Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Mid Point

Greetings from East Asheville! We're a traveling circus - we have four adults, six mostly teenage boys, a dog, two U-Haul trucks (one of them towing my 12 year old Rodeo), and two VW's all trekking east on I-40. Our closing took about 10 minutes (and most of that was chat!) Our realtor gave us a huge canvas bag stuffed with goodies. She laughed and said she tried to put some healthy stuff in there. Her ratio? 40 lbs of junk topped with a two peanut butter crackers and a token bag of trail mix. I think we'd gone about thirty miles before all of the cookies, the M&M's, the jelly beans, and one of the peanut butter crackers were gone. The trail mix and the vitamin fortified water bottles were all that was left. Yep - Lindy the listing agent rocks the house!! Smartest gal on the planet! What else can I say about someone who sells my house in two days and then gives me the perfect present to appease a car full of teenage stomachs??

Poor Robbie the Realtor on the other side. She is working probably four times as hard for not nearly so much joy. We will all breathe a huge sigh of relief when we get through the closing on the new house. The people selling us our new house are ... crazy. Like ape shit crazy. From the first week of weird negotiations with them where they ended up not even being able to accept their own offered price, we've known they weren't right. The house is perfect for us or we would have walked away at about the third obstacle. I no longer buy the excuse that they are young, don't know what they're doing, and have stressful jobs in Chicago. Normal people, even young, inexperienced ones with stressful jobs in Chicago can figure this stuff out. I would add that they have their own realtor to help them through the process but I don't know if she's speaking to them anymore.

We knew they wouldn't do any repairs. They have no money. Integrity seems to be in short supply with them too. Emotions, however, they have in spades. They have bitched and whined about how we're taking advantage of them by buying their house at the list price. We have received more than one letter accusing us of "taking advantage of a marketing strategy" by purchasing the home they've been trying to sell for months and months (with several agents and more than one agency). Ok fine. They are crazy, but we can work with crazy for a limited time. Let's just get through this!

We say to them - we hear you, no repairs, but please provide us with the building permits for the work you had done as the inspection shows that there are some code violations which we will need to address. They refused. Not only did they refuse but their response was a "how dare you ask for such a thing" type of letter. They blathered on about how they'd had licensed professionals do the work - NOT day laborers (a strange defense since we'd not even thought of that - we just wanted the papers to cover our butts about the permits). According to our sellers, they'd paid good money (here we were treated to yet another digression about how we had NO IDEA what kind of deal we were getting on the house) and the work was done flawlessly (despite our evil inspector's malicious observations to the contrary). They will not be providing documentation of any description - not even the name of the (supposedly licensed) contractor who did the (provably not flawless) work.

Sometimes I really don't understand how people work. Do they expect us to believe what they say even when it makes no sense? Do they have friends who listen sympathetically to their woes and say, "There, there. Your buyers are just whacked. It will all be over soon"? That's all neither here nor there. We have in writing what we need legally to cover ourselves. Our inspector gave us detailed instructions on what needs to be done to make everything right. We're ready to close and be done with these jokers.

Then on Friday our realtor lets us know that there's a teeny, tiny little problem that affects them, not us, and as far as she knows we are still set to close on Wednesday morning. This infitesimally small issue turns out to be nothing other than a LIEN against the house, a dispute with the neighbors, and a pending court case. Poor Robbie had to tell us (yet again) that she's never had anything like this happen in her 20+ years in real estate. It's the third never-before-seen thing these people have achieved. I think it is a remarkable act of faith that we launched ourselves out on this journey with so little assurance of a successful end. Granted, we hadn't many options considering our homelessness as of 8:30 a.m. yesterday. Might as well launch and hope for the best, eh? Of course it wouldn't hurt if all of you out there, my lovely internet friends, would hope for the best for us too! Maybe that will tip the cosmic scales and the universe will allow Wednesday to proceed without a hitch. A girl can dream, can't she?

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