Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Long Anticipated House Post - Part 1

Please try to contain your excitement...here goes.

As a recap, we had a contract on a house in Salem, Virginia that was in the perfect location for us. Just steps from the main street, shops, restaurants, etc. The house was a nice old one - built in 1928 - and had loads of potential but was going to take quite a bit of money to shape it into what we wanted. We figured we have to put in close to $35,000 right from the start and probably around $100,000 over the whole time we lived there. But we expected it to be our long-term house so that was ok.

It had been For Sale By Owner for 2 years...that should have been the first clue.

We first put the contract on the house in September and were scheduled to close a few days before Christmas. I won't even get into how long and drawn out the process was and how it seemed like the sellers could care less if the house ever sold. Just take my word for it. Very strange process. Very strange sellers.

We got a call a few days before the scheduled closing from the closing agent (who also served as the sellers' lawyer since neither side used Realtors) saying that the sellers needed a few more days to move their stuff out. Ahh, ok. As if three months wasn't enough. But we went with it.

We then got a call on the Friday before Christmas saying that it was taking a really long time to get the information from the sellers' bank as to what he owed to pay off his mortgage. And the settlement statement couldn't be written without it. Closing would probably have to be delayed even further. Ahh, ok.

Well, I will make a long story short for you. Ends up, the seller had STOPPED paying his mortgage in 2008. Hadn't paid property taxes during that time either. AND had two liens against him, each for $30,000. Can you believe it? We found this all out the day before we were scheduled to close. With all of that, there was no way the seller could close and pay off his mortgage. Which means his only option is a short sale and we want nothing to do with that. It can take 60-90 days just to find out whether your offer is accepted. And we're done dealing with this seller.

So we walked away. Tears definitely flowed. Not so much even for losing out on the house. But for after months of frustration to have it fall through at literally the last second. Really unbelievable.

Stay tuned for Part #2 with a happier ending!


  1. Oh my gosh! This sucks! I can only imagine the devastation you felt losing this house at the last moment. :( I can't wait to hear the happy ending part. :)

  2. That's totally crazy...buying a house is stressful enough..exciting but stressful...certainly don't need all that added drama!! Can't wait to hear the happy ending!

  3. Aaaagh. That's a horrible Christmas present. Fingers crossed that your New Year's gift was better!

  4. That's awful! I'm so sorry. It was really smart to walk away but really hard after, I'm sure, planning and picturing your family there. Ugh.

  5. awwww, i'm so sorry!! believe me, no one understands your situation better than me! we went trhough total hell trying to buy a house because my husband had bad credit (until he met me that is). i absolutely LOVE our house, but it was a short sale, and if you don't have time to wait i would definitely recommend moving on, i think we put the offer in on our house in october '09 and we closed five days after louise was born... february 5, 2010, it took FOREVER. and it was really great moving five days after i gave birth, REALLY great. it was totally worth it though, i love this house even though it needs a lot of updating. the layout is great, the bedrooms are decent sized, the closests are big and there are lots of them and we have a HUGE basement.