Before we were married my husband and I moved into a little cottage on a lot that was equally woods and field. The house was a little ramshackle and the yard overgrown, but we loved it and we cared for it and made it our own. We rented from a family friend of Turi's with the understanding that we would be offered to buy it below market value when the owner was ready to sell it one day. Mean while three years pass; we have weathered a hurricane cutting up 30 trees that fell during it, replaced the crumbling front steps and patio with a new deck and made the interior livable. We also started a family and quickly realized one bedroom wasn't enough.
So in March we started looking at houses to see what was available. At the end of April our landlady informed us she was going to sell the house the following spring, listing it above what it was worth and well above our price range. So we started house hunting. And it was exciting
Our hunt became a comedy, we saw houses with no floors, houses with no roofs, houses with no septic tanks or water hook ups. We knew we were looking at fixer-uppers, we knew we were going to have to put a little sweat equity in and that this was never going to be our dream house. But we thought we would be able to find something with 3 bedrooms and a garage. We did, it was lovely; a passive solar house with and acre of land three bedrooms plus a finished basement and an amazing sunroom. We were out bid. We try again, look at more homes. And find a beautiful 1800's home with three bedrooms, a huge attic, and half an acre of land that backs up to a small river. And it was taken off the market the day we put an offer in. I lost track after seeing our 45th house. We made no plans for the summer, just in case we would be closing and working on our house. We didn't take our beloved yearly vacation. We didn't plant a garden. And we didn't find a house. My excitement has turned into disappointment.
August comes along and our landlady tells us she has sold our cottage and that we have to move out by October 31st. Panic sets in.
We still had no house. And so we continue looking. In fact we see one house for the third time. It was at the top our our budget before we even thought about remodeling, the taxes were high and it had no kitchen and very little yard. But we both loved the house, it had enough rooms and a garage. It also had a roof, and was hooked up to water and sewage. We were running out of time and options. So we thought about it, prayed about it, and crunched the numbers. We put together a low ball off, hey it had been on the market for over a year, might as well try. And that day, it goes to auction. Now I am just frustrated.
Turns out it is an online auction, like eBay for houses, and we can still take out the style of mortgage we were planning on. And the opening bid is way less than our original offer. Great. So we wait. Then we bid. Then we wait again until someone out bids us. Then on the last day of auction we get into a biding war. We place our last bid, the auction ends and it looked like our bid didn't make the dead line. Shortly after Turi gets an email... we are the highest bidder. We won. We have a house. But wait, the reserve was not met, the seller can still reject our offer. And so we wait again.
We finally hear back from the seller. The house is ours, we have to close within 45 day. We do a happy dance, sign our contract and FedEx a deposit. 45 days is not a problem, we have a mortgage guy ready to go, we have the paper work ready and we need to move in before that anyways. I'm starting to get exciting again.
Days go by, then a few weeks. We find out our mortgage requires a licensed contractor to do all the repairs. We can't find a contractor. Then we learn we can't move in until all the work is completed. We still can't find a contractor. I check in with our mortgage guy, he is sitting on our paper work. Oh, he won't even start the filing process until we have a contractor. We have a meeting with a HUD inspector, we finally find a contractor, our mortgage guy still hasn't filed our papers. I am so frustrated by now.
He finally files them. And we have to wait again.
It's mid October, we start packing and looking for a place to stay for a few weeks while we finish rehabbing our house. We are still being told that it shouldn't be too long. But just incase we found a short term rental and the biggest storage unit I can find. Our intrim rental is scary, like hasn't been cleaned in years, leaking pipes, windows falling out of their casings, scary. We have no choice, so we move our bare essentials into the 400 square feet of the most inhabitable part. And our relator files for an extension on our closing date, because our mortgage guy is still sitting on our paper work. Now I'm really scared.
We are assured that we will be able to close by Thanksgiving. Our loan was finally approved. We had to talk to their closer about a few final things, but we'd close by Thanksgiving. Two weeks later our mortgage guy still hasn't sent our paperwork to the closer. We file for another closing date extension. Our paperwork finally gets transferred, we get insurance, we file more papers and we have to wait 10 days. But WE GET A CLOSING DATE. Thanksgiving happens and everything seems to be back on track if delayed a bit. I am starting to feel grateful.
Come to find out everyone on our team missed the fact that there was an extra fee, equal to a commission payable to the auction company at closing. Our closing date is cancelled. So I spend a very tens evening verbally giving our mortgage guy what fore; he forfeits his commission and applies it to the fee. And after less than pleasant afternoon lawyering our lawyer, she goes and gets the auction company to decrease their fee. We scramble to make up the difference. Our closing date is rescheduled. I think there may be a new permanent knot in my stomach.
The day before our closing they find out their is still a lien on the property. Our lawyer takes care of this before even telling us. Apparently she was scared to tell me. And the morning of our closing our realtor possibly bribed the fire chief to come do an inspection she was originally told was not needed. I'm so glad I didn't know about either of these things until they were taken care of. We do our final walk through and go to closing.
At the office we were met by our realtor and a closing agent from the title company. No one from the sellers side, no one from our mortgage company, and not even our lawyer. This seemed odd. We were told to bring our I.D.'s and a check book. First thing the title company asked for was a bank check. A certified bank check. For the entire amount of our closing costs. It's only 3;30 pm and our bank is down the street. So I go to the bank and Turi starts signing (he had more papers to sign).
Finally. Finally we have keys in our hands.
We still have to go through the rehab process, and our contractor is not ready to start. And we are still living is a scary rental. But we own a house.
This has been a nine month process, and I very much feel like I'm at that point in a pregnancy were I have passed my due date and I just want to go into labor and be done with it.