100 Days Under Contract: “So how’s that house thing coming along?”

So, we signed a contract on our house-to-be in mid June. We were all like, “Hooray!” Because we’d already come a long way. A lot of people have been asking “how the house thing is coming.” It’s a long and sordid tale, so I usually don’t get into it. After all, I’m pretty sure that I’m supposed to say “good” even though it’s been way less than easy. But for anybody who actually does want to know, I’ll include the details here, on our 100 days under contract anniversary. Hooray.

I, too, also has a sad.

In January we started looking. We found this awesome two bedroom condo. It was gorgeous. Raised kitchen, converted school house. But it was missing a few of my must haves: a grill, elevator. The price was a little on the high end, but the place was beautiful. After much negotiation, we’d agreed on a price. Then the seller decided that they’d like $20,000 more than what we’d agreed to. When we refused, the seller decided to take the condo off the market. Later she put it back up, and it’s listed for lower than the price we’d agreed upon. You can see it in all it’s glory here.  Oh well, onward and upward.

We were amazed to see that we could actually afford a house that was listed in nearby and very cute town of Sleepy Hollow. We were so psyched! Then, days before we were meant to sign the contract, someone underbid us and agreed to pay a whole lot less. In the end, I was glad because that house had some quirks that I wasn’t a fan of. Among many issues, there was a parking lot for a front yard, a shared driveway, and what I’ll generously refer to as a “dwarfed” basement. We’re out over $500 because we’d already paid for an inspection. We’re now in early June. Our story continues.

Now that we’d had our heart set on a house, we just couldn’t see ourselves moving into a condo or buying an apartment. It didn’t take long to find our beloved foreclosure on Cortlandt Place. It was in Ossining, which is not as quaint as Sleepy Hollow, but the neighborhood seems nice. We fell in love with the house, and put in an offer right away. It’s not perfect, but Evan and I both see some real potential. It took a few days and a little negotiation, but we agreed on a price. We signed a contract! That means we’re legally obligated to buy the house! No one can back out! We’re home free!

Yeah, no. It turns out that giving away hundreds of thousands of dollars that you don’t have is not that easy. After about two months calling our loan officer, only to never her call back, she got fired. The new guy we got is marginally better, and we got a free rate extension out of it. The bank from which we are buying the home is completely uncoordinated between their attorney, property manager, and realtor, so even simple decisions go around in circles before anything happens. FHA repairs have been a huge point of contention, and general communication has been nightmarish. Oh yeah, and our lease ended on our apartment. So we’re living with his father and step-mother.

At the risk of making a long story even longer, I’ll spare details of the drama. Suffice it to say, Evan and I are both insanely sick of being “under contract” and the longer we live out of a suitcase with two weeks worth of clothes, the easier it’s feeling to walk away from our downpayment. Our new closing date is October 14th. If it comes and goes leaving us house-less, it will be the third closing date to do so. So, 100 days under contract. Here’s to only about 20 more.

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