Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Roller Coaster That is Buying a Short Sale Home

So I'll start at the beginning.  I've been trying to buy a house for a few months now.  I had a purchase and sales agreement approved by the seller in April.  I knew going into it, that it is a short sale.  Of course, I asked how far in the process the bank is with it, and the seller's agent replied, "there's already been a negotiator assigned to it."  Great.

So I decided to go ahead with the offer, because I like the house, and it shouldn't be too painful - there's a negotiator already assigned to it.  So the seller accepted my offer, and then said, "ok, now we're going to get the process started with the bank..."  WHAT?!?!  "Oh, the negotiator is for the family in the home, the bank hasn't received anything yet."  WHAT?!?!?  There's the first giant drop on the roller coaster, and so I have to get ready for a long, long ride.

So a few months pass without much of anything going on.  Mostly just some conversations between me and my agent... catching up on small talk and the lack of progress the sellers are having.  In the middle, we looked at a couple of other homes that may fit what I'm looking for, just in case.

So September comes, and it's like the bank magically woke up.  Not only did they wake up, but now they act like I'm the one that's been holding up progress since April...we'll get to that shortly.

I got word from my agent that the bank officially approved the sale, so I could schedule inspections and the appraisal.  As soon as I got off the phone with him, I had those two things scheduled.  Cool, moving right along.

So I had the window to do inspections, etc. and got them done during the second day of the window.  So moving forward, my loan application gets submitted to the underwriters.   The underwriters approved me, but has a contingency for the house - a gasket on the furnace needs to be repaired.  Ok, I can get that done.  I schedule that to be done, get it done, and get the proof that it's been done, and it goes back to the underwriter.

That brings us up to last Friday, when the selling bank (who I will leave nameless... **Cough Countrywide Cough**) decides that they think I'm dragging things out too long and that we have to have closing done by the following Friday, or else they'll back out and make me lose everything I've put into the transaction so far..  Normally, having a week to do something isn't an issue, but closing a home is a royal pain in the ass that involves about a million and a half different people that all have to agree that I am able to buy this house.  Getting all of my paperwork to these million and a half people within a week, to be on time to close by Friday is a major feat of insanity.

So my mortgage originator called me on Friday... My roller coaster ride so far was only the one giant drop, and was pretty docile since then... Talk about a calm before the storm.  Here's where the insane loops, drops, stalling mid-air, etc comes in.

The mortgage originator delivered the news to me on Friday morning rather calmly, saying that, "basically, everything has to be wrapped up today if we're going to have a shot at closing by then."  Holy crap.  "The underwriter has had this thing for a few days, and I called him to see if he'll finally just approve it so that we can move on and get the other signatures, and he said he's still reviewing it."  Holy crap.  "He did mention that he needs a written statement on letterhead from the company that repaired the furnace - that the statement and photo provided aren't enough."  Holy crap.

The conversation lasted about 15 minutes where we laid out a gameplan of what I needed to do and what he needed to do, then we broke out of the huddle like Jordan and Pippen and tried to make a miracle happen.

I did my stuff as quickly as I could, while at work, on the clock (that was nice, I neglected some of my work duties to take care of my stuff - a small victory for a whack-a-mole).  The mortgage guy did what he could to speed things along, and give the other parties involved in the signing of my paperwork that it would be coming, and need it turned over as quickly as possible.  We kept updating each other every hour or so, and ended the day not quite as far ahead as we hoped, but had made good progress.

Monday came along, and still awaited the "clear to close," from the underwriter.  It finally came at 2 p.m.  YAY.  But wait, there's more.  That just ended the first loop, now there's another 4 before closing day.  Oh crap.  So it now had to go to another underwriter.  WHAT?!?!? Another one of these bastards? "This one should be much easier to get through - the first one tends to nitpick."  Ok...I'll believe you once bastard #2 has signed it.  4 p.m. - "The second underwriter has signed off on it, so now it has to go to our closing department in [Guam]."  Holy crap.  "I'm going to drive it up to [Guam] tomorrow morning to help expedite that." Holy crap, and thanks.

So Tuesday comes along,  and my mortgage guy drove about 2 hours to get to the main office and drop off my papers so the closing department can give their stamp of approval.  That, apparently, took them all of a few minutes.  Wow, something quick?  From there, it went on to the bank's attorney.  At this point, I have now decided that I have a strong dislike for attorneys.  This bastard sat on my paperwork from 9:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., fully knowing that all he had to do was put his happy little scribble on it, and that it's needed TODAY so that I can get my HUD stuff done on time (they require up to 72 hours before closing).  Oh crap.

The closing department then went on to process everything and get the HUD stuff submitted.  Thank you to those that stayed late to do it.  Screw you, to the bastards that put me, and these kind people in this position.

Closing is scheduled for Friday.  Come hell or high water, closing is happening.  I just love how the selling bank decided that it's a good idea to attempt to screw me for waiting, in good faith, for 5 months, just because they legally can.  Friday marks the end of the period I had after receiving the approval notice to do inspections, etc.  So, they, in their infinite wisdom, decide that it's a great idea to continue to jerk me around, just like they have been since April.

So the roller coaster ride is still not over.  I would say Friday was probably the worst day.  Every few minutes, my mindset went back and forth between, "Oh, shit, I'm screwed..." to "It's looking ok..."  That went back and forth about 10 times in that one day.  Monday, was about 4 times.  People at work thought I was bipolar.

Moral of the story: Don't buy a short sale unless you REALLY love the place, or unless you enjoy torture.
Second moral of the story: Don't write a blog while in the middle of a bunch of shit, because otherwise you'll end up with a long, rambling thing that would likely lose readers' interest by the time you see this line!


LB @Wait, She Said What? said...

I'm so sorry you've been inflicted with the hell that is buying a short sale. I feel your pain. It's hell wrapped in pretty packaging.

I'm never doing it again. Never.

Adrian - Random Musings of a Smart Ass said...

Yeah...I just wish I could bring a mallet to closing. As soon as I finish signing everything, I want to smack someone around just to let them know what it feels like.

Cathy said...

As someone who's yet to buy a home I thank you in advance for the warning. I'll stay away from the short sales. That sounds painful.

Adrian - Random Musings of a Smart Ass said...

No problem. Avoid Short Sales and Countrywide/Bank of America...just terrible.

S3XinthePantry said...

We closed our Bank of America account over a dozen years ago when they wanted to charge me a $ to put money into my account (I was out of deposit slips).

I was like, "$1 to put money IN my account? On second thought I'll take it all out and go across the street!"

you didn't lose my interst. I'm cheering for you ... after all you have gone through, this has to work out!!!