Monday, September 16, 2013

Homeownership - It's Official

 I have promised several people a recap of how our home purchasing process went, so here it is.  Now please remember that my feelings today are much different than they were the day we closed and the day we made our initial offer.  I have written and revised this post as my feelings and emotions changed, because it is better for all involved (mostly the damn banks).  

In July of 2012, a house came on the market in our dream neighborhood, it was big and had room to host family dinners, plus a two car garage, and less than an hour from my parents! It was a little out of our price range, but we kept our eye on it for several weeks.  

September 2012, our world came crashing down and I was in no place to look at houses, I just wasn't ready to move on.  Thankfully my awesome husband understood and we put things on hold. 

November 2012 - We decided we were ready, and began the pre-approval process for a mortgage, found a realtor in our area, and started to look.  Oh lord, did we look at some winners and some losers.  A few met every "cute" requirement but were impractical.  One was very safe (read: you looked at the police station from the front door), but had nothing else going for it.  No rush though, we had no home to sell and the timeline for leaving the rental was very flexible. 

December 1, 2012 - Kevin and I came home early from a weekend trip because the dream house was back on the market, and somehow within our price range.  Kevin had seen it pop up online, and while we were out of town my awesome cousin drove up to write down the agent's information so we could send it to our realtor. At the time, we didn't know it was a short sale, just that we were going to tour it on the first day back-on the market (with a new bank). The tour wasn't long, another couple came in just after us, and it was less than 24 hours before Kevin and I had costed out repairs, upgrades, and what we could afford.  Oh yes, we wanted this house - and badly.

December 3 - We put in an official offer with what seemed like a billion dollar deposit, every piece of paper I've ever touched, and finalized mortgage approval.  And then, we waited.  and waited. and waited.  It only took 4 days for the owners to accept our offer, and we thought we were done with the hard part.  Try again Jess, this was just the beginning. 

December 7 - May 1 - Yes, that would be 5 months of waiting, form completing, and wishing I could strangle BofA.  I've never had such strong feelings for a bank like I did during this process, but oh good lord.  Even after being approved by our bank and our agents bank, BofA had their own approval process that Kevin and I had to meet.  After e-signing almost 40 documents, the bank then decided that for 2013, they were no longer accepting e-signs and Kevin and I had 24 hours to physically sign the documents and fed-ex them to California.  That might work for normal people, but remember I work days, my husband works nights, and I think our Real Estate Agent was ready to throw us overboard.  About once a week (or more), BofA would need us to read and sign something.  And then send it back within 24 hours.  Some things I understood, others seemed frivolous and confusing.  Just sell us the house, we know it's vacant, we know you don't want to own it! Cue, frustration - tears - anger - and disappointment.

May 1 - We finally get a settlement date, all of the paperwork is signed, and Kevin and I are headed to Home Depot.  You see, we had only given ourselves about 2 weeks from our May 17 settlement date to our move-in date of 5/25.  That meant we needed to order and get the carpet measured right away.  Carpet is measured and ordered within 24 hours, and the order is also placed for two new french doors to replace the rotting ones that don't really lock (oh yeah, this house was a real winner).

May 16 - we are supposed to close tomorrow - I am mostly packed at the townhouse, parents and family are ready to help, and my phone rings.  The owners and their agent missed a portion of some document that stated they needed to bring $5,000 to closing.  They don't have $5,000 - we aren't closing tomorrow and BofA is considering walking away.  This means Kevin and I have spent 5 months planning for this house, we are packed and ready to move, we bought carpet and doors, and might lose this house.  How is it fair that we might lose the house because the seller's agent didn't read properly?! Our agent attempts to find a middle ground - Can she pitch in the money; Can Kevin and I split the cost with her; something.  Did we really want to spend another five thousand dollars, no - but we also weren't sure that five thousand dollars was worth walking away over.  Not that there was much time, BofA gave us 24 hours. Commence an exhausting, stressful, and sleepless night.  

May 17 - We aren't closing today, but they have moved closing to next Tuesday, the 21st.  Well - I don't get my hopes up this time, and we enjoy the weekend with family.  Except every time I see something in my parent's house, I think - Oh that would look so cute above the door in the new house, Ugh.  Maybe, if we have a new house?

May 21 - The good news is, our phones didn't ring last night and we haven't been cancelled yet.  Except our agent is out of town on vacation, so who the hell knows what is going on.  But seriously, it happens.  We get the keys, sign our lives away, and head for home.  Head for home at 2pm, and Kevin has to leave for work at 2:30.  Oh yes, let the joys of second shift home ownership begin.

*whew - if you made it all the way to the end, you are a saint. *

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