December 29, 2013

The House Story

I'm usually not a storyteller online, but this is too crazy to not get out. The (really long) story of our new house...

The Sell
We listed our first house for house for sale on a Thursday, had 3 showings and an offer on Saturday. Easy!

The Search
After looking for homes in Sherman-Denison and McKinney, we decided to stay with our 2006 plan of moving to a historic home for our 2nd house. We looked at the 1925 house in early November and made an offer, knowing they already had another one from earlier in the day. We loved the house but didn't get it. We kept looking for a place to live but every house in our price range downtown was selling immediately with multiple offers. Nothing we saw lived up the the 1925 house so we decided we would rent an apartment until a house as good as that one came up. November-December isn't the best time to buy since inventory is low, but there should be plenty of homes to choose from in the spring. We also talked to the British Builder, who specializes in restoring homes in the area, and learned it would be a 9 month process if we went that route.

A few weeks later we get an email that the first offer on the 1925 house fell through. The seller previously said they went with the first offer because they had an earlier closing date, but since that funding didn't work out, they wanted to know if we still wanted the house. We did, of course! It was also our anniversary that day so the house was a great gift. We had less than a month to close but our awesome lender said she could make it work. We went through the whole inspection/appraisal/funding/etc. with the worry of things getting delayed because of Thanksgiving and the giant DFW ice storm. We also had to renegotiate a little after the seller refused to do some electrical work promised after the inspection but got it worked out.

During this time we also learned that our buyers were going to be closing late. They were getting a USDA loan, a great program for first-time lower income buyers with good credit in rural areas. Because of the government shutdown earlier in the fall the final part of their loan (getting the USDA stamp of approval) was delayed. Our old house closing was going to be moved to a week after the closing of our new house. Luckily our lender made it work for us to own both houses at once so we wouldn't have to put the 1925 house contingent on our first house closing, whew.

We were set to close on the 1925 house on a Monday and the weekend before the seller was supposed to be moving out while we finished up the last of our packing. The water company accidentally turned off the water on the old house early so we split the nights with each of our parents and ended up having had a fun, relaxing weekend.

Then, as if the drama of a delayed closing and worrying about the funding wasn't enough, here comes the best part...

The Move

On Monday the new house closing was moved from 10am to 4pm because of a typo on the appraisal. Our bank got our wire transfer in late and we thought that was our drama for the day, but by 6pm we had the keys. During the closing our realtor did get a text that the seller was still in our house. He told her we'd be there at 6pm, assuming she was grabbing her last few things.

We drove straight from the closing in Plano to the house in McKinney. We were on our way to the new house with two cars loaded up planning to clean and move in a few things.

But, when we get to our great new house he previous owner was STILL LIVING THERE. She was not in the house and we had the key so we went on in. Nothing was packed, fast food was out on the kitchen cabinets, and the TV was on. She was not on her way out the door with the last few boxes like our realtor thought. What the what??

Meanwhile, our realtor called saying she had just called him to ask if she could stay in the house until noon on Tuesday. Um, no. She could have easily asked to lease the house back for a day prior to closing, now that the house was insured in our name if anything was to happen we are on the hook and didn't want to take any risks with the giant new debt we just signed for.

After about 10 minutes the seller (45-year-old divorcee) finally showed up with a teeny tiny Uhaul trailer. We were waiting on the porch to talk to her trying to gage the situation while she spent 5 minutes trying to park it. She didn't look too good and we had to make her stop to talk to us, she didn't make eye contact and was just going to walk right by us!!

Since we didn't want to be responsible for moving all of her stuff out of our house, we told her she needed to work through the night to get it out. She said she would and supposedly her adult son was at work and had to wait until after his shift to help (and why is this our problem). We did know the house was up for sale because of a divorce and she was sure to let us know that again about how many problems she had during her 3.5 year divorce. We had assumed the divorce was something recent, but it was clear she is just one of those "always a victim" types. Thanks for involving us in your drama lady! If she had been apologetic and kind we might have had more sympathy for her situation.

Of course, we were also on the phone with our realtor and lender during this time. Her realtor was no where to be found. We had to call the police to get everything on record in case we needed to deal with our insurance company later if she damaged the house. The police said they would come arrest her for trespassing but we just wanted her to get her stuff out and leave so we passed.

We have friends down the street so we visited with them for a bit and left a car full of stuff at their house. On our way back to our old house to sleep we checked on the new house and saw the seller WATCHING TV through the window, ahhhh - things were not looking food for our morning move. We were scared she was either going to hurt herself or just run away and leave everything behind.

On Tuesday we showed up at 7:30am and are surprised to see things happening, yay! We walked straight in while 6 or so of her family members were moving the last few things out of the house. Matt immediately started changing the locks while I checked the status of each room.

I talked to her two sons in their early 20s and it seems that the seller had "fired" her realtor and "didn't know" she was supposed to move out prior to closing. She signed the closing papers Monday morning so we know that's not the case. We also have an email about her moving out Sunday, changing utilities, etc. Her family was very helpful to her and had been up through the night making things happen. There was an 8-year-old little girl (niece?) sleeping on our dining room floor when we showed up to move in, and a 10-year-old boy had been up all night helping too. Guess our move was a good reason to miss school?

And.... instead of packing her stuff into boxes and putting it on a moving truck, all of her belongings were on the neighbor's yard. Someone must have advised her to remove everything from our property ASAP, so I guess they thought it best to just move it to the street since they didn't have a truck. By 3pm they finally had it all cleared away. She also lost the key to her car so they had to call a tow truck to remove it from our driveway so we could get our stuff in.

So, we moved our boxes in while her family stared at us from the neighbor's yard. We had all of our items in before she had her stuff off the street. We actually didn't even see her Tuesday, her sons coordinated everything for her.

We are just glad everything worked out OK, we never did get an apology though. It was just a weird day and it seemed like we were doing something wrong, which was not the case. We didn't have a happy move in experience and were a little bummed we didn't get a chance to do a deep clean in advance, but that's fine. It could have easily been much worse.

Based on some info we received later we think either she was trying to get back at her ex-husband (who coordinated the home sale and had already moved out) by causing problems or he didn't communicate the dates for the move with her properly for some reason. Turns out they didn't just cause problems for each other, they got to cause problems for us.

Tuesday was a long day. Wednesday I was back at work for fun Christmas activities. Matt was already off for Christmas break so he got to work all week around the house.

Friday afternoon we had a quick and easy closing of our old house, which we left spick and span.

The End.


1 comment:

  1. Oh, my word...the is THE CRAZIEST story and one I'm glad you documented (with pictures, nonetheless)!! It almost doesn't seem real, but oh, the stories to tell in years to come. What an incredible blessing that was for you guys to get the house of your dreams. I can't wait for the home tour. :-)

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