I am under attack from all directions. In the north is all the paperwork for selling my house, in the east is the paperwork for buying my new house, and from the southwest is the never-ending paperwork coming and going to my insurance appraiser. Yes, I’m still dealing with insurance issues 9 ½ months after the fire. I am in the process of organizing many of my receipts so that I can get the full replacement cost reimbursed. There’s no way I’m going to win this battle 100%. I just don’t have time to organize, copy, and scan receipts for every little thing in my bathroom closet or pantry or fridge or whatever. Pick your battles, right? I decide to focus on the bigger items and not sweat the small stuff. No matter how good your insurance is (and mine has been pretty good), you’re still going to end up on the negative side of the balance sheet after a fire.
I have some experience on the northern and eastern fronts since I’m selling a house for the second time and buying one for the third time. But it’s gotten a lot more complicated in the real estate market since the foreclosure crisis. The paperwork seems to have tripled and the closing fees have certainly increased. Earnest money has doubled since I last made an offer on a house, so I borrowed some money from my stepmother (to the rescue again) until my tax refund or house profit comes in. Then we had to fill out a form stating our relationship and how much she gave me and where she got the money. Done, or so I thought, until the next request came from the broker. The lender needs a letter stating how long my stepmother has been my stepmother. Hmmm, since I was 6 or 7, but as I was just a kid, I don’t really have a specific date. Do I need to e-mail her again? Luckily, my response was good enough though why they need to know that bit of information I’ll never understand.
I realize that banks are suspicious of large deposits in an account; they need to know that a borrower can afford to pay the mortgage. They’ve been burned one time too many and are hesitant to commit (like many of us in our relationships). I do, however, have a decent job and quite a bit of equity in the house I’m selling. Nevertheless, I still have to account for a couple of mysterious deposits of $100-$200 last month. I couldn’t remember at first. Oh right. My ex and I split costs on the kids’ health insurance and tuition; he was reimbursing me. Fine and good, but I still needed copies of his cleared checks as proof. The mortgage industry has gone from one extreme to another. The paperwork alone may keep me in my next house forever.
“Keep your eyes on the prize” my friend told me. Right! I am starting to get excited about the new house. Mark the contractor has agreed to do some jobs on the new house even though it hasn’t been damaged by fire, flood, or tornado. He’s been extremely busy restoring other people’s homes, but we manage to arrange a time with my realtor to meet there one week before the closing to measure rooms. The goal is to get the painting and possibly the flooring done before I move the furniture in. It’s all becoming very real very quickly. More e-mails flood my inbox: another document to sign, several documents to review, requirements for the closing, bank information, and more. I try to take it all in stride. Just one more week and I will have conquered two out of three fronts. I’ll worry about the insurance front after the move.