My Life in Knots

Saturday, February 18, 2006

New House

Now about the house we're buying.
Oh what a headache buying a home is. Now there's factors that have gone into every decision we have made about moving, one being we had no choice. But, there was a lot to consider.
As per my custody court order I have full custody of my children, but, I am legally obligated to keep them in their school districts.
The school districts in this city are very split up. Where we currently live there's about 20 blocks within the school district, all that are residentially zoned only, no rentals, can't rent by local laws, and generally the most expensive real estate in the city. So buying a home in this neighborhood was already going to be hard as I didn't want to add going to court once again on top of kids, school, work and moving. Homes do not go up for sale here foten and when they do they are over priced and usually out of my price range.
Size was a huge factor as well. With Mike, myself, three growing kids and 9 animals, yep 9, 3 dogs, 3 cats, 2 ferrets and a rabbit, we needed room to live.
Work was a huge consideration since Mike and I both telecommute so we need somewhere to hold computers and needed office equipment, not to mention bedrooms, bathrooms etc. We could have lived with 1 bathroom and the boys could have shared a room, no one would have been real happy though. So some was wants, some was needs.
Well we found the perfect, for us, home. It's larger than our home now at 2600 sq ft with a full unfinished basement that's 1200 sq ft. The first floor has a living room, formal dining room, kitchen, office/den, 2 bedrooms and a full bath. The second floor has 3 bedrooms and a full bath. There's also a front and back enclosed porch, single car garage on a corner lot. Best part, it was within our price range and a block from the kids school.
We made an offer, they countered, we countered back, finally a deal was reached. We went to the mortgage guy, finalized all our papers and sent in the appraiser. This is when drama had to happen again. We had a small ice storm in the area, nothing big, but, it did some damage. The home we're purchasing is part of an estate so it's vacant. The roof on the home had been patched about 10 years ago, we already knew it would need to be replaced. Well the ice storm damaged some of the home and then it rained causing internal water damage. We had already planned on removing the roof and replacing it and stripping the old wallpaper but the bank said NO WAY! Besides the roof, there's peeling paint, which is cosmetic and we can fix, some cracks in the stucco that need to be fixed, but all this together the house appraised $12,000 less than we offered and the bank would not finance it.
Well there was one option left. The city we live in isn't big in industry and the like. It was listed as one of the most economical towns to rais ea family in the US like #10 or something. The city was granted a HUGE government grant to rehabilitate the city. This is a program for any new home owner within the city limits. Since I haven't owned, technically, a home in over 3 years, I qualify as a new home owner and so does Mike. So we got on the waiting list.
The wait started and every month we had no idea if my mothers mortgage company was going to come throw us out before we could close on a house. Finally it happened. Jan 1st we received notice that we had 30 days to leave the premise's they were foreclosing. Problem was as of January 1st we were still #29 on the waiting list for the city program. We couldn't buy that home in the condition it's in, and we wouldn't be able to find another home in 30 days to purchase. There's no rentals in this district so we were forced with having to move out of the district and then petitioning the court and fighting for custody once again. My ex was already taking me to court for custody from last April and it ended in January, but, I had skirted all questions about where we would be living knowing if I couldn't supply an answer he would get custody. He's abusive and has been indicated by DSS but the courts actually really care less about that and are willing to hand him custody if I in any way violate the order, which moving out of the school district would be a violation. It just seemed hopeless.
I contacted the city office for the rehab program, the woman handling the waiting list asked who the bank was, our mortgage guy for financing a home etc. About a week later I got a call, Someone made calls to someone. I don't know fully what happened but my mothers mortgage company agreed not to foreclose in the winter months.
We got our letter of acceptance to the program last weekend and had a meeting with the city on Thursday. We are now awaiting a final inspection and another appraisal and we should have a closing date for the beginning of March, on the original 5 bedroom, 2 bath home in need of repairs.
The even better portion is what we found out at the meeting. Not only will the city pay most of the closing fees and the taxes into escrow, they will give us $20,000 for needed repairs, like the roof and stucco. On top of that, they have a led abatement program where they go in and test for led content in the air, paint, and pipes. Anything containing led is automatically replaced, above and beyond the $20,000 they give you for repairs. Since we happened to have our inspections and reports with us the city looked at it and told us to already expect, new windows through out, new entry doors, new porch floors and stairs, fashia boards, exposed support beams, pluming and fixtures, all due to led. A new roof, a new furnance, electrical work, new wiring and grounding, new outlets and some new fixtures, and if anythings left new appliances.
After I came too....
We're excited though. We love doing home repair and the like and enough will be left for us to do, but the major projects no one wants to do will be out of the way. We can concentrate on refinishing the original 1915 wood work still left, the hardwood floors, repairing the plaster and painting, restoring the fireplace, fencing in the yard and landscaping. But nothing left to be done is an absolute need, they're all wants, the needs will be met by the city program, so the bank is willing to finance the home for us. Now just to get together my fiance's huge family to help us move...we have way too much stuff!


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