As you may have discerned from the dispassionate tone in my earlier posts regarding buying a home, I was never in love with the house we had found. It fit all the necessary criteria, to be sure, but it just didn't resonate with me. Nonetheless, I was fully committed to securing the place and spending at least the next few years there. But none of that matters anymore, because after inspections and sewer scopes and soil samples and a multitude of addendums, we ended up withdrawing our offer on the house. But let me tell you why.
The fault lies primarily with Bank of America's mortgage lending department, which is completely fucked-up, disorganized and unreliable.
See, all the loan application paperwork they sent us had the wrong house address. Indeed, the house address was missing the street name. It took them a month to finally correct it. This brought the process to a crawl. Packet after packet after packet of loan application documents arrived, each time with the assurance that the hefty stack of papers would contain the corrected address, each time offering only disappointment. The three BoA representatives assigned to us were seemingly helpless to do anything about it. They "sent emails" and "didn't understand" because it was "right in the computer", but after a month -- a month! -- it wasn't until my wife directly called BoA's mailing department that we reached someone who, after five minutes, realized that an extra space in a form field was to blame and suddenly we were in business.
Incompetence! Why couldn't one of those three BoA reps make this same phone call weeks before? Through the entire process, they seemed somewhat bothered anytime they had to talk with us. As if we were making the process difficult.
I can only surmise that this bewildering data entry error was the reason why it also took a month for Bank of America's appraiser to finally visit the place. Except he didn't do the appraisal. He declined. He claimed that the multitude of various businesses near the house, as well as the proximity to a highway, made it unsuited for residential living, but we're pretty fucking sure that it was the adult video/book store across the street. We don't begrudge the porn shop -- it's probably why a family-sized home had difficulty selling in the first place, and the price came down to where a perpetually childless couple like ourselves could afford it. But the BoA appraiser probably saw it, calculated that if we defaulted the bank would have difficulty selling the house, and then made up a more generalized reason for refusing appraisal.
And that was that. End of the line. After a month, loan denied. We are told most lenders do their appraisal within the first few days. If they had rejected us weeks ago, we might have looked elsewhere. But after a month? Damn.... that's cold. (Of course, BoA still charged me for the appraisal they didn't do, and it took me over 2 weeks to obtain a refund.)
We briefly flirted with a mortgage broker, but the loan rates weren't as good and the broker's fees were brutal. Plus the odds of closing the deal in time to get the government refund seemed unlikely. In the end, we were so disheartened by the entire process that we said "Fuck it" and that was that.
Again, I was never smitten with the house, but Heather was, and she mourned it for days. It was a little heart-wrenching to watch.
So we rearranged and redecorated the apartment, bought a shitload of new (used) CDs and spent a week getting shit-faced, but I think we're good now. She's hit the reset button. I'm decompressing. We'll try again in a year. And hopefully next time around it will be a place we both really feel is The One.
And we sure as fucking hell will not be using Bank of America.