Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Day 36: Do I have a Choir?

I am starting to be a bit redundant here. Yes, another week of no progress. I am out of tears and my frustration is turning to sullen apathy at this point. I am tired of hearing that the bank does not have to abide by the same rules and regulations as the rest of the US population. I mean the rules and regulations are created by them (through our own legislation), so you would think they would be the first to uphold their end. You would think. And you can laugh. Out loud.

The listing agent has no balls to confront the bank and get this thing moving. I mean a split $500 commission just is not going to be motivation to be a strong force against the a*holes. Nope, I'm on my own in my cloud of frustration. I am the only one that seems to care that I am going to be homeless in a few weeks if this does not go through anytime soon. My buyer's agent just keeps saying "It's ridiculous...it'd be easier if we were dealing with an individual and not a bank."

I keep thinking I get to lose my initial investment because someone didn't do and doesn't want to do their jobs.

I am afraid to push the envelope until after the paperwork is finished, but I do plan to make a HUGE congressional complaint. I will be heard. Neighborhoods? Why are you not putting together a class action against Fannie Mae and cohorts for allowing houses to rot and blight to fester? Local politicians? FUCKING care about your jurisdictions and constituents. Owner-occupants? You, too, should be questioning these unfair selling practices (i.e. only investors who do not have 'time is of the essence' issues and worries can buy at low prices; the rest of us have to buy homes from them at inflated costs and low appraisals if we hope to live in the damn thing). We lose out over and over and we allow them to walk all over us. They make rules for us to follow and then ignore them for themselves. It's not healthy or fair or sustainable. Someone needs to stop this ride.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Day 33: No New News to Tell

I actually had to edit the title because I put Day 27. It's been 33 (thirty-three) days!

Here we are...more than a week later from the last time I posted anything about all of this headache. I spent last week away from KY (for work) and tried to just put it all out of my head. I stopped by the house on Thursday and all was well. The gate had been opened again, but I am trying to just hope it was the listing agent.

No word on whether the bank got their issues worked out yet. If they don't have it ready by Wednesday at 8:45, I won't be closing again next week. Really, they have no accountability. They can hold the earnest money indefinitely with no repercussions, but if I tell them to go f*ck themselves, I have to walk away from $1000 (plus any costs associated with the inspections). And, of course, I have now run out of time to bid on any other properties (my lease ends 8/07). It's infuriating and unfair and I am just waiting until neighborhoods sue these banks and their half-ass attempt to sell foreclosures for the blight they are the sole cause of in many areas. Like I mentioned, if my house if damaged by vandalism or theft or fire or nature, I can walk, but they get to pocket $1000. Amazing racket, isn't it?

So, I am scheduled for 06/29 for a 9 am closing. I hope the agents start putting some pressure on the bank, but they seem scared of them. How do we fight back?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Day 25: Closing Woes

Well, another cancellation. At least now I know why, however, and have just resigned to wait. Maybe wait for copper thieves, or mischievous boys, or other tragedies of an abandoned and unloved house. I have to let go. I am driving myself crazy with worry. What will be, will be. It is not my house until the dotted line is signed.

Yesterday, the house was wide open in the back. I walked around and knocked loud and screamed into the cavernous hallway, "Go away!" I called Sr, practically in tears (even though I could see no damage) and while standing in the backyard, a boy of maybe 9 or 10 rode his bike across the neighboring yard. He saw me and jumped. His friends that were chasing him all halted to look at me. Finally, one says, "Ma'am, that house is abandoned!"

I smiled and told them it was not any more. The house belongs to me. I asked them if they had been in the house (mentioning too, which is totally true, my love of abandoned propertied when I was their age). And they said, "No, we just look to see if any one is in there..." They told me 6 men come and go.

My mind went back to the crusts of a PBJ sandwich I saw a few weeks ago and I smiled inside. These little boys are probably my squatters. I told them to be careful and that I was happy to be their new neighbor.

I then made a little visit to the police station. I spoke with an officer who not only immediately knew where I was talking about, but knew the inside of my house. He said young boys were hanging out in it and had done it no harm. I spoke with him at length about the bank frustration and he offered security tips. I hope he checks on it when he's out paroling the neighborhood. He certainly won't forget me for some time (I flashed him my own badge, something I very rarely do!)

So, why did the bank cancel (for the third time)? Apparently, there is a paid off, but unreleased mortgage dating back to 2007. This would have been before our big real estate melt down. I knew of this refinance from the bankrupted investors that owned the house because I researched it in the beginning. I had no idea that it was still an issue. I would think they would have caught that before they listed the property, but I am asking Fannie Mae employees to not be incompetent (this coming from a fed worker, by the way!)

We are now scheduled for the 29th. This is four days past the closing (before or on) date the bank picked in the first place. If I tell them to fuck off, I lose my $1000 good faith deposit. The bank gets all the benefits and the buyer, especially an owner-occupant buyer, gets all the BS.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Day 24: The Continuation of Frustration

My realtor texted me today with a message that began, "I am taking the coward's way. I want you to read and digest this before you call..." It went on to say Fannie Fucking Mae had not completed my paperwork today, something about some sort of HUD1 paperwork, and this means it would not be there in time for the 48 hour hold. WT Royal F? I thought that was the excuse last Friday???

I cannot believe the incompetence of these banks.Meanwhile, <del>my house</del> their foreclosure is sitting there a sitting duck to a mass of vandals and desperate crooks. I am so tired of worrying it will be stripped out. I just want doors on the thing! I am driving by at least once a day, but I'll be gone this weekend and probably next week partly for business. Ultimately, I cannot be a constant keeper of the bank-owned-house-with-the-plywood-door. I want to remedy the situation and it is driving me crazy!

I cannot close until next Friday because it has to be timed to be able to install proper doors. I only have someone on Friday. I am so frustrated, it hurts. I cannot wait to write a bookn about all of this bullshit with the banks. The next time I hear someone blame neighborhood demise on people, I will speak up and tell them who they should be pointing the finger at instead. We allow "them" (i.e. banks) to have the power over all of us. At some point, we need to call their bluff. Tell them they are an emperor with no clothes!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Day 20: Of Course

Growls and snarls have been coming from me all day. GD bank and title company screwed up and did not get my title work sent in time for the 48 hour cooling off period. So, one hour before I was to go do the walk through, I sent a text asking for the amount for closing. A few minutes later, my realtor calls and says, 'We have a problem...'

This is all two hours before the closing. No one called me. I pleaded with them to make it happen (not possible due to the gvern regulations), to let me put the doors in anyway (nope, not going to happen), for anyone to have a fucking heart (definitely never going to happen).

Meanwhile, I have the doors purchases and Sr is standing by to install them. Needlesstosay, I was brought to tears with frustration. They said they want to schedule it for next week, but I am out of town for work. Their response was to say get a power of attorney. Well, paperwork is fine and dandy, but we are left then with no one to install the blessed doors.

I eventually calmed down enough to say I wanted it early on Friday. This will mean another 4 hour trip for Sr to help me put the doors in properly. I will keep the doors and the truck, meanwhile, to help keep gas costs down (it'll basically be parked at my office for the week due to impending travel).

The morel of this post is if you are going to try to this method of unconventional house purchasing, never, ever expect anyone in the business to have a heart or any human emotions at all. They are all heartless bastards (in fact, I believe this is where this cliche was born).

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Day 19: One Photo

How about a teaser photo? Not the best  (I was recording that there is a hot water heater), but you can see the staircase. This is the kitchen. I am closing tomorrow and will post better ones when I have a chance.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Day 17: Marchin' like Army Ants

Pest inspector came out today and checked for extensive termite damage. There is some, but nothing that can't be fixed. I expected some; I mean the house was built in 1900 and has been through two major Ohio River floods (before they built the flood walls in the '40's). I needed to get that bad siding off as soon as possible, put up downspouts and a new roof. I also found out the house has a cellar (stairs were hidden under carpeting). He was funny: trying so hard to be political and nice and I finally blurted out, "It's OK! I know the house is a dump!"

We then talked about neighborhoods and houses and all was good.

The bad news was he said someone kicked in the back door. I imagine they actually just ran out of the door because everything is the same. In the neighboring yard, there is a bunch new junk (old mattress, toilet, debris) and I am not sure if it is someone's stockpile or a dumping place. First thing we are doing on Friday is putting in new doors and new fence panels. I also reported a branch on the tree in the tiny front yard to the utility company. the tree has split and it is only a matter of time before the branch succumbs to gravity and takes out the power lines with it. I don't want that on me, so best they come out now before I sign any papers!

Sr was able to take the weekend off, so after 2:30 Friday, the fun begins!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Day 14: This is Political

So, I am learning a lot as I head down this rocky path of risky house buying. For one, after finding out I can't insure the place due to condition and the fact I am rehabbing it (WTF?)-not even some sort of investor's insurance, I have learned that insurance companies are not our friends (LOL). I am irritated because I have been paying home owners insurance for at least 18 years and have never made a claim. All that money and no one will take a risk on me now. Of course, we all know it's not "me", it's the neighborhood and the fact the house is older and in need of major work. It's the fact I paid only a few thousand for it. And, the bank is not helping by not letting me put a door on the damn house. I can't insure it until I put a door on it, I can't put a door on it until I close on it, and I take the risk if a breakin occurs after the closing and then good luck on insurance. Snake chasing it's tail.

(And, before I go any further: DO NOT INSURE WITH STATE FARM. Jerks and riddled with the disease of prejudice. Of course, if you are insuring with them, then I guess you have what they called an "above average home". After a very rude treatment by staff (Yes, State Farm Agency in Louisville-shall I mention names-you don't even know me or where I may end up). Personally, I have seen few 'above average homes' unless you are in a wealthy area. People try in the working class area, but 'above average"? I have no idea how that is defined because, at this point, my house is not even to average which means a much, much lower amount to insure. But you just go ahead and keep only insuring the East End. Good luck with tornadoes, fallen trees and flooding!)

All of this warrants the question of why some neighborhoods fall into disrepair and stay that way. You can't get insurance if you buy one of these rehab houses, you can't insurance if your house is less than "above average", you can't afford to put in items that banks and insurance corps call above average. If your house burns, you're on you own. So, who in their right mind would take a chance on a cash house. It takes a particular kind of crazy to do this and I am finding that I question my own piece of crazy (lots of sleepless nights in the past weeks).

Speaking of disrepair, many of these houses are snatched up by investors who can't insure them, hang on to them for whatever delusional visions of kingdoms they harbor, and walk away if the investment gets damaged. It is not the inhabitants of the community or bad tenants in most cases; it is the slumlords that end up owning blocks and blocks of boarded up houses. Case in point, the block I am buying the home on has a string of boarded up houses. I checked tax records and found the majority of them are owned by one couple. Apparently, they quit paying taxes and mortgages in 2010 and the bills have stacked up. I plan to go to the tax sale on July 18 to see about the house immediately next door (a cute brick Shotgun with no mortgage pending on it). They owe about a grand in back taxes, but I suspect someone already is paying the delinquent bills and will buy it outright on July 18. Kentucky is a Commonwealth state and has a strange lottery system of buying tax properties. I am still researching it and will post more on this later. I really wish more would embark on this adventure with me (and not just for the purpose of owning homes to rent or flip). We could even start a collective to help each other with the repairs and crime watch.

Sigh. Again with the pipe dreams...