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Bigwig is a systems administrator at a public university
Hrairoo is the proprietor of a quality used bookstore
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Woundwort is a professor of counseling at a private university

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September 16, 2002

Buying a house sucks Buying

Buying a house sucks

Buying a house may not be the hell that selling a house can be, but it can sure suck sometimes.

Here's the background: About six weeks ago, I start seriously looking for a home. About three or four weeks ago, I start making offers. I find a nice little condo in a nice quiet neighborhood. Not too expensive, history of easy resale, makes a nice rental property if I decide to move out in a few years and get something bigger. The first offer I make goes back and forth and back and forth before I decide to walk away from it. The owner's mother is a real estate agent and IMHO wants more than the property is worth, considering that there are several other properties in the same area that are more reasonably priced. So, I put a lowball offer on another unit (apologies to Woundwort), figuring that I will at least start lower and work my way up from there. To my great surprise, the owner accepted the first offer right off the bat. I was and remain thrilled. I mean, I knocked a good 10% off the ask just in making the offer.

I know what you're thinking. The place must be about to fall down, or have a horrible pest problem, or be haunted by poltergeist or something like that for someone to up and accept a lowball offer right off the bat. I began to wonder about that myself. So, I wait through the home inspection with fingers crossed. Once again to my surprise, no big issues. Where is the catch, I wonder?

Well, the place MAY ACTUALLY be haunted. Though I doubt it. Evidently, the current owner inherited the property upon the passing of his mother (God rest her soul). I could probably stand to be haunted by a little old lady, but that isn't the catch. The catch is that even after the property was on the market for about 3 months, and even three weeks post signed contract, the property hasn't been through the probate process yet. Which means that the property can't be transferred until the probate process is over. Which means that my scheduled close date of Sept. 26th just ain't happening. Which means that since I've told my landlord that I was moving out of my current apartment at the end of September and my landlord already has the apartment rented as of Oct. 1, I have no place to live at the end of the month.

You guessed it. I'm pretty pissed off.

Fine. Current owner hasn't taken care of business, but has put property on the market AND signed a contract for sale of said property. The closing can't go through as scheduled. But I still have options. I can a.) put all my stuff in storage, put my dog in a kennel, and go live at the Extended Stay America for a month or so. Of course, if this happens, all my bills are going to the seller OR b.) I can occupy the property as scheduled and just wait until the new closing date arrives. Obviously b.) is more amenable to me and to the seller. Barring any lein or claim against the property, that works well.

Turns out that there are no leins or claims and that we COULD take route b. Here's the kicker. The seller wants to charge me $500.00 a month RENT to occupy the property.

Unh-uh. Awww, Hell no.

Not one dollar, dime or cent extra am I paying to this goon, not no way, not no how. I put down $500.00 earnest money when I made the offer on the property as a way of saying that I was dealing in good faith and I wouldn't back out of the deal. I expect no less from the seller. I have a signed contract in my possession which says that the owner is legally able to transfer the property. I've already paid out for loan origination fees and credit check fees and home inspection fees and pest inspection fees and insurance and...there is no way this person is getting one single, solitary CENT (even if it's Canadian) out of me.

Plus, I can't lock my rates until there is a set closing date, and everyone knows how good mortgage rates are right now. I'll probably have to settle for a higher interest rate on my loan when it actually comes time to close.

So, as it stands now, I have no place to live at the end of the month. If he accepts my counter-offer of "Listen you jerk, I MIGHT not walk away from this if you let me occupy the property rent-free as scheduled", then everything might possibly be hunky-dory. But even if he wants to break contract and face legal action, I am not going to worry. I'll have someplace to stay, I'm sure. The Lord will provide. I mean, there's always family, right BigWig? Right? Hello? BigWig? Hmmm. Seems like no one is around...

Posted by Kehaar at September 16, 2002 05:36 PM | TrackBack
Postscript:
First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself.
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