Friday, September 7, 2012

Progress, Slowly

News from the world of home purchasing: Instead of an extension on the closing date, the seller wants a whole new contract. I had actually thought about that, but decided not to play it that way. But since the seller wants it, here I go with that.

Meanwhile, my new lender inspired a whole lot of confidence yesterday when I had a question, e-mailed it to the representative, and he responded within the minute with the answer. Even in the age of iPhones, etc., that is impressive! And considering I used to have to chase down my previous banker to get any information at all, that's a huge improvement.

In related news, the house next door is also coming up for sale. I found that out by dropping in on a yard sale there one Saturday. I figured it couldn't hurt to meet my potential new neighbor. That other house is quite nice and has the bonus of a separate apartment in the backyard. It's definitely a Good News, Bad News kind of bonus: while it would be lovely to be able to rent it out for a little extra income, I'd bet dollars to donuts that's not allowed in the neighborhood. So it would have to be a secret, and with my luck I'd rent it to the mayor's niece or something. It's hard to keep a secret in a small town. On the other hand, in a small town sometimes it's easy to fix your problem if you know the right person. So it's maybe a wash. Or a really fabulous guest room!

Anyway, the other house is nice (wood floors, large rooms, new-ish kitchen. big screened room), but it has its flaws, too. It needs a new roof, the lot is almost entirely filled with the house and apartment, leaving a smallish yard compared to "my" 3 lots next door, and its one massive, beautiful tree leans over the house, guaranteed to produce anxiety during hurricane season and/or a large tree-trimming bill.

As if that wasn't enough, I almost fainted when the owner told me what her payoff was: $220,000 on a house that's probably worth $85,000! If that isn't a sign that the banking and mortgage folks were completely unhinged from reality in the recent past, I don't know what is. (I didn't ask, but she told me her husband passed away from a long illness a few years ago, so I imagine she took out the equity for medical bills.)

The takeaway is that this other house is going to be a major short sale situation, and likely to take ages to resolve. My neighbor has one buyer interested in the house already (thanks to the garage sale) and it would be a good spot for them because they need a mother-in-law apartment. Meanwhile, it's a nice fall-back for me. I'm not wavering, but, you know, just in case . . .

That's the latest from the home purchasing world. I have started unpacking the book boxes again. No reason to live with them when the new closing date will be another 45 days away.

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