Monday, November 28, 2011

I hate mortgage applications

I have spent the whole darn day filling these stupid things out, and attempting (with mixed success) to email all the account statements, paystubs, and other junk needed by the banks/credit unions/mortgage companies in order to write this mortgage.  And having done all this, I highly suspect that only one of the banks/CUs/MCs is going to be willing to write this the way we want it (even though we have perfect credit ratings) due to the size of the property, and the rest are just stringing me along, until they get to the part they can say "Now you will have to pay for the appraisal..."

The problem is that when we moved, we packed up my office, where I knew where everything was, and now it is in boxes here, in the basement, and in storage, and scattered on my desk, or available only online using passwords that are older than my latest system for assigning different passwords to everything, or user names and passwords known only to El Jefe.  I cannot find anything, and I hate this disorganization. 

I particularly hate that the Pirate spent a great deal of time today setting up her room so we could play something, and nearly cried when I told her I couldn't do that until the stupid apps were complete (which of course has taken all day and now she is at TaeKwonDo and will have to go to bed as soon as she gets home and so she didn't get to play with mommy at all). 

Both of my children have recently accused me of never smiling, nor laughing, nor playing with them.  Well, I do smile, albeit rarely.  I have photos to prove it.  And I have laughed this week.  Once that I can think of.   But they are right about my not playing with them.  We do our homeschool most of the mornings and I haul them all over the city to various events and activities in the afternoons, but I have played with each of them once, separately, this entire month.  That's it.  That's awful.

Part of that is being cooped up in this apartment - I'd rather be anywhere but here.  Part of it is the horrendous amount of time we've spent looking for/at homes, both on the computer and in the car.  It is also that whatever part of me used to like the "Kingdom of Make-Believe" has long since atrophied into negativity.  Dolls bore me.  Dress up irritates me.  I'd like to play real games, but that means putting up with certain poor sports, or games that involve only chance and no skill.  I'd like to do some art projects, but since I'd be the one cleaning those up, they don't thrill me much either.  Oh, my attitude is so negative I could scream.  In fact, I do.  Not that it helps.  And now I must return to the idiotic email and see how many mail-fail messages I have now.  Grrr.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Oh, the frustration!

So, in the process of arranging for the financing, we have been informed that one cannot get an FHA mortgage with 3% down ($5,250), or a conventional mortgage with 5% down ($8,750),  on a house with anything over 10 acres (and we are talking about 46)... unless, possibly, the house and 10 acres of the land are appraised at the value of the mortgage, which trust me on this, isn't going to happen.  We have been left with the impression that we are going to have to come up with a minimum of 18% down in order to get this property.  That is $31, 500.  Personally, my feeling is if we are going for pie in the sky here, we might as well go for the full 20% and not pay PMI.  So, $35,000.  I'm going to go bang my head against a wall for awhile.   

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I do better at home hunting than deer hunting this week

We looked at more homes today, including the 40+ acre properties.  We saw one house we really liked on a lot we really DISliked.  We saw one house that was okay on a lot that was okay.  We nixed another due to the lot and the neighborhood (didn't even go inside).  We drove by another we said we'd like to make an appt to see inside.  And then we saw the first 40+ acre place.  The lot was fabulous.  Huge.  Hay fields and woodlot, two polebarns, pistol pit backstop... but the house needed to be completely gutted and remodeled.  The floors sloped.  There was a lot of water damage.  It was a huge, beautiful farmhouse that had just been utterly let go.  I hate seeing that.

So to assuage our disappointment, we went to lunch (it was nearly 2PM and we had the girls with us, whom I must say behaved wonderfully all day long, and it was a very long day).  After lunch, we went to look at the 46 acre place.  That would be the one referred to in the previous post as COOKSTOVE PLACE, for the wood cookstove in the kitchen.  Looked nice from the outside - fairly new vinyl siding, fairly new roof.  BIG old barn that needs a new roof (it's losing shingles into the yard) and a new floor in the hayloft (there are holes).  Two leaning garden sheds.  One hoop house with dates/figs growing in it.  (Really?  in MICHIGAN?)  Composite deck and balcony (need powerwashing, but I'll take composite over care of wood any day).  And then we went inside.

There is cheap wood paneling everywhere.  On the walls.  On the ceilings.  We are in the living room, but we will see that paneling EVERYWHERE.  This is not a deal killer, it just makes the house darker than we like.  El Jefe's take on it is that it was probably in the condition of the other 40 acre place, and the plaster was ripped out and replaced, and the floors were refinished (they are wide planking, and not new, but not old enough to be original either).  We wonder if there is insulation behind the paneling.  The heat is turned way down (the house is unoccupied), so it is chilly, but that doesn't tell us anything.  Anyway, there are lots of lights in the living room.  Only one in the hall.  Oddly, the two bathrooms are right next to each other.  One bathroom is also the laundry room, but there is no washer nor dryer hooked up.  This would be an immediate expense for us; at least the washing machine would be.  We can live without a dryer, though that's a pain in the winter.  There really are FIVE bedrooms - five rooms with closets and egress windows.  They didn't lie about that.  One has new bamboo flooring and wallboard instead of paneling, painted a really bright salmon color.  Lots of new windows.  That is at the end of the house. Working towards the front there are three more bedrooms with new carpet and that atrocious paneling.  Some need new windows.  The bedrooms vary in size - one is very large, one is medium, one is small (what is this? The Three Bears?).  Above these bedrooms is the loft and another even smaller bedroom (Baby Bear gets a younger sib) that opens onto a balcony outside that is twice its size.  It is composite, too. 
We walk through every room in the house at least twice.  El Jefe walks around the property, spooking a 6 point buck.  The next door neighbor drives by on his tractor and waves hello.  We go back inside for one more look.  Neither one of us wants to say it.  Neither of us wants to get excited about this place maybe being the right one.  We were so disappointed when the last one failed the inspection.  So we are going back for another look tomorrow with our regular realtor.  I don't think I'm going to sleep a wink.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

the ongoing Saga of the Househunt

In the ongoing saga of househunting, we nixed four more properties today.  Three by seeing inside and discovering one had black mold issues from a major water leak when the tile drained into the sump which then failed, one because it was in such bad shape it needed to be torn down (really), and it also only had two bedrooms (they lied and said there were three - an office with no closet is NOT a bedroom!!!) which was also the case in the third one we dinged.  All the homes were standing empty; two were REOS.  This is making me leery of REOS.  Not leery enough to refrain from adding four more to the list of 10 to replace the ones dinged today, though.

In far less depressing news, I found two properties of 40+ acres each with old farmhouses built in 1900 on them.  One of those has a wood cookstove in the kitchen... and it is far and away the most updated of the two homes.  Don't laugh, because this is what I wanted in the first place... lots of huntable land with room for much gardening, and outbuildings (both have barns of one sort or another).  Cookstove Place also has river frontage (translated from Michigan terminology that means about 20 acres of wetlands with oxbows in it, but that's okay I'll learn to trap beaver next).  Cookstove Place has 5 bedrooms, too, (though one of them is 8'x8' - which would make a great office for El Jefe since he'd have a lot less space to clutter up (love you, baby!) so I could take the next larger one to sew in and use for a guest bedroom when the grandparents come to milk the cow.  (Yes, Mom, you didn't think you were really going to not ever have to milk another cow - this is a required skill for your grandchildren or I will not give them diplomas from homeschool, and they should learn it from someone who knows how to do it - which means NOT me).  I am trying REALLY hard not to get as excited about these as I was depressed about the others earlier today, because I'm VERY, VERY tired of feeling jerked around by this process.

Also, both of these 40 acre properties are within a 35 minute commute for Dan, and located within a reasonable distance from our current TaeKwonDo school, and we like that a lot.

I also added one 20 acre property and one 10 acre property (2 of the REOs) that are much newer (and probably in far worse shape following their foreclosures).  And two that were 5-7 acres (the other 2 REOs) only because they were near the 40 acres plots and, well, I felt like it.  Consider it psychological warfare or something - we look at the new home with little acreage and compare it to the old farmhouse with LOTS OF LAND for the same price, and say, hmmmmm, where will we be happier?  Where will our kids be happier?  Actually, we ought to be asking "Where does God want us?" but that's a much longer blog post...