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17 February 2011 @ 11:55 pm
timing and buying a house  


Before I start my story, be reminded it was the seller who wanted to close so quickly.

Let me start on Tuesday night. After a late bus, bad timing on the light rail in Seattle and a VERY long line in security, I boarded the red-eye back to Boston. I can't sleep on planes. We land about 8am and I make my way home on the T. I try to nap, but fail. My broker picks me an G up at 12:30 to go do the final walk through on the house. We arrive and while some of the things are done (the mirrors are beyond our expectations) many of the items still aren't done. One of the big things was the kitchen counter was supposed to be moved back up against the wall and instead they just put in silicone to bridge the gap. Our broken spends a while on the phone trying to get an expert opinion on what could have been done and what the cost would have been. We also phone the inspector and get his opinion. We spend a very long time with this issue. We make up a list of all the things which aren't done and come up with estimate prices. We expect the seller to receive the list and make counter offers.

I get some sleep.

We wake at 9am and finish with tightening up our guess prices, but have heard nothing from the seller. We expect to negotiate at the closing table. My printer runs out of black ink, so I print the list in blue, just for my own reference. We go to get the check for the remainder of what we own on the house. It's frighteningly easy and quick to get the check and we have a little time, so I get some food, to make sure I've actually eaten.

We get to the lawyers office. Our broker is already there and we get to meet our lawyer for the first time. He puts me a little off guard, since he's doing the lawyer thing of trying to exude control and I'm already feeling very nervous about all this.

We wait. Half an hour late in walks the husband of the seller's lawyer (who is also a lawyer.) There's no seller, no seller's agent and this lawyer knows very little about what's going on.

We bring up the items for escrow. He's taken aback. He wasn't even told about this. We show him the rider on the PnS and explain the list. Eventually I hand over my "only for my reference" list with the numbers on it. He asks me to add it. It comes to about $20k of base value, which with the multiplier mentioned in the rider would have been about $30k. He gets his wife out of meeting and faxes her my list. The seller is "out of the country" or something. She gets the seller's partner (they're a building company) on the phone. Seller proxy-lawyer hands me the phone. The guy on the phone starts feeding me every line he has. He tells me the A/C units are being delivered that afternoon and the attic is already done. I say, "I can't check that, I'm sitting here." I cave on some of the smaller stuff, but I stand on some of the larger things. He keeps telling me that he's "just trying to get this done" and says things that are supposed to make ME sound like I'm being difficult. He even says that since he does all the warranty work, we'll be having to work together for the next year, so I shouldn't get off on the wrong foot. I tell him I only want what we agreed to in the PnS! I make the lawyer talk with him. We go back and forth and eventually I agree to an 11k base value plus a check for the A/C units which would be released when I drove up and saw them there. We then apply the multiplier. The seller proxy-lawyer says, "no, the 11k was the total, not with the multiplier." We say it's using values from the rider that mentions the multiplier. They were clearly before the multiplier. He insists the seller's partner won't go for it. We phone the partner back, and no, he won't go for it. I check with my lawyer that I'm reading things right and then I say, "no, we'll delay the closing rather than going with the 11k." We hear proxy lawyer on the phone say, "I don't think you have one" which we took to mean he was asking what options or recourses he had. Eventually they agreed to the 16k escrow for redoing the counter, installing the A/C, paving the drive, painting the wood pieces on the outside of the house and landscaping. (now keep in mind they still get this money, it was just a question of when.)

G said that was a side of me he hadn't seen before. I start to shake a little, because I'm dreading having to work with him after doing something which I feel is fair, but he clearly didn't. Even the proxy-lawyer said I did well though and the my lawyer reassures me that it was the right thing to do.

We close, but since the seller or seller's broker isn't there, I don't get keys or anything. We make arrangements for me to get them from the seller's realtor shop.

We go home. I tell our insurance company (who is amazing BTW. I highly recommend garret-lynch in Davis. They apologizes for having scruples but still keep them and understand things well enough to be able to give really good advice) that yes we closed and the insurance should become real. We phone the electric company and very smoothly have the power changed over to us. We phone the gas company and their phone tree is a bit broken. I finally get a real person and he's not so with it. He tells us that someone's going today to shut off the gas and that he can't put in a new appointment until the 22nd to turn it back on. We don't want our pipes to freeze, so now it's G's turn to be insistent and I leave him to argue with them until they can get our gas back on in a timely fashion (afterwards I learned that they eventually contacted the shut off guy and told him not to shut it off.) I drive out and get my keys.

The lady who greets me is the one who was at the open house for the house (not the seller's broker.) She says with surprise, "Oh, you're the one who bought it?" I get the keys and the garage clicker.

I pull out and put the clicker on my car's visor. I smile my first real house smile of the day. I have a garage door opener, and it's mine. That means I have a garage.

I go to the house, and the cleaning lady is just leaving (I'm not sure what all she cleaned, it looked like I remembered it.) The A/C units are in the garage, so phone to release the check. I go to check the attic too, and it's lovely. I make my first home improvement before entering the attic and put fuzzy feet on the pull down. I need to pee, but there's no toilet paper. I do some measuring and break my measuring tape.

I go to taiko and drum off some stress.

The first open house was January 29th. 20 days from first seeing the house to closing.

And now the real work begins.
 
 
 
A little nightnacht_musik on February 18th, 2011 05:22 am (UTC)
holy cow! congrats! I guess I'll visit North Reading someday, then. :-)
JBjbsegal on February 18th, 2011 05:31 am (UTC)
Holy crap! Wow…
Congrats.
I'll miss knowing you're nearby, but at least you'll have to have a housewarming. :)
Someone I am is waiting for my courageforgotten_aria on February 18th, 2011 03:44 pm (UTC)
It's not like we took advantage of the closeness, which is a sad thing. :( I still have a taiko DVD for you (I think.)
JBjbsegal on February 18th, 2011 04:46 pm (UTC)
I know, but there was always the potential, hence 'knowing you're nearby'.
*HUG*
blkblk on February 18th, 2011 12:57 pm (UTC)
buying a house is definitely an exciting and stressful experience. Glad you got through it. Congrats!
unintentionally intimidatingcoraline on February 18th, 2011 03:53 pm (UTC)
OMGHOUSE!
congrats, i can't wait to see it :)
chenoamegchenoameg on February 18th, 2011 05:30 pm (UTC)
This!
In the end, I'll know, but on the way, I wondergorgo on February 18th, 2011 06:21 pm (UTC)
Congrats! And go you for sticking to your guns on the negotiations!
Shooting for the moonintuition_ist on February 18th, 2011 10:43 pm (UTC)
go you! i hope you move in before i leave the job i'm in. i'd love to come over and have lunch with you some day. :)
Natashahoneyartichoke on February 19th, 2011 01:55 am (UTC)
Way to go sticking to your guns and not letting him take advantage! I think making him wait for the money will actually help ensure he gets the stuff done as per agreement.
Congrats!! Buying houses is soo stressful, I'm glad you guys made it through! Can't wait to see it :-)
A Sage With a Slight Flaw in Her Charactereccentrific on February 19th, 2011 03:20 am (UTC)
Congrats! That is all kinds of good.
i. m. feyfeylike on February 19th, 2011 06:33 am (UTC)
congrats! totally not surprised that you had the hard negotiation skills in you.
Karl Rammkcr on February 24th, 2011 04:13 am (UTC)
Cool! Congratulations!