Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Best and the Worst Experience

In going through this whole process which started about 4 months ago when we first decided to start house hunting, we had the best and the worst experiences, mostly the best. BUT--it was a BIG roller coaster of emotions. The first house we fell in love with, we made an offer, they accepted our offer, and we thought we were on our way...We had signed papers, so a contract was in the works.. We waited for the seller to sign at her end, (she was in Hawaii, so there were some time zone issues), but she took another offer while we were waiting for her to send our signed one back!

On to another house we fell in love with.....Somebody put another offer in right under our noses, we tried to moved fast, but we weren't fast enough! Then we made an offer on a bank repo. The bank took FOREVER to come back but they were ridiculously too high. On to another one, the final one.

It took us 52 houses to finally find the right one. Here's our file of houses we looked at!

We kept coming back to the one we finally chose because the price was right, the house was on a golf course, and it had a pool. As we narrowed down our choices, which were starting to get narrowed for us by the real estate market changing for the better, we decided to make a move. And that's where the aggravation and nerves started ratcheting up. Today, if you buy a house, be prepared for a complete financial investigation of everything down to the most minute detail. It used to be a credit report check, proof of earnings, and not much else. Today, it's give them your bank statements in detail for the last three months, your tax returns for the last two years, and be prepared to explain with letters why certain deposits show up, be able to document that automatic payroll deposits are going to continue, what certain line by line items are in your statements are for, and for heaven's sake, don't buy anything or take out any new credit while undergoing the loan application! We didn't, but we just couldn't believe the amount of detail the bank kept asking for!

As we went through the process, we had a TERRIFIC sales agent team--Craig and Brenda Wilson of Keller Williams Realty.  They were fantastic! They are a very warm and friendly,  easy going, PATIENT couple who work as a team to represent you. They are the kind of people you would love to have as neighbors.  Craig went above and beyond the call of duty. When we got word of a damaged roof with rotted wood under the lanai extension from the inspector, Craig came out on a Sunday, with his tools, and he and Eldy repaired, drywalled, and then Eldy painted the repair so we could have a faster turnaround to try and have our closing at the scheduled time. Which ended up not happening, but we were ready anyway!

The roofers took care of the roof up top and the decking, but they didn't repair the rotted wallboard underneath the overhang. And what appeared to be a very small hole and leaking damaging drywall by the roof skylights, ended up being a very LARGE hole which Craig repaired for us. And he wouldn't take a dime for his Sunday afternoon of work!

We were assisted yet by another wonderful guy, Mike Tullio, a mortgage broker with Kroboth and Helm. He was FABULOUS! He stayed one step ahead of the bank, making sure we fed him with the necessary documentation, so it was there and ready if the bank asked for it, and they did! He and his processor, Debra, kept things moving for us. He got us the best rate, watching it day by day, and locked us in when he thought it was going to move up, which it did, the day after we locked in our rate. He was VERY on top of any emails we sent him. He would get back to us within the hour each and every time to answer questions, and soothe our nerves, especially Sparky's! Very knowledgeable, talented guy with a great team behind HIM. AND, he's a former teacher, which makes him a very personable guy and great to deal with. Gotta love that!

Time for the closing..June 14th. Hold on now..That isn't going to happen. The inspector can't get back out to the house just yet to confirm the roof repairs were made.  Let's try for early next week. Besides, it's raining every day this week. Next week comes....Has the report made it back to the bank? Yep, but their people have to confirm and ok it. Now the closing is set for 3:00 PM on a  Thursday afternoon...Uh, wait, NOPE! It's been delayed. Looks like it might be Friday. The bank is notoriously slow, Mike said, and they were....About twelve different people had to put their stamp of approval on the loan app. Something to do with HUD as well. Not sure it's going to happen. We wait...we go cruising around the city. Closing is back on. Time is now set for 4:00. We show up at 4:00 at the title company office. Nobody else is here. We wait...5:00 comes and goes..We hear from Mike and the lady at the title company office, Paula.  She is waiting for the closing statement stuff and final approval to come from the bank. She forgets about her normal quitting time and waits to hear. It's gonna happen, she says. The final papers come!  They start feverishly typing up the documents and closing statements.  It is 5:45, we start! Woo-hoo! And it's a done deal! We are the proud owners of a nice house in a golfing community in a beautiful neighborhood!

All and all, if we hadn't had Craig, Brenda, and Mike and their staff helping us along the way, we think we would have lost more hair, swallowed more TUMS and generally been in a lot worse shape with our nerves! :-)

Now it's time to start moving in! THAT will be a job! Moving just about everything from the RV to the house. The time where you open up drawers and think, oh! I can't put my utensils in there until I get some drawer liner. Start making a Lowe's list. What do we need for the house? Where are we going to put the recyclable bins? Where's the silverware, honey? I don't know, it's around here somewhere. I think it's in THAT box. You know, that kind of stuff. Eldy has already replaced the shower head in the master bath, put together two patio chairs, and we are right smack into the homeownership/maintenance routine. Now, if we can only figure out how to hook up the internet and cable boxes.We're lovin' it!


  1. Congratulations on your new house. Moving in is a chore, but will be great when it's all finished.

  2. Boy, things sure have changed since the bubble burst. Glad you made it through the process and that you had some real professional people to help. Good luck.

  3. Looks like finally all is good. Now moving from a small house to a bigger house should be and fun job.

  4. It all sounds so exciting, like going on the road in reverse :)

  5. We just jumped through all those hoops last year. What a pain in the rear!

    What wonderful people you had on your side. So glad you finally got it all under control. Welcome again to home ownership.

  6. Congratulations! I've been through that many times, both as a buyer, seller, real estate salesperson, and loan coordinator. Reading your post gave me the willies. :)

    I'm so glad it all worked out and that you found such a beautiful home. It really does take good people on your side keeping tabs on everything to make it to completion.

    Now the FUN begins! :)

  7. Sounds like you went through a lot to get to this point, but your excitement to finally be moving in means it paid off. Hopefully you can park the RV in front for a few days while emptying out the basements.