it needs to be recorded before the funds are released and the seller’s can’t buy their house until they get those funds. Did I mention that the sellers had no heat for 3 days because they cancelled service because we were supposed to CLOSE?!
14 – At this very moment – I am waiting for Tuesday, the 28th of December. This has been PROMISED to be the day of reckoning. I have re-booked, once again, all of the domino’s that fell, the moving parts that stopped, and the break-down I really need to have.
And now – I will leave you with this. A few more pictures of why I have been able to survive, thus far….
The back of the house
Yup – it has an outdoor hottub
A sweet little bridge just behind our back fence (the bridge is ours to maintain and use) that runs over the sweetest, clearest little creek
And leads you to the walking trails beyond.
The sunroom. That gets a lot of sun. and is screaming for some cute.
And finally – the family room. Where I hope to spend the rest of our years watching our family grow.
I apologize for the lack of indoor shots but I haven’t a clue where they are right now!
Happy Holidays everyone.
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