Saturday, April 21, 2007

Inspector Update

Ok I just got off the phone with Natalie. The problem isn't that Eddie isn't licenced. He had a situation with getting his Workman's comp and liability insurance straightened out. He sent in the payment as of the end of March but never got the appropriate paperwork back to show that he is in fact bonded.

Apparently he just hasn't taken the time to get everything worked out yet. Natalie talked to her realtor friend that recommended him and she said that she has used Eddie for over 10 years and nothing like this has ever happened. She also said that he does the best work she has ever seen and she wouldn't eve begin to know who else to recommend.

So he is supposed to go first thing Monday morning and get this straightened out. If he doesn't then Natalie and, surprisingly, the seller's realtor has already called around to get it set up to use someone else. The only problem with that is, that we will have to go back and redo the codicil in the contract for the work to say that the new contractor is doing the work instead of Eddie which means we may not get the work even started until Wed at the soonest. Hopefully, Eddie can get this bonded issue worked out so we can just move forward with him.

I actually do understand where the sellers are coming from with this. I can't really go into any details to protect their privacy but they have been through absolute hell and after what they went through I can totally understand why they would want to take every precaution to ensure they are covering their butts on everything.

To be honest, I think the fact that we know the sellers has made this thing much more difficult than if we didn't. J. works with them everyday. Both the husband and his wife, while friends, are still his bosses which makes it hard. But even worse is knowing their situation. Anyone that knew what happened there would be a total bastard if they didn't have complete sympathy and compassion for what they are going through.

In fact, that's the main reason I have only complained about their realtor here. They have just been through so much I don't feel good about adding to their problems. This causes problems though, because I just don't see how we are going to get everything done for an April 30th close date. I think it will be at least a week later.

I am also worried about the VA Appraiser. He informed Natalie that the work on the house has to be done no later than May 2nd. He is leaving town on May 4th for something like 3 weeks. We could request another Appraiser to come out and review the work to sign off on it but that's a really bad idea as a new Appraiser might be even more picky than this one has been and come up with another list of things that just HAVE to be taken care of that in reality don't.

LOL I have to admit, when this thing is over, it would take ALOT for me to go through this again. The stress is just incredible. At times I wonder if it is really worth it but then I think of the house and how happy we are going to be there. The fact that we will be working, finally, towards owning a home of our own, that we can paint the walls hot pink if we want to (and unfortunately my daughter does *bleh*), and how much fun its going to be to do the remodel and make the house into what we want it to be.

Well, have a great day! I am going to go hang out at EN and IAFF to take my mind off what I can't help so maybe I will see you there!

Inspector Update

Sorry double posted somehow.

Friday, April 20, 2007

What Next?

Well supposedly now the reason the sellers won't sign off on the deal so we can get this done and close on time is because they found out that our guy that was going to do the repairs isn't licenced which I don't understand. Natalie is trying to get this mess straightened out right now, hopefully it was a misunderstanding on the sellers part and not Natalie's mistake.

We have been relying heavily on Natalie's expertise as she has been doing this for well over 20 years and came heavily recommended. I just can't believe that something like this slipped by her which makes me think with all the procrastinations, screw ups, and stupid mistakes the sellers realtor has made since day one of this deal that this is yet another stalling tactic.

Ok I understand that there is a situation with the title that they have to address but the house is going to be foreclosed on if they don't sell it soon. What are they doing with all these delays and backpedals? We want the house, we love the house, we are busting our asses to accommodate them because their situation is so horrible but this is ridiculous. How the heck did Casey manage to buy 8 in so short a time? We can't even swing one it seems.

All right, end rant, hopefully there will be better news to report within the next couple of hours but if the sellers are right and our guy does not have the appropriate licencing then we really are going to be down to the wire on getting everything done in time for closing. To be honest I am worried that we won't be able to get it done.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

$825 More Out Of Pocket

The seller finally sent back the paperwork today but I don't know how I feel about this new development. On top of us raising the sales price on the house $600 to help with the repairs the VA is requiring they wanted $825 more in earnest money in addition to the $500 we already put down. The estimate for the repairs is $1325.

To make matters worse, the way their realtor worded the new codicil to the contract is that if for ANY reason we don't close on the 30th we lose all of our earnest money. Well Natalie wasn't about to let that go so we countered yet again saying that if we can't close on the 30th because it is the buyers (our) fault we lose the earnest money. Which once again leaves us waiting on their realtor but we just couldn't chance losing everything considering the penchant for procrastinating that their realtor has.

The other strange thing is that even though the seller will be paying for the repairs they are leaving it to us to hire the guy to get the work done. Natalie loves this though because she has already got everything set up and ready to go the second we get the papers back from the seller. The guy that's doing the work (Eddie) is the same one that did our inspections. Eddie also did the new cost estimate for the work required by the VA and he said that he can get in there and get this done with his men in 2 days. He said that if we can get the go ahead by Saturday that he will be there Sunday and have it finished by Monday evening.

We are crossing our fingers that their realtor doesn't drag his feet for once and gets the sellers in there tomorrow while they are off work to get this taken care of. As it is everything is going to be close because even if Eddie and his guys get it done by Monday we will still have to get the VA Appraiser back out by the end of next week to approve the work and sign off on it.

I think I am going to call Natalie in the morning and see what kind of time line we are looking at here and what is left on our end to do after we get the VA back out. If there is anything else I am worried we just won't get it all done in time.

I can't wait until this thing is done. I am not used to being so stressed and worried. I swear I am not normally this negative, in fact I am usually very positive. LOL Speaking of positive, on a positive note, I have lost almost 10 pounds in the last 3 weeks because of the stress and I can definitely stand to lose it! *wink*

Well, hopefully I will have another post early tomorrow thrilled about the fact that the sellers actually did something in a timely manner for once. Here's keeping my fingers crossed until tomorrow!

Have a good evening all!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Are We Making A Mistake?

We love the house, it is easily within our price range, and is in the school district we want our children to grow up in. However, since I discovered the fact that we were on the edge of a housing crisis the like our country has never seen back in September when I stumbled on the Casey Serin story in USA Today I have been concerned about buying a home.

We aren't investors. We aren't out to get rich out of the deal. We just want a place of our own to raise our kids in and to be honest a place to call our own.

I don't claim to be an expert on the housing bubble, in fact I probably just know enough to be dangerous LOL but what I do know is enough to scare the hell out of me. J. thinks my concerns are ridiculous. He feels like Oklahoma escaped the bubble for the most part (all though I doubt he's ever delved more into it than what USA Today has to say about it) and that I am worried over nothing.

He says his job is stable, our loan is within our price range, and that it is way past time we bought a home. Well, I truly hope he's right but I can't quite quell the fears that we could be making a terrible mistake. He does have a great job with incredible stability (people only leave when they retire for the most part), we have gone over the numbers on how much house we can afford so many times he gets pretty irritated if I even bring up going over them again, and he is 35 and I am 33 so we really do need to buy if we are going to. If we didn't pay any extra on the loan (we are planning on making at the very least 2 extra payments a year) that means this thing won't be paid off until J. retires so he does have a point.

Of course all this is probably moot considering how deep we are into the purchase but I thought I would share my concerns here and see if anyone has any thoughts on the subject of buying right now.

So any advice? Am I overreacting? Or are my fears valid?

Va Appraisal Requirements Update

I talked to Natalie this morning. The seller's realtor finally called her this morning on her way to work. He said that the sellers thought everything sounded fine but that they would be in tomorrow afternoon to look everything over and sign the addendum.

She also asked him if the sellers would be adverse to using the guy we used for our inspections and the updated cost estimate to do the work. He said that's fine so she went ahead and called Eddie (our inspector) and he said once he has the ok to get in there, they can have everything done in about 2 days.

Natalie did say that she is starting to have some concerns that we may not be able to close on the 30th. We have to get the repairs finished and the VA Appraiser back out to approve them in 12 days. I don't think this would be an issue except for waiting around to get the ok from the seller's realtor.

There is also an issue with the title that the sellers have to take care of before we can close. Thankfully though, we have a codicil in the contract stating that any delays in closing on the seller's behalf that it would be their responsibility to pay any interest or fees.

I just now thought of something, could it be a delay tactic on the seller's Realtors part to give them more time on sorting out the title that is causing him to take days and now over a week to handle any issue that comes up? The reason I say this is that when we have had an issue we get the information to him that day, usually within hours of discovery. Yet every step of the way the sale has been held up by the seller's realtor. Not the seller, their realtor, because once he does inform them of whats going on they are pretty timely in responding to the situation.

I just don't understand how it could possibly take over a week to make a phone call informing the seller's that there was a problem with the VA Appraisal. He told Natalie that he finally called them about this yesterday evening. The only reason the sellers aren't coming in today to look over and sign the addendum is because they are working (they work 12 hour shifts) and their realtor will be home for the day by the time they get off work.

Natalie keeps telling us that this realtor just does things differently than she does but it is irritating that we keep getting held up because of this. I wonder if the sellers are aware of whats going on? And if so, I wonder how they feel about it?

How would you feel if it took a week for your realtor to make a simple phone call to inform you about the VA Appraisal? How would you deal with it if you were the seller? What about if you were in our place as the buyers? Is there anything we can do since he is not our agent?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

What A Day!

Well, first off the news about the house. I talked to Natalie today and she still hadn't heard anything from the seller's realtor but we did discuss the details of the addendum to the contract, the updated estimate, and the letter from the VA Appraiser approving the removal of the rear hot water heater and installation of a tankless one in more depth than we did on Friday.

With the mortgage company's approval we raised the offer on the house to the VA's Appraisal amount from $119,900 to $120,500 to offset the sellers out of pocket expenses for the repairs. This is only going to raise our monthly payment by about $3, which isn't any big deal (especially since we are getting such a great rate on our home insurance).

The new more realistic estimate is still higher than it needs to be (for instance, they are estimating it costing $50 for 2 smoke alarms) but at $1325 its still ridiculously lower than what the VA estimated. Hopefully the new estimate won't freak out the sellers like the old one would have.

The good news is that as long as the sellers agree to go ahead with the necessary repairs and the final cost stays within the range of the estimate we will still be able to close without bringing any money to the table because our earnest money and appraisal fee will cover what the extra $600 from the sale price doesn't.

I am keeping my fingers crossed because we would really like to use the money we have saved to work on the house before we move in. If we have to come to closing with cash it won't be the end of the world though. We just save up again and do things slowly.

Now that I have updated everyone about the house, I have to say all my fears about starting work today were completely unfounded. Tim is a wonderful, patient, kind boss, the work is really easy to get the hang of, and I honestly think I am going to love it once I get settled in.

We got to go over my position, pay and potential growth in the company more thoroughly. Yes, I am only starting out at $8 an hour for 2 days a week but I think Tim is hoping to have me up to full time by the end of summer as well as sending me to class to get my license to give insurance quotes before that.

One of my main responsibilities will be to help increase his business by calling his current clients and inquiring as to whether they would be interested in upgrading their insurance. For every customer that decides to upgrade (add auto to their homeowners for instance) he is going to give me a bonus on my check. If anyone comes to him as a new customer and says that I referred them I will also get a bonus.

He also informed me that once I get up to 30 hours a week or more he will help me start investing in a 401k and will match my contribution up to 3%. The idea of actually having a retirement plan on myself is so foreign to me. I am so used to worrying about whether or not J.'s 401k is going to be enough to support us at retirement age it never occurred to me that I might be in a position that will allow me to contribute to our golden years.

The whole day just flew by and it felt so great to just be out in the world again. I don't even remember the last time I got to spend time outside of the home with other adults where kids weren't the main topic of conversation! LOL

So even though we still haven't heard which way the sellers are leaning I still feel incredible about my day. I hope you all had one as wonderful as mine!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

News I Didn't Get To Mention

First off, still no news from Natalie about whether or not the Seller's agent has spoken to them about the VA Appraisal.

We are really having a problem with the Seller's agent. I have never seen anything like this. When we sent him the original offer he blew off telling the seller's he had even received it until the next evening because he was too busy showing the house to other people. Why would he do that? He had an offer on the table, if the sellers accepted it (which they did, other than a minor counter offer) wasn't he just wasting his time?

Mat called him on Tuesday to let him know that the VA Appraisal results were in and to discuss them with him. He ended up having to explain what a VA Appraisal is! Then when Natalie called him back the next day to find out what the sellers had to say he informed her that he was too busy to get with them about this and he would "try" to get to it tomorrow.

She has been trying really hard to give him the benefit of a doubt and not bad mouth him but I can tell it's getting harder for her to keep her personal thoughts of him to herself. She thought that maybe he just didn't want to take bad news to the sellers until he had all of the information in front of him (i.e. the VA Appraisal report, the new more realistic cost estimate, and the permission paper from the VA showing that it was ok to switch to a tankless (not flameless as I thought LOL) hot water heater vs enclosing the current one, and the new raised offer to help cover the costs with the codicil that we will cover any closing costs at closing that they have to dip into to cover the repairs). However, she sent him that information Friday afternoon and still no word.

I just don't understand why a realtor would behave this way. If anyone out there reading this has any ideas please feel free to post or email me with your thoughts because J. and I are really confused by this.

On a lighter note, another item I didn't get to discuss due to the extreme length of my first 2 posts is the fact that I got a job last Wednesday. My Step-dad went in to pay his insurance and his insurance agent/nephews father-in-law was telling him how much he needed to hire someone to help out around there. I was mentioned and before I knew it I had an interview with him Wed. morning and a job by noon.

Tim (my new boss) seems like a wonderful man to work for. At first anyway, the hours are perfect. I will be working Mondays and Thursdays from 8:30 - 5:30, starts out at $8 an hour. I know it probably doesn't sound so great but right now while I have to take care of so much for the house and later getting the house ready to move into, then moving 2 days a week is perfect. The pay, well I would have been overjoyed with it 3 weeks ago as I have been having a terrible time even getting an interview with anyplace other than minimum wage because I have been out of the job market for so long and have little experience and no higher education to draw on. I have to be honest though, after talking to my friend about the income potential from doing daycare again, $400 a month is a little difficult to swallow.

I know, I know I feel horrible because on the one hand I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to FINALLY be getting out of the house again after 12 years of being housebound with the kids but I guess what really bothers me is that I feel so strongly that I do have talents that are not being realized by taking this job and J. is perfectly happy to let me settle for a job that may or may not ever increase in hours or pay with no benefits, when I could be contributing so much more to our family.

I think I am also really scared. I haven't been outside the home to work in so long, what if I screw it up? What if I really am unmarketable? What if I can't ever make a job in the real world work again because I have been out of the loop so long? Tim seems like an awesome guy and he is willing to give me a shot that no one else has. What if I let him down?

Wow I just went back and reread that, I don't want to end the post on such a downer so here is a joke to lighten things up that my realtor told me to end our call yesterday on a high note:

Three women were sitting in a hot tub naked, two in their mid twenties and one in her late forties. One of the young women started ringing so she lifted her hand to her ear and started talking into it. When she finished she looked at the other two women and said, "microchip cell phone, had it implanted last week." A few minutes later the other young woman tapped her ear and they started hearing music, at the other women's blank looks she said, "Ipod microchip, I got it just yesterday." Finally feeling left out the older woman excused herself to the restroom and came back a few minutes later with a piece of toilet paper hanging down. The two young ladies brought it too her attention and she said, "would you look at that I am getting a fax!"

Ok bad joke but it did make me feel better after Natalie told it to me so maybe it will make you feel better too.

Have a good one guys!