If you are reading this on the morning of May 6th, it would NOT be safe to assume that we stumbled across the finish line, and closed on the mountain house. From my point of view, this is a story that must be told, if only for the sake of posterity and my sanity.
Several weeks ago, I laughingly tweeted that “if you plan to buy a government foreclosure, you should check your sanity at the door”. I’d like to revise that to say “if you plan to buy a Fannie May foreclosure, unscrew your brain and rip out your heart first”. That might make the whole process easier to bear.
This “process” of getting to closing (which is still not a certainty!) has been a nightmare. Our Fannie Mae contact is in Dallas, TX, so there is a 1-hour time difference, which turns out to be a meaningful disparity, when emails and faxes are required. Also, trying to locate a person there who knows anything about our property has been a real challenge. Bill, our realtor, has been a lifesaver; he has a knack for tracking down someone with signatory privileges every time a new crisis has arisen.
Then there is our lender’s loan processor, Phil, whose communication skills, sense of urgency, and reliability in meeting deadlines, have been underwhelming. Phil has also apparently developed a sincere “dislike” for the pre-closing attorney, Steve, (who is with a legal firm that Fannie Mae prefers), so Greg and I have had to run interference to ensure that any communication exists between their 2 offices.
Last week (at just about the exact hour that our paperwork was supposed to be delivered to the closing attorney), our lender’s underwriter discovered that Fannie Mae failed to include a signed addendum to the contract in its final form. Faxes and emails started crossing the ether, in an attempt to get a new addendum on file. Whew! Bill saved the day, and after that crisis was averted, everyone involved with shuffling paper for the closing said they NOW had all the information they needed, and the 10:00 am closing on May 6th would surely happen.
But then, yesterday at 10:00 am, exactly 24 hours prior to closing, Fannie Mae realized they needed a HUD addendum signed, and it would take about 48 hours to clear that process. There would be no way to close on May 6th, as scheduled. So sorry, and oh, by the way, we had to file for an extension to the closing date ASAP, which, of course, would have to be signed by somebody from Fannie Mae…
Meanwhile, this “little scheduling change” turned our world upside-down! The new closing was set for Tuesday, May 10th, at 10:00 am. But we had appointments set up for this afternoon with a plumber to get the water (well) working in the house, with the gas company to have the propane tank filled up, and a switchover of electric service to our name. Our son-in-law, who owns his own landscaping company, had rearranged his schedule in order to help us move furniture up to the house on Saturday. And most importantly, Dad and I have to leave for Charlotte on Monday morning, so that he can be home when his cancer medication (which is a tightly controlled substance) will be delivered that afternoon. Also, he has an appointment with his oncologist on Wednesday that cannot be missed.
Since I can’t be there for the closing, power of attorney had to be signed over to Greg. A trip to our local Wells-Farce-go Bank yesterday in search of a notary yielded the usual excuse about how they couldn’t notarize my document unless I had a lawyer with me (“and if I had a lawyer with me, I would need your notary why”??? As an aside: I think there has never been such an unhelpful, useless institution as that bank, and when the house closing is said and done, I will sever all ties with them forever, but will unload on them with my pointed pen, first!) Thankfully, a local UPS office was more than happy to notarize my document. Then more faxes and emails started to fly…
So, here we all sit in our itty-bitty Atlanta house, surrounded by packed moving boxes that have no destination for almost a week. Yes, thank you, I think I will have that bottle of wine, right now!