Buying a House in Atlanta Part 4
We closed on our house on February 24th 2009 at 12:00. The events that lead up to that day were littered with fear, anger, frustration, stress, and excitement. You see, after the official acceptance of the offer we had three weeks of Due Diligence and Financial Contingency. What this means is that we had three weeks to get financed, get appraised, get inspected and make a decision. During this period, we could walk away for any reason at all. So we had a lot of decisions to make. But, in the beginning, it was a waiting game. We had to wait on our Mortgage Broker and our Realtor to set up our appraisal and inspection and get us financing asap. Fortunately this was the least of our worries as the appointments were made for early the next week.
We didn’t say much to the appraiser, but the inspector took us on a quick tour of our new home pointing out all the imperfections along the way. From the beginning, I was nervous that Priscilla would find something to make her change her mind as I knew that inspectors are paid to find something wrong. That wasn’t the case though and she was surprisingly accepting about the homes tiny faults. They were minor though. A few boards that needed to be replaced. A leaky pressure valve. Some other little minor things, but nothing to keep us from closing on our new home.
Next we had to wait on the finances. At the moment we had an acceptance letter James Willard was in contact with us requesting a number of documents including proof of employment, credit checks, proof of funds, etc., etc. After that it was in someone else’s hands. Mostly the Banks as they have a list of potential mortgages and they were not going to even get to ours for more than a week. We waited, but I wasn’t too worried. This market wants buyers like us and we fit all the requirements. Plus we had the money and credit. We waited.
Closing was on Friday, so we decided to do a final walk through on the Monday before. Everything was looking perfect. That was about to change.
Quick back story on the house: There was a lady living in the house that was not the true owner. She was renting the house from a young guy that bought the house in 2008. The details from there get a little cloudy, but all I know was that she did not want to move out. From what I can gather, she had been doing small renovations throughout the house since she had lived there. I am not sure why a renter would spend the money to renovate a house they do not own, but, as far as I know, she was responsible for a the dishwasher, the carpet, the unpainted crown molding throughout the kitchen, the updated thermostats, and alarm system, to name a few. She did these things thinking she would be buying the house. I guess. We found out she had lost her job and ran out of funds. All in all, she was not happy about loosing the home. OK end of back story.
Our walk through was interesting from the start as when we walked in we heard noises from the upstairs. Not wanting to freak anyone out, we talked loudly to make sure they knew we were here. A young African American man came down the stairs and said all of three words to us. Our Realtor David Willard asked if his mother was home and that we had an appointment to see the house. That is when we noticed some things. A broken marble fireplace corner, a broken baluster, and a few ten inch gashes on the stairway wall. These were things that were new and the boy confirmed that. We also noticed the alarm system and the thermostats had been yanked off the walls throughout the house leaving large holes in the drywall. It was not pretty. As we were leaving the lady living in the house came home and as she walked in the door she threw her hands up in disgust. Unaware why we were there, she was pissed.
We didn’t know just how pissed til a couple days later.
I get a call from David Willard stating that they would offer $500 as compensation from the new damages, but there was a kicker. The Lady had taken a key to the front of the super nice dishwasher and scratched up the whole front. We were not sure just why she did it, but we assumed it was out of spite. This lady was growing more annoying by the hour. After I had agreed to the terms and a few hours later, I got a call from David that she has done damage to the dishwasher and that it may not work. Now, let me remind you, this was a “short sale.” The seller was broke and had now way of compensating us for the new damages. The $500 was the limit. Our only choice was to completely back out, and David seemed to think that they would just let it happen if that is what we decided. In other words they would call our bluff and let the house go into foreclosure. He seemed to think we had no other choice but to let it ride out and take what we get. We were stressed and confused and pissed. We let it ride out.
The next day the owner decided to replace the thermostats and try to fix the dishwasher before we moved in. We were pleasantly surprised. By this time he had kicked the Lady that was renting out of the house and changed the locks. She had no more overnight privileges. The only thing was that when we signed he was going to put the old locks back on. Crazy Lady had the keys to the old locks. First chore and expense in our new house was a set of new locks throughout. (but that’s for the next blog entry) We found out the dishwasher was not broken at all. It was disconnected because the Lady tried to take it!! We couldn’t believe it. But really we could. She was nuts. But is didn’t matter. We were happy with our functioning dishwasher. When we signed the papers, we were content and convinced this was the house we wanted.
We are officially home owners.