This is NOT a post

I was out all day looking at houses, and came back fairly late for us.  Yes, the deal fell through.  Yes, I’m all out of spoons on the house front.  Now the only question is “to buy the first thing that’s not horrible, or not.”  The idea of a forever home or anything more than 5 to 7 years is QUITE gone.  Yeah, the house might surprise us.  Anything is possible.  But what we’re looking at now is JUST buying SOMETHING.  Which is not the frame of mind I wanted to be in.

OTOH a) if we’re not fully moved by June it’s going to make Portugal impossible, and this is maybe the last time the whole family can go for 10 years or so.  10 years is a long time, and people die.  In my parents’ generation most of the people I expect.  Which means after this trip my ties to the place will thin even more, but also, I’ll miss one last glimpse at what it was.  And I’ll miss having the kids along.  I suspect this is the last trip they make to Portugal unless one or both of them marry a woman with an interest in the place, which is highly unlikely.

So, a house must be bought and soon.  That none of the choices are ideal is I suppose our fault for not having continued looking while waiting for the short sale.

b) I’m so emotionally drained by the whole now you get it now you don’t short sale thing, that I don’t think I can emotionally bond with another house again for… possibly years.

A year and a half on the move takes it out of you, as many of you know.  And I made the big mistake of emotionally moving into the short sale, because well… we were offering ASKING price, and it comped favorably to the neighborhood, and the last thing it occurred to us was that the owner’s second lien would come back and ask for 50k more.  (To put this in perspective, a house six doors up that we tried to offer for but which had an offer hours old when we tried, sold for 10k less than we offered ON THE SHORT SALE and is pretty much comparable.  So, no, it won’t appraise for 50k more.  Crazier still, this is their second lien and the house is set to foreclose in less than a month.  If that happens, the second lien gets NOTHING.  While we were offering it a penny on the dollar.  Not great, but better than what they’ll get.  So, we thought… they were sane.  Which they aren’t.  Also we seem to have THE single most inept negotiator on this green Earth.  As in, she doesn’t negotiate at all, just transmit the bank’s demands.  Ah well.  The sellers picked her, not our agent, who is quite as upset as we are, if not more.)

So, here we are.  And that’s about it.  And I don’t feel like writing a blog post, as has been the case most of the week, sorry.

I have a post on tribalism baking, but no energy to deal with it.  I did search to see if I’d said what I wanted to say before, but I haven’t.  So.  It will have to be written fresh.

And now I’m going to shower, down another cup of the magic potion known as Coffee, and settle down to write.  I have a book to finish.

111 responses to “This is NOT a post

  1. Christopher M. Chupik

    If this is not a post, this is not a comment.

  2. Combining realtors and banks, is like serving fruitcake at the asylum, it just compounds the crazy.

    And understand that the person making the decisions at the lending institution (unlike the realtor) will not be affected by the results of those decisions. It’s amazingly like government bureaucracy, that way. Oh wait, a large portion of it is government bureaucracy.

  3. Hugs and best wishes. This too shall pass.

  4. If you haven’t gone back to the house you wanted, now that some time has passed and they haven’t sold at the price they hoped for, it might be worth one more try at a slightly higher offering price

    • Er… which house? The first one we liked they already had an offer on. This short sale is headed for foreclosure. They accepted our offer. The bank just has stalled for 4 months and then demanded 50 k more. And we can’t wait any more or try anything else.
      Sigh. This is the WORST house search we’ve ever done, and we’ve done 6 in our married life.

      • Anonymous Coward

        It is pretty common for the listed price on a short sale to be set low without first checking if the lender(s) will accept such a bid. In this case, it sounds like the lenders are headed for a rendezvous with reality (or, in foreclosure, realty). Suggest you add $1000 to your previous offer and re-submit it. The fact that your offer is (marginally) higher avoids giving them a (probably deserved) slap in the face, but it also makes plain that you are not going to meet their delusional price. Decide ahead of time if you are willing to go even higher and by how much. Perhaps the looming foreclosure date will make them more reasonable. At this point, what do you have to lose ?

        • It’s too late now. It would have to go through the first lender first, the one that took 3 and a half months, and we only have three weeks till foreclosure.

          • all may not be lost. after the bank forecloses (sometime after), the bank owns the house, and now it has to sell it.
            wait
            continue to look, but if you do not find a house to love, you may be able to come back to this one. (and as a foreclosed it may be cheaper, the bank now has to move it off it’s books)
            so good luck on the hunting, and keep an eye on the prize.

            • we don’t have the cash to buy at auction.

              • If the bank takes possession they don’t have to sell it at auction. make them a time limited offer the day after foreclosure.

              • Go to the suction, and offer to buy it from the person at the auction who buys it…

              • you may be thinking of sheriffs sale, were the state takes the property, usually for not paying taxes. (local state or feds)
                when a bank usually puts the house on the market after a foreclose, then it is treated like you selling your house. they put a price on it, you make an offer, if accepted you go to a bank to get a home loan.
                the house will go on the market sooner or later. (months to years), you do not have to get a loan from the bank that foreclosed. you will be looking for houses anyway. get an agent. after the foreclosure has occurred, have him/her go to the bank to find out when the house will be expected to go on the market. this is not a sure thing, but it is possible. it will take a little work (but not any x-tra money)
                how much do you want this home???

            • How much cheaper can be seriously shocking. Had a neighbor at the previous place asking $200k, and that WAS the short sale price — somehow they’d gone from owning it free and clear to having a couple big seconds on it (which the bank clearly had done sight-unseen). Anyway, it foreclosed… and a couple months later was offered at $38k, which was rather more realistic for the property. Still took it a couple months to sell.

              A much nicer property just down the road from it went from foreclosed at $175k, to foreclosed again at $78k, to offered a third time at $45k.

              I’d be inclined to let it foreclose, then come back with a lowball offer.

      • Have you considered a vacant lot (in an existing subdivision with utilities on site) and a modular? (You can sometimes pick them up as repos for a few cents on the dollar, or lot demo models at a good discount.) Much as I dislike modulars, at least it would be both instant house and modern house.

        I assume you’ve been cruising realtor.com and local realtor search sites. When I was looking, I found all the prospects myself; realtors never came up with a single one. (Admittedly I had highly unusual requirements.)

  5. You might be on to something about negotiating skills. Sounds like the second lien holder is taking a negotiating position — hoping you’ll up your bid. If as described above, there is either something going on that you are unaware of or the second lien holder is willing to take a loss for some other reason. Or they are an idiot.

    Put in a bid that is $5,000 less than your previous bid. There will be opposition from your agent and uncomplimentary comments about wasting peoples’ time. Make the bid with no explanation or comment. You’ll signal that you are really interested in the house, but are going to punish idiocy.

    Then, if you really want the house, find out who gets it after foreclosure and let them know you’ll negotiate with them.

    This isn’t logic; this is business.

  6. My condolences. FIL’s house finally sold. The PAPERWORK took 3 months longer than it should have, to a gain by NO ONE. It wasn’t the buyer or the seller – it was the mortgage company and the lawyers and the banks and the title company and the city of Paterson, NJ. The sale went through as originally arranged.

  7. Personally I would never have tried to do a short sale. I’ve watched too many HGTV shows to ever attempt a short sale purchase for anything other then an investment strategy.

    • yeah, I know, and we wouldn’t have, if we hadn’t fallen in love with this house. STUPID emotions. It was the library with the ladder that did us in.

      • A library with a ladder? As in, like in Beauty and the Beast where Belle is zooming around the bookshop?

        Don’t blame yourself. Any of us would have fallen in love just as much. And I’m sorry to hear that you got your heart broken.

      • Who of us here could have not fallen in love with house that had a library with the ladder. But then Fahrenheit 451 is an obscene horror book to me

  8. It’s a tough market for a buyer. We have realtors pinging us darn near daily about selling. Even though we could sell for twice what we bought the place for, neither my wife nor I want to deal with looking for something to move into.
    On short sales, I don’t understand what the incentives are for the banks to stall them until the house goes into foreclosure. If it was an isolated instance I’d say it was a bank employee who has a deal with a house flipper or something, but I have friends and family in several states who have been involved in short sales as either the buyer or the seller and none of them have managed to complete the sale.

  9. Anything that reveals the heart of our beloved Beautiful but Evil Princess is a post.
    While we DO appreciate you for your insights into the global human condition, it’s your OWN pain and suffering we wish to fondle mentally.
    (umm….is that too much? don’t want to get weird…)

  10. Good luck.

    And writing stories should always come before writing blog posts. 🙂

  11. Is tribalism baking anything like Cherokee fry bread, or solidifying the perspectives and values of a/specific group?

  12. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Can’t “like” but will say “Take Care”. 😀

  13. I’m sorry. This stuff is so frustrating. Once upon a time (5 years or so ago) we got tied up in a short sale with 2 lenders that went to foreclosure because the second lender wanted to, after a solid 8 months of stalling. The first lender had approved everything in a couple of weeks. What our agent told us is that foreclosure gets the lender a better tax write off then agreeing to the short sale, especially for the 2nd lender. So banks prefer foreclosure, unless they are being hounded about their foreclosure numbers. Which they get around by waiting a really long time, years sometimes, to actually auction off the foreclosed house. So they can manage their inventory and it looks like their foreclosure numbers are lower.

  14. *virtual hugs and back-pats* “that passed away/ This also may.”

    From “Deor’s Lament.”

  15. In related author news, Sword and Blood has been up as an indie release on Amazon and I understand doing quite well. And Drak, bless his evil heart, will be posting snippets of Through Fire starting on Monday April 18.
    And rumor has it that her highness on top of all the trials and tribulations is hard at work on the next Darkship novel, a follow on to S&B, and an entirely new series purported to have something to do with dragons.,

  16. Catticus Finch

    Ceci n’est pas une pipe commentaire.

    Sorry about the horrible, no-good, very bad house hunting. I can offer you nothing but prayers, best wishes and good thoughts. And I’ll drink a cup of coffee in solidarity.

    You’ll find the right house. Or the right house will find you (which sort of sounds like somewhere there is a house lurking, waiting to pounce and that’s sort of creepy. Sorry. My attempts to console people usually end up going horribly awry. I guess we see why the suicide prevention hotline set my volunteer application on fire).

  17. All of this is why we went owner carries. Well, that, and a credit rating somewhere around Yemen’s.

    From everything I’m hearing, NEVER do business with Well’s Fargo (that IS the bank screwing you over, right?) on anything.

  18. This is not a reply, it is a whine.
    I can’t get anyone to look at me for financing. Why? I want too little and I have no rating any longer, having this annoying habit of paying for stuff. Oh, a few places will be glad to loan me more than I want/can afford for longer than I want to take to pay. So I have gone to the lower end of the price range I was looking for, and with moving reimbursement and a self loan from my 401k I have enough to get something decent enough (besides, 401k so far this year has earned -1.4% and not much more last year, maybe +1% , I will pay myself 3.35%, Unless the buyout changes that earning rate it makes more sense to actually borrow it than let it sit). My standards are not high. A garage or large storage (4 motorcycles, lawn mowers, bicycles, shop tools and whatnot) and room for a bed, bathroom, and food cooking. Me and the cats will deal with it.
    So, for really cheap there is a listing for a storefront/storage with a 2 bed apartment over it detached one car garage as well . . . nice enough, contacted the realtor, who is also who the company I work for uses up there and . . . hello, anybody home?
    I have another place I’d like to look at, north of the area and it was pending, but that has seemingly changed.
    Meanwhile on the job front, I’ve been asked regularly by many folks “When do you move up there?”
    Well, I’ve not heard a word from Eric (upper level boss of my dept) or well anybody about it. Site manager shakes head and says he will investigate and prod.
    Head chemist: “Heh, Eric was the one asking me! Who is your boss going to be?”
    I think it goes Eric down to Rob (he just this past tuesday left on his move) to I think Tom K.
    So now all three have asked me when … yeah.
    I told my Site Manager yesterday, while working overtime (did I mention I need to make this move while working OT 1200 miles away from where I am to look?) as he was helping me make stuff for Not My Department, that I’d be taking the last week of the month off to go look for a place and hopefully get lined up enough to not have things in storage and me in temp digs too long. Rentals up there are horrid. like nearly non-existent and that is discounting me having 3 cats. I found a place in Peshtigo, Wi that even has places with a garage for not much more than I pay here, but it likely isn’t month to month. Then again, using Milady Sarah’s situation as an example I might need that and longer to get a purchase through, no? But I really want to be in Michigan. Lower income taxes, and once I buy, way lower property taxes.
    Meanwhile, I got one more reply, and it is back to packing.

  19. MadRocketSci

    Good luck!

  20. Laura Montgomery

    Hoping it gets better for you, Sarah. House buying/selling is hell. My boys used to start humming the Darth Vader theme when our realtor called about the house that wouldn’t sell. It did. Eventually.

  21. It’s time to break out the novenas. If you haven’t already. And if St. Joseph isn’t getting it done, maybe St. Thomas More. Science fiction writer and lawyer and family guy… might be a good choice.

    Praying.

  22. I hope things straighten out soon

  23. Why do I get the feeling that some banker/realtor/whatever is gonna be the baddie and/or die horribly in some book?

  24. It’s hard when you get attached. Here’s hoping it works out or an even better one comes along.

  25. I’m so sorry. I remember the heart-ache when I was house-hunting – falling in love with a place only for it to fall through, narrowing down my Must Have list down further than I ever thought I could. But I did find a place I’m quite happy in, and if it wasn’t what I initially envisioned, it has charms and conveniences I never expected. (Yes, the library with the ladder is pretty much to die for, but maybe you can build that yourself in the one you eventually settle down in?)

    Good luck!

  26. I’m a Realtor and I pretty much hate short sales for a whole variety of reasons. Now I find myself on the verge of closing an escrow on a property that my buyer made an offer on in September. The bank refused our very reasonable offer and foreclosed. Five months later they put the house on the market for $90,000 less than what we had offered. We offered and got the offer accepted. First time that’s happened to me.

    Of course I realize you don’t have 5 months to wait around to see what the bank does. But there is stuff out there. Something suitable will appear.

    • Had something similar happen to a next door house. The bank closed on it; someone made an offer on it which was refused; it took months to get the ex-owners and now squatters out; the same folks who offered before then offered again — about $20K lower; and they got it. They figured that the $20K they saved was needed to repair the damage and neglect that the ex-owners caused. The ex-owners were loud about how the evil bank should negotiate with them to reduce payments (and principle) and interest rates and forgive the year or so of missed payments. The clearly stated they would take it out on the house. And did.

  27. Any possibility of building exactly what you want? Or finding something with good bones and do a remodel/update/additions job on it before moving in?

    • We looked into both, but they’re more expensive than buying “something that sort of fits.”

    • My wife and I are looking for a new place to rent; in the process, I’m *really* wanting to build my own house. We aren’t in a position to build. It certainly doesn’t help that I want to use less conventional materials: steel for the frame, anodized aluminum panels for walls, ceiling and floor, corian for the roof (the more I learned about corian, the more I’ve fallen in love with it! I haven’t yet researched what it would take to cover a roof with one large piece of that stuff, though…), brick and granite and aluminum siding and stucco and who knows what else for the outside…

      Yeah, it’s probably for the best that I’m not in a position to build a house. I might still design it, just because, though…

  28. We retired to Deepest Oregon when I was 50 (because dot-com bubble bursting). We had a list of Wants and Needs. We found the place that had the Needs (single floor, because we weren’t getting younger, and Big Enough) at a price low enough so that we could work on the Wants as time permitted. It’s been 13 years now, and it’s pretty suitable.

    As things evolved (Darwin’s house?) we’ve adjusted Wants and priorities, but the place is paid for, so the budget calculations are easier.

    I’d pick a suitable neighborhood, and look for a place Good Enough. If you think you’d want to stay there a long time, come up with a plan to make it the way you want. The banker/realtor dungeon may be a high priority…

  29. I guess now you should be able to convincingly write refugee stories.