Some Good Luck – I’m a Homeowner!

Shepherd St HouseSo I paid off the card, my loan got approved and now I’m broke, but at least I’m a homeowner! I sat down, signed and initialed on the dotted line several times and handed over a large sum of money. As a result I now own a little square of land. I’m so excited! The house purchasing process was very stressful, but in the end it went smoothly.

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One Block Off the Grid

1BOG (One Block Off the Grid) seems like a pretty cool organization. They get groups of people together who want to get solar energy, and gets them a huge discount by purchasing in bulk. The DC numbers are increasing so this is a great time to sign up to take advantage of the group discount.

In their own words:

"We are a nationwide, community-based program that organizes residents locally and negotiates group discounts with solar energy installers in your city, using a comprehensive vendor selection process. As a group we are more knowledgeable about solar, more powerful, and we can make a difference."

http://1bog.org/

Some Bad Luck

Ok I have the worst possible luck. I sent in my loan app to my lender last week and they came back with a few stipulations (verify this and verify that etc…), but for the most part they said everything looked fine and we should be cleared to close once these stipulations are met. So I’m excited thinking this thing is pretty much in the bag. I just have to wait a few more days and I’ll be signing on the dotted line.

Oh poor naive me. Practically at the eleventh hour I find out I have to either pay off my credit card or come up with another 20k for my down payment. Of course I’m freaking out thinking how have we gotten this far and no one noticed that my DTI was out of whack. It turns out my credit card company uses a zero minimum payment, but the lender/mortgage insurance company can’t put a zero down. They are supposed to put 5% of the debt on the card which throws off my DTI just enough to make sure I won’t qualify for the loan without it being paid off in full. Not the end of the world, but the extra cash I had saved for installing HVAC system is now going to have to pay off my credit card.

So, easy enough, right? All I have to do is pay off the card and get a letter from my card company saying it’s paid in full. Except before I found all this out I lost my wallet (insert expletive here). Of course I immediately reported my cards lost and had new ones issued, but when I got to work on Monday the cards had not been issued yet and I couldn’t pay off the card until the new account was created. I’m trying to close the beginning of next week so this only gives me this week to finalize my approval. Wish me luck; I’m going to need it.

Appraisals are a Total Scam

The whole appraisal process is a total scam. I pay a guy $400 to checkout my house and compare it to other recent sales in the neighborhood, but all I get back is the exact price I’m purchasing the property for. In my opinion this guy is playing it safe and is just writing down the price I’m paying because that’s the easiest answer. If I was a lender or a mortgage insurance company I would be highly suspicious of an appraisal that was equal to the exact purchase price. Hopefully the DC tax assessment will provide a more accurate appraised value and will get me closer to 20% equity in the house and help me put an end to mortgage insurance.

The one good thing about the appraisal process is that I get a rough floor plan.

The Conditioned Response

I just received the seller's response to my conditions.

Here are the agreed upon conditions:
  • Snake out slow drain in upper level bathroom

  • Correct overfused circuits

  • Ground three ungrounded outlets

  • Install operational smoke alarms

  • Install TPR valve on boiler

  • Service boiler & reduce water pressure

  • Repair basement staircase handrail

  • Install window at bottom of upper level skylight

  • Repair soap dispenser on dishwasher

  • Fully insulate attic by blowing loose-fill insulation In lieu of blown insulation the seller will provide a $600 credit toward insulation of the attic


He agreed to almost everything!!!! Except for the attic insulation I got everything I was hoping for. And I really didn't expect anything for the attic, but he offered me a $600 credit which isn't too bad.

Now I just need to get the appraisal back and my loan approved.

Home Inspection Notice

I just sent in my home inspection notice to the seller. Hopefully he’ll sign on the dotted line and I’ll be one step closer to being a home owner.

Here are my conditions:
  • Snake out slow drain in upper level bathroom

  • Correct overfused circuits

  • Ground three ungrounded outlets

  • Install operational smoke alarms

  • Install TPR valve on boiler

  • Service boiler & reduce water pressure

  • Repair basement staircase handrail

  • Install window at bottom of upper level skylight

  • Fully insulate attic by blowing loose-fill insulation

  • Repair soap dispenser on dishwasher

I think these are all totally reasonable requests. I really hope he takes care of the insulation that would be awesome and save me about $1200 bucks.

Inspection Report

Look no insulationSo, the inspection went pretty well! The seller will only have to fix some minor stuff (e.g. dishwasher soap dispenser, replace some 20 amp circuits with 15 amp ones, ground a few outlets, etc…). Maybe I’ll be able to get him to add some spray insulation in the attic since there is none there.

Two other things came up in this inspection. First, my neighbor’s power lines are attached to my house. Now I’m going to need to have the power company come out and move them and I’m sure they are going to get to that right away. Second, I wanted to convert a closet on the main floor into a small half bath, but the sewer line is nowhere near there. I think I’m going to have to tear up my concrete basement floor to do it.

Let me just say I was prepared for the worst with this inspection. I was waiting for him to come down off the roof and say “well it looks like you’re going to needed a whole new roof.” But none of that happened. The only thing that did surprise me was the realization of how much more some projects are going to cost me.

Next up appraisal and seller fixes.

The Contract is Ratified

Shepherd St HouseThe contract has been ratified and now all I need is an inspection, appraisal and a loan. But that should be easy, right?

A little bit about the house. It is a Washington DC Colonial Rowhouse located in Petworth and was built in 1919. It has three upstairs bedrooms, a full bathroom upstairs and an unfinished basement. The house had some upkeep done to it (refinished floors and molding, new appliances: fridge/oven/dishwasher/washer/dryer/boiler/breakers, new bathroom fixtures).

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Original Listing Description: Fantastic tree lined street. House has just been Freshly Redecorated & shows well. This front porch colonial is in pristine & move in condition. Features - original Stained wood work & Hardwood Floors, 3 good size b'r's, new appls, W/ D, updated bath w original claw leg tub, full unfinished bsmt, & Parking.