We started down the dark path to home ownership last month.
First came the Queen Anne in need of a lot of work, starting with the description. Realtors need to know the difference between a walk out basement and a root cellar. Next was a Saltbox house with the “basement” that was really a hole under the house. I walked downstairs and thought “Is this what a grave smells like?” After that was the Tardis house; it was bigger on the inside. Generous sized bedrooms, two bathrooms, hardwood under the carpet. Drawbacks? Knob and tube wiring that was phased out in the ’30’s and the kitchen was designed by somebody who only made coffee. Last was the one with the weird basement. The ceiling in the laundry room was tall enough for my husband (6’2″) to stand up straight. In the other part of the basement I had to stoop over while walking around, and I’m a foot shorter than he is. We guessed the builders either got lazy and didn’t want to dig anymore, or they found a pathway to hell and poured concrete over it.
After a week the houses seem to blur together into doors, carpeting and faults. Antiquated wiring, tiny kitchens and carpet that smelled like dog urine.
Finally we found one that had been lovingly kept. No termites. New roof. Wiring that doesn’t predate Roosevelt’s administration. Let the games begin.
We made an offer. And waited. They counter offered. We discussed and fretted about finances. Then we made another offer, held our breath and waited on pins. Then they agreed! We danced for joy.
The next two weeks were a blur of activity. If I wasn’t driving to the realtors’ office to sign forms, I was sending texts or emails to the realtor, the loan officer and the home insurance agent. All three are now on speed dial.
One day the loan officer told me that a bank statement (that had been printed up at our bank) had to be stamped with an “official” seal. We just want to move. But buying a house involves a lot of official red tape that can’t be signed except on the fifth Thursday of the month but only if it doesn’t end in “y.”
The fly in our ointment is getting rid of our mobile home. We’re ready to give it away. If that doesn’t work, we’ll spend our tax refund on paying somebody to dismantle it for us.
Until we close the deal and get the keys, we practice patience.