June 10, 2016
One afternoon in mid March, I awoke my from my daily, afternoon nap, and my husband Dennis said to me “How about we put the house up for sale and find a single story home?” I didn’t want to get my hopes up because I have been through this before- putting the house up for sale- only to have him change his mind as soon as we listed our house. He was serious. Dead serious. He called our real estate agent we have used before and told her the plan. She came out, we signed a zillion papers, it hit the MLS and 6 days later we had an offer.
My main issue was the fact that I did not want to “settle“. Settle on something to buy just because it was available. We did this with the house we were selling and had NO choice but to buy that ONE home. In 2009, there were nothing but short sales and foreclosures/bank owned homes on the market. We sold our previous home rather quickly as well, and had to find a new one for us, ASAP. Ones we thought had potential were out of reach for us because short sales could take 6 months to a year or more to have our offer accepted, and bank owned/foreclosures wanted cash. Our money was tied up in the home we were selling so we were OUT OF LUCK. Out of 35+ homes we looked at in 2009, only one was semi-OK. (It was clean, not a dump, and it was owner occupied. But it was a two story and the kitchen was not very large… kind of a ‘con’ in the pro s and cons department.) The seller was a Lieutenant Colonel with the Air Force and was being transferred. We didn’t want a two story home back then, but there was NOTHING else out there available. The old neighborhood we had bought into back in 1996 had turned into a ghetto and was becoming unsafe as each day passed. We wanted OUT. So we searched for homes with our agent and nothing that was owner occupied was out there… except the one house we found and landed up buying. I was not going to do that again. No settling. I wanted this ‘go-round’ to meet the criteria we all wanted in a home. A spacious single story, with a pool and in a nice, quiet neighborhood.
Our agent sent me 3 homes to look at online. All single stories but nothing that made me say “Wow!” I was already discouraged and we had just begun our search. The second day, she emailed me another link of homes and the three homes she sent me the day before were still on there, but there was another home added to the list. This one was in a zip code I didn’t ask about because I didn’t know this area existed. From the photos we saw of the home, I was in LOVE. This house was perfect. The lot size was enormous (by Vegas standards), it was on a cul-de-sac at the end of the 6 home street it sat upon, and it had a very large floor plan (by OUR standards). The bedrooms were enormous too. It was in a gated community with only 39 houses. I was afraid to get my hopes up— for MANY reasons. The home had been on the market for 4 months and was vacant. The owner was an executive with the local cable company and had moved out of state, leaving it empty. We made an offer and it was accepted. One would think my stress would be relieved in having a buyer, finding our dream home, but my brain didn’t see it that way. I would lay awake in bed at night and have these horrible thoughts, one was that I was undeserving of such a beautiful home (I couldn’t help thinking this way… and I don’t know why I’d even think this way.) It was almost as if it were too good to be true. The entire situation. There was something in my subconscious, steering me with the belief that it wasn’t going to work out. I’d think of every scenario too: I thought our buyer would back out. I thought our buyer wouldn’t qualify (even though she did, through her lender). I kept thinking and thinking and was making myself sick. I didn’t plan on having negative thoughts… they just kept popping up. I didn’t sleep for 5 weeks. Couldn’t nap either (which I HAVE to do daily). I prayed on it and when I still had stomach pains and lack of sleep, I felt that I wasn’t praying the correct way – if there is such a thing. I was so frightened of something unexpected popping up and ruining it all. (In my defense, I have a long history of things that happen to go awry in my life, namely my health over the years, So yah, I was scared.) Even though our lender was in contact with us weekly, and he told us 2 weeks before closing that everything on both ends was ready for the underwriter, I couldn’t shake this unnerving feeling I had in the pit of my stomach.
On our home we were selling, there were a few issues that popped up during the inspection. One thing were the smoke detectors. When we moved into the place, the smoke detectors never worked properly. They were all hard wired (we had 8 of them) and they would GO OFF at the blink of an eye. If one went off, they ALL went off. Not a chirping mind you. They would ALL be screaming! Changing the batteries did nothing. We put up with it for 7 years and actually unhooked the smoke detectors (I know, I know…shame, shame, shame.) But it needed to be corrected NOW. And we did have it fixed… for $700.00. UGH! (THis guy saw us coming.) Next, our pool solar panels had a few that leaked. (Another yearly experience and EXPENSE we dealt with since the first summer in the place. Pin hole leaks, but nonetheless they were spraying water. The company we called out each year when they leaked (annually), would make an appointment, but they never came out. No shows. (And we had a deadline to have the repairs competed by…which we explained to them at length at EACH phone call we’d make to them.) We made a half dozen calls, had appointments set up and they continuously were a NO SHOW. We were only aware of the one pool solar panel company- and searched around and called out another solar panel company we found that wasn’t in business prior. They came out and removed the bad panels. Gave us a quote of $800. (ouch). We also had a roofer come out around the same time because there were 8 – 10 roof tiles that were cracked. EIGHT to TEN. The inspector said they had to be replaced, so Dennis called out the roofer and he said he couldn’t repair the broken tiles. He said that ALL the solar panels would HAVE to removed, the roof tiles would have to be removed (under the area of the panels) and some roofing material was to be laid down under the tiles. The entire east side of the house was to be repaired. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be guaranteed. I told Dennis THIS IS CRAZY! The inspector said nothing about replacing an entire side of the roof and we should get a second opinion. We didn’t, and paid close to $3,000. for the tile repair. ANd because the entire solar panel system had to be dismantled and removed, then reinstalled… the $800. quote was now $1200. (Stress was now boiling in my veins.) Add in some paint trim that needed to be painted outdoors (and yes, the painter who we hired and had to make several calls to, to COME OUT, and he didn’t show up a couple times, but eventually he did)…I was ready to jump out the upstairs master bedroom window.
The 5 weeks flew on by and as each day approached for us to go to the title company and close on the house(s), I was feeling sick. The day our buyer was to go sign documents to close, something happened and she couldn’t make it. We weren’t told what THAT issue was. Our agent told us it was rescheduled. Ok??? Doesn’t make me feel any calmer knowing she was supposed to have gone in and signed…. what is up with that? In the meantime, we went and were signing our closing docs on the new house… ahead of the seller. (Another strange occurrence. It turns out when the escrow office in Northern California wanted our seller to go in to sign, she couldn’t make it. They asked if they could have a mobile notary go to her house and she said NO. They asked if they could go to her place of employment and she said NO. I heard they finally met for her closing documents at a pizza place. SMH.
The day came when we signed our documents, and I didn’t think we’d ever get out of the office. We have sold homes before and purchased homes before and there are SO many new forms to sign now a days. One form asked about domestic relationships… if we had a partner or were married to that partner. Another form asked if anyone can claim that they were married to us and would have legal grounds to get on the deed (or something to that effect.) Another form was asking how many different names you have used. No biggie . Or so we thought. Well, come to find out the next day when our agent called, she told Dennis that our buyer (who is from the Philippines) went in to finally sign her documents to close on our house we were selling, and when they asked her if she went by any other name she said something about “No. I used to. I was married once.” The escrow officer asked if she was married or divorced. The buyer wasn’t sure. WTH?! HOW do you NOT know if you are or aren’t married. She said it happened in the Phillipines and she doesn’t even know WHERE the ex is. The entire loan was about to go KAPUT. Down the drain. All over with. We were going to lose our dream home. And all this BS was happening on he day of closing yet. I was having a stroke just listening to Dennis’ end of the conversation with our agent. Thank God our real estate agent and our lender were on the ball. They called escrow and told them this loan had to close. It was their duty (the buyers escrow company) to check these things out with the buyer over the previous 5 weeks. Escrow wanted a divorce decree, which the buyer had no knowledge of. Again…WYH?! Apparently there was A LOT of breath holding and calling back and forth between escrow, the buyer, her lender, our lender, and the likes, and between a lot of different people, it was rectified in the end.
Our agent said she was NOT going to tell us any of this until it was FIXED because she knew I was having major anxiety issues. I am so grateful she didn’t tell us. I was already on the verge of checking in to the nearest psychiatric ward.
As soon as all this closing took place, we called all the utilities to stop and start services on the old house and to start on the new one. Yesterday we get our water bill. There were two. Hmmm…. that’s odd. One for this house (which we had turned on in our name two days before we moved in… and we had the old house’s water to be turned off two days after we moved in here…. to give the new owner a chance to get it in her name) and another for the OLD house. I called the water company this morning and they said “We don’t see that you put in a cancellation of services for the old Copper Knoll address.” I told her that YES, my husband called and yes, you can see we had services started for our new place on May 5th… WHY in the hell would we keep our old home’s water service to be in our name when we SOLD it. She said there was nothing that she could do. She had to pass it on to another department and they would ‘decide’ what to do (meaning refund our money). She said that the old house would be out of our name TOMORROW. The new owner never bothered to call in and have services changed over to her name. (Well, if you don’t know if you’re married, or divorced, or where your ex husband is- – if he even IS your ex-husband, then NOT putting utilities in to your own name makes sense.) As of tomorrow, the water will be cut off at the residence. Before I hung up from the customer service rep, I asked if this was the last of it with us and the old house. The gal said the last meter reading date up until tomorrow’s date would be our responsibility. Even if we don’t live there? Apparently so. You have GOT to be kidding me. Asshats!
Even though I was burdened by negative thoughts and stress levels beyond comprehension, believe it or not, I did have faith and know how blessed we truly are. It’s just that when you have had MANY not-so-happy experiences in your life, and I mean serious blows, you kind of get used to seeing things a certain way, and expect the worst. It’s sad and pathetic, I know… but it’s something I have had to cope with for the last 3 decades. I had intuition all along that something wasn’t right- and I was right. I just thank God for keeping my sanity and in the end HE was there to oversee things.
All I know is, this was the hardest, most difficult, grueling move I have ever been through. Physically (and mentally). We had movers move us on the big day, but the packing up of a 2155 sq. ft home, climbing stairs and dragging boxes down, day after day, was unbearable. I tend to forget at times that I do have Multiple Sclerosis. And I have never fully healed from the Achilles tendon repair surgery. Not to mention the Rheumatoid arthritis and all it’s joyous joint pains wreaking havoc daily. Kimmi did more than any of us and I appreciate her so much, more than she’ll ever know. This was a draining experience and I don’t know if or when I will ever be feeling back to normal. No more moves for us. I am happy, content with NO stairs, and love my new home. So no more moves for me…not unless in my next life time I come back as a cargo truck.
And I am sleeping and napping once again… Life goes on.