Saturday, October 05, 2013

A Light at the End of the Tunnel?

Finally! There seems to be light at the end of the VERY long tunnel we have been in since committing to buying the new house.

We knew buying a foreclosure would/could take a long time, we NEVER imagined it would take this long and we never imagined it would all be caused to complete ineptitude.

The house we are buying is fantastic and we completely love it. It is a unique property, a large house on over an acre of land with a large, finished barn (That the listing agent and documents call an “outbuilding”. A shed is an outbuilding, this is not an outbuilding. It’s a barn.). Making it even more unique was that it was a foreclosure and it also needed to be brought to code. The previous owners made some modifications that didn’t meet code. They took out permits for the work, but never submitted plans or had the village inspect the finished product. Thus, the village will not give a certificate of occupancy on the house until the plans have been submitted and the work brought to code and it has been inspected. The bank that owns the property (it’s really not a “bank” per se, but a government-sponsored enterprise that is also publicly traded and holds the majority of mortgages in the U.S. Its better known as an old-fashioned girl’s name) hired an inspector/engineer, had all the modifications needed to bring the house to code listed, including the cost for the building plans, and came up with an estimate they were confident in. The bank and the listing agent promised us they did the “due diligence” and the repairs to bring the house to code wouldn’t exceed $xx,xxx amount. The bank did not want to do the work themselves and priced the house accordingly and offered a great mortgage to us to buy the house and make the repairs. It wasn’t until the house inspection that the engineer who originally looked at the code violations on the house realized that he forgot to include the barn repairs to the bank estimate. The barn has pine board over insulation, which is a huge fire hazard, and needs to be sheet rocked in order to meet village code and for us to be able to move in to the property. Seems the bank, listing agent and engineer weren’t as diligent as they thought. It was a BIG mistake and the repairs cost A LOT of money—like I could go buy a nice, new car kind of money.

The "outbuilding" in question.
Since this was a huge cost, deal killer and the bank was negligent in its due diligence when it “promised” us the repairs wouldn’t go past $xx,xxx amount, the bank was now on the hook for the repairs to the barn. It was the only option. BUT… It’s taken 9 WEEKS for the bank to sign off on the approval allowing the work to begin. NINE WEEKS!!!! It’s just beyond absurd that it takes that long for something that simple to get done, especially when this house is sitting on their books and they are paying for the upkeep, maintenance and taxes on it.

We have had to renegotiate the sale contract and resign it TWICE since the offer and closing date was agreed to back in May. Two closings were set and passed and we have waited and waited for this piece of paper to get signed. Each time we have renegotiated, interest rates have gone up and the bank has had to pay more money at closing because of it. It’s a better deal for us, but we are in temporary housing with all of our stuff in storage. Not a great way to live.

We have had to dig through boxes of stuff for items we packed that we thought we would have access to because we were supposed to close (originally) at the end of August. Things, like winter coats and all the automobile, RV and boat paperwork so we could get everything registered in NY.

I dug through boxes and boxes looking for which one contained my social security card. In order to get a driver’s license in NY, you have to show them your SS card. I’ve had no luck finding the box containing the card, I suspect its packed somewhere behind all the furniture in the storage facility. Since I couldn’t find it, I planned on getting a new card issued but can’t now because the government is shut down and the SSA is only handling SS checks/payments. Ugh!

But, now it seems there is movement. On Friday, we found out that everything has been signed off and the formal approval finally reached the contractor. Work will begin the week after next!!! Hopefully we can close in November.

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