House buying and selling is never fun

posted by Jeff | Friday, September 22, 2017, 11:16 PM | comments: 0

House buying and selling is such a crappy process. If someone can solve the mystery about how to make it better, that person will be rich. And mind you, my entire experience with buying is new construction, three times now. So it should be more fun.

My first house went pretty smoothly, but as everyone knows, any idiot could get a loan in 2001. In fact, we bought that house starting with a second mortgage, a "purchase money" loan used to beat PMI by putting enough down with a second loan. Total shenanigans. I do recall some drama around the closing date, and we needed some warranty work at the time of the first big rain (a leak caused a ceiling to explode), but otherwise it wasn't awful.

Selling that house became the worst thing ever, and it was the source of all the stress and drama around our Seattle adventure and poor decision to return to Cleveland after two years of sitting on the market. Ugh, I still think of those 20 months as my biggest failure of judgment ever. But on the second try, at least it went in 48 hours, and we closed about six weeks later.

Building our current house was rough, because our construction manager was kind of a dipshit who didn't take responsibility for anything, and exercised almost no QA. If that weren't bad enough, securing the loan was a struggle right up until the last week, because in the eyes of the underwriters, I had no income since I worked on a 1099 contract basis. We were seriously this close to walking away and staying in our rental.

In our world headquarters sequel, the financing started out almost as bad because it wasn't clear that anyone would let us put less than 20% down. Mind you, that was never the long-term intent, but we weren't going to be homeless for months while they built the thing. That eventually got sorted out, and I could put 12% down and simply recast the loan at 20%+ down once our current house was sold and those proceeds were in our hands. Pressure is on now to make that happen. Otherwise, our biggest challenge has been a slipping construction schedule due to shortages in the trades and a hurricane.

My BFF just experienced the non-joy of getting her house sold, with poor communication issues with the title company and realtor. Her new construction didn't go smoothly either.

I imagine that none of this follows a happy path unless everyone involved is paying cash and the houses already exist. Although paying cash for a house in its entirety doesn't really make sense either with rates being so low. Your money will work way harder in the market and you'll still come out ahead. See, even that's not straight forward.


No comments yet.

Post your comment: