March 29, 2017 5:00pm {the day that wasn't}

When the offer was accepted, when the appraisal went through, when we signed the mortgage documents and gave away all our money.  These days were supposed to be filled with high-fives, congratulations, and celebratory beers.  But too much kept going wrong, so we put off the hoorays, and told our friends and family not to congratulate us until the keys were in our hands.

March 29th.

We were finally going to celebrate! Closing Day! At 5:00pm the house would become ours, the keys would be in our hands and we'd have those beers!

At 4:00pm (an hour before the house was to be ours), The Man decided to go by the house to check on RL's progress.  We knew, to a certain extent, how much stuff he had and that it was going to take quite an effort to get it all out of the house, the garage, and the massive back yard, but as it turned out we had no idea how much junk he truly had.  And when The Man pulled up to the house he was met with a metaphorical punch to the gut. 

Nothing had changed, in fact it was much worse than when we had been at the house for the inspection 2 weeks prior.  RL was supposed to be completely out of the house by 5:00pm.  There was no way it was going to happen.

A little back story on RL.  He's a crackhead, and not as in "oh man that guy's crazy, he's a crackhead", but as in we have a running count of the amount of crack pipes we have found on the property and as of today we are at 27.

It turned out that in RL's mind "out of the house" meant that although all of his belongings were still taking up all the room in the house, he himself was not sleeping inside of the house.  Of course he was sleeping in his trailer on the front lawn, but to him that was "out of the house."  Apparently crackheads are really in to technicalities.

This is also when we learned that:

1.) RL's realtor (the person whose job it is to make sure their client is off the property and the transition goes smoothly) was so sick of dealing with RL that as soon as the money was transferred he left town.  He went to Palm Springs for vacation for 2 weeks and stopped answering his phone...YAY! and

2.) Portland loves making laws to support the "little guys" and in this case RL was the "little guy."  After frantically calling anyone involved in the purchase of this home trying to figure what we could do, we received a call from our realtor.  He called to let us know that our plan to lock RL out of the house and throw all his stuff in the trash was in fact illegal.  Since RL left his belongings on the property a tenant/landlord type rule now applied to us.

We would need to give RL written notice that he needed to pick up his belongings, giving him 5-8 days to respond and 15-30 days to collect his belongings (he had multiple cars and trailers on the property so it would be more like 30days).  Properly protect and store his stuff while giving him ample opportunity and availability to collect it. And if he did not collect his crap by the end of those 40ish days we would need to try to sell anything of value and give him the money from the sale.

You have got to be f@#%ing kidding me!

That was not happening.  RL also let us know that he had no money for a dumpster so he had no way of even beginning to get rid of his junk.  So we did what any person at a complete loss for actions would do.  We bought a dumpster for the crackhead that was living in our front yard.

March 29th.

We still had beers...

closing is such sweet sorrow

We started looking in February of 2016. 

Over the course of that year we were outbid by as much as $5K - $40K, underbid by $10K but with cash, and at one point we were the only bid but the owner "found" some liens on the property and needed us to fork over more than the house was would appraise for in order to cover his costs.  When we submitted a bid at the house that would eventually become ours, we were pros at hearing the word no.

It took us over a year to finally hear "Your offer was accepted!" but by the time we heard it we were so skeptical. No hoorays, no celebratory drinks, those 4 words were met with, "ok, now what?" And with good reason.  Every step of the process was difficult. 

We learned after our offer was accepted that the roof would need to be replaced in order for the house to appraise, after much back and forth we came to an agreement, we upped our offer by $3K and he paid the rest of what the roof would cost (about $5-6K).  At first we thought we had the upper hand, we were the only offer, the place was a disaster and without us he (let's call him RL) would surely go into foreclosure.  Then we learned who we were dealing with.  The house had belonged to RL's mother and when she died it became a part of the estate, RL figured out that if the house went into foreclosure it wouldn't effect him directly so if the deal fell through he would just stay in the house (without paying) until he was evicted... classy huh?

With each hiccup came another debate of who would pay for what, and without any upper hand it became more and more difficult.  It got to the point that I dreaded calls from The Man.  Everyday for the last week before closing I'd get a call around 10am - the deal was going to fall through/the heating system might not work/there's a lien on the house for two thousand dollars, then by 4pm it somehow worked itself out.  We almost walked away more times than I can count, even when we went to sign the mortgage documents we weren't sure if it would really happen.

But on March 29, 2017 at 5:00pm we closed on the house and it became ours....crackhead and all...

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