We (Almost) Bought a House (But Didn't)

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.

"End of line."

» Posted 11.03.2009 1:00:02 by Ryan
I like any public forum where the words "Fuck" and "Bank of America" appear in the same sentence. If a bank could get cancer and die, I would wish that upon that shithole - Pain. To add insult to injury, these cock swaddlers took billions in bailout money.

Although there isn't much incentive to leave your current address for something other than ownership, perhaps renting a house is in your future. I'm sure you've had this conversation, but it would satisfy some of your needs without the rectal fisting of the buying process.
» Posted 11.03.2009 8:28:41 by Mr. Space
Your gripe with BofA is well-founded, and I think the entire real estate industry is peppered with more idiots that I would like to imagine. We were lucky and I have no reason to complain, but only to comiserate...Charlie's SS number was reported incorrectly, credit reports run not with the current date but from two months prior ???, the inability to determine a closing date so we can give notice on our apartment, and FORGET about the moderen era where a WOMAN and a MAN can CO-OWN a house, with paperwork only providing one signtaure line.

XXOO I'm sorry it didn't work out ;( The next one will be THE ONE.
» Posted 11.03.2009 8:44:51 by jenniferrabbit
Although I believe in no higher power, I tend to feel like it was just "not meant to be" and somewhere out there is an even better house in a better location with a better bank waiting for your business.

The banking system in this country is fucked up. They're corporations. The Supreme Court inadvertently gave corporations the same rights as citizens in the 14th Amendment. As such, I say we take BOA out back in an alley and beat the holy fuck out of it.
» Posted 11.03.2009 14:24:09 by carl
Sorry to hear about this man. I've gone through a similar tale for the past year and a half when the first place fell through. But recently I closed on a new place that is way better deal overall and a great place to live in. Take a break and look again next year. I hear they government is extending the tax refund...
» Posted 11.03.2009 18:36:32 by wickerman
I think it would help if you stopped thinking of it as a house, and instead thought of it as the premises for the Botch Museum of Transformers.
» Posted 11.16.2009 16:53:42 by Curis [Website]
From someone who has lived in many many different houses . . . not all are the one. You will at some point find that place but dont worry too much (not that you were) if you don't find it the first time. You'll spend a ton of time looking for it and once you move in you'll notice that the house on the corner is reallt THE ONE. Try to enjoy it for what you do with it. Where ever you live you will make it home
» Posted 11.25.2009 13:43:04 by TDC

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