Sunday, July 15, 2012

One of the things that came as a surprise to me in all this house buying stuff, was the fact that every 90 days my mortgage application expires.  That means that the $400.00 I paid for the application has to be paid again and again each time my application has to be renewed.  Normally, I guess this wouldn't be a problem if one was buying a house any other way than a "short sale". Regular house sales usually don't take more than 90 days to complete. Since I had put the offer on the house in December, the mortgage application has had to be renewed in March and in June. My real estate agency has kindly picked up the 2nd  application fee, in an endeavor to keep me from exploding into tiny pieces or perhaps to keep me from going postal on all of them.  When the application was due to expire in June, my bank was able to extend it to July 13th.  This was because there had finally been some action made by the seller's bank.  Sometime during the last week of June the sellers bank had performed their own appraisal of the house.  This, I found out later, was to be able to determine what their counter to my offer was going to be.  On July 2nd, they made their counter.  I spoke with my agent who then assured me that they would send in my counter-offer which would be $4,000.00 higher than my original offer.  Because of the July 4th holiday, she said she expected to hear something back within a few days after the holiday.  I reminded her that my mortgage application was due to expire and if we could just get them to sign off on the offer before then, my bank wouldn't require a new application.  Three guesses on whether I've heard anything at all, from anyone at all... and today is July 15th!  So, tomorrow after work, I've got to haul myself and all my current financial records back down to my bank for the umpteenth time to get a new application in.  There is a ten day wait once all the paperwork is done so even if the seller's bank agreed at this point - I'm still going to have to wait.  And, because we are so close to the end of this - either make or break, I'm not sure if my Realtor will pay the $400.00 for this application or not! 
So..... here we are, tick tock tick tock - patience is a virtue, right?  This has been my true test.  To see if I can keep my head from exploding.  Did you say that prayer for me?

Monday, July 9, 2012

In the beginning:

I started this house buying journey back in November of last year. (2011)  It started as a fluke.  A friend of mine knew someone in the "biz" and after talking about how the prices of houses had come waaaaay down, I decided to give it a look-see. I have a great job, good credit and my single mom days are pretty much behind me now that my daughter is grown up and on her own. Why not give it a try, I thought! 

I had been renting for most of my entire adult life.  "Throwing yer money away," my Grandpa had said. But for all those years of paying the landlord, I figured, what the heck? Let someone else worry about replacing the hot water heater, washer,dryer, fridge, stove,roof, toilet, electrical panel and all the other lovely items that burst,broke, melted,disintegrated,and leaked etc. I was working my tail off at three jobs and barely making ends meet as a single mom. There was no way I could afford to pay for anything extra!

There had been a time, back about 6 or 7 years ago, that I looked into buying a house.  The market had been at it's peak here on the Cape and even though I had a good job and good credit, I qualified for half a house. It was a bit disheartening. So, as time went on, I just never really gave it another thought. Until last November.  The price of houses had come down so low that even I could afford one.  I did the math, and did the research. I hemmed. I hawed.  I looked around and "voila!!" there was the house I wanted.  Problem?  I didn't know it, but the words "Short Sale" should have struck fear into my heart and put wings on my feet... run... run... run! 

And so, after the House Inspection ($500) and the Termite Inspection (free)  and the Mortgage Application ($400)  - I was ready.  I made an offer, understanding that after the owner agreed to accept the offer, it had to be approved by her bank. Both my agent and I thought - no problem, why wouldn't the BANK want someone qualified to take over?  The current owner hadn't been able to keep up with mortgage payments, owed more than what the house was worth.  The bank would JUMP at the chance to get someone in the house to continue sending them money.  After all, weren't they taking it on the chin - with all the other empty houses and delinquent mortgage payments?

Little did I know..... if I didn't have the best landlord in the history of landlords... I'd be living in one of these right now!
The saga continues......

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Sometimes it's difficult to make a change... we are creatures of habit, we thrive within the sameness of our days for the most part.  Occasionally we like to shake things up a bit, but as I grow older I find it much harder to take that leap of faith... into the unknown.  I wrap the sameness of my circumstances, (my home, my job, my relationships) around me like a warm familiar blanket... and I am comfortable.

 I write this as a precursor - for there may be a change coming in the near future for me. A good change, I hope. Nevertheless, I am squirmy, nervous, uncomfortable, stressed, and terrified.  Can you guess what is going to change for me?  Ayup, it's HOME OWNERSHIP! 

I decided to start a informal journal, so to speak, of my adventures in acquiring and hopefully "owning" my first home.  Little by little, I hope to share with you the challenges, the humor, the joy, the terrifying awfulness of taking that "leap of faith" into the deep waters of financial burden and distinct personal satisfaction.  Bear with me folks.  I think it's going to be a hellava dive!

Monday, June 18, 2012