Sunday, March 24, 2013

Continuing Looking At Properties

Every weekend I've been looking at houses. I even took time off during a workday to see a house mid week. I'm glad I did. My two oldest children accompanied me. It was the perfect one, which, was move-in ready. And, the kids give their seal of approval too This is a rarity. Most of the properties I've looked at need a lot of repairing, updating, and deep cleaning before being habitable.

The asking price for this little gem was a bit more than I was prepared to pay. Could I swing it somehow? I brainstormed ideas for gathering several thousands of dollars in just days. Can I get a signature loan for the difference? Can I ask for an increase on an existing loan? I went home and spent 3 hours to complete my tax returns to see if and how much I would get in refunds. After all of this work, I determined I could just piece together the funds to make this work. I gave my realtor the go to put in an offer.

I was giddy. I couldn't wait to get the response and in a couple hours it comes. The seller accepts another offer that was received earlier than mine. TOTALLY BLOWN. I feel like grieving. After all of this work. After seeing so many unfit homes. After finally finding a gem. I'm back to square one.

Friday, March 15, 2013

I'm Disappointed But I'm Continuing My Search

On November 28, 2012 I put a contract on a nice, little rambler. It needs work. It needs modernization. But, it's at a good price and the seller quickly accepts my offer. Note that this was the third house I placed a contract on; the other two offers weren't accepted.

It was a short sale which, the selling agent said, was pre-approved at the listed price. One of the many addendums to the contract was a 60-day time period to allow for processing to get the selling bank's approval on the sale. Curious. Why would they need 60 days to get approval for something that's supposedly already approved? I'm told it's a standard form; don't worry about it. Okay, I played along.

Near the 60-day mark, I start asking about the status. My inquiries go through the chain from my realtor to their realtor to the title company which is the one dealing directly with the bank, which holds the mortgage on the seller's home. It's bureaucracy at its greatest. I'm told we should hear any moment. Just give us until the weekend. Or, I should get word by Monday. The moments, the weekends, and the Mondays pass by. No word.

I start counting the days to the 60-day time limit. I tell my realtor I want an answer by the date. I also start looking at other properties. I'm feeling a squeeze because my time is short on my lease. My lease ends on April 30, 2013. I have to give a 60-day notice to vacate. I want to move before my lease expires or I have to decide to either go month-to-month or sign another lease. Neither option is appealing. The month-to-month option involves paying a "market" rate which is usually equal to $200 - $300 more than I'm currently paying. The new lease term is usually 1 year. I don't like either. You really don't want to hear what I think of the market rate.

The 60-day time period passes. I'm looking at other houses but none catch my eye. Then the selling agent asks me to sign an extension on the contract or the house will be placed back on the market. Really? You want me to give you more time to get approval on a sale that was already pre-approved by the selling bank at that price? You have a seller who is ready to sell. A buyer who is pre-approved and ready to buy. But, there's this bureaucratic maze that can't unload it's holdings--which loses more everyday--in an efficient manner? I'm supposed to sign up for 30 more days of this torture, which may really mean another 60 days+?

What do you think my response was to this request?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

I'm in love!

I stumbled upon on a blog that's about zero waste living. This family was featured on Sunset magazine's website. I love the idea that they can live while producing no waste. This is a lifestyle I can strive for and is in line with my values. To learn more about how this family lives go to To learn more about zero waste living check out