Last September, we found a new house.
Getting it has been a long, trying battle, and almost no one knew what we were going through until now.
I kept a digital journal of short posts to remember all everything that we were dealing with, and this week I’m sharing it with you. You can read yesterday’s post right here.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Still no word from our bank on our ability to get a loan (it might be 5+ more days) but we scheduled an appointment with our realtor and a recommended plumber to assess the condition of the home. The seller’s bank still has not been of much help in giving us information about the state of the property.
A lot of the copper plumbing had been stolen while the house sat vacant. There were holes punched in the walls and basement ceilings to get access to it. The plumber did this inspection for us at no cost; I was a little surprised by this but then again, most contractors will come and quote your project for free. This guy happened to think it wouldn’t cost that much to make the repairs, and even gave us a lot of free advice about the pool heating and plumbing, which we hadn’t even begun to focus on. The pool needs a lot of work, probably a new filter and plumbing at the least, but it’s holding water and I think that says a lot.
I took about 4,000,000 photos of the house in its current condition for documentation, and for us to look back on. I’m not sure I can share them on the blog before we actually occupy the house. That’s a gray area, right?
Monday, October 15, 2012
The bank is still working on our case. The team we have working for us still doesn’t know if we’re approved, we’re barely approvable if at all. This is especially frustrating considering how much money we actually have saved and plan to contribute for a downpayment (it is more money than I have ever had, times a lot). We couldn’t be doing this at all if we hadn’t been saving very conservatively for as many months as we’ve been.
I’m flashing back to when I tried to close on my current house and, because some admin was on vacation, I had to wait until the morning of closing to learn, for sure, that I would be closing that day. I hate stress.
Friday, October 19, 2012
Our bank called to tell us that we were qualified for a mortgage, and that we should have it in writing by Monday or Tuesday. CAN’T BELIEVE IT. We’re so attached to the idea that we’re getting this house, that it’s now hard to imagine not having it. We’re hoping to have an offer written up as soon as possible. I’m going to go throw up now.
Saturday, October 20, 2012
We were in the middle of building our wedding tables this morning when the realtor called to tell us that the price on the house dropped. By $30K. HOLY SHIT. And here we were, preparing ourselves to make an offer close to their original list price.
We went into his office this afternoon to draft an offer so that we were prepared to submit it soon as the bank sent us our commitment. Our realtor recommended we go in low – significantly lower than the list price – because there was still a LOT of work to be done on the house…
My fingernails are stubbs.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Commitment letter from the bank is in! Our offer was officially submitted! It is an extremely low offer given the house’s potential, and we’re expecting a counter. We did ask for a closing the week of 12/24, which is also the week of our wedding. Could things be crazier?
The bank sent us a long list of things it needs us to prove before we close: personal letters detailing our 2012 income balance sheet (without direct deposits, we basically only have our record of invoices and bank accounts to prove our income, and they need to know how our year has been pacing), letters acknowledging Pete’s residential history (no idea why), a personal letter acknowledging his child support obligations, copies of dozens of pages of divorce paperwork, a personal letter to explain outstanding debts on his credit report that were not his so they wouldn’t affect our debt-to-income ratio (yes, that can happen, divorced people beware, sometimes it takes a long time for things to be cleared on your credit report, and those things can haunt both of you for many years), and even more stuff, I’m surprised they didn’t ask for Cody’s immunization paperwork. When you’re in a tricky mortgage situation, they want to know everything about you. It’s paralyzing and feels super intrusive.
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
We drove to the house this morning to see if it suffered any damage from Hurricane Sandy. With all of the rain, we bet that the basement is a mess, but all of the trees, including the ones with large dead limbs, appear to be OK. Lots of down twigs and small branches. There were deer everywhere. There are always deer everywhere at this place.
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Our offer was countered by the seller! And they only asked for $10K more! We were expecting a counter of $30K more! This is amazing! We accepted the counteroffer!
Our offer still needs to be approved by the bank, because it’s a short-sale bank-owned property. I’m still really confused about why our offer needed to be selected and approved by the homeowner overseas anyways… but it was. ???
Beer to celebrate.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
We still don’t have an approved deal because the seller hasn’t signed the final paperwork agreeing to the counteroffer he presented us. It was only an email or verbal approval to his realtor. He hasn’t faxed back anything with a signature that would be legally binding.
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
The seller’s agent received the signed paperwork confirming our contract. This is good news! Took long enough. At least the contract can be submitted to the seller’s bank for short-sale approval. The offer has to actually be approved by the bank, because they’re the ones taking a blow on the property’s value and outstanding mortgage they’ve been carrying. We don’t know whether to expect pushback from them or not (I think they could counter us and get us to pay even more).
Thursday, November 22, 2012 (Thanksgiving)
The house has been listed for over a month at its significantly reduced price, and we learned today that many other offers have come in. We hoped this wouldn’t happen, but the new price made it SO CHEAP that we expected it to be overrun with sleazy flippers. Unfortunately (impossibly?) we learned that the seller accepted an offer that was higher than our offer without giving us a chance to counter again. Yes, the signed agreement that we waited on for nearly a month was just tossed aside.
We countered our offer voluntarily, and came up $37K from our agreed upon amount. Holy hell, it does not feel good to change our offer that dramatically after getting used to the idea of having a super low mortgage. This counter is closer to the listed price that was on the house when we first fell in love with it, and about $17K more than the current low-list price. YOWZA, we’re talking about a lot of money, and we are not wealthy folks. We only went as high because the seller’s agent slipped and told our realtor a little detail that spelled out how much the highest bid was. We really want it this, so we tried to beat the highest offer.
All offers made go to the bank for approval. The seller is not the final decision maker. We learned that it really can take months for banks dealing with short sales to make a decision. MONTHS. LIKE, SIX OR EIGHT SOMETIMES. The waiting game is on. We’re getting married in one month.
More tomorrow. My brain is hurting as I re-read through these entries. We struggled so much to get to this point.
Read the next installment of our story right here.