Tuesday, July 28, 2009

So close!

Yesterday Aaron and I signed our lives away - I mean, we signed all the loan documents and (hopefully) all of the rest of the documents necessary to complete the purchase of our first home! According to the escrow people, and our mortgage broker, all we need to do is sit back and wait for the keys - which should hopefully be delivered to us by Friday.

For those of you who have never purchased a home before - or for those of you who haven't done it in a long time, here is what we went through yesterday: We had to drive to Pasadena to be there by 4:30 (i.e. in rush hour traffic) to sign the documents. We got to the building where the escrow company was and had to sit in the lobby/hallway whilst we waited for the notary to come get us. The notary finally came and got us and proceeded to show us to "Signing Room #1." Signing Room #1 was empty except for some documents. It was just us and the notary inside this room signing a big huge packet of papers that we had never seen before. Here is my issue - I really wish they had emailed me the documents for my review over the weekend. That way, we could have had our questions answered before going in to sign. Instead, whenever we had questions, we had to call our escrow agent - who was downstairs doing other work - or our mortgage broker, who fortunately is a friend of ours, so we had her cell phone number to call after 5pm. I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who will just sign and not think twice about what they are signing . . . I am not one of those people.

This morning we had to go to the bank to wire transfer the remaining deposit/down payment and our portion of the closing costs. I looked at our copy of the documents to verify the amount we had to transfer and I could not find the correct number anywhere. The stack of papers we were given to take home with us did not have the same numbers as the stack of papers we signed yesterday. I have now requested copies of everything that we actually signed yesterday. Fortunately, the correct number was less than what was listed in the papers that we took home. But, I was livid - who does that? I used to work in a law office where I had people signing documents all the time. You ALWAYS give them the exact same paperwork as that which they are signing! It would have been best to just copy it after we signed it. But I understood that we were coming late in the day, so it wasn't necessarily practical to wait for them to make copies. Now I wish I had insisted on it!

I'm really hoping this is all over and done with by Friday. I just want to have the keys so that we can really get started on all the fixing up that needs to get done before we move in. Before you get too excited/concerned, really the only necessary things are: painting, re-carpeting the bedrooms, cleaning and re-keying the place. I think Aaron is also going to try to get the place wired for internet and other things prior to moving all our stuff in as well.

We seem to have lucked out on many of the items that we were going to have to purchase. A family friend is giving us a washer and dryer, and another friend of ours is letting us use his fridge on a "long term loan" basis - i.e. his current apartment does not have the space for it, so we will keep it for him and get to use it in the meantime. So the only appliance that we have to purchase is the stove - somehow I don't think anyone is just going to give us a stove. But this means that we may be able to get a better quality stove than we would otherwise have purchased.

Ok, I'm off to examine those documents with a fine tooth comb - at least they didn't try to charge me an "email fee" like some of our other friends who just bought a house experienced.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

House Update

1 month later and here's where we are at:

We had the inspection and appraisal. All went fairly well. The biggest issue was that the heating and ac were not turning on. However, the inspector said the systems were pretty good systems and fairly new, so he thought it might just be a breaker issue. You should see how big the final inspection report was! It's basically an entire book in and of itself.

The appraisal was fine - in fact, our appraiser had been out to the same house a couple years ago and appraised it at $600,000! hahahahaha . . . oh the bubble days. *sigh* But the final appraisal did come in about $30K more than what we are paying for it. So I guess that's good . . . on paper. It still makes no difference in what our monthly payments will be or how much it will be worth when we sell it. But at least we can feel like we're getting a good deal out of it.

We have been told that our loan has been approved - even though they seem to want more documentation each day. They even had to call our employers to get a verbal verification of employment. Then someone else from the bank will call back later to verify that it was verified - this is after giving them essentially 6 months worth of paystubs and getting letters regarding our employment. I'm surprised we haven't had to give a DNA sample yet!

Then there's the escrow company and the 50 pages we had to sign for them. We had to initial that we initialed documents - I guess to show that we saw them . . . again?

Oh, and we've finally found a homeowner's insurance company. Initially we contacted the company that does our car insurance. But they basically told us that they would be too expensive for us since we're buying in "an area like Van Nuys." They suggested we go to another company at least until we get the place fixed up.

Last week, Aaron had an electrician come out and look at the wiring. He got the ac and heat to work, so that's good. In addition, the electricity in the garage now works. Aaron verifided that the dishwasher was working - so that's one less appliance we have to purchase. :)

I think that's it. As of right now, we are set to close July 30. I have a feeling it may get delayed a little, but it should definitely be in August sometime. Then we just have to change the carpet, paint, and do a little gardening before we can have a housewarming party!