6.18.2008

Truckin' on...

Financing underwriting approval and completion? Check.

Home inspection? Check.

FHA inspection? Check.

Structural Engineer approval? Check.

Repairs made pursuant to FHA inspector's letter? Check.

Homeowner's insurance? Check.

Purchase of used fridge, washer, dryer, and lawnmower? Check, checkity-check, and check. (Thanks to craigslist and our beloved brother-in-law!)

Pack up belongings? 75% check.

Rent U-haul? Check.

Make arrangements with family and friends for moving help and Betty babysitting? Check and bless you, Jess(ica), check.

Final walk-through to make sure all repairs were done to our satisfaction? Check.

It makes me feel good to look at this list and see it completed. At the beginning of the process, the looming list of things to do seemed daunting and impossible. But, now, all we have to do is show up at the closing tomorrow with a picture ID and a fat cashier's check for our down payment.

Being the "worst case scenario" person that I am (I think it comes with the territory of being a lawyer), I am just certain something is going to go wrong. And maybe it will. But, I think about other amazing feats of orchestration and organization that the Knight and I managed to pull off (i.e. getting engaged and planning a wedding for 450 people in 3 1/2 months; moving across the country for the summer while dealing with law school graduation, exams, air traffic control training, and studying for the bar), and I hope, God willing, this too will come together.

I am so excited about moving in. We have been amazed by the outpouring of love and offers to help move, clean, bring lunch, etc. for the big moving day. The Knight and I did the final walk-through inspection this morning, and I just really love this house. It is just so us. Sure, there are a ton of little things to do to meet our standard of living, but its basically move-in ready and so spacious!

Really, the only truly bad part of the home buying process for us has been dealing with the sellers. You would think that having buyers who are (a) willing to pay a fair price for a home; (b) have been approved for financing, and (c) quickly met all our contractual obligations would be met with eagerness to cooperate and an ounce or two of accommodation. Unfortunately, in our situation, no such luck. These sellers bought the home as a renovation investment, and 1/2 way through the renovation, the market changed, so they put a stop on the flip. We came in, appreciated the renovations made so far, saw the potential, and made a very nice offer on the home. Although they quickly accepted our offer, they have been slow, uncommunicative, and sloppy. While they finally did make the required repairs, the repairs are only passable, at best. The house, which has been vacant for quite some time, is filthy, and the Yard? Well, I capitalize that word because The Yard has become its own entity. I'm not even sure the house knows we are there, because The Yard has made visibility quite impossible. It's been easily a month/ month and a half since the lawn has been mowed, and its a-lookin' rough.

One thing I am going to try to remember if we ever sell our house is to be nice to the upcoming buyers. Our negotiation of price was fairly stress-free. We only came down off the price a little since they had just dropped the price days before. All in all, they got what they said they "had" to have, and, yet, they've been acting as if we are foreclosing and evicting them!

The following are things I encourage myself (in the very far off future) and other buyers to do: Simple things like sweeping and wiping down everything before the new buyers move in is always a welcomed and nice touch. Perhaps, consider cleaning up after your last project and emptying the trash. Maybe mow the lawn right before closing, so the new buyers don't have to traipse through a jungle to move in. Leaving behind at least one can of paint for touch-ups would be awesome, especially since the ENTIRE HOUSE is painted that one color. Maybe also leave behind the can of stain used on the kitchen cabinets, since, you know, you failed to stain one tiny but completely noticeable part of the trim. If you want to get really crazy, maybe even leave a nice note welcoming the buyers to their first and/or new home.

Despite all my disgust for the sellers, I have to remember that I am buying the house, not them. Its very easy to get caught up in a hate-fest about the way they have behaved, but I don't want us to associate our house with the negativity its previous owners fueled. After we close tomorrow, I'm only going to look ahead, embrace our exciting new future, and move into our first home.



Wishing you warm apple pie and home sweet homey kisses,
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7 comments:

Melissa said...

How exciting!!! I had the same "something might go wrong" attitude a few weeks ago, but our closing was smooth and painless. (It was the months leading up to it that were the real hassle.)

I know what you mean about sellers though. When we sold our condo, we cleaned that place more thoroughly than when we lived there! Everything, from dusting each corner to scrubbing the fridge. I don't think other people think to do such a thing. Since we bought new construction, I can't exactly complain about a "seller", but I have complaints about the builder! Our windows didn't come with screens. How messed up is that? So even on cool nights, we can't open our windows.

Good luck tomorrow!! It's going to all be worth it soon. And then you'll go through the stress of unpacking, which is like 1000 times worse than the stress of packing! Ha!

Jess(ica) said...

YAY!! Big yays!! I think I said this to you earlier today, but it seems to ring true all the time - people are a#$holes, but I'm glad you haven't let that spoil your excitement! (Yes, I'm in a bit of pessimistic mood today, even though we got into the CY festival! Which has improved my mood, I assure you.)

I can't wait to see it once you have prettied it up! Wine on the patio? Yes, please. Letting the dogs chase each other in the fenced-in back yard while we sip our wine on the patio? Yes, indeed.

Anonymous said...

I'll be thinking of you guys tomorrow! Congratulations!!

JGR

AmberKoren said...

Saw your page off Penny Lane Designs, although I don't own my home- I feel your pain. I have noticed in many of my own situations, most others don't have the same respect as I do or more or less concideration as one should. And it ticks me off to high heaven! I hope everything goes smooth for you today, I'm thinking about you and your hubby :)

Artsy Fartsy said...

Thanks for the encouragement, everyone! Melissa, your own house tales are helpful, and it has been so fun watching the decoration of your new house come together.

Jess, a thousand times thank you for listening to all my rants and stresses. Also, you watching Betty this weekend is so helpful!

JGR, not too long, and soon you'll be closing too. I wish you would blog about it...yours would be such a fun read. Can't wait to see pics of the house!

Amberkoren - hugs to you. So glad you found my blog. I guess this world is full of many kinds of people - considerate and inconsiderate. Although it is so easy to be pissed at all the inconsiderate ones, I'm glad people like you are out there to add some kindness and compassion to the world. If only they knew our secret - that being nice breeds happiness!

Anonymous said...

Artsy,
You sound like a good and decent person! We need more folks like you. Keep the faith, and good wishes/vibes for tomorrow's closing!!
I enjoy your blog.

The Lavender Lily said...

Ok, I know you posted this more than two weeks ago, but I still wanted to chime in. The things you described about how to welcome the new buyer of your home was actually pretty close to how we were treated last year when we bought our first house. Our seller never intended to sell his house, but after remarrying, he had to leave his house of more than 20 years. And boy did he love this house.

Before we closed, he gave us a tour of the house so he could show us all of the 'hidden features' that he had done throughout, he and his wife put a fresh coat of paint on the bedroom walls, left tons of extra paint cans in the garage and left a few boxes of small things that he didn't want to take because "they just went so well with the house".

After we moved in, we painted over the wood paneling in the family room and kitchen and shortly after, he came over to pick up some old mail. Hubs and I were kind of embarrassed for him to see our paint job because we thought he might think we had ruined 'his' house! But he was so complimentary of the paint job, and just did a good job all around of showing pride for his home, but balancing that with the fact that it was now our home.

I'm not telling you all this because I want to brag about how good we had it, but I want you to know that all the extra steps the seller made to make us feel comfortable were so appreciated, and I intend to do the same for the next buyers of this house.

Thanks for sharing all your experiences throughout this process. Owning a home can definitely be stressful, but it is so worth it!

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