Friday, July 23, 2010

Moving Right Along

I wonder if anyone remembers the old Muppet Movies tune, sung by Kermit and Fozzy Bear.  It ranks right up there with Rainbow Connection, although the latter song has gotten more play that the former did.  I prefer the more upbeat tunes, though, like Moving Right Along, or Can You Picture That (featuring the Band, with Animal thrashing the drums).

Well, when it comes to moving, we've pretty much been there, done that, signed the papers, then poked our eyes out with sharpened sticks.  We've arrived at our dream home after a nightmare of a closing.

First, it was the reticence of the previous owners to negotiate.  Instead of "for sale by owner", they preferred "for sale by a bevy of lawyers, none of whom have the foggiest freaking clue what real estate law actually is."  Simple things like "buyer requests 3% back" totally confused them.  We tried to be fair minded and give them an amount that was generous (basically offered what they were asking), but they seemed incapable of dealing with the fact that the market wouldn't give them what they wanted if we walked.

Then came the appraisal.  Pretty pretty appraisal, how poisonous thy spines, you f**k.  It was much lower then we had offered of course, and we used it as the basis for our last bid.  Followed by another last bid, and another.  In the meantime we had to give up the 3% back, plus any other items we thought they should do before we moved in, including having the basement carpet redone which they had already offered without even doing up the contract.  Even then, we had to beg the appraiser to reconsider (something the OWNERS were supposed to do) because we were still $10,000 separated, and the appraisal clearly had missed some of the parcel included in the sale.

Then, the day before closing, the underwriter decided the BGE transmission lines next to the house might be too close, thus making the place prone to being crushed by tens of thousands of pounds of falling steel when the towers collapse.  Which happens all the time of course, many millions of homes are crushed each year by falling transmission towers.  Want to know how many homes have actually ever been struck (cause I looked it up of course)?  Zero.  As in none... ever.  Not by a power line transmission tower anyways. 

I spent a whole night emailing every person at BGE I could find an address for to see if we could get some facts about the towers to give the underwriter.  I finally got great help from the guy who leads that team, and was able to give the underwriter the height of the tower and a standard letter of assurance stating it conformed to all relevant statutory codes.  Of course, that was after closing had been missed.  And now the sellers were heading into a weekend wedding and would be unavailable to close.  But we still had to vacate our current home, otherwise we'd be screwing THOSE folks.

So we moved into my in-laws house for a few days, while our furniture and belongings were mostly tied up in the POD we rented (which the previous owners assented to letting us store on the property so we wouldn't have to move it twice).  We finally closed on Tuesday June 15th, and have been happily settling in to our home in the country ever since.  More about the house in a future post.

But I'll be damned if I'm ever going to move again.  I'd rather eat frogs legs (sorry Kermit). 

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