coming out of my shell

coming out of my shell

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Oy Vey, and I Really Mean It

Yeah, the house purchasing crappola continues.  For point of information House #2 is owned by the VA and House #1 is owned by Fannie Mae.   No real human beings seem to be involved on the seller's end beyond the listing agents.  The listing agents must not be motivated by commission otherwise their lackluster performances make no sense.  Perhaps they get a flat fee from these large government organizations when they work for them, and that is why they do not seem to care?  Or maybe it is because the organizations are so large and impersonal that they do not make decisions quickly?   It is hard to say.  Like John Snow (Game of Thrones) I know nothing.

House #2 (VA):
This is a truly great house and we like it best; however, it is a little too big for us and has been sitting empty for a few years.  Consequently, it needs a significant amount of work, and the purchase price is more than House #1 (which is move-in ready).  When we first looked at it and decided to put an offer down we could see all the rooms had to be painted and it needed new carpeting throughout.  We also saw amazing potential both inside and out.  Great house.  After inspection, it became clear it needs new roof, new a/c, and the pool area would need a LOT of work: big bucks.  We were willing to get the additional repairs and refurbishing done, but we needed the VA to come down in price somewhat to make it worth our while.   It would have been a show of good faith on the part of the sellers.  Last Friday, after waiting nearly two weeks for their response, they finally got back to us with a measly reduction.   They made the statement they would rather put the house back on the market than come down anymore on the purchase price.  We got the message.  Since we are retirees on a fixed income that meant the house would quickly become a money pit for us.  We were still considering it, though, because we like the house.  Then Divine Providence intervened and our path became clear: the deal breaker for me was the following.  Last Friday we went with our lovely real estate agent, TM, to House #2 to look at it one last time before making a decision.   The neighbors out back know our lovely real estate agent, TM, because they go to the same church.   When we went out back to the pool we were talking to TM and the neighbors were in their pool and heard her voice.  They then started talking to TM through the fence from their yard.  Well, I have lived in the country the last 24 years without close neighbors.  I am loud, crass, and working class and so are most of my friends and family.  We cannot be repressed, nor would we want to be.  I am not used to neighbors hearing what I am saying in my own back yard.  Some of T and my most spectacular arguments have been outside on the deck up north.  I like arguing outside.  I do not want to whisper when I am playing with my grandkids in the pool.  Ick.  This soured me on House #2.   I do not want to live there.  I do not want to spend all our discretionary retirement income fixing it up.  Too bad, so sad.  Moving on now.

House #1 (Fannie Mae  - the house we thought we had before we left NYS):

This house is a little smaller than House #2, but the lots in the subdivision are bigger and houses are further apart.   The houses on either side do not have pools, so “they” will not be sitting outside in the blazing Florida heat listening to us, even though I KNOW “they” want to.  We are simply not interesting enough to risk sunburn and dehydration for.  The house behind us has a small pool far enough away that they would have to walk all the way to the fence (outside their pool area) to hear what we are saying.  The lot is totally fenced in on all sides out back.  I will never have to see or even meet my neighbors beyond a quick wave and a  “Hi there” if I do not want to.  Yes, these are the things I worry about.  Welcome to my neuroses.  I am a big nut, I know, but it is hard for a country girl to get used to suburban living.  If you are also a country girl, ya’ll know what I mean.  Yes, I just spoke Southern.   I am Southern now.  Deal with it.

As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, House #1 went back on the market last week and the listing agent called our lovely realtor TM wanting to know if we would like to make an offer.  Of course at first I was angry; Angry is my middle name.  Hot-Head is the name I took for Confirmation.  If you say my first name first, middle name second, Confirmation name third, and my last name last you get a pretty clear idea of whom I am.  And I only used the word “whom” because my spell checker forced me to. 

I digress.  It quickly became clear that House #2 was not going to happen, so we made yet another offer on House #1 – offering the same terms/price that our previous contract had agreed upon.  They immediately got back to our realtor and accepted it.  There was no haggling and no counter offer.  I was caught off guard; astounded really.  I was looking for a fight.  We went to see House #1 and noticed that the sliding glass door was stuck and asked them to fix it - they did it the next day.  We asked for proof of title (to make sure they actually own it now) and they provided it immediately.  It has new a/c, new water heater, and new carpeting throughout thanks to our previous two offers/negotiations.   The roof was new in 2008.   We can move our stuff in without having to do any major repairs or refurbishing beforehand (we will paint rooms over time).  So we are going for it.  Or maybe this is a dream, hard to tell these days.  We should have a signed contract today. 

We have not forgotten that Fannie Mae cost us money, inconvenience, and anxiety in the past few months, but we always wanted this house to be our retirement home.   In fact, this is the third offer we have made on it.  The first time we walked away from it because they would not come down from their initial absurd asking price and also would not make some necessary repairs when the old water heater broke.  The second time they did come down in price to our liking and fixed the things that were wrong, but then it turned out they did not have title and could not sell it to us.  (I still can’t get over that, by the way, it boggles the mind.)  Hopefully the third time works. Hopefully we are not just brain-fried old suckers opening ourselves up for more hurt.   The only downside is our lender needs to start from scratch with this offer – she is unable to just reopen a closed file, so it may be as much as 30 days before we can close and move in.  But at least the reason is on our end and not the sellers.  Sigh.   But (again, hopefully) perhaps there is an end in sight.  This has been nuts. 


  1. Fan-freakin-tastic, C Angry Hothead R W! ;) Third time is the charm! Seems as if the Universe just wanted to show you another character-building experience and then bring you to your desire! Happy for you & T!! Wish I had a rental car when I am visiting my family in July, I would hot-foot it over to see all of you for a few hours!


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