It's been awhile since we covered my housing saga in-depth, so I thought you might enjoy another update. I'll start from the beginning, for any of you that have lost track of the previous thirteen parts...
To start at the beginning.... five years ago, my husband and I bought this house, located in a subdivision in O'Fallon, Missouri.
My husband and I soon reached a rather strange compromise that works for both of us. We would buy another house, I would move into a really cheap house, he would stay at our current house, and in a year or two when the housing market improved, we would sell the home in O'Fallon and possibly use the house I bought as rental property, and move to yet a different home together. So in June I signed up with a wonderful Realtor and started looking for just the right home. I tried not to be picky, because I was in a hurry to move. I didn't care what the house looked like or what shape it was in or how many bedrooms or bathrooms it had. My requirements were pretty simple, or so I thought. I wanted a house that wasn't in city limits or in a subdivision that had any pet restrictions. Mobile homes were fine, especially since they were the most common type of home in the areas where I was looking, and in my price range. So I searched and searched, and quickly found my new home.
The next house seemed too good to be true. It was close to my work, private, and in an area with no restrictions. I was sure that this was going to be my house. There was some mold in the basement, which is the only reason I figured it was so affordable. No big deal - I had a friend whose son-in-law did mold removal for a living, so that could be arranged... or so I thought.
Every day after work I'd go out and search for a new house. With the threat of a lawsuit looming over my head, I was anxious to get moved as soon as possible. By now it was almost August, and I soon found another house that would fit my criteria.
So the search continued. I looked at many, many different houses. And then, I found it. The house that was perfect for fostering. In fact, it was so perfect that the people who used to live in the house had also fostered dogs. Everyone agreed it was meant to be.
So by this time, I've learned my lesson. No more assuming I'm going to get the house that I am trying to buy. I have continued searching for potential houses and have quickly identified another possibility. Within a few days of canceling the contract on the last house, we make an offer on this house.
By now it was mid-September. By this time I've sent my cat Merlin to live with my parents until I can get moved, because the two-pet subdivision restriction includes cats, and it was easier to relocate Merlin temporarily than it was to relocate Remi or Noelle. On September 13th, I make an offer on this home.
Thus begins my education on purchasing a HUD home. First, I learned that the home is a log cabin. Well, of course it is. But according to the HUD inspection, the home is a frame home with log siding. Uhmmmm... okay. But it turns out it wasn't okay. Because the lender approved the loan based on the HUD inspection. And once they learned from the appraisal that the home was in fact a log cabin, they said that they couldn't give a loan on a log home unless there were comparable log homes sold within 20 miles in the past six months. I'm not even sure there were log homes sold within 200 miles within the past six months... we don't have a ton of log homes around here. Thus, once again, financing was not available. This time I was not going to be deterred. I contacted other lenders. I contacted banks and log home manufacturers and brokers of all sorts. It took the entire month of October, but FINALLY, my mortgage broker found a lender that would give me a loan on the home. I could have the home after all!
So by now it is early November, and I still haven't moved. I'm told we're waiting on the appraisal to be redone, and once we receive that we'll be ready to go. Then by mid-November I'm given a list of requirements from the loan underwriter, including some estimates for needed repairs that were identified on the HUD inspection and a well/septic inspection. My awesome Realtor jumps into action, calling inspectors and contractors and HUD to get the necessary information. We get all the information provided by the beginning of December, and wait anxiously for the closing date to be assigned.
We wait.... and wait. We sign contract extensions every two weeks, and continue to wait. Emails continue to go back and forth as my mortgage broker and Realtor work hard to get HUD and the lender to do whatever is needed to close on this house. Finally, just before Christmas, we hear that everything has been approved by the lender, and there are just a couple of minor things that need to be completed. So, another contract extension is signed and we wait some more.
Christmas comes and goes. During all of this I had believed I would be in the new house by Christmas. So I didn't put up Christmas decorations or a tree, and it was a very strange holiday for me. I was extremely stressed out and felt that we would never close on the house. Two days after Christmas I have a minor breakdown and send an e-mail to my Realtor and Lender threatening to, well, let's just say letting them know how stressed I was. Remember the mobile home in Part 2 that I tried to buy back in July? It's still on the market, and the price has dropped enough that I could afford to pay cash by borrowing against my current home. Which means I would not have to depend on any lender for anything, and I could move! I am assured that everyone is doing everything they can, and we should be closing any day. I ask them to not talk to me unless they are calling to tell me they actually have a set closing date. I then go hide under the futon with Ziggy for several days.
We have a closing date! Everything is ready and pressure has been put on the title company to get us closed. They tell us on January 7th that if the lender gets them the closing numbers that same day, then we can close on the 12th. I'm cautiously hopeful as I share the good news on Facebook.
I find out that the lender could not get the numbers to the title company the same day. I also find out that since the last contract extension we signed was only good through the 12th, we have to sign another contract extension and wait. Again. Soon enough we're given a new closing date of the 18th. That is this Tuesday - only three days from now! I'm told that all of the paperwork has been done and there should be nothing that will keep us from closing on the 18th. I announce the happy news to everyone I meet.
Fast forward to today, January 15th. I plan to meet my Realtor at the house to do a final walk-through before we close. The house has been vacant for a year, and I expect a quick look just to make sure it didn't get blown away by a tornado, and we'll be good. Instead, I pull up and get out of my car, to hear my Realtor ask if I have a cell phone signal. I check, and answer no, then ask why. She proceeds to tell me that the house has been broken into and someone has stolen all of the copper pipes. I ask her if she's serious, half believing it has to be a joke. But it's not. The window in the back door has been broken in, and there are pipes missing everywhere. The home is totally unlivable, and will require major repair. We call the police, and three quarters of the entire county's police force responds. Seriously! They only have four officers in the county, and we had three of them at our house because due to a poor phone connection they were under the impression that there was a bad guy still in the house. After that excitement, I acknowledge the reality of what this means. Since we're dealing with HUD, this means the house closing can't take place on Tuesday. So I'm back to waiting. And hoping that Part 15 gets here quickly, and that it's the last part of this very long and drawn-out housing saga.