Friday, May 28, 2010

Last Evening

So after a million unanswered emails over my vacation, I finally got the closing confirmation. It went down after work yesterday. I now own that crappy house I've been writing about for weeks. Hooray?

I handed over a check to some lawyers, signed a lot of paperwork and left a lawyers office before anything else could have gone wrong.

Big weekend ahead...

Thursday, May 20, 2010


No closing today.

I got a call from Tony the Mortgage Fellow yesterday afternoon and he let me know that we wouldn't be closing today. That is terrible, for reasons previously explained and obvious.

He did inform me that because of all of the hassle, I will be saving approximately $1,500 off of the closing costs. I told him that I would gladly pay him an extra $5,000 to close today. He sounded displeased and told me, "I hoped that would soften the blow a bit".

Yes. $1,500 makes up for all of the craziness that is going to go on when I get back from my terribly timed vacation.

The new date is the first day I get back, the 27th. It going to be a great weekend thereafter...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Yesterday afternoon, I got a call from Tony the Mortgage Fellow. He let me know that the lawyers want the yard debris removed. Awesome. Tony told me to get back to him after I was able to speak with the folks at Standards and Inspections and get it cleared up. Luckily, he called me after 4:30, which is when City Hall closes for the day. Great.

With this new request from the lawyers, and no way to get in touch with any inspectors, Amanda and I ate some pizza and went to the property to assess the debris. I figured we could throw what little was there into the garbage can and be done with it. Here it is:

This is a pretty big change from the last time I photographed the yard detritus:

As you can see, there are some new items, as well as some removals. Notably removed? The garbage can. Sweet.

An added item? The mattress. It has some well wishes written on it:

Hey mom, I got you a mattress for your birthday!

Anyways, Amanda and I, with nowhere else to put the garbage, dragged it all into the first floor apartment. That apartment will smell like a garbage factory in no time. This is great news. No it isn't.

While inside the apartment, I noticed a bunch of papers hanging on the wall in the kitchen. I decided to take a picture of them:

I sure hope the crazy JV team stripper that was squatting in the unit makes her appointment. It's tomorrow! Also, the appointment is for a foot doctor. I can only hope that the appointment is all a ruse to secure legally prescribed opiates. I like the odds.

Presumed drug addiction aside, Amanda and I cleaned up the yard and went home.

This morning, I called the Standards and Inspections folks to get an inspector out to the property as soon as possible. A woman took a message and told me that an inspector would be in touch.

An hour later, not satisfied with most experiences with the S&I folks, I called again to try to get a hold of the inspector in charge of the property violations. Basically, I wanted to talk to the man who will clear that violation to let him know how urgent it is. To my surprise, the same woman I had spoken to earlier let me know that the inspector had gotten her message and informed her that he had passed the house yesterday. This is good news.

It is also descriptive of how this has gone. If Tony had called me sometime before 4:30, I may have found out before having to clean the yard at all. This would have been, for obvious reasons, preferrable. Also, if anyone had looked into it, they would have found out that the inspector was on his way to the house yesterday and that it had passed. sadly, no one who is working on this stupid house (on Tony's side) has any sort of initiative.

I guess it's good that the house passed, but I'm still waiting for a closing update.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Time Is On My Side. No It's Not

So, in the last post, I promised to explain why it is very super mega extra uber duper important to close this coming Thursday at the latest. I plan on doing so in the following paragraphs.

First, this note on language: I have never seen the word "duper" used as an adjective when separated from the word "super". Am I the first one to ever do it? I have no idea. Am I the first one to do it, as far as I know? Yup.

Back to it. I will write the rest of this post as if I were answering an essay question from a grade school teacher.

Why do we need to close on this house on or before this coming Thursday?

We need to close on this house on or before this coming Thursday because it is very important to do so. It is very important to do so because on Friday morning, at 5:30am, we will be on a flight to Barbados for a friend's wedding. We will not return from the trip to Barbados until the following Thursday. We will lose almost a week's worth of time due to our trip.

It is also very important to close on this house on or before this coming Thursday because the lease agreement we signed long ago expires on the 31st of this month. That means we will have to vacate our current apartment. We will, obviously, need somewhere to live thereafter.

Combining these facts, we can surmise that if the closing is postponed until after we return from our trip to Barbados, we will have a total of three and a half days to make one of the apartments in the dwelling livable, so we can move in.

In summation, it is very important that we close on this house on or before Thursday of this week because while eleven days is not a lot of time to get one of the units livable, it is certainly, and for obvious reasons, superior to three days.

End of essay.

Another language aside - Please teach your kids that it is in fact grammatically correct to begin a sentence with the word "because". I was always told when I was a kid that one should never begin a sentence with the word. I understand the reasoning behind it, kind of. If you are a kid learning to write, it may be needed or important to be able to explain the subject of your following paragraph. If you are writing on your own, or there is no question prompting your words, it's important for the reader to know what the hell you're explaining. It's my wish that once kids are good enough at writing to understand the basics, you can then let them know that "because" is a perfectly acceptable way to start a sentence. Why? Because it makes perfect sense if the reader has been clued in to what you will be writing about.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Update Weekend

I generally don't ever update this stupid thing on the weekend. I usually do it when I'm at work for reasons obvious. Today however, I decided to make an exception, as a lot of stuff went on in the last few days and it's fresh in my mind (relatively).


I sent around another sheet for everyone (me, seller, John McCann Realtor and seller's agent) to sign, even though it had been signed already. Tony wanted to make sure that he had 'everything' with him for the day. I emailed it over to him as soon as it was ready and he went on his smoke filled car ride to New Hampshire.

Why New Hampshire? Because apparently that's where the underwriters and lawyers he works with are stationed. Or maybe he wanted to do some fly fishing. I cant be sure. He let me know that he should be finished up with the meetings by about 2pm and to expect a call shortly thereafter. I have no idea why I believed him.

2pm came and went with nary a sound from Tony. As the hours passed, I grew more and more agitated. I left work at 4:30 (normal for me) and called him on my short drive home. No answer. I left a message.

Ten or so minutes after I sat down on my couch my cellular telephone rang. It was, duh, Tony. He did not have good news.

He led with a big sigh, followed by a pained explanation of things. Basically, he said I would have to clean the yard, take out the kitchen in the back unit and pay the fine on the house, despite the paper I signed to the contrary. The problem with that paper, he said, is the asterisk on it. Here it is:

As you can see, that asterisk is in the middle of a standard sentence on a standard form. It refers to "any violations marked with an asterisk".

Also on that form? "...any debris..."

The asterisk and the phrase above scare lawyers. They said I have to take care of any of the asterisked violations and clean the yard, as that's what the standard form says. Miffed, I laid into Tony the mortgage guy. I spoke more forcefully than he'd ever heard me speak before and peppered in some choice vulgarity for effect/seriousness' sake.

I continued ripping his chosen profession and the manner in which those employed in it conduct themselves. I let him know that these things should have been vetted much much earlier, you know, sometime before two days after their requested closing date extension. I told him that if anyone had actually looked at this stuff any earlier, I could have cleaned a yard and paid a fine before the original closing date.

He apologized and told me, "I know it's frustrating."

I then let him know my thoughts on it yet again, mentioning that the process is not frustrating, it is "absurd". I reminded him that everyone involved on his side of this transaction, including him, have sat on their hands until the last possible days, then asked for things that they have received already (signed purchase and sales, two other signed forms), then delayed based upon issues (typed characters more specifically) that could have been resolved weeks ago.

After about ten minutes of belittling the mortgage industry, he finally sighed and said, "Ryan, I'm really taking this to heart."

This made me even angrier. Is he saying that sincerely? Is he saying that to make me feel better? What?

I decided he was saying it sincerely and promptly told him that there were no lessons to be learned, as "we're too old for that essword". I told him I was dissatisfied with his work so far, but there was nothing that could be done about it.

Still not satisfied, but generally defeated, I moved on. I told him that I would call the Standards and Inspections folks as soon as they opened in the morning and would find out the actual meaning of the asterisks. I would let him know my finding thereafter.


I called up the generally helpful Jasmin Checho at Standards and Inspections at 8:30. That's when the office opens. I told her the situation and asked her what, specifically, violations had asterisks on them. She put me on hold and dug up the paperwork on the house.

When she returned to the phone, she read each violation again and said that there were no asterisks to be found. Anywhere.

I thanked her and let her know I would be in later in the day to pay the $75 fine that is hanging over the house, just in case the lawyers get pissy about that later on. I had a few meeting at work, then left around 11 and made my way to the City office.

When I arrived, I requested copies of all of the relevant documents attached to 66 Candace St. Jasmin furnished them, I handed the check over and, packet in hand, was on my way.

I ate some lunch with Amanda, then went to my crappy apartment to scan and email everything I had received. Here are some images (slightly altered) of the important/pertinent to this post things:

See? No asterisks anywhere. If the stupid underwriters/lawyers had actually looked into these things, instead of seeing an asterisk on a standard form, pooping their pants a little and calling everything off, then I would be working in a terrible house today, instead of enjoying myself (sadly, I'd rather be working on a house than enjoying myself today. Strange).

As far as the City of Providence is concerned, the house can be transferred over to me, provided I pay for it. I did not actually have to pay the fine, but did anyways, just so the lawyers wouldn't poop inside of their pants again.

There is just one problem:

Now, going by the letter of the law (or verbiage of the standard form), there is nothing to worry about, as there are no asterisks. However, the form does say '...any debris on the premises cannot be assumed..." This may cause at least a little intestinal discomfort for the legal eagles. Hopefully, they can be persuaded to believe that since there is no asterisk next to anything, then there is nothing to worry about.

I guess we'll have to wait and see. If nothing is wrong with anything in my paperwork, then closing can happen in five business days. I am hoping that will be this coming Thursday. I am going to continue to bother Tony the Mortgage Guy all week up until that date. It is very important that the closing happens on or before this coming Thursday.

I will write about why in a post on Monday. This post of much too long already. Enjoy the rest of your weekend. Unfortunately for me, I will probably enjoy the rest of mine...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

It's Here!

Today is a big day. Today is a very big day. Today is the day that I close on a dumpy multi-family property in a questionable neighborhood in Providence. Today is a day I saddle myself, and wife, with tremendous debt. Today is a day that the mad scramble to finish a house that needs months of work in less than months begins. A very big day indeed.

No it isn't.

That day has been, yet again, postponed.

It seems to me that the underwriters, who will give me thousands of dollars with which to buy a house, haven't even started working. I have no concrete proof of this, as the underwriters have no contact information that I am allowed to see (or they may not exist at all). I do, however, have a bit of circumstantial evidence.

Exhibit A: The underwriters requested that stupid sheet I described a few times in the last couple of posts.

Exhibit B: The underwriters requested a copy of the signed Purchase and Sales. Seriously.

Exhibit C: I love that there is an 'h' in the word "exhibit".

While all three of those exhibits are true, only the first two can be used as actual evidence.

The underwriters clearly only started to do anything on this stupid house yesterday. Again. Yesterday. These are the same folks that requested postponement until today.

I asked, while knowing the answer before the question was asked, to get the contact info of the underwriters so I could, "swear at them" (which I have been known to do). Tony the Mortgage Fellow told me that he couldn't do that. I responded with the obvious, "but those folks need to be sworn at." He chuckled. Tony the Mortgage Fellow thinks I'm hilarious. He is incorrect.

I have no real update on when the closing will take place, but I am going to talk to Tony this afternoon and find out, "his instincts on when this thing is going to close".


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Tuesday Before Wednesday Funday

Quick update and idea (the idea has nothing to do with Real Estate).

The City folks faxed over the form I signed. Tony the Mortgage Fellow got it and sent it along to the people that need to see it. Now we wait. I will hopefully hear something today, but I'm not holding my breath, as they say. They being cliche machines. I'm sure I will hear something like "the closing is on, please show up in fifteen minutes."

Here's the idea (again, nothing to do with Real Estate):

I went to the crushing Celtics defeat in Game 3 last week. Upon filing into the TD Garden (ugh), the ticket folks were handing out terrible Thunder Sticks (inflatable small pool floats that you bang together in lieu of clapping):

*Aside* - I hate these things. A lot. I am by no means an old fogey (sp?), but I do cultivate a healthy disdain for all of the craziness that goes on at sporting events. The purpose is to engage the crowd as much as possible by playing songs/videos/etc during play. The insinuation is that crowds are not smart enough to know when to cheer/make noise/etc. That may be the case these days, since tickets cost too much and there are a lot of rich/disinterested people at the games, but still. I hate Thunder Sticks and the general dumbing down/noising up of professional sports. (Gino victory videos not included. Those are awesome) *Aside over*

Looking at all of the stupid plastic pool floats in the crowd, an idea dawned on me. Why not get a cymbal company like Zildjian or Sabian to sponsor 'Band Cymbal (and earplugs) Night'? This would be incredible. If you're going to tell the crowd how to cheer/make noise, why not prompt them to smash two giant cymbals together in unison right before an opposing players free throw? Who would be able to make that free throw? Dead silence from the crowd and when the player is bending his knees before release, an earsplitting clang blows out the windows of the stadium. This is a great idea. You cannot tell me otherwise.

A crowd full of this is my dream:

Monday, May 10, 2010

Wednesday Funday

As far as I know, the closing is still on.

On Friday, I got a call from Tony, Mortgage Fellow while waiting to watch the Celtics get destroyed in person. I told him I would give him a call back.

I did.

He told me that for the closing to happen, three things will have to happen, in the scant few days left before closing:

1. Clean the back yard. Have city inspector inspect.

2. Remove the kitchen from the back unit. Have cit inspector inspect.

3. Pay $75 to the city. Have city cash check.

About halfway through his recitation, I realized that these all have something to do with the violations that are hanging over the property. The violations which I signed off on long ago.

I let him know that I had already signed a fun form releasing these violations to me once the property is mine. He asked me to send him the form, so I got in touch with City Hall and am awaiting their reply.

I really hope that the form I signed will make all of these things go away (until after closing), or else I am hoping to have a terrible Tuesday evening cleaning a yard and removing a kitchen.

Fingers crossed?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I'm Late

I promised an update yesterday. I did not deliver. I have an excuse, but you won't care about it.

At any rate, there was no closing last Friday. Instead, it had been postponed until the 12th, at the latest. I am pushing crazy Tony the Mortgage Guy to get it done earlier, but we'll see.

The problem was with the stupid federal laws on the federal loan I am getting. Basically, when Tony had to resubmit the loan amount, which he apparently had to do last week, there is a mandatory 7 day waiting period until you are legally allowed to close. It's super lame.

On the bright side, the appraisal went well and the house is, according to the appraiser, worth at least the amount of the loan. Great.

Next up is staying on Tony to get things moving and getting some homeowners insurance lined up. I really can't wait to get started on this dump.