Friday, February 26, 2010

Purchase and Sales

Over the past few days, I've been in touch with my mortgage guy as well as my Realtor. The mortgage guy made me send a bunch of stuff to him. Here's the list of what it takes to get a 203(k) mortgage:

One month worth of Pay Stubs
Two month's worth of statements (checking, savings, 401(k), etc.)
W2 from 2008 and 2009
HUD settlement sheet (from the house I sold awhile ago)
Property address and purchase price
Contractor's name and contact info
Insurance agent's name and contact info

I sent what I could from that list along earlier this week (no '08 W2, no insurance) and am waiting on the next step in the process, the Purchase and Sales agreement.

This should normally take about 13 minutes to do, as it's just filling in some info in a pre-prepared document. It took a few days for this one. Why? Because John McCann, Realtor dragged his feet a little. Also? Because we had to put a clause in.

The first attempt at the P&S looked good, but it didn't have anything in it about making sure that the crazy squatters were gone. I need that clause for sure. The last thing I need after closing on this place is to have to call the police to evict stripper/drug addict and a soft spoken knifist. I made the request and John edited the document and sent it my way. I signed it yesterday, scanned it at home and sent it back. Now the seller has to sign it and we'll be well on our way to closing on April 9th.

There are only 7 million things to do between now and then, but at least a big step will have been taken.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Eye Exam and Other News

So. Last week, on Thursday, I got my first ever real adult eye exam. My distance vision hasn't been as sharp as it should be for a few years, so since I have health insurance, I figured it might be a good idea to finally cave and get some glasses. If I knew how utterly horrifying an eye exam can be, I would have done without glasses for a few more years.

I went in figuring I'd get nothing more than the old, 'better, or worse' multiple lens test. I got that. Unfortunately, that was not the end of things...

Once the eye doctor had determined just how bad my eyesight is and written down what prescription I need, he decided to poke and prod my delicate eyes a little more. First, he shot a few drops of a terrible ochre colored numbing agent into my eyes. After wiping away the probably skin staining liquid running down my face, he brought over a torture device and made me stick my face into it. This is it:

Once my forehead was pressed against the upper, um, thing, he proceeded to turn on a blue light and slowly draw it closer to the center of my eyeball. This was an abjectly horrifying experience. I was staring straight ahead into weird blue light on the end of a dagger while it centimetered (inched isn't descriptive enough) slowly toward the surface of my eyeball. I kept my composure overall, but my sweat glands did not. I knew that I was in no real danger, but my brain was having a hard time believing itself. I knew that I was administered a numbing agent for a reason, and that reason was that dagger was touching my delicate eyeball. I was a mess.

Once he was finished with the first eye, he moved onto the second one. Same thing that time, the only difference being I was unknowingly backing away slowly. My forehead was no longer touching the top forehead rest thing and he had to ask me to get my head back on it. Continuing my sweating and elevated heart rate, I obliged, but was having trouble keeping my eye open. Not to worry though, the eye doctor used his fingers to pry my eyelids apart and finish up.

Ugh. I feel queasy just writing about it.

Once the torture was finished, he then put more eye drops in each eye. This time, they would dilate my eyes. Once the drops were in, he sent me to choose some glasses while the drops took effect. I don't know if you've ever had your eyes dilated by a doctor, but I couldn't see a damn thing. It was impossible to choose a decent pair of glasses. I only have a vague idea as to what my chosen pair looks like, but luckily Amanda was there to help out. I can't even be sure what color they are.

It was a terrible experience, but at least I will now get a nice surprise when I see my glasses for the first time ever...

Now that that's out of the way, on to business:

I decided last week that if I did not hear back from the bank, I would put an offer in on the other property on Monday (yesterday). John let the seller's agent know that if we didn't hear anything by Friday, we would pursue other opportunities. Friday came and went with nary a peep from the seller's agent. Since I had a bunch of meetings yesterday, I could not get to John's office to sign anything. It would have to wait until today at lunch.

I made my way to John's office in Providence at lunch, with my checkbook (for a good-faith deposit) and letter saying I could get the money if I need to from my mortgage company. I walked into the building, said hello to the receptionist and walked over to John's desk.

I saw that he was on the phone, so I stopped, but he waived me over. He hung up shortly thereafter and informed me that he was literally just talking with the seller's agent. The bank accepted the offer.

Crazy. $65k.

I will be signing a bunch of crap and getting the purchase and sales together by tomorrow. With any luck, we'll close in about a month.

Friday, February 12, 2010


I've heard nothing.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Yesterday morning, I talked to the fellow who will be handing me tens of thousands of dollars on behalf of his employer. He sent along a nice little letter stating that I am, in fact, worthy of receiving the money we spent a few minutes talking about.

Once I had that pre-qualification letter, I was ready to make an offer on the multifamily of my dreams. That is, if I dream about poop and probable narcotics abusers...

Backtracking a little bit, I spoke to John McCann, Realtor the previous evening to decide on an offer price. After some discussion about the merits of low balling vs. fair pricing, we arrived on a number. This number took into consideration both the amount of work that needed to be done, and the final selling price that I had arrived upon previously after much mathematics.

With this number in mind, I asked my lender contact to draft a pre-qual letter stating the exact figures John and I discussed. This would show the bank not only what I was offering, but also the precise amount I had for renovations. The money was split up thusly:

Total loan amount - $115k

Amount for renovations - $50k

Amount of offer - $65k

Now, the above can definitely be construed as a 'low ball' offer, especially considering I know what the previous, and accepted by the bank of the owner (it is a short sale after all), offer was ($82k). I don't want to pay $82k for the house. Too much needs to be done and I actually want to turn a decent profit when it is finally sold. John and I arrived on the $65k hoping that the seller's bank would be tired of the property and would want it off of their books. This is a terrible assumption, because it assumes that banks run the real estate arms of their businesses using sound reasoning.

If I learned anything from the three months it took to finally close on the previous house we flipped, it is that banks operate the real estate arms of their empires using an infuriating combination of apathy and disdain for their work. They take forever to do anything. And it sucks.

That said, I definitely expect the offer to be rejected (eight weeks from now) and I will need to get an updated pre-qualification letter for offer number 2.

In short, I signed an offer last evening and it was faxed over to the seller's agent. I will hopefully hear back about it by the end of this week. Realistically? I will not hear back about it until much later than that.

Good day.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Book of Eli

He's a blind person.

With that out of the way, here's a quick house hunt update:

Last week, Al Medina, General Contractor met me at the two properties still under our consideration. Thereafter, he gave me an estimate on each one. The first place we saw (the one with the feces), came in at about $40-$45k to fix up. Yikes.

The second place (the one with the paintball shots), came in at roughly the same. This surprised me. The reason? I'm an idiot and didn't notice that the second and third floors don;t have a decent, or existing, heating system.

In order to get heat? I need to pay someone to install and run lines for two small boilers. Woof. The cost? About 4 grand.

It just so happens that that will be the approximate cost to run copper throughout the other building. That makes everything about equal. Since the costs are roughly the same, I'm going to make an offer on the one with the extra (albeit illegal) unit and that's in a better neighborhood.

I talked it over with Amanda last evening and my mortgage fellow this morning. We'll be making an offer on Feces Gables early this week. We'll see how it goes...