"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. " -Helen Keller

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

How Not To Buy A House: a lesson in comedy, futility, and madness (part 4)

I'm sorry I made you wait so many days for the next part of the tale documenting our exercise in futility. I didn't really intend to make you wait this long. I really did mean to write more the next day but remember how my life went to hell in a handbasket. Hehehe, see what I did right here. Not only did I cover my ass for the long delay but I gave you a taste of what the whole house buying fiasco was like for us...promises and hope with no fucking follow through.

When y'all last read the story, we were desperately hoping the house would be set up and closed on before the end of the year and I think that was the biggest joke we ran into. Despite everything we said, despite everything we did, the house did NOT get delivered and set up before the end of the year. We did NOT close before the end of the calendar year. And, all that meant we lost the $10,000 tax credit for first time home buyers that was expiring that year and we got bitch slapped by the tax man when he assessed taxes and penalties on the money we withdrew from Vic's 401K....taxes and penalties we wouldn't have had to pay if we had closed before Dec. 31 of that year.

Even once B's supposed crack set up crew delivered the house in the following year, things did NOT move quickly. In these situations, a crew usually has about one work week that they dedicate to setting up a house. They place the house on the foundation, permanently set the tie downs, permanently join the two halves and the pipes and the ductwork, and have specialists check electrical and water connections. 9 times out of 10, modular or mobile homes pass their inspection and get their certificate of occupancy on the first try...but not us.  It took multiple months, numerous long and mostly unexplained absences, and innumerable hounding phone calls until B's Crack crew finished the job that should have taken a week, 2 weeks if they were having a tough time. After all that, it took not 1, not 2, not even 3, inspections to get the certificate of occupancy. It took at least 4 inspections before we were cleared to move in.

This was when we got the next fun and special surprise from B. Do you remember the furniture that had been torched and supposedly reordered? Well, we remembered it too. That's all we could do because even though there was a certificate of occupancy, the furniture was still nowhere to be found. B swore up and down that he had reordered or furniture and this time it's absence was the fault of the manufacturer. See, this time, the manufacturer just didn't deliver it to B on time and then, in the interim, the manufacturer cancelled that line o furniture. It was gone,over, finished, kaput. My carefully selected, lovingly picked out furniture was DBA - dead before arrival. Yet again, we had to search through the books and make a new furniture selection. We got that done, went shopping for a new mattress, and tried to schedule or closing date. We waited and waited and waited some more to actually have a closing date set...and, that's when something snapped.

We decided at this point that we didn't give a damn if it was legal or not. We had a certificate of occupancy. We were moving in on x date whether we had closed or not. We were moving in on x date whether we had living room furniture or not. We were tired of being screwed around.

So, as the x date approached and we still hadn't closed, we rented a truck and started packing our apartment. We moved in with bare bones bedroom furniture for us and NO living room furniture at all. We moved in and filled cabinets and dressers but signed no papers making it ours. We moved in just in time to have our families over after Joey's baptism but we had to bring the bench seats in from our van for them to have anything to sit on. It was chaos but it still felt good to be there.

I guess our move in kicked B's ass into gear and he scheduled our closing date for less than a month after we moved in (even when he was in gear, he was a seriously slow assed mother). When we got the news that a closing date had been set, Vic and I breathed a huge sigh of relief. We beat B. We beat that sorry assed son-of-a bitch and the house was going to be ours. Surely we had finally mastered all of his surprises? Surely the closing was going to be uneventful? Bwahahahahahahaha. B had one more surprise for us and it was a doozy.

When we picked out the house, we picked carefully. A huge consideration in our decision was the total cost of the house and the land and what sort of payment that worked out to be with the interest rate we had pre-qualified for. Back then, we had an awesome credit rating. Well, maybe not awesome but it was good enough to qualify for an FHA loan with very low interest rate. We did not get the interest rate we pre-qualitied for. We didn't get our cherry interest rate because the company B had handling the construction loan on our house, the very construction loan that would roll into our mortgage, never received a single payment on that construction loan. The lack of payment on the construction loan was the first nail in our credit rating and it cost us about 1 1/2 % points interest and over $200 dollars a month in payments. It SUCKED.

And, to add a lovely garnish to the top of this fucked up house buying tale. We closed on the house, made one payment,yes, just one payment, and my husband blew his knee out while he was at work. One fucking house payment and we follow it up with a career ending injury. I sometimes think that house was never meant to be ours.

So, there you have it...betrayal, lying, piss poor customer service, more lying, a comedy of errors, and the ever encroaching madness thrust on us by a family member who was suppose to be looking out for us.

Have you ever gone through such a comedy of errors? Can you top my house buying tale of horror? Share your story with us...pretty please.