Moving Forward

We signed loan documents today. It was a stack of papers about an inch high. The branch manager who went through them with us said that when she started in the business the stack of papers was significantly smaller, but that was many years ago.

Afterwards, Justin and I walked down the street to our bank and arranged to wire a large sum of money to the title company.

Next steps: the loan will fund, escrow will close, and the house will be ours! However, since the sellers aren't ready to move until the 8th of March, we will be renting it back to them for those 9 days, and so of course there will be some paperwork associated with that!

Then we will be getting the sewer lateral upgraded, replacing one window, repairing and replacing the soffits, and a few other miscellaneous upgrades. We will be moving in March! It is hardly conceivable after all this time.

More House Photos

It looks like we will close in one week, but the sellers will not be able to move out until Mar 8. To celebrate feeling like it's really all going to work out, I thought I'd post a few more pictures from when we were there doing the inspections.
If anyone recognizes what the pink-flowered tree is, please let me know.

Still On About the House

Ha! Little did I know how much could still go awry...

So, just after we'd finished negotiating with the sellers on price, we found out that although the appraisal had come in at value (at the price we were paying), the lending institution questioned it. They did a "desk" review of the appraisal, meaning that they did not visit the property. Nor, apparently did they consult with anyone who actually knows Richmond and knows which streets are the borders of very different neighborhoods, etc. They found new "comparables" for our house (in the ghetto part of town) and decided that our house was worth $90,000 less than the initial appraisal. To make matters worse, they didn't do this desk review until about a week after the appraisal, so we all thought it was fine.

Our people (it's nice to feel like you've got people on your side in these things) submitted a rebuttal, showing why their "comps" were not, in fact, comparable, as well as bringing up superior aspects of the house that were not acknowledged (corner lot, 2 bathrooms, wood siding not stucco, etc.). The rebuttal was rejected. Meanwhile, during all of this, the sellers are breathing down our necks. Well, the sellers' agent is the one we were hearing from, and she has a particularly strident, panicky, aggressive/defensive, slightly un-educated email style, as well as clearly not being so good with careful reading. Seeing her emails makes our blood boil.

Our mortgage broker's company thought the desk appraisal was so egregious that they paid for an independent appraisal and, needless to say, went looking for a different lender.

We just found out yesterday morning (or was it Tuesday?) that the independent appraisal came in at value and that our broker did find another lender with the same rate as the first lender. So everything was looking really good on the lending front until yesterday afternoon, when our mortgage broker called to say that they needed some more paperwork from us that they thought they had. Unfortunately, it was not something that can be ordered online, but will take a day or two to arrive.

Still meanwhile, the sellers' agent threatened to cancel our contract and hung up on our real estate agent's broker. Fortunately, she had the good sense to call back and listen while the broker explained that she didn't have a legal leg to stand on to cancel our contract. Hopefully, she is properly abashed and will just be quiet for the next several days.

It looks like we might close next Friday, February 27th, but I have learned to take nothing in this process for granted!

House Update

I've been afraid to write about the house we've been pursuing out of fear of jinxing it, but since we are almost done negotiating, it seems safe now. There do not seem to be any barriers to this going through.

Here is the google street view:

View Larger Map

And from the other side:
View Larger Map

And a few of my own pictures:

As you can see, it is still lived in. The good news is that this is not a foreclosure or a short sale. The family is moving up, not down.

The backyard, which I didn't photograph for some reason, has irrigated garden beds, a number of trees, and other mature plantings. The trees include 2 lemon trees, a pomegranate, and 2 fruit or nut trees that we couldn't identify as they were still pretty leafless. There are also prickly pear cactus (which we first ate as belus in Eritrea) that have clearly been vigorously harvested over the years.

Keep your fingers crossed for us, and start making plans to help us move or visit us!