26 February, 2010
Sorry for the lack of updates…
I’ve been completely distracted with buying a new house.
If any of you have had to deal with a short sale, especially with Bank of America, I feel for you. We put our offer in on a house in June — an offer about $10k more than the asking price. And we waited, and waited, and waited. More than six months, we waited. Every week, asking our agent if there was any news, and never getting any answers. Every few months, we’d get a panicked email from our agent telling us that the house had gone back on the foreclosure list, and that we had to scramble to get paperwork out to prove that we really did want to buy the house. (Come to find out, we learned later that this was usually caused by the seller not providing the bank with some paperwork in a timely manner, and when those deadlines expired, the bank would start the steps towards foreclosure.) The bad part about that was that though we were able to take the house off the foreclosure list, the short-sale process would start back to point zero.
In the end, the only thing that seemed to work to get the ball moving was an email I sent to the office of the President of BoA. I told him about the nightmare process we’d been going through. It seemed to work, because a month later, I got a phone call from a representive of the President of BoA, and while she couldn’t discuss details on the mortgages the seller had, she assured me that she’d oversee the process to completion. Three weeks later, the bank finally did approve the sale. I can’t say whether this tactic would work now, though. The then CEO Ken Lewis stepped down in the beginning of 2010, and I don’t even know who the new one is or how responsive he or she would be. (I can tell you that the address of the old CEO was ken.d.lewis at bankofamerica dot com, so maybe you can figure out their email address naming convention to figure out the address of the new one, if you ever need to.)
So, after many months of waiting for the bank to process the short sale, we were finally granted permission by the bank to purchase the house we wanted in early January, 2010! BUT…
But, we were undone by the neglectful and idiotic seller. Even though he apparently lived less than a mile from the property, it seems that he long ago gave up any emotional attachment in his property because he failed to winterize the house, allowing a pipe to burst. The water damage went undetected for several weeks, and a crop of nasty toxic mold grew. Even though my wife and I had invested more than six months of our lives in waiting for the property at 4300 Rock Creek, we decided to walk away from it. Inevitably, the house will now fall into foreclosure, and some investor will buy it for a song, fix the mold damage, and probably never tell buyers that the house was tainted.
So it was, in mid January, that my wife and I joined our agent on the house hunt again, looking at all the properties in our area that were for sale in our price range. One Sunday, we went to 16 different properties. Ugh. We settled on making an offer on a recently remodeled three-bedroom, two-bath house 15 minutes south of where our apartment is now. Our agent set up a rigorous closing schedule, and I’m happy to report that as of February 18, my wife and I became proud home-owners!
The kitchen was completely remodeled, with all new appliances, and it’s quite big, too. We’re doing a little more remodeling now, and scheduled to move in at the end of March. So, if you don’t hear much from me in the next few weeks, you’ll know why. Wish us luck!