There is a saying we used to describe our mental state after pulling all-niters in college, or when things that possibly couldn’t go more wrong got worse: punch-drunk. In that state, everything becomes hilarious. That’s where Greg and I are now, with this mountain home closing debacle. We are punch-drunk, and our favorite expression is “what else can possibly go wrong??” It seems that every piece of paper required to purchase the house has been amended, lost, mishandled, or just forgotten, over the last 2 months.
And so it was on May 6th, the day we were originally supposed to be homeowners, but had to postpone the closing due to a HUD document that was never included in the final package. We had resigned ourselves to the fact that we would have to wait until Tuesday, May 10th to close. Appointments were re-set. The plumber would come and fix the well, the propane tank would be filled, and the internet, and security services would be established. Until…at about 3:30 that afternoon, the phone rang. Luckily for Greg, he had just left to run his 4-mile course. I saw the caller ID and my blood ran cold: it was OUR LENDER! Phil, in his ever-cheerful voice dove right in to tell me that the good news was that, after a week of trying, they were able to confirm Greg’s employment. (As an aside, Greg has worked for his company for 15 years, so it should be a slam-dunk to verify that fact, right? Wrong! These days, the longer you stay in one place, the more probable it is the company will change hands multiple times. In Greg’s employer’s case, they have undergone 3 ownership changes, 4 name changes, and he personally has had 2 division assignments in the last 5 years. Believe it or not, several years ago, our company-provided insurance carrier disavowed our health claims, because they thought he no longer worked there!)
In Phil’s case, good news is always followed by bad. He proceeded to mumble something about a problem with the title. THE TITLE??? The title was obtained weeks ago, and as far as I knew, it was collecting dust on somebody’s desk, just waiting for our signatures. BUT NO, it seems that there was a problem with it…Just a minor matter that Fannie Mae had never transferred the title to its name after the bank that held the property declared bankruptcy! Now the real irony of this whole thing is that Fannie Mae had only one responsibility in this real estate transaction, and that was to produce a clear title! Phil, of course, placed all the blame on Steve, who he said “showed no real sense of urgency” in this closing process (I had to bite my tongue so HARD! If that wasn’t a case of the pot calling the kettle black….!) So, I timidly asked, “what does this mean for Tuesday’s closing?” The response: “PFFFT! You’ll never be able to close on Tuesday! Fannie Mae requires 48 hours for any paper turnaround, and this is going to involve lawyers…Better request another closing extension…”
And so it is Sunday, Mother’s Day to boot, and it’s time to call the plumber and the propane deliverer, and the internet provider and advise them that we have no clue when, if ever, we will close on this mountain house….And about all of those boxes stacked up around me…More wine, please!