Monday, October 20, 2014

The story so far

Today, The Wife and I signed away our home. We've lived here 11 years, and closing the sale was bitter sweet for us. Our real estate agent was actually concerned we'd back out. But we'd made a commitment to the young, newlywed couple who are giddy and eager to settle into their first home together, and it would be cruel to renege on the agreement. So, we are no longer homeowners. We have a three-week lease-back, and after that, we're homeless.

Yeah. That's proven to be an "interesting times" situation.

We had settled on a house, 3148 Oak Hollow Drive, New Braunfels, Texas, to be specific. You can Google it if you want. On the surface, it had everything we wanted--almost 3,000 square feet of living space in a house with some quirky charms. There was a detached three-car garage with a garage apartment that could be converted into a spectacular photo studio for Lisa On Location Photography with minimal effort. It was quiet and rural, with plenty of space (and woods!) between us and potential neighbors. Oh, and did I mention it came with more than three-and-a-half acres? It was just about as perfect as we could ask for.

Except... it was a forecosure. It'd sat vacant for more than two years, and was owned by Fannie Mae, which had a reputation of being difficult to work with. The house and apartment needed work. Siding and soffits and such had suffered damage over the years of vacancy. An above-ground pool had devolved into so much scrap metal. It looked like it needed work, but we could make it our own. So we began negotiations. And negotiated, and negotiated. Fannie Mae and their representing agent, ***** ******* of ******** ******, were indifferent at best, slow to respond to our offers and insulting in their counter-offers. Very inflexible. Most of the time it seemed like they didn't care if the house sold or not, which you have to wonder about, since it was a foreclosure taking up red ink on their books. After nearly a month of back-and-forth, we reached an agreement and got the property under contract. Then we had our home inspector take a look (they were selling it "as-is" with no disclosure) and that's when everything took a turn for the worse. Raccoons had invaded the attic, destroying all the HVAC duct work, ripping out a tremendous amount of insulation and leaving feces and fleas everywhere. Our inspector was repulsed by the mess and so concerned about hanta virus he insisted with both wash down with massive mounts of sanitizer. Squirrels and rats and found their way inside as well. All the wiring in the house turned out to be a do-it-yourself kind of job, violating pretty much every building code known to man. The foundations were solid--very solid, in fact--but laid in such a way to almost guarantee water would seep into the house. And yes, we found copious evidence of water damage. The water well wasn't functioning properly and... well, I'll be here all night if I try to write it all out. I'll save us all the trouble and just let you read the actual 3148 Oak Hollow Inspection Report

Suffice to say, the house was unliveable. Our lender wouldn't finance unless the most egregious of the hazards were addressed by the seller, so we wrote up the list and submitted it. Seeing as how our option period expired that Saturday, and Fannie Mae is closed over the weekend, we were eager to have some sort of closure so we wouldn't risk losing our earnest money. So when our rep contacted the listing agent that Friday, she was rewarded for her hard work on our behalf with an ass-chewing. The listing agent was quite rude, and concluded the sad affair by saying, "I don't have time for this." She's a realtor. That's her job. She doesn't have time to do her job? So we rescinded our offer. By that time we had little faith they'd be responsive to the problems with the house anyway, so we thought it best to cut our losses and preserve our earnest money.

The downside is, of course, we have no home awaiting us in three weeks. We do have a Plan B, but that's a story for another time. Fingers crossed.

Now Playing: The Kinks Give The People What They Want
Chicken Ranch Central

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