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Archive for February, 2009

Mistakes in home buying

February 25th, 2009 at 02:55 pm

During the last 2 weeks I got really behind on recording my spending (but I saved about 70% of the receipts) and now I need to get back on track and feel overwhelmed. And shame.

We spent so much on fast food. We spent so much on things that we could have done without.

Its like buying the house gave us a "reason" to give in to our desire to spend. Not even buy things we have been wanting...just to buy because we could.

We purchased new flooring and bought 10 extra feet "just in case". Now we have an extra box of flooring under the house.

I wanted 1 outlet cover for 1 outlet and bought a whole packet. Now those are in storage.

I went a bit crazy buying paint. At first I bought 2 gallons of paint for a room- got home- hated the color. Went to the store bought 2 gallons of a different color- still didn't like the color. So I bought some samples. Went sample crazy- bought 6 samples @$4 each- then bought the paint I liked by the gallon. Well come to find out each room needs about 1/2 gallon (plaster takes less paint than sheetrock apparently). So I have gallons of unopened paint.

We bought a swiffer for the floor. We were told a different brand would work better and bought that one (it didn't). We still were not getting good results and paid $60 for a steam shark (swiffer with hot steam) and it works GREAT! but now have 2 swiffers hanging in the closet never to be used again.

Stuff like that makes me angry with myself.

Gamecock reporting in

February 23rd, 2009 at 02:03 pm

Okay, I've been MIA for about 2 weeks. You guys are not the only ones who noticed, my friends were neglected to. But the house is nearly done, and I'm lovin it!!

We took on many time consuming projects and when we were not doing that we were to tired to communicate to anyone but the dog.

And...in the interest of honesty...things were adding up. And not all 'needs' either. I didn't want to feel guilty about purchases because I waaannnttted them!

But the house feels like home now, and I'm including pictures.

One big learning lesson: Thank the heavens we purchased a duplex- we spent just over $9,000 renovating ONE FLOOR- no way could we have done both levels at once; financially, physically or mentally. We finished 'our unit' and when we outgrow the bottom floor and take over the top floor...we must do everything all over again. But thankfully that's a few years away.

I was concerned about cutting our living space in half when we moved- but 950 sq ft is nice. Not to bad to clean and no wasted space.

Now that things are quieter- I will be back to regular blogging.


our 'found' floor that no one would restore so we had to buy newFrown


our new wood floor for the 2 side rooms.


main living area floor...shined up nice.


living in a construction zone for 2 weeks- pushed me to the end of my patience at times.


Starting to paint.


Dining room


Entry way


living room


our bedroom

That's it for now, on to read ya'll's blogs!












Gamecock reporting in

February 11th, 2009 at 01:39 am

I'm checking in a bit. Things have been...different. But good different. BB and I have had lots of memorable experiences since my last post on Thursday.

WE CLOSED ON THE HOUSE!! It went so smoothly. Done in half an hour.

Then the memories began. We closed on one of the coldest days of the year. At 5pm. On a Friday. Me being an apartment girl didn't think that the electric and water would be off when we moved in. I thought we would just change it into our name.

Nope. no heat, no water. On a Friday night.

We bought candles, bundled up, slept on the floor and rationalized that the discomfort was worth it.

Over the weekend we actually reset our internal sleeping clocks. Up at 7am with the sun...getting sleepy about 6pm and in bed ("bed" or blankets on the floor) by 7pm. (It's so dark with only a few candles!)

But water, electric and cable all came on Monday (now dubbed "The Greatest Day Ever" by BB and me...modern conveniences...oh how did those cavemen and settlers survive without them??)

Anyways- everything is going well. The house is wonderful. We got right to work destroying it on day 1.

We have sanded the plaster walls of almost the whole downstairs unit.

We pulled up carpeting and ordered hardwood for the bedrooms (original hardwood ended up being to damaged to restore Frown.

Pruned the backyard.
Swept the front porch,

and talked talked talked about our future. That's all there is to do when you are sanding walls for hours and have no TV or radio to listen to.

AND! We met our upstairs tenants. 3 college boys, very cool. Somehow BB's job proceeded him and one boy had already looked up BB's stats online. They already said they want to stay in the unit for the rest of their college years (2 more years).

So a few observations...
1) I feel like I have been on a MAJOR SHOPPING SPREE! Oh my it's so fun to let loose and buy buy buy. Even unloading that huge down payment...just handing people money has become fun. It's been so long that I have been limiting my spending- now I am free to BUY! (BB and I are reviewing the numbers tomorrow to see just how much damage we have done.)
Since we did not have to put down as much $$ as we were originally planning..we did take 10k and put it away in savings for an emergency fund before going crazy at Home Depot.

We bought a starter house that will turn into a forever house! I think I have touched on it before- but it hit home for me this past weekend. The units are about 1000 sq ft each, and our bottom unit is a good fit for our 2 person family. But once we have one kid walking age...I think we will be bursting a bit (look at me planning for kids, not even planning to get preggo yet) and then we can go upstairs! Our sq footage will double and we wont have to move! I didn't plan on that bonus feature when buying a duplex- we were planning to move out and buy a SFH...but we love this one. I don't want to leave.

When we first moved in- it felt like a rental. Didn't feel like ours at all. It just felt like it was another baseball season and we have moved again, taking only bare essentials, setting up cable, power, all that. But as we started ruining the walls (that's what I think sanding does to the walls- BB assures me we are going to be pleased with the results), the place felt more like ours. By the end of the weekend...it felt so much like home. I never ever want to leave. I'm so attached. Even if it looks 10x worse right now than it did when we moved in.

I am very very afraid that we don't own the house. We closed. We handed over our money. But I keep imagining getting a letter in the mail or having a policeman knocking on the door telling us there was a mistake and we must vacate the property immediately because it's not really our house. Worse still, that the real owner is requesting we return the house in the condition it was when we moved in. :P

Anyways, I will get up some pictures soon! I am sorry I have not been reading ya'lls posts- we just got internet yesterday...but I was so thrilled to have WATER that I didn't even turn on the computer yesterday. (using bottled water to wash your hands and planning your errands based on what store has a bathroom is humbling!)

I think this whole week is going to be crazy as we demo the house and put it back together again. (not really but it feels that way) So next week I will be back to regularly catching up on WhiteS home purchase, Texe's dilemma to stay or move to CA, monkeymamas updates on tax changes, coanegigs(sp?) green kitchen countertop, DisneyS' ebay and survey updates, BA and Merch's stock strategies and everyone else's daily posts.

Final good news update

February 5th, 2009 at 10:21 pm

We're closing!! It's done! the seller signed papers today- we drive up to Savannah and sign tomorrow and get the KEYS!! It's done for sure. I think. We got the settlement statement and learned we got a CONVENTIONAL LOAN (No PMI!!) at 5.5% fixed 30yrs. Our closing costs are $7,900...slightly high I think but don't care at this point. Our taxes are $1,000 less than I anticipated they would be...and our monthly payment is $940.00 a month including taxes and insurance!

And we close tomorrow!!!

No rescheduling movers!! No more whining!

We set up the cable/internet guy to come out on Monday- so it may be a while before I'm back to report on the closing...but I am hoping it's all sunshine and daisies from here on out.

I am exhausted. But getting more and more excited.

update

February 5th, 2009 at 03:36 pm

Well, I'm still in total housing mess right now.

There has been no more talk of the foreclosure short sale issue- Mortgage people believe they resolved it/ seller stated his side= someone is lying but I don't think I will know the true story anytime soon.

My underwriter called me yesterday morning to tell me her part of the process is done, she's handing off the closing details to the closing attorney.

Closing attorney called me in the afternoon to tell me he is meeting the seller today to sign the documents, collect the keys, and he needs to set up a time/place to meet with me on Friday for me to sign everything.

YIPPEEE!! Closing is finally here! I set up movers. I filled out a change of address card. I gave my health insurance my new address. I set up a cable man to come out Monday morning ($70 month for TV & Internet).

Then last night Underwriter calls me in a panic. She called BB's last place of employment and does not understand how he only worked for them for 1 month.

I'm not panicked because that's true. He was traded late in the season, only played in TX for 1 month.

I don't know what Underwriter had in her notes or on the application but she thought he played for 1 team for the last 2 years. Maybe she misunderstood when I told her BB just signed a 2 yr contract with the team. Or that he's been a ball player for the last 7 years.

So underwriter is in a tizzy and wants me to email her immediately BB's places/names/addresses/phone numbers of employment for the last 2 years. I was able to get her the information in about 10 minutes (thank you internet).

So that went down around 5pm yesterday. Since then...silence. No phone calls, emails, nothing.

Raise a hand if you think I'm moving tomorrow. Anybody?

Guess it's time to cancel the movers AGAIN!

Foreclosure...no? yes? ...this is weird.

February 3rd, 2009 at 04:17 pm

So for those of you following my first home purchase saga...here is an odd twist I am trying to wrap my head around.

Yesterday the mortgage underwiter sends me an email saying: "I have great news, I have been working with the Attorney and the
Seller to save the house from foreclosure and we were sucessful. They have given us an extra 30 days. I also have approved
your loan."

Since BB and I were not buying a foreclosure I immediately called my Realtor who confirmed he had not heard about any foreclosure and this was news to him.

I called my mortgage broker who told me the property was in foreclose and due to foreclose TODAY (1 day before they 'saved' it). He told me that his attorney discovered this and was working all last week with the bank to stop the foreclosure because the property is in the process of a sale. The seller actually owes "quite a bit more money on the property than my purchase price and I am getting a spectacular deal." He and the attorney saved me from having my purchase contract be voided out and having to start the purchase process all over again and negotiating to buy the property from the bank. The bank was happy to hear there is a buyer for the property and extended the broker 30 days to get the property to the new buyer (me). There is no way my Realtor or I would know it was in the foreclosure process because it was a pre-foreclosure or short sale and that information does not need to be disclosed to the buyer.

So I call my Realtor who told me he asked the seller if the property is in foreclosure. The seller explained a story about a foreclosure mix-up. "It had to do with miscommunication last year when he got behind on payments -- he actually had everything caught up, but the bank didn't have the payments in the right account -- it was just a matter of getting the payments in the right place. He said this underwriter had nothing to do with "saving" it from foreclosure. He's a little pissed off and we really need to close this deal by Friday."

So that's the story. Really I guess if the house was in foreclosure or not it does not effect me. But someone is lying here.

Either the mortgage broker is trying to look like a hero after all his delays and outright deception on getting this deal closed in a timely manner- or the seller of the property is lying because he does not want to look like a bad businessman or deceptive seller.

Both sides have their merits. How can a property owner be receiving foreclosure notices from a bank and not get that information fixed immediately? Wouldn't his credit score be tanking, wouldn't he be getting hit with all kinds of overdue/non payment late fees month after month?...Wouldnt he be motivated to make sure his monthly mortgage payments were actually paying his mortgage?

And if it was indeed a short sale and he owes more on the property than I am purchasing it for...wouldn't the seller have had to go to the bank to ask if he can accept my offer? Wouldn't I have found out immediately it was a short sale because the negotiations would have dragged out while the bank interfered with our negotiations. Instead the seller and I reached an agreed price on the same day I made an offer.

But if it was not a foreclosure then how is it that the attorney spent several days working with the bank to stop the foreclosure- unless they were flat out lying to me? How can a person successfully work with a bank to stop a foreclosure if the problem is that the money was placed "in the wrong account" for a few months. Wouldn't the bank admit it's actually not a foreclosure but a banking error that they have corrected? What would be the broker's motivation for inventing a foreclosure story? To make me grateful to him and forget about all the inconveniences and unfulfilled promises he made me? Can/do brokers actually just invent entire stories to save face or hold onto a client?

If it was a banking error and not a foreclosure did they waste a week of my time doing nothing with my mortgage and are covering it up with this foreclosure story...or did they really spend a week working on a problem that did not exist but they believed did exist? I don't know which option makes their business practices look worse.

And finally...do you think the attorney is going to charge me for this? I am guessing yes. But I don't want to pay for services I never asked to have done, was not told were performed until after they were finished, and may or may not have been needed.

Can anyone offer any suggestions here? I feel like someone is lying and I don't know who to trust.

January Numbers

February 1st, 2009 at 07:26 pm

Well I tallied up our January spending. BB has not gotten his paycheck for working at the baseball school the first 2 weeks of January so I did not include it in the numbers but assume it will be about $200.

Ebay, as expected was TERRIBLE this month for me. I did not list any items around the first of the month because I knew people were recovering from Christmas shopping. Then I had one week to list items then I shut it down in anticipation of moving. Then I listed a few items when the mortgage was delayed but could not list anything valuable as it has all been packed away.
So despite the problems I actually netted $688.00 but then I was hit with eBay fees from last months sales ($358) and spent $275 in shipping and that only left me with $55 profit for the month. Frown So I didn't even make the ebay challenge.

Anyways...even though all our normal sources of income were severely limited this month, and we only brought in about 50% of our normal incomes- we only would have been -$70 behind...but then we also spent $683 in house purchase related expenses and $425 on an unexpected vet bill (dog is now fine)...so we went into the red $1178.00. OUCH!

Without further ado...here are January's numbers:

Income: $1965 + BB's paycheck
Fixed Expenses: $1338
New house buying: $683
Vet expenses: $425
Fun: $520(Takeout $236/Video games & movies $34/Scrapbooking $165/Misc $85)
House maintenance: $20
Car maintenance: $157
Total Month spent: $3143
NSD: 6