‘Corner’ Under Construction

For those of you who may be trying to access “In My Own Little Corner,” I have not locked you out.  I upgraded and now the plugin that authenticates users is not working.  Unfortunately, I won’t really have a chance to work on it until we get back from New Mexico.  Until then, here is the update on the latest dramas about the house (from Sunday morning 7/27/08):

So, I haven’t blogged much lately.  So much has been going on that I needed to concentrate on moving forward rather than reporting or reflecting.  Now comes the time for reflection.  It’s been a long 4 days.

On Wednesday, we got a call from our realtor.  He had just gotten a call from the seller’s realtor who was in a panic because he just found out from the sellers that they did indeed put in a claim for the hail damage on the roof and got a settlement check.  What?!  Unfortunately, because of the point at which we were in the process, there was nothing we could do.  He spoke with two real estate attorneys who said they did nothing illegal with the forms they filed and the information they shared (however unethical).  They both said that if we pull out of the deal now or try to renegotiate, we would likely be sued for non-performance of our contract because it would be hard to prove we were “materially harmed” in the matter.  The bottom line is that we knew about the damage when we agreed to the reduced price they offered as a result of our request to fix it.  We could seek legal counsel of our own or just accept it.  Now, we at no time really wanted to get out of the deal.  We knew going in that the roof was 16 years old and that we’d have to take on the cost of replacing it eventually.  What made me sick to my stomach was that someone would knowingly make a claim and pocket the check when they are about to put the house on the market and then lie about doing it.  They probably could have recouped the amount and probably more had they just replaced the roof with their settlement.  But not everyone is honest; life lesson learned.  So we chalked it up to that and, despite the sour taste in our mouths for these people, are happy to be going forward with the purchase of the house.

And as the roller coaster was just about coming to a stop, another surprise!  Our mortgage broker called and said that due to a change in financing, we need to have a signed lease for the condo.  This is Wednesday.  We’re hoping to close on Friday.  Hope is dwindling quickly.  SO, we contact the friend from church who has agreed to rent at a great rate to help both of us out.  We’ve had her lined up since we started this process, checking occasionally to make sure she’s still interested, and each time she was.  We asked her if she could sign the lease right away since we now need it to move forward.  She said no problem, she’d look at it in the morning and we’d be good.  I emailed all the forms to her.  I didn’t think it would be fair to her to rush her, so we were somewhat prepared for it to take longer than we hoped.  We hadn’t heard anything by about 11:30 that morning, so Jeremy, while out and about, stopped by church and happened to catch her.  She said she’d look it over during lunch and give us a call.  By 1:00, I figured I could go run errands around church and stop by when she called.  She didn’t call.  I stopped at church at 2:30 and stayed until 3:00, and she wasn’t there.  By then I had gotten an email from the mortgage broker that we would NOT close on Friday.  No big surprise there.  So I left, and on my way out the driveway, she was driving in.  She said she wanted to have someone look it over for her still, could she get it to us tonight.  Sure, I told her, we’ve already missed the deadline for being able to close Friday.  She felt bad, but I really didn’t feel right about rushing it, so I told her it was fine.

Fast forward to 9:00 p.m.  I checked my email one last time before heading to bed early on this stressful day.  There was an email from her.  She can’t sign the lease.  Because of financial and some other reasons, she didn’t feel right about putting herself or us in an unstable position.  Ugh.  Now what?!

I began seeing a parallel between how things were happening with the house and how things transpired around the days Mac was born… up down up down excited crushed up down…  I was hopeful that this situation would turn out just as wonderfully in the end!

We didn’t spend much time dwelling on it.  We moved into action.  With a week-long vacation coming up and a closing scheduled for the day after we return, there was no time to waste.  We had to find another renter, and fast.  We called a couple of Jodie’s employees who she said were looking for apartments.  No go.  We looked on Craigslist to find people who are looking for apartments.  A few possibilities.  We posted the condo on Craigslist and emailed the post to those people.  And we went to bed (didn’t sleep much, but tried).

The next morning, Friday, we had one email from someone interested in the condo.  I sent a message to everyone at work and in my address book, including a mailing list for young adults at church, in hopes that by some chance someone we know would know someone who is looking.  By Noon we had two people lined up to look at it and about four others who had emailed and were interested.  We looked into and signed up for a service for renter screening (required by our association) and talked to John about what kinds of red flags we should look for (he used to work for the company whose service we would use).  One of those people coming to look was another woman from church who used to sing in the choir with me.  She has since gotten divorced and is living with a friend and got the email I sent.  She was excited at the prospect of having her own place and the price was great for her.  Throughout the day I talked to our mortgage broker and told her our new situation, and she assured me we shouldn’t worry.  She said they’d contact different lenders and see what our options would be.  She said to keep working on getting a lease signed ASAP but not to worry.  Yeah, right.  The upcoming week just kept flashing like a storm warning — you’ll be gone for a week and have to get a signed lease in that time in order to close the day after you get back — take cover immediately — my stomach hurt.

Fast forward to 5:00 p.m., when the first person was supposed to come look at the condo.  By 5:30 at the latest, she said.  She didn’t show.  At 5:40, we got a phone call from the woman from church (she was supposed to come at 6).  She was in the parking lot, early, and wondered if she could come in?  She did, and we gave her the tour, I took her down to show her the pool, showed her the laundry room, and we sat down to chat.  I could tell she was interested but didn’t want to push.  She asked what our plan was, and I asked if she needed to think about it.  She said she could think about it for a week, but she’s sure.  Because it was someone we knew, I told her the situation and that we needed the lease signed sooner rather than later.  We told her that if she was willing to sign right away, we wouldn’t require a security deposit, and we’d do her background check later.  She said yes!  I was shocked and relieved.  We got all the paperwork done, gave her copies, and felt the stress melt away.  Thank God.  We knew He must have a plan, but we were searching pretty hard to find it.  Apparently we were supposed to help her instead of my other friend.  Maybe I should have sent that mass email out earlier like I had thought to originally but never did because we had someone lined up!  Lesson learned again!

Yesterday, Saturday, NOTHING happened regarding the house.  It was a glorious boring day.  😉

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