Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Finally, a weight is lifted!!

Remember I said life was murky?  Well, here’s what was dragging me down:

You may recall that in February I posted exciting news that The Husband and I were buying a property in Southwest Washington State.  If you don’t recall, here’s the link:  http://wagsnwoofs.blogspot.com/2011/02/can-we-move-there-now.html

I outlined in the post how we’d been looking for a property for over a year – trying to take advantage of lower property prices to get our feet/paws in the door. 

Well, I posted the good news a little too soon. 

Shortly after that post we had a home inspection done.  While the house looked great inside, there were some problems hidden from view.  Some pretty big problems.  Problems like mold in the attic, a water leak from the upstairs bathroom that hadn’t been properly repaired, water in the crawlspace under the house, and more! 

We started adding up repair estimates, and came up with a pretty significant amount of cash that would be required to get the house fixed.  So we sent a revision to the seller.  We finally heard back from them in mid-April (2 months into the contract).  They thought we were crazy and didn’t accept the revised price, so we were out.

We started looking for houses again. 

While all of this was going on, a property we really liked was foreclosed and auctioned/sold back to the bank.  We saw this property back in December, but the day we wanted to make an offer (literally, the same day) the property was taken off the market. 

Then, in late-ish April, we received word from our Realtor that this property was on the market again – this time listed for even less than it had been before!  We were so excited! 

Apparently a bunch of other folks were excited too.  By early the next morning, 2 other offers were already on the property.  The bank decided to give all the buyers (4 including us) until end of day Monday to put in their best offer. 

Our Realtor advised us to have the property inspected before we put in our offer, so that our offer was as “clean” as possible.  We took her advice, and had inspections done on Friday and over the weekend. 

We submitted our offer on Monday, and held our breath. 

A couple days later, we received the good news that our offer was chosen.  As an added bonus, we found out that ours was not the highest offer, but since there were no contingencies, the bank chose us!  Yippee!!

Well, sort of yippee.  We were soon to discover the joys of buying a foreclosed property.

Here’s a summary of the agony that has been the past 4 months for us:
  • Bank sells property to us, but company specializing in REO properties (REO "experts") manage the sale for Bank.
  • REO company has a very detailed, very strict contract - with bad terms for buyer (us) and no bad terms for them or bank.  How convenient.  We grit our teeth, curse at them, and sign anyway.
  • Deal set to close in early May.
  • Hassles regarding financing arise.  There’s a broken pane of glass and the roof needs $400 of repairs.  It seems like this will prevent financing (thanks, Fed Gov’t for those new rules!).
  • Cr*p – if no financing we need to sweep cash from every corner to come up with purchase price.
  • I tell our cats & dogs to get a job to help out with cash crisis.  They refuse.  The Child refuses to hand over piggy bank.
  • We sweep up enough cash – but not before The Husband is nearly driven insane.
  • Mortgage lender figures out a way for us to get financing.
  • Previous property owner owes millions in back taxes so Fed Gov’t has a lien on the property.
  • Oops, Bank doesn’t have the paperwork right.  Does bank own property?
  • Fed Gov’t lien means we can’t close for another 90 days (Aug 5)
  • Property listed as open space.  Sort out open space designation forms for county.  Nearly everyone in the county needs to sign form (or so it seemed…).
  • Nearing August 5th – hey, where has the county paperwork and title gone? 
  • REO company doesn’t care where paperwork has gone, and suggests we just cancel the contract instead of them having to figure it out.  (insert expletive here) 
  • Our Realtor says no way to cancellation.
  • Our Realtor camps out at county office until paperwork is found. (Someone filed it in the wrong place…)
  • August 5th passes.  Contract extension until August 12th.
  • Other Realtors call our Realtor.  They have people who want the property.  Is it really going to close?
  • August 10th –The Husband and I sign all of our paperwork.  We’re ready to get the keys on the 12th!
  • Oh.  Bank still doesn’t have their sh*t together.  No closing on the 12th.  But at least we’re in the queue (?!?)
  • Contract extension to August 26th.
  • Title limping its way through the system. 
  • The Husband bugs our title company and our Realtor nearly every day.
  • Everything lined up and ready to close.
  • Oh, wait, we need more of your $$ for taxes, since contract has drug on so long.
  • My dad (bless him!) rushes a check for taxes to title company.
FINALLY, today it closed!!

We now, officially, own a house in SW Washington!

But now I’m worn out from typing this post, so I’ll share pictures and details tomorrow…


  1. Whoo Hoo! Congratulations -- despite all the difficulties. Near what town, village, borough might this house be located?

  2. Oh YAY! And thank you for talking me out of ever considering a career in real estate. LOL!

    I hope that all the bumpiness of buying the property will be erased from your memory soon and the joy of owning a great property will replace it!

  3. Awesome news!!!! And sorry about the animals not chipping in. They're probably saving up for any repairs for stuff Rip chewed up. ;-)

  4. Congratulations. It is no wonder that real estate is not moving with all that you have had to go through on a simple purchase.

  5. Penni - it's in Ridgefield, WA. I'll post some pics tomorrow.
    Jeri - Yes, our Realtor worked HARD for this one.
    Liz - You might be on to something. If only I could sell shredded cardboard...
    Sharrie - Our thoughts exactly!!

  6. Finally! I have a bottle of champagne chilling for your triumphant return.


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