Moving: the ugly

Up until now, I’ve only talked about things that were major inconveniences about closing the deals on the houses. I am convinced the move was either cursed or was under heavy-duty spiritual attack, because of the following:

       the portable storage unit raised its prices in the week between getting a quote and getting the unit

       our hot water heater sprang a leak the day after we started showing the house

       the furnace needed to be replaced after inspection showed that it would kill everyone if used again

       the dishwasher nearly went kaput (I fixed that myself, btw.)

       the dream house ended up being in a flood zone; no biggie, except

       everyone we asked said it wasn’t, and

       the mortgage company insisted it was, and

       the survey team they sent out didn’t actually survey it, and

       you can’t get flood insurance without an elevation certificate, which no one could produce.

       Finally, the attorney for our buyers wouldn’t do the closing except at her office 60 miles from Angeltown, and she wanted to hold our funds for several hours for no discernible reason.

It took four weeks of go-arounds with the flood insurance people and the surveyor to finally get a survey set up. Then the surveyor sent the elevation certificate on the wrong piece of paper. (No joke. The insurance company insisted he copy all the numbers onto a different piece of paper.)

In the middle of all this, the attorney for our purchase (or rather, his legal secretary to whom we’ve sent chocolates) told us just to send the attorney for our sale to that closing. Let HIM travel sixty miles each way, not her. Fine by us. We insisted, and he agreed. 

Then our buyers’ realtor said, “This is stupid,” and it took one email from her to convince Ms. Doesn’t Travel, Esquire, to get off her butt and drive to a more central location, only 20 miles from us. We still sent our attorney. And it’s a good thing we did.

Because at 7AM on the morning of the closing, Ms. Doesn’t Travel, Esquire, phoned our realtor and said, “How do you figure out property tax in Angeltown?” and then proceeded to send her client, our buyer, to the closing with $4,000 too little.

Later on, my mom said we should have insisted that SHE put forward the difference herself and collect from her client later, since it was her error. But instead our attorney went to bat for us and managed to get something different in terms of funding. We were lucky in that we’d already paid enough up-front that this money wasn’t already earmarked for the closing on the house we were buying. If it had, we wouldn’t have been able to close our purchase, and then our sellers wouldn’t have been able to close theirs.

To recap: three deals could have been sunk because one stupid attorney doesn’t travel and doesn’t figure out property tax.

It worked, though. Somehow.

Remember the apocalyptic rain from The Bad? As we left the house we’d sold, to be homeless for about five hours, another rainstorm hit.

I was struggling too much with driving to be terrified, but I couldn’t see. I was doing 35 on the highway and even that felt too fast. I felt certain I’d hydroplane and kill the two Kiddos riding with me in the over-packed van. If Jesus had returned on a cloud during that storm, it wouldn’t have surprised me at all. In fact, I might have said, “Tone down the storm. You’re kind of overdoing it.” 🙂

We got to the new house for a final walk-through, and the power cut off.

After that, we were pretty much punch-drunk for the rest of the day. Our mortgage company’s attorney was officious and royally irritated everyone else at the closing. After signing or initialling 500 pieces of paper (“This is to say you’ll keep smoke detectors in the house. This is to say you know what formeldahyde is. This is to say you’ll repay us. This is to say the title is in your name”) I got handed a page by the fussy mortgage attorney who said, “This is lead paint.” And being me, I replied without thinking, “No, it’s a sheet of paper.”

She looked up, baffled, while everyone else at the table cracked up laughing.

Somehow, we managed to purchase the house anyhow.

Given all this, I think they’ll have to carry me out of this house in a box. I don’t want to go through it again. Kiddo#1 asked if this was our dream home, and I said yes. It had better be.


  1. whiskers

    Reading your last three posts, I REALLY hope that College Bound Movers has an Indiana branch. Cause the people we used last time were the epitome of bad!

    Glad you made it. Love the “no, it’s a piece of paper” I totally would have said that too.


  2. ladyknight

    Our closing was kind of cursed too, but nowhere near as bad as yours! I’m glad you got through it all; thank your guardian angel, as I have the feeling he was working overtime!

    Oh, and feel smart about that “No, it’s a piece of paper” comment! Mine would totally have been, “Huh?”, which always makes you look dumb!

  3. philangelus

    That kind of response has been in my head since I was ten, at my brother’s birthday. My uncle came in holding the knife to serve the cake and said, “Cake?” and my aunt replied, “No, dear, that’s a knife.” Usually I have a better grip on myself.

    This move was so stressful that I’d been imagining the household angels smashing heads (realtors’, stubborn mortgage officers’, ) into brick walls. They did NOT approve of that. But then when the closing took place, the office of the registry of deeds was in a basement where the walls were…brick. And when that attorney started being a total pain (to the point where she annoyed the other lawyers!) I thought, “You know, there are PLENTY of brick walls down here…” but thankfully, no heads got smashed after that.

  4. CricketB

    Good grief! Here, you just call the municipal tax office. They type in a few numbers and tell you. You can do it weeks in advance. The lawyer did the registry office. We did everything in advance except the final inspection and getting the key. On the day we saw our lawyer to get the key and that was it (or would have been if he hadn’t been told someone else had it). I never saw the lawyers and bank do anything other than fax or courier each other.

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