Saturday, June 30, 2007

Get it on
Bang a Gong
Get it on

The walk through revealed that the seller had not, as he had promised to in the last round of contract negotiations, fixed two electrical junction boxes in the attic and re-tacked some falling insulation. He told our realtor that he was very sorry, and that he forgot. We really didn’t ask them to fix very many things, just the big things. He is supposedly fixing this Sunday and we have another walk through scheduled for Sunday afternoon to confirm.

One of the things that we asked them to fix was a large piece of siding on the roof that presumably came off in one of our recent storms. This was the only issue flagged by the city inspectors and while the work isn’t done yet, it’s already been paid for by the seller. We were able to show the receipt, so when the work is done we can call the city inspector, he’ll do a drive by inspection and then fax us the occupancy permit.

It’s 4:30 a.m. and I have already been to Uncle Bill’s and back. I had the corned beef hash breakfast platter and read the RFT. I was there early/late enough to catch the bar crowd and the din was cacophonous. It reminded me of college. I think there is a full moon – there was that extra buzz in the air. I was listening to T-Rex – Bang a Gong - and looking at the cloud covered moon on my drive to the restaurant, it felt very late-night cliché. I wasn’t expecting such a crowd at Bill’s, but then it is Saturday morning. Having already slept some, I had the feeling of sitting with people who were a day behind me, in a different and preceding phase of their lives. If I don’t go back to bed I am afraid they will pass me up. Yup, there they go – sleeping into rested tomorrows.

I am looking forward to closing on the house if for no other reason than a presumed end to these middle of the night wake ups. Under normal circumstances I average one of these insomnia stints every month or two. As it stands, I am at three for the week.

We got our closing summary (a laundry list of how much cash we need to bring to closing) last night and it is interesting to see who is making what off of this deal. A few years ago I read an interview with a woman who had the highest documented IQ in America at the time. When asked what she planned to do with her life she responded that Real Estate clearly was the career where one could make the most amount of money for the least amount of work – leaving one free to contemplate the things that Mensa magnates muse on. Our agent’s commission substantiates that claim.

Of course Tina did have to put up with us for a few months and show us a couple dozen houses, but that’s not a lot of work considering she’ll make close to 10% of what I earn in a year on this single deal. Walk or drive around, look at houses, make a few phone calls, sign the right forms, cash large checks, not bad. Not everyone can do it though, I think of our realtor in H who spent countless hours with us and ultimately made nothing for her efforts. Sorry Leslie, thems the breaks.

I know that we’ve made a good deal on our house, a great deal really, but I can’t deny my natural skepticism. It was that same skepticism that had me on my hands and knees, flashlight in hand in a crawl space this afternoon confirming that the repair hadn’t been done. I have to trust that there is some value in wariness, even if insomnia comes with it.

“Why,” I asked my attorney “is the final sale being transferred from the seller’s name to an LLC?”

“If they’ve owned the property less than a year, a transfer to an LLC could save them up to fifteen K in taxes. If they are trying to protect themselves from a lawsuit over some problem that they know about with the property, you are protected by the Fraudulent Transfers Act because the original contract is in the seller’s name”.

When I am out of my depth and still moving forward, as is clearly the case in the mine field of real estate deals, it’s nice to know that there are lots of people who are smarter than me who have my best interests at heart. Thank you friends and family for your good advice through this process.


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