Thursday, March 21, 2013

15 Months!

my little baby is 15 months old today. he is getting so big and so so smart. he'll be smarter than me by the time he is 2 if he keeps learning at this crazy rate.

last year at this time he was just barely learning to grab his toys and roll over. now he can do all sorts of cool big boy stuff!

he can hum his ABC's, which he does ALL DAY LONG. he can count to four. he's learning to eat easily stab- able things with a fork. if you ask him what he wants at any time of day in any context, he replies with "cookie!", which kinda sounds like "gookie." he asks for "tunes!" first thing in the morning and points at his iPod. he still freaks out at the sound of the andy griffith theme song (he yells "THROWWW!" when opie throws the rock in the pond). oh, and he falls on his little face when trying to climb the stairs to the porch. :(

sometimes i get bummed because he's growing too fast, but he really just gets cooler and cooler with age.

happy 15 months, vanny manny.



Monday, March 18, 2013

The Biggest Pain in the Ass of my Life

buying our house was the biggest pain in the ass of my life. i've decided to make a little timeline of all the nonsense that was involved because it was so lame and cumbersome and illogical that i know i'll soon forget the details. my mind has already blocked out a number of them.

March 2012
i got pre-approved for a home loan. this was the easy part. i answered some questions and filled out some paperwork and boom. pre-approval done.

April 2012
we looked at a few houses but weren't blown away by anything. this was all fine because we knew that we were picky and loved our rental. we'd happily stay put until we found something that would rock our world.

May 2012
our dearest family friends, a divorced couple, were going to have to sell their home. they approached me to see if i would be interested in buying it. my eyeballs turned into hearts and popped out of my face on metal springs. i called the realtor and we put in an offer. our offer was accepted.

i signed a bunch of papers. the deal was set to close by the end of may. yay!

we ordered an appraisal. the property appraised at our offer price. yay!

we got a home inspection. the home had dry rot and termites and needs a new roof. these problems would cost 15k to fix. oh no!

June 2012
we ask the owners if they could drop the price by 15k. they say no. we redact our offer and are sad. we look at another couple houses but they are lame.

July 2012
our realtor and mortgage guy suggest a 203k streamline loan. this loan enables the buyer to receive a loan for the house and also allots some money for repairs on the home. we thought this was a great option since it would allow us to get the home and deal with the termites and roof. looks like we are perfect candidates for this loan. yesssss.

i fill out all new paperwork. i'm told to contact some contractors to get estimates of what it would cost to repair the roof, dry rot and to treat the termites. i'd also have to repaint, since dry rot repair requires cutting out of wood siding and lots of wood replacement.

August 2012
i finally acquire all the appropriate estimates and paperwork from all the contractors (insurance, licenses, etc.) this took so so long. i submit it all to our loan officer.

weeks pass, and then we get a notice that ALL that paperwork that took me months to get is totally void. i'm told that i needed to hire a general contractor that works specifically with 203k streamlined loans. awesome. back to the drawing board.

meanwhile, seller(s) are getting antsy. the deal was supposed to be done in freaking may. good god. the bullshit process and set backs and misinformation i was given doesn't really resonate with them. it's really confusing and i hardly understand what is going on myself, so explaining this to the sellers is even more nonsensical.

September 2012
new special 203k general contractor comes and looks at the house. we tell him everything that needs fixing. he gets us a bunch of estimates, which we approve. he also tells us that we are required by the 203k FHA streamline folks to get a new appraisal. yeah, a new one even though we got one early on in the process. we needed a special 203k streamline appraisal guy to come. he needs to tell the FHA people that once all the repairs are made, the house is worth the asking price. we were purchasing the house for 185k. we needed the bank to give us an additional 15k to make the repairs. the appraiser needed to okay that the house was worth 185k as is, and once the repairs were made would appraise for 200k.

appraiser visits the house. our realtor is there and pissed, because appraiser is from galt, california. our house is in historic roseville, california,  a place very much unlike galt. we ask him if he's familiar with roseville's unique vintage home real estate market, to which he replies he is not familiar.

after appraiser is done walking around the house and property, our trusty realtor provides him with print outs of recently sold homes in our area. these illustrate that these older roseville homes are legit and in high demand. many fixer uppers in our surrounding neighborhoods that are in FAR worse shape than ours are going for around the same price as ours. we are making out like bandits with a 185k purchase price.

October 2012
i get a call from my loan officer informing me that our sloppy bumpkin of an appraiser appraised the home too low for the 203k streamline loan. the FHA folks say the most we can get is 185k.

oh no! this means we can't make the repairs. eff it, we say. we've been set on this house for months at this point. we'll take it for 185k and make the repairs out of our pocket within the next few years. it's not like the house is falling down or anything...

i then fill out ALL NEW PAPERWORK, and resubmit to just get a regular old FHA loan. again. just like i did months ago, way back at the beginning.

sellers are SUPER antsy at this point. loan officer assures me that this shit will be done in a jiffy. he puts as big a rush on it as he is capable of putting. this will be all done and over with, with keys in my hand by halloween. for sure. at the latest. the absolute latest.

November 2012
FHA tells loan officer that we need a new appraisal. the one we had done originally (185k) has expired since this process was taking so damn long. we call our original appraiser who makes a quick visit and signs off on the 185k price. we are good to go! any day now, the paperwork will all be pushed through the appropriate channels and get the right signatures and we will get the keys. any day now, the assure us over and over.

meanwhile, sellers are INSANELY and rightfully antsy. they say if it's not done within a week, they will put the house on the market. oh nooooo! some other people could end up in MY house!

a couple days go by and my loan officer informs me that there is a conflict with the appraisal. that's because, floating somewhere in the FHA universe, is that fucking low appraisal from the sloppy bumpkin that has yet to be cancelled. a request was put in to cancel it, but things like that take for-ev-er since FHA is a bloated, enormous and inefficient government agency. things like appraisal cancellation, according to their web site, should take like, 10 days. we are on day 30 and it's still hanging out somewhere, waiting to be officially cancelled.

a week goes by. i check my phone and email incessantly. like, i spend hours per day looking down at my phone and logging into my email.  it's the longest week ever. ever!

FINALLY! the appraisal gets cancelled within HOURS of the sellers' realtor getting ready to put a for sale sign in the front yard of my new house.

 i got the keys the day before thanksgiving.

and we moved in just in time to spend christmas in our new house.