Posts Tagged ‘real estate’

The worst kind of stress is the one where you see the end to your headaches and worry, like a light at the end of the tunnel, and then suddenly you disoriented by the sudden reappearance of blackness.

I rather feel that way tonight, as we didn’t close on the sale of our old house. We were at the closing table at the prescribed hour. Tony and I signed all the documents while waiting for the buyer to arrive. We sat waiting as G.I. Joe read. Every. Single. Loan paper. In detail. And then asked questions. (The look of horror on both Realtor’s faces and the 206 year old man began to dawdle through the documents was priceless. I even asked mine, “Are we going to be here till Tuesday?” and she said, “Probably.”)

Did I mention that Joe was late to the closing? If he hadn’t been, we might just have closed.

Sometime between the moments where WE signed and HE signed – the V.A. decided to pull the plug on the deal. Money had already been transfered to the closing attorney’s office. BUT, because the appraiser for the VA, who went back to inspect the work done to our property on MONDAY, filed a note about a few MORE repairs that he wants done, the whole deal has been stopped. The VA won’t guarantee the loan for now, and therefore we are being held hostage.

What’s the hang up? What flagrant foul is so dangerous that there will be no closing today? Three things: There’s some ivy, flaking pain and bit of rotting wood on a window frame.

I know -It’s up there with the fallout from Chernobyl. Totally. Death by nit pick. Didn’t see that one coming…

G.I. Joe – Rise of the Cheap Swindler, stars crying about how HE’s hired movers for this week, and how he’s going to have to move twice now, and how he just can’t afford that, how much he’s given already (WTF?) and could he please have occupancy, to which we were like… ?  What’s in it for us? (Other than keeping this whole deal from falling apart.)

He wanted us to let him live in the house for free. And he promised he wouldn’t sue us…


Let me sum up my feelings about Toothless Joe. When he rolled into the room (late) and we got started on the paperwork – before the deal got shot to hell and gone by a 4 o’clock email – I actually felt sorry for the guy. He said he got $200 in the mail today, and it was just such a surprise, and how it helped him out so much. I calmed myself and thought about how good my life is, about how I could just give away $50 to charity today because that charity is important, not to me, but to a friend I love dearly, and how I am young (relatively) and fit (more or less) and have a LOT of advantages. Joe is sad, and alone and old and broke-down. By 6PM, I wanted to kill that cantankerous, dip-wad chiseler, his Realtor, various inspector’s for the V.A. and one of my kids. I wasn’t too fond of the put-upon attorney either. G.I. Joe really knew how to play the bumbling pity card, and he knows that he can get everyone else to pay for anything just so this deal won’t fall apart. He got his OWN REALTOR to pay for the additional repairs the VA wants done. He’s deviously brilliant.  (Before you take his side, know this is the 4th house he has bought with a VA loan. He’s playing the system and that’s no mistake.)

So it’s shamefully true. We are willing to do anything to make sure this doesn’t fall apart – cause we ain’t never going to get a deal that sucks less that this one. I mean, what he’s trying to pay us sucks, and what we had to do to help HIM get HIS loan still chaps my ass, but it’s about the best we can hope to get from this house  this season. So we gave another pint in hopes that we can stop our financial bleeding. We agreed to an occupancy agreement, and Joe is moving in on Saturday. I have a baaaaaaad feeling about this. Real bad.

The Realtor’s think that this can all be taken care of by Monday, and we can close the deal then, and everyone get’s their hands off this flaming tar baby.  See me not holding my breath. But that hardly matters, as one way or another, the difference between here and closing Monday is one mortgage payment. And that’s just more stress than I wanted in my life tonight.


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The girls have 21st century paper dolls – these use plastic clothes that cling to the dolls by static. You with me? Think Disney Princesses with cling-on clothes. (I know – Klingon Clothes is funnier).
ANYWAY, I’m changing Saralyn’s diaper today – at the AAA office where we were getting passport photos made – and I found Cinderella’s lost slipper. Needless to say – I was no prince. I threw that S**T covered thing AWAY – after I peeled it off the right butt cheek of my own little princess. Ah, a mother’s work…
We got a contract on the little cabin in the woods. Closing on April 1. No Foolin’!

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7 Houses.

That’s how many separate properties we have made offers on over the last 18 months.

How many of those houses did we get? None.

We are back offering on the little cabin in the woods. Again. Third time. 4th Realtor.  New price. Bank owned.

Let me sum it up – we are offering the price at which the bank has listed the property. You would think this is a straight forward proposition. But, as with all banks, nothing happens fast. It takes them two weeks to post a check!  In the electronic age I expect things to move a little faster, but it seems like most bankers can’t find their asses with both hands and a flashlight when it comes to real estate.

You may recall the last go round with the little cabin in the woods. It was still a short sale then. or the first series of offers we made. Our first offer was 60K MORE than the list price is now. Yep. Banks are dumb. Whatever bank this is has screwed it’s investors out of even MORE money by being unable to accomplish either short sales – and we weren’t the only ones bidding.

But, I digress. The offer is out there and we are waiting. Waiting. Waiting….

If we don’t get a house this time – I quit. My stuff is coming out of storage and I’m getting my waffle iron and my tube pan and I’m going HOME. I am just meant to be in the house where I already am and live there.

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Weekend Recap

Thoughts, in no particular order, hence the dots.

  • Turtle in the carport. Friday – it rained cats and dogs all day. Hence the very big turtle in the car port. Eleanor got to get up close and personal while the big slowpoke waited for its mate and Noah. It rejected the parsley and moved on when we weren’t looking. It did give me a little thrill. I don’t often see wild turtles. Bambi and I debated whether there was good eating on a turtle. The reptile just ignored us.
  • New glasses and new dress. Fridays, at least every other one, is my happy fun day with Bambi. I look forward to the outing days, more than one could guess. This Friday we went to our usual pancake breakfast, where Bambi deviated and ordered French toast, and then on to the mall, usually the last place Bambi and I head toward on ANY day of the week. I had the lenses in one of my new pairs of glasses re-cut and then went to buy a new dress to wear to Dragon Con. I lost an umbrella, but gained a swanky dress and some tee shirts!
  • Aquarium. For the second Saturday in a row, the family headed out to the Georgia Aquarium. I like that place, and Tony is starting to like it, too. Eleanor is really learning about fish. She can identify the whale sharks, sea horses, hammerhead sharks, otters, saw fish, Dorry, Nemo, the rays and jelly fish.  Clever girl. She is particularly cute when she walks like a crab. (Try this – squat down with your knees far apart and walk around sideways with your hands pincering over your head.) Saralyn tried to touch the sharks and rays in the touch tank, but her arms are so short. Poor baby. Eleanor is to scared.
  • Costumes. Trish came over Sunday afternoon, and we started working on our costumes for the Time Travelers Ball at Dragon Con. We are trying very hard to re-purpose items we already have – which is philosophy part and parcel to the Steampunk Aesthetic – and the projects have been going rather well. The biggest breakthrough has been in the area of bustles. Baby. Got. Back. That’s all I’m saying.  Meanwhile, Eleanor found the pumpkin costume.  I bought this overstuffed orange suit three years ago for her, and forced her into it for two separate Halloweens. She squeezed herself into it today and wouldn’t take it off. Whatever.  Saralyn gets to wear it this year. Probably next year, too.  I’m SO getting my $20 out of this thing.
  • Several rejections. I got some nice and not so nice rejection letters this weekend. If you are counting at home, I have sent 27 queries out, and am only sure that about 5 are still alive. The rest have been rejected outright or are ignored.  I’m starting to loose hope.
  • No new chapters. I’ve gotten a great start on my new book, which I am calling Cryptid. However, I am eager to start Chapter 4.  I’ve got the chapter planned out and am really looking forward to writing it, but I’m waiting for a good time.  Why? I don’t really know. And yet I wait.  I need another good night of insomnia. Perhaps all my creative energies are heading into my costuming and my other areas of artistic interest.
  • We’ve been working out the details with our Realtor for acquiring the house we’ve called “the cabin in the woods.” It seems very promising and if it all works out – I’ll write ALL about it. We’ve been making out checks for earnest money and having the mortgage broker make good faith estimates.  Tony and I have been discussing strategy about down payments and number of years for the loan and what that means for us in terms of cash flow right now.  We’ve come down on the side of conservative choices, as we have no idea how long it will take us to sell the house we already own, a house that I will gladly take at the Zillow estimated price.
  • Speaking of Saralyn, the baking incident. Never leave a toddler alone with a 5 pound sack of All Purpose Flour and a box of Kosher salt. It was a case of “I thought YOU were watching the baby.” Huge mess. Dusty mess. And shame on me for trying to vacuum the baby. The poor girl is terrorized.

My parents have made it home from their very long journey, and we are going to see them some time tomorrow. This should be fun.

Now, what did YOU do this weekend?

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More lookie loo’s

Another Realtor called. He’s bringing another family to look at the house today! Wow! 2 in 2 days. Action is picking up!

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Yesterday, we decided to take our house off the market.  We’ve been so upset by the way things had been going.  There wasn’t a  lot of interest in our place, we’d only had a handful of lookers and one family making any offer.  And that offer sucked.  WAY sucked.  Let’s call them the HOOVER family.

The day before yesterday, the Hoover’s agent spoke to my rep, and offered a flip kind of offer.  She said her clients would take the house for $54K less than out asking price.  Which is $21K LESS than what WE paid for it 7 years ago.  $24K less than what they offered last month.

The Hoovers obviously aren’t serious about buying our house.

So, we thought, let’s just give up all hope of selling our house and just live here.  The idea of taking my stuff out of storage freaked me out.  How could I go through the agony of UNpacking all that crap I just packed up?  Unpacking it here seemed WRONG on so many levels.  Paying for a storage unit if our house isn’t on the market seemed foolish, too.

The whole concept gave me such a headache all night long.

This morning, our agent found me at work.  She said since the Hoover’s made an offer, that opened the door to us for another counter offer.  I thought about that for a while and discussed it with Mr. Tony, and we said OK, well, maybe.  Then, while I was making finger-paint turtles (so cute!) with the kids, she leaves a message on my phone asking, “So, what’s your house look like today?  An agent wants to come by and take a look.”

I laughed so hard that I went into a coughing spasm and almost wet my pants.  Beyond the fact that I have been sick for almost a month, and neither Tony or I have had a chance to clean ANYTHING in several weeks, there has never been a clearer message from the universe.  In big, friendly letters: DON’T PANIC AND TAKE THE HOUSE OFF THE MARKET TODAY.

Needless to say, I raced home after carpool and started cleaning, and went FULL tilt until the people arrived at 4PM. I parked one kid in a crib and the other in front of the TV.  Mother of the Freakin’ Year, that’s me.  I looked at how much work there was to be done, and how much energy I had, and just stated cramming things in drawers, cupboards, dishwashers, clothes washers and hampers.  If it could be glossed over, I got waxy.  If it could be hidden, I obfuscated.

But, exhaustion aside, and regardless of the potential buyers interest, my house is clean.  Or at least appears clean.  Or is cleaner than it has been for some time. I, on the other hand, have dry itchy eyes and a need for deep hibernation.

So, it’s Spring, and who knows what can happen.  We’ve really only been on the market since November, and who’s looking in the heart of Winter?  Our resolve is strengthened, and we are going to remain in the game until it sells or it kills us.

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Have you heard Obama’s plan to “help stabilize falling home prices?”  Take a minute and read it, especially if you own a home or a mortgage, and have worked very hard each month to pay for it.  Go on, I’ll wait…

…read it?  Good.

Are you as mad as I am?

Let’s just start with the fallacy that home prices have sunk $6k each.  According to Zillow.com the value of my home has fallen more than that in the LAST MONTH!  It’s LOST more than $30K in the last 24 months.   Who do they think they are fooling?

One house in 10 in my neighborhood is for sale.  Most are foreclosures.  It’s sucking every last bit of equity out of my house. So, I’m angry at the people who made such poor decisions, who bought more home than they could reasonably afford, who were fraudulent on their loan papers, who flipped and flipped and flipped their mortgages to keep taking equity out.  These people have stolen my equity. And, under this plan, they will get rewarded for crap choices with MY tax dollars:

The program also includes incentives for homeowners. Borrowers who stay current on their mortgages after a modification would be eligible for a $1,000-a-year reduction in their principal balance.

WHAT!??!?! – WAIT JUST ONE SHORT MINUTE!!!  I  – that is ME and MINE – have paid our mortgage payments ON-TIME and IN FULL every month for 11-YEARS.  Where’s my $1K reduction in principle for every year?  I could do a lot for my kids’ educations with $11K.  Oh wait, I didn’t refinance every year for 4 years taking $20K out each time.  I’m not DELINQUENT!!! Where’s MY interest rate deduction to 2%???  No.  People don’t get a hand out and a “thattaboy” for doing what is required of them.  No way.

I burns me that hardworking people who have kept their jobs and/or saved their pennies are having to cover the mistakes of people who have been fraudulent, negligent and greedy.

Tony and I gave up a lot of “right now” pleasures  in order to save money for a rainy day.  We haven’t before and still don’t live large.  We don’t even have cable.  We take little vacations when we have accumulated enough points for free hotel rooms.  We scrimped, we saved, and we didn’t believe the mortgage lenders that told us we could afford a house that was almost twice the price of the one we live in now.  We listened to financial planners who said your rent should be only 25%-29% of your monthly take home pay.

I don’t even know where to put my anger over this.

By the way, we got an offer on our house today.  The bid was 50K LESS than our asking price, and 29K less than what we paid for the house 7 years ago.  I feel like maybe I should have been flipping my mortgage, too.  I’d be way ahead today if I owed 50K more than it’s worth, because the money, theoretically, would have been in my pocket at some point, and I could have enjoyed it.  Now, it feels like it’s just… gone.

This stinking plan makes me feel like doing the right thing for all these years was just the wrong thing to do.

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