Monday, June 3, 2013

Months of Stress

A couple months ago, I was hinting at some things that were going on that I couldn't talk about yet that had to do with my goals. One of them is still a 'no-no' for now (just wait about 6 more weeks! No, I'm not pregnant), but the other, I'm going to share with you today.

Tim and I are currently looking to buy a house! I'm very excited because it's always been a goal of mine to own my own home. We've been renting together for over five years and I hate that we're just throwing that money away. When we moved to our current city and got settled, I realized that I love my job and the proximity to all of our family, and Tim has a great job too. We originally told ourselves when we moved down here that we were going to stay in our rental for two years to build up our savings and not have to pack everything up and move again so soon (I hate moving!). Well, this winter, Tim and I started getting a little antsy. We started looking at homes online and we soon realized that we could be spending much less on a mortgage than what we are paying for rent! So in February, we went into the bank and talked to the mortgage lender and found out our pre-approval amount. Our mortgage guy, Dennis (he's awesome!), set us up with a realtor, Sandy, who's been wonderful!!

In February and March, we started to look at a few homes with Sandy. We assumed that we were just going to see what our price range could get us, not expecting to find anything yet, just because our lease isn't up on our rental until August 1st. We talked with Sandy about finding something and putting an offer in in May or June, which would be perfect timing to get out of our rental. Well of course, things never go according to plan, do they?!

We ended up finding a home that we really liked. It needed cosmetic updating on the inside, but it had a wonderful lot and was in the area we wanted. We put our offer in March 17th, and it was finally accepted on the 22nd. We soon realized, that the seller of the house moved at a very slow pace - he inherited the house as an Estate and lives in KY. The seller agreed to our low offer (because it needed lots of work), but he said he would not fix anything in the home. We agreed since Tim is such a handy man, plus we didn't see any major issues in the home that we couldn't do ourselves.

When we were looking at the home, we did notice that there was a 'too-green' patch of grass in the backyard and thought it might have to do with the septic tank. The home inspector didn't know much about septics, so he recommended that we have a separate inspection done on it. So we had a septic inspector come out and we learned that the septic was full and most likely backing up into the pipes and into the yard. They were going to have to do a soil test to determine what repairs needed to be done, ranging from $4,000-$8,000. We approached our realtor about all of this and she suggested writing a letter to the seller about covering the cost of the septic repair - since this was a major expense and something that had to be done whether we bought the house or not. After about two weeks (again, the seller moves VERY slowly! Returns phone calls on his time....ugh!) he finally agreed to pay for the soil test and whatever the repair costs were going to be. Yay! The soil test revealed that the more expensive repairs ($7,500) were going to have to be done. I was really glad that we caught that before closing and moving in!

As we approached our closing date (April 29th), the listing agent on the house sent the seller his closing documents to sign and return. Of course, he didn't. Did I mention this guy works on his own time?! On April 29th, both Tim and I took off of work to do our final walk-through of the home and go to the title company to sign papers and get the keys. While we were doing our final walk-through, the listing agent & attorney (of the estate) called to tell us that his paperwork was not in. We were pissed! We set a closing date for a reason! We were not allowed to fill out any of our paperwork or get the keys to the house until we had his paperwork in first. By the end of the week, his signed paperwork finally arrived and I was told we were closing that afternoon! I got all excited and was preparing to go there as soon as I got off of work. As soon as I was leaving, I noticed I had a voicemail from Dennis, mortgage guy, saying, "Don't go the the title company, we aren't closing today." It was like this for a week straight! Telling me we were going to close, then realizing we couldn't - it was so frustrating and stressful!

Turns out, the seller owed money at closing (the septic money + his closing costs = ~$8,000). When he found that out, he stopped answering and returning everyone's phone calls.....and here we are today, still without anyone hearing from him in weeks! It's like he just fell off the face of the Earth. No one knew what to do - the attorney, realtors, mortgage lender - no one had ever been in a situation like this before. We waited him out for a month past the closing date because we really wanted that house! We already started making plans for remodel, bought furniture and started looking at materials for remodeling the rooms. We signed an extension of our contract through June 1st, but that really didn't mean anything because the seller never signed it.

The week before Memorial Day, we finally decided that we should probably start looking at other homes, just in case this one fell through. I was determined to wait this guy out, but it's just getting to be way too stressful. We widened our search to include fixers that we can flip over a few years and hopefully make a profit when we go to sell. Last week, we decided enough is enough. We are currently in the process of voiding the contract and getting our Earnest money back. We lost out on the cost of both inspections, but there's really nothing we can do about that. Tim and I went to look at another house, for the second time, yesterday and as soon as we know that we are no longer tied to the first house, I think we're going to make an offer on this other one.

Tim's moved on already and ready for this next project, but it's been a lot harder on me. I was picturing us growing our family in that home and living there for a long time! I'll just have to deal with it though, there's nothing we can do about it. What's frustrating to me is how rude and disrespectful this seller was! Someone also messed up along the way...the seller found out that he owed money at closing a week after our scheduled closing date! He should have known that weeks before we closed!

Anyway, I can sit here and play the blame game, but that's not going to get me anywhere but more frustrated. We are moving on. We will find a home for us. Everyone says your first home buying experience is supposed to be so happy and fun. Ours has been a little more stressful than most, but I still think that everything happens for a reason. I have absolutely no idea why we're going through all of this right now, but I hope that down the road I can look back and see why it just wasn't meant to be. Congratulations on making it through this entire post, I hope I didn't confuse and bore you to death! I couldn't wait for the day to say on here the we were homeowners, that's why I was holding off on it all, but it didn't turn out the way I expected. Hopefully we'll get there before August 1st!


  1. "Everyone says your first home buying experience is supposed to be so happy and fun." Huh? You've been talking to the wrong people! From personal experience, and that of the folks I know, buying your first home, and every home after that, is OFTEN stressful and nerve-wracking! Sounds like you hit a particularly rough patch with this deal, but truly, bumps in the road are to be expected. With your super realtor, mortgage guy, and handyman/husband all at the ready, I'm sure the right home for you will turn up in the near future. Good luck!

  2. Ugh! How absolutely frustrating. We have been house hunting for a month or so and I am over it already! Hopefully a better house is out there waiting for you and you find it quickly!