Sunday, August 07, 2005

The Ride Is Almost Over

The last three days have been the most horrifically nauseating rollercoaster ride of my entire life. Everything was going swimmingly, and 72 hours later we had fired our realtor, sold our house, lost our financing for our new home, and got it back at a higher interest rate. And all of this was based on moment-by-moment decisions, in such a way that we could never have found this path if we hadn't been forced into it at every turn.

The loan officer required us to produce a contract for either the rental or sale of our home by Monday. Because our realtor up here was not going to be able to produce a sale for us by then, we put an ad in the paper to rent the house, and mentioned that a lease-purchase option was available. The loan officer called and dropped the aforementioned bombshell on us.

The ad started, and we were deluged with calls. The very first caller was interested in the lease-purchase. I talked to the realtor and she said that a lease-purchase was out of the question without the permission of our landlords*, who have very inconveniently decided to skip town without leaving a forwarding address or even an answering machine at their old phone number. They are never in the office and they only come by once a month to pick up rent checks at the drop box, and for the last three months they have totally ignored my requests for current contact information. So with a purchase and a lease-purchase off the table, we were forced to pursue only a lease. And since it had to be a 12-month lease for our financing, instead of a month-to-month lease with the understanding that the property might sell, we would be forced to take the property off the market. So we did.

We signed a lease agreement with the very first person who called, who wants a lease-purchase. We will do a lease for now, and if the landlords ever respond to my certified letter requesting their current contact information, we can put together the lease-purchase deal in about a month or so. It took me $100 and 24 hours to find someone who wanted to buy our house. I spent the rest of the day completely ignoring my stack of ungraded final exams, in favor of doing some desperately needed housework, resting, and gloating over how much better I am at marketing than the damn realtor, who kept going on and on about how these manufactured houses can take 2 years to sell and how she had advertised our house in her picture ads right alongside all those $150,000 houses (which, in my opinion, was the reason they take 2 years to sell-- nobody for whom these homes are their best option is going to be looking at realtor ads). I know nothing about marketing but what I've learned with my little business at the Gardeners' Market, and she's a professional realtor, but she wants two years and I sold the house in 24 hours.

Now we are just waiting for the couple who rented our house to produce their deposit; they signed the lease but said they had accidentally left their checkbook in their parents' car, and their parents had gone down to SLC with the checkbook. I told them they'd have until Monday, but I think they're good for it. They seem like good, honest people. Still, though, I'm not blowing out the St. Jude candle until the deposit check clears.

* As with many manufactured homes, we own the house itself but rent the pad of land it rests on.