Saturday, April 04, 2009

house update

The last couple weeks have been a blur. We closed on the house in West Seattle but not without more chaos right up until the last minute. Our loan guy screwed up the day we were supposed to close, which was Monday the 30th. One of the banks required us to close on that day, otherwise we would lose the house and it would go to auction. Our realtor pleaded with the bank arbitrator to extend the closing 24 hours and our loan guy was able to resolve his screw up (after some choice words were spewed from my end) so that crisis was averted and resolved by 9pm on Monday. So now, it's the morning of the new closing day, and as I am about to leave to get the cashier's checks, my realtor calls and says "Don't leave just yet, we have an issue." Apparently the seller had second thoughts THAT MORNING and refused to sign off on the house. This was AFTER we agreed to pay $7000 off on one of her credit card bills as well as already paid a $2100 past due utility charge. The seller had somewhat of a meltdown at the escrow office once she saw the tax implications for next year. Her realtor and the bank arbitrator were able to convince her to sign which she finally did 40 minutes before we were set to close. However, since her ex husband was attached to one of the liens, we still needed his signature and he arrived 10 minutes before our 11:00 deadline. I don't really remember much about the last 2 weeks because I just wanted this whole process to be over, and now that it is, we are finally able to move forward.

We have been back and forth to the house a lot since Tuesday, usually 2 times a day. We'll have contractors there for the next 2-3 weeks resurfacing the floors and replacing the baseboards, ripping up old carpet, installing new, putting new doors in, changing locks, closing off the crawl space, and if the budget allows repainting the living room and hallways and replacing the blinds. We also need to start getting quotes for a retaining wall as the hillside that butts up against the house is "unstable." If you saw this hillside, it may make you cringe a little.

We plan on doing some mild demolition ourselves, which we can do over time. A bathroom needs to be gutted, built in desks and cabinetry need to be hacked away and fixtures around the house replaced and updated. Tom also wants to build a little studio apartment over the garage which would be great for out of town guests if they want a little private place of their own. Or maybe we would just put Chumley in there when people visit. We could make a little sign that says "Chumley Lives Here" out front. Maybe this place won't be so bad after all...

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

WOW--I watch some of those shows about selling and/or buying houses on HDTV and your story would fit right in! I hope it works out well for you. It sounds like your agent earned his/her money--but had to be thrilled to complete a sale at this time! Congratulations and I hope it is a happy place for you to be for as long as you want it! Good luck with the renovations--can you stay where you are until the end of the month?? YKW

Anonymous said...

I forgot to ask how is Wrigs? Is he getting a bigger yard to frisk about in? YKW

Smileygirl said...

Thank you YKW you are so sweet! I hope we'll be happy there too. Luckily we were able to extend our lease another month so we are here til the end of April. We agreed to show the house for our landlords during this time, which isn't too bad since it's just under a month. Just have to load up the animals and try to keep it clean while moving. But we are happy we have a lot of time to gradually move stuff over and take care of some immediate renovations.

And my realtor certainly earned his penny after this debacle! He said he had never experienced anything like this before. All I can say is we will NEVER purchase another short sale home. Apparently foreclosures are much less complicated but our purchase was so difficult since there were other factors, (sellers going thru a divorce, also had a lot of debt). I have a feeling we'll be staying put for a while though.

Smileygirl said...

Oh and not much of a yard for Wrigs. The property is pretty sloped, but there is one area with some grass but Tom has already marked that as putting green central. But Wrigs LOVED the old putting green back in CA so he can frolic about on that.

Wrigs loves the inside of the house because there is a lot of carpet and he loves to roll around and rub his face on it. But the current carpet smells like pee so we are having that ripped up hopefully next week. Sorry to be gross. Hope you weren't eating!

Grazia said...

hey laura-
glad that the house is moving along...once you make it your own, you may be pleasantly surprised in terms of happiness in the home kind of thing. it's always exciting to start fresh, so watch lots of hdtv now for ideas.

right now, i'm feeding finley some chicekn and he's making kind of a weird face. maybe he wasn't expecting it when i gave it to him. kind of funny. we're looking out the window - it's gorgeous here today and hope there is LOTS of sun up in seattle too. oh, and, i'd love to plan a visit before you move to west seattle. let me know what weekends work. would prob do a day trip...maybe even ALL ALONE!!!

karengberger said...

It makes me tired, reading about all of the drama that this couple put you and all other parties through. They sound like they have so many problems of their own. I hope that getting out of the house will simplify their lives so they can get on with the next phase. And I pray that now, you will be free to change and refurbish the house exactly as you & Tom want it to be.
I was thinking of you today, as we walked the south end of the Island; the Olympics are so clear and beautiful! Snow-capped peaks over the water; what a view! YAHOO! God bless you.

Smileygirl said...

OMG Karen. Now I understand what your text meant! I got it and was like, The Olympics?? In West Seattle? Then I thought maybe the athletes were training over there for Vancouver, which would make sense. But now I know what you meant. I'm just SLOOOOOOW sometimes!

I'm not over there today, doing stuff around this place to get ready for tomorrow. I think we may head over that way tonight for dinner though...

Can you guess where Tom is?!?!

Busy Bee Suz said...

Congrats on getting through all the ordeals you have had...perhaps you belly troubles were linked to this somehow too?
Redoing your home will be a lot of work...but also it will be something you can both put your stamp on. I hope you take pictures for us...before and after. Please?????
take care, suz

karengberger said...

Tom - golfing or skiing?

Smileygirl said...

Golfing of course! In Gig Harbor. Perfect day for it.

K@tie said...

I can kinda relate to this house drama and I sympathize!! We didn't have closing troubles, but we did decide to call the sheriff and have a drug dog sweep the house before we moved in...After hurrican katrina hit, squatters moved into ANY vacant house they could find.

Smileygirl said...

Katie, thankfully no drugs in our place, just a homeless person!

Well at least I think there are no drugs. At least not until we move in...

HappyWifeHappyLife said...

This is really an amazing ordeal. I think I would have needed a Xanax (or maybe 12?) to get through this. The house looks gorgeous and I know you will make it a beautiful home. I think you and Tom and Wrigs and Chums will be VERY happy there.... I just have a good feeling about it. :)

Live For Today said...

Gosh, I would never even think to bring a drug dog into a new home! So glad this ordeal is over for you.

Michelle said...

Oh wow! You went through a lot to get there, but CONGRATS, Laura! I am so happy that you got the house and you are getting to renovate the way you want it to look. :)

And I think Chumley would be more than happy to have his own pad...a cat house. Ha-ha! I keel me sometimes. ;)

thepeartreeblog said...

Exchanging homes. It's an adventure, isn't it?

I'm glad it ended well. From what I've seen in the pictures, your new house is gorgeous and worth all the troubles. :-)