The past week or so has been a whirlwind of drama to the nth degree with getting our house purchase squared away. It was so much drama in fact that at one point I thought my next blog post title would read “The Foreclosure Market Giveth and Bank of America Taketh Away” but it turns out I would have been all wrong.
If anyone was going to be taking away our dream of homeownership it was going to be American Financial Resources with their lack of attention to detail, non-existent care for their clients, and complete lack of urgency in their jobs. I have 17 months and 29 days until I can refinance out of their company and I fully intend to do just that.
It all started about 2 weeks ago when we were told by our broker that in Arizona we do an escrow close. Now, forgive me on some of the technical terms because I’m not the mortgage professional in this household, but Matt isn’t the blogger, so you may learn even more about mortgages behind the scenes than you thought possible. When closing in escrow you actually sign all your paperwork and give the title company the cash to close in advance. The loan then funds and all the other hoobie-doos happen behind the scenes.
Yes, hoobie-doos is a technical term.
Then you meet with your realtor, get keys, and do a happy dance in your brand new, broom clean living room.
At least it reads great on paper. In reality it went something more like this…
As of May 6th we have all paperwork to our broker.
Our broker tells us she’d like to kiss us both because we’re so proactive.
Matt assures her it’s his many years of experience.
We start collecting boxes and packing material.
We are told we’ll have to sign & give money early.
We question this having never bought a house in an escrow situation.
We are told not to worry, paperwork should be coming in a day or so.
We sigh with relief and check the calendar – it is the 15th.
By the 17th we still don’t have final figures.
Matt has emailed everyone in creation at least 4 times a day.
Everyone but our lender has emailed him back indicating their attention to the situation.
Our lender finally sends a message that they missed the part where we close on the 23rd but have to sign early – they say oops.
We hear a rumor that BoA (the seller’s mortgage holder) won’t close this if it isn’t done at least 3 business days in advance.
By the 18th we still don’t have final figures and I start to panic.
The lender laughs.
I am not comforted by the fact that Matt starts to panic too.
We are forced to agree to a form that says we’re in breach of contract (even though it’s the lender’s fault, it’s on us).
I flip out screaming that our lender has had ALL our paperwork for 2 full weeks and question if anyone at American Financial Resources knows how to read.
The lender says they’ll have everything by Monday the 21st.
I lose 3 pounds from not eating all weekend.
I gain 5 pounds from drinking all weekend.
I lose all I gained by helping move my sister into her very first house (HOORAY!!).
Monday comes and goes and still no paperwork.
I question where I can get heavier drugs.
The lender has literally said they don’t give a shit if it happens when we want it to or not.
Our broker has not one but about 50 panic attacks and calls in her boss to call their President.
The lender’s President all but laughs at our broker (again) and well over 200 emails go back & forth.
Matt takes the rest of the day off due to extreme overwhelming lack of concentration.
I begin drinking heavily.
We’re assured we’ll have everything Tuesday.
I pour another glass of wine and consider inviting our realtor and broker over to get hammered together.
Matt begins drinking with me and we zone out to crappy television.
Matt says out loud he will NEVER allow this kind of shit to happen to his clients.
Our broker’s President puts American Financial Resources on their black list.
Tuesday morning crawls at a snail’s pace but we arrive to sign docs at the title company at noon.
We hit the bank and withdraw our funds to close.
We shake hands and profusely thank our title company for their diligence in getting this done.
We continue to physically shake as we head to the car, hopeful everything will fund the next day.
Matt takes the entire day off and we both sit around biting off what’s left of our fingernails.
The 30th call from our realtor comes in and we again commiserate that we’re all in this together.
Our broker contemplates leaving the industry this one has her so stressed out.
We pour ourselves another glass of wine.
Wednesday morning we wake up and know we have until 4:00 when the records office closes to have that deed recorded so we can get our keys.
Minutes tick like hours.
The title company says the lender received paperwork.
We pace frantically.
Another email details the wire has gone through.
I start chewing on random pen caps.
Another email that they’re standing in line at the records office.
Finally at about 3:30 we get word that the deed is literally done and we can meet our realtor at 4:30 to get our keys.
My excitement at the fact that we actually have purchased our very first home in Arizona is so overshadowed by all the stress and drama we dealt with that I can hardly get excited. That is until our realtor opens the lock box and hands us our key.
Our key. To our house.
I then proceed to do a happy dance in the middle of the living room. Of course I have to avoid all the crap the seller left behind including piles of trash all over, a garage full of random crap, a backyard full of random crap, and 2 bedrooms full of her kid’s random crap. Our realtor leaves us at our new house with a couple hugs and handshakes and we sigh in relief.
I start looking through all the stuff left behind. This includes, but is not limited to, a chaise chair, a huge cooler, a shed full of screens and beach chairs, 2 patio chairs (score!), an entertainment center, her son’s baseball trophies and uniforms. And then I poke through his closet.
There, in a far back corner of a shelf is the kid’s bong.
Oh how I wish I were kidding. The trophies, her recipe box, and family photos at Disney were odd enough to find left behind but really kid? I mean as a teenager isn’t that the first thing you pack? Maybe he’ll swing by to fish it out of the dumpster. Because that’s right where it will be.
Needless to say we spent a couple hours picking up new lock sets at Home Depot, installed them and a padlock for the backyard gate (for pool safety), swept out the crap from the house and skimmed the leaves out of the pool.
We drove away from our house last night at about 8:30, got Subway, and came back to our apartment ready to start our clean out, painting and pool maintenance the next day after work. I’m counting the hours until the end of the day today.
And last night we celebrated the downshift in stress with the last of our magnum of wine.
It’s finally ours now. And no one can take it away.