Monday, August 3, 2015

Househunting, Part IV

After knowing that things weren't going to fall apart in the home inspection stage, we needed to finalize our lender. I did that the day I found out my grandmother was dying. We went back to the lenders we'd been considering to see who had the best offer for us this time around. In the end, we went with a different lender than we were planning on with the first house we offered on.

I had to head to my grandmother's funeral in the middle of all this, so waited on deciding the insurance until I got back. I was hoping to just stick with our current insurance provider, but we found a PNW company that could offer us a much, much lower rate than our current provider.

Then we had to get a few more things from Ryan's new job for our mortgage. But once that was done it was just waiting for the appraisal. And that's where things stalled a bit.The appraisal happened at the very end of June, but with the July 4th holiday we didn't get the report until the next week. The report was good, except that the lender wasn't happy with the comps the appraiser found. Because one of the above grade bedrooms in the house is non-conforming it was difficult to find houses in the neighborhood that had sold recently that were comparable. We ended up having to get a desk review, which takes three days.

In the current housing market you worry a bit about the seller getting annoyed at having to push the closing date back several times (we initially set it as 7/2, pushed back to 7/10 because we all took time with the inspection, then to 7/15 because the appraisal took longer than expected to come back, then to 7/24 because of the need for the desk review). But as our lender said, this was completely out of our control. We'd been credit approved and ready to close for some time. If the seller had wanted to avoid this delay, they should've added an egress window to the non-conforming bedroom (something we plan on doing as soon as possible, just to get some light and air circulation in that room, but also because dying in a fire doesn't sound appealing).

The west coast is a bit odd in that you sign all your papers before the closing. The only thing that happens on closing day is the escrow company disperses money and gets the deed and mortgage recorded with the county. And you get your keys once all of that is done. We were told to plan on signing papers on Thursday, the 23rd. Then we got a call Thursday morning from our lender letting us know the escrow company was having a major network outage and so we may not get to sign that day (which would potentially push closing back yet again). Thankfully things ended up coming back online and they were able to hurry and get the paperwork finished. They called me just before 2 pm to set up an appointment. Our paperwork was in Bellevue, but we were going to sign at their downtown office, meaning I needed time to get the kids to a friend's house and take the bus there. They wanted to know if we could make a 3pm appointment. So I had them send Ryan the instructions for the bank for our cost to close and he ran to the bank downtown while I rushed the kids to our friend and then rushed to the bus. I made it into the building right at 3. And then we waited for 30 minutes because they hadn't managed to get all the paperwork over from the Bellevue office yet.

Eventually it all came and we got to witness our signatures undergo evolution while signing a ream of papers. Then Ryan showed me his new office (great views of the Sound, Space Needle, and Pike's Place) before we headed home.

Things were supposed to be easy on closing day. Our wire was set up and we were waiting to hear from our lender that things were all set and from the realtor that he'd got the keys. Instead, I heard from the escrow company at 11 that our wire hadn't come through yet. I told them we'd set it up and they said it might come soon, they'd wait a bit longer. I got a message from Ryan just before 1 that they'd called him and I needed to call them. The wire still hadn't come, and we were now running out of time to close that day (because the lender couldn't wire their money until ours had come and wires can't go after stuff closes on the East coast at 2:00 or 2:30 pacific time, but it really needed to happen by 2 so that the escrow company could get the other stuff in for recording by 2:45). So I gave them my reference number and they told me that wasn't a correct number, that there should be a different one. I immediately called the bank, who insisted to the bitter end that that reference number was the only one there ever would be and that they'd sent the wire. I told escrow this and escrow said that wasn't true. I called back the bank and made clear that I wasn't happy they were messing with my home purchase at the end of business on a Friday. They agreed to call some people and look into it. In the end the wire made it, but not soon enough for the lender. Our lender was able to call his company CEO and get funds released another way so that we could close. It was hectic and stressful. And I guess it wouldn't have hurt to close Monday instead of Friday, but everyone else seemed so concerned about it all, I guess because they all like to actually close when they say they'll be able to.

So now we're homeowners. And that's rather terrifying. But exciting also.


Myrna said...

Wow, that sounded stressful! But I am glad it all worked out in the end, and that you are home-owners. Which grandmother died? Sorry for your loss.

Alanna said...

We just bought our third house and are still working on selling our first home, and it has NEVER gone smoothly for us EVER. I don't understand how all these banks and their underwriters never seem to know how to do their job. So I feel your frustration! I'm glad you finally got it done! Now, I want to see pictures of your new house!!!!!

Susan said...

Wow. So stressful. Sorry about all that. When we bought our first house I don't remember any of that stress. I guess we got lucky.

Erin said...

Myrna, my mom's mother died (she's grandmother, Stan's mom is grandma). Alanna, pictures will hopefully come in the next couple weeks! We're doing a slow move-in, so it'll take a bit before things are remotely decent to photograph. I'm always grateful to hear we aren't the only ones with things going crazy while buying a home, but I'm definitely envious of your stress-free experience, Susan!