Homeowners Again!

Back in March, we got a build quote of $300,000 excluding land ($100k+) and utility hook ups ($30-$50k) – it seemed completely impossible. Fast forward to the beginning of May, and I received an email from the builder stating that the quote was invalid now (was good for 90 days on paperwork), and that it had increased by $120,000. So $420,000 excluding land and utilities for a 1900 sqft house. Absolutely INSANE for where we live!!

I am so thankful we found this random house as a for sale by owner listing before it ever hit MLS. The seller really liked us too. He went through and installed all new electrical, HVAC, furnaces, water heater, and pool equipment. We move in two weeks! We kept the entire process hush-hush from family until closing day. Everyone was shocked lol. Not sure we’ll share the address with them! Ha.

DH is currently commuting an hour and a half to his new job. That sucks, but it’s temporary. He’s fitting in well and likes the upper management. Morale seems good there, unlike his last location. I’m hopeful he can grow there!

I still do not have my car back from Toyota from the accident that happened in early April. Well, I did pick it up last week, only to find NEW damage and they never checked my pre collision system. The sensor was damaged! Ridiculous. I am so angry at how this has been handled. There’s fresh chips in the paint on my hood, that happened AFTER I dropped my vehicle off. The girl claimed that was rock chips, not their responsibility. Until I whipped out my phone with all my pictures!! At the accident AND drop off for repairs, those chips (HUGE chips!) are no where to be found!! So I had to drop my car back off and I’m still waiting to hear something. They damaged the paint while installing a headlight, the headlight is crooked, the fender isn’t aligned properly, the hood isn’t even latching tightly, and my rim is still damaged. Things that should have been handled.

You really can’t rely on anyone to do their jobs anymore. It’s frustrating. Now I’m stressed about having to hire movers. Is anyone worth a damn anymore?!

Moving, Job Change, Car Accident, Chaos

Title sums it all up! We’re officially under contract on a home about an hour north of us. It’s a compromise on location and property, but we are THRILLED! Now if we can just get through this finance process without having a heart attack, that would be great. Everyday it’s something new. A problem here, a problem there, more fees, etc. Our closing costs keep creeping up and no one can explain it. We’ve already switched lenders once. Fingers crossed we close shortly!

The same day we went under contract, a lady sped through a stop sign going 40mph. I t-boned her, in my brand new car. She was cited and a witness stopped to state SHE ran it. Her insurance is fighting it. That was a month ago, and I still do not have my car, nor a rental car. It’s been a very frustrating process dealing with insurance. Minor injuries were sustained. My neck and shoulders are still killing me. Thankful my kids were no in the vehicle! DH also has some injuries to his shoulder, neck, and lower back. Over $5,000 in MRI’s so far. Very frustrating process, our bank account is dwindling quickly over medical bills.

A week after going under contract and the accident, DH applied for his same position, at a different location. He immediately was called for an interview. I tagged a long to check out the area. He was offered the job on the spot! His last day at current location is quickly approaching. Everyone is freaking out that he’s leaving. He basically handles everything there, but was shown NO respect or appreciation by upper management. Now they’re screwed lol. Good riddance!

Stressful times, but I’m hopeful it will lead us to a more peaceful lifestyle. Today I will be calling insurance and Toyota and demanding an update. I need a vehicle!!! One vehicle is not conducive to our schedules, especially with the kids being back to in person school. I need to get the kids school records transferred. I also need to get moving quotes. Thanks to injuries, we won’t be able to unload our POD ourselves. Ticks me off! Careless drivers costing us a small fortune. Ridiculous. Lots of things to do in the coming weeks, stressful, but for the greater good!

Taxes are Done!!! and a Build Quote

We survived filing taxes for 2020! We were prepared to fork over thousands of dollars to the IRS this season. We sold two homes, had two small businesses, and DH’s regular W2. It had to be messy and expensive we thought. DH figured around $10,000 and my mind was stuck on $30,000. I figured I’d rather aim high and be relieved when it’s less lol. In the end we owed $0 federal, and $800 state. Due to Covid, and one of the businesses going under very quickly, there were a lot more deductions than we realized. Of course, if we didn’t have kids, we’d have owed close to $6,000. Thanks kids! I also want to add that our tax lady complimented me on how organized I was with all of our expense reports! Ha! Take that other CPA demanding I hire a bookkeeper!

That’s a huge weight off our shoulders now. We can move forward with life. DH put in for a transfer, we’re hoping to hear something this week. Send us some positive vibes, this would be a wonderful opportunity. He also received a 3% raise at work.

The builder finally got back to me with a build quote. Now I know lumber costs are through the roof right now, so I was expecting this estimate to be right where it is. $300,000. Not including land. However, I didn’t realize it also doesn’t cover utility hook ups, which he told us runs $30,000-$50,000! Wow. That seems really high! The whole thing is high, and building is likely not in our future. It’s frustrating, because the plan I have is a small ranch, 1900 sqft. It shouldn’t be $300,000 to build. It’s not fancy! We can go to the really nice towns in our state and buy a farmhouse mcmansion spec house on three acres for $242,000. Nothing makes sense. Land alone is $55,000-$120,000 for 1-5 acres. I understand it’s a “custom” build, but it’s a damn rectangle, low profile roof. I’d be curious to see a line by line breakdown, but I doubt we could get that without committing. If anyone has gone through a custom build, I’d love some advice on the whole process. I really wanted our next home to be our forever home and exactly what we want, but I also need to be realistic with our budget.

I really want to get in the habit on daily blogging. It’s a good outlet. But I feel like I have nothing to write about. Then again, my favorite blogs are the consistent ones, that are just normal, everyday updates about life. Maybe I’ll do a 30-day challenge and see how that goes.

Life Updates

Ever since we sold our home and moved into the temporary place, I just cannot get into a good routine. My sleep schedule is a mess. I am comfortable where we are, we all love it here, it’s just not “ours”. The longing to have a home is strong, but the market is too crazy right now. And this damn time change certainly isn’t helping with the sleep/routine issues!

We’ve ventured out to look at several properties. Nothing quite right yet. DH just got his resume done, and will be applying to various places soon. I imagine he’d be commuting until the housing market chills out a bit. We’ve been in touch with a builder and are awaiting an estimate to build. This will give us an idea of building vs buying and renovating. Out of eight builders, ONE showed up for his meeting, and has kept in touch!

MIL has been MIA for several months now. The kids spent a couple hours at her place back in December while we went out to dinner one night. When we went to pick them up, the kids flew out the door – ready to go. Apparently MIL was quite nasty to them, wouldn’t let them play, made them watch her TV shows and sit still on the floor. After that we decided not to push it. She never reached out to them or us after that.

The only tie left to sever was that she (and her sister) was on our phone plan. She had been complaining about their cellphones and how they wanted new ones. I told her she could probably get a good deal on a new phone by opening her own account. Helpful, but nudge nudge… DH is the account holder, so he needs to be present for changes. We told her to just let us know when to meet. She never brought it up.

A couple weeks ago we found out from our neighbors that MIL got a new phone number over a month ago! Mind you, WE are still actively paying on their damn phone lines!! She and her sister opened a new account, got new phone numbers, and kept their old phones. Wtf? Then had that audacity to text our neighbors that my DH “kicked her off the phone plan” – LOL! Always a victim. So glad we paid $110+ for a month or more of unused phone service.

We still haven’t filed our taxes yet. We were advised to get a CPA, so we reached out to one. He told us we needed to get a bookkeeper to “get organized” and then get in touch with him. He sent us a link to his bookkeeper, who wanted $550 flat rate. I guess I was confused on what a CPA does. I thought he would help us with the paperwork and what all we needed?! I am organized. I have all my income and expenses (P&L) for the two businesses, plus the house sale stuff. I’m not sure why we’d need a bookkeeper. I can download the CSV files and sort them in Quickbooks myself. My god, I did it for 11 years at my job, ugh. Now debating who to file through….the CPA or our regular tax preparer?! I mean….based on his answers to us, what’s the difference!?

This week is 6 years since my father died, crazy how time flies.

Tax Season Stress

This is the first time ever I’ve been so stressed about taxes. Usually it’s simple. DH has a W2, 2 dependents, EZ file, get a refund, and done. No big deal. 2020 is a whole new level of messy tax filing for us.

DH had his side hustle on Amazon, I had mine on Etsy. His 1099 is about $30,000. I came in at just under $20,000 on Etsy, and did not receive a 1099. I’m working on itemizing expenses for both of those. I won’t lie, DH’s 1099 was a shock. No way did we see $30,000 in deposits lol. Amazon takes a HUGE chunk in fees, PLUS advertising. I’m quite sure there is little profit after all is said and done.

I also expect a low profit year for Etsy, which I expected. I dumped a good bit of my monthly profit into materials over 2020. I shouldn’t have to reinvest nearly as much in 2021. I built up a decent bit of inventory to continue for at least the first quarter without purchasing additional supplies.

The biggest tax hurdle is real estate. I sold my old house. Then we sold our primary home. We’ll have capital gains on the profit of the old house. “Profit”. We’re not sure what bracket we fall into, the tax code in this country is so confusing. I think somewhere between $10,000 and $30,000 will be what we have to pay the IRS. I hope I’m aiming high! We have the cash in the bank to cover it, and will pay it in full. I just hope our CPA is really good at finding deductions or loopholes like the rich get LOL!

We certainly weren’t expecting to sell two houses last year. I’m glad we did, albeit not fond of the tax consequences. I’m wondering what I can deduct on the house. Original investment and equity loan? Upgrades? I’m not sure. I need to do my research and speak with our CPA soon. Once all our forms are in and I’m done itemizing, I plan to file asap. Can’t wait to get this last little bit of 2020 burden off our shoulders.

Happy 2021! We Moved!

Happy New Year! Let’s all hope the mess of 2020 stays in the past and we can move on and have a much happier and healthier 2021!

Our house has officially sold. We’ve moved into our temporary home for the next 6-ish months. We’re settling in nicely over here. After all the hustle and bustle and STRESS of packing and moving, I am looking forward to a month of doing nothing.

We ended up closing two weeks earlier than expected, after the buyers super shady agent basically forced it. At closing, the buyer had no idea it was his agent that changed the closing date, nor did he know anything about temporary occupancy. The forms that agent shoved down my agents throat to be signed ASAP, and she didn’t even have her client sign it! I refused to close until it was signed, the buyer was wonderful. However, his agent was 45 minutes late to closing and didn’t even sit in the conference room or acknowledge anyone until her commission check was ready.

Now we have a chunk of money sitting in the bank while we decide what to do next. DH bought a truck, identical to the one that was totaled in 2018. He’s very happy with that, and we got a deal through a friend. $15,000 – KBB/private sale value is about $26,000!

The rest of the money is to be left alone!! (We budgeted for the vehicle.). We did go check out a property about an hour away. Five acres of woods and pastures, at the end of a cul-de-sac. Very nice property, but the house was tiny, and needed a lot of repairs. It would have to be a cash purchase, I don’t think any lender would finance it in the condition it was in.

I’m still hoping to check out TN, but I can’t even get DH to start looking at jobs seriously. I think he’s unwinding from the chaos of the move. He’s had 10 days off of work and returns tomorrow. That stress is weighing heavily already. I try not to nag, but we can’t be here forever, and I’m Type A – a planner. Drives me nuts not knowing what we’re doing or where we’re going!

On another topic, I haven’t been feeling well lately, and tried to get a doctors appointment. They can see me February 26th – for a sick appointment. (No Covid lol.). Are you kidding me!? I know what’s wrong, and they agreed, but still won’t provide a prescription over the phone without me coming in. I’m trying out that CallOnDoc website instead, cheaper than my regular co-pay. Fill out a questionnaire, a doctor reviews it, and calls in the scripts. Hopefully this works out well. I can’t wait nearly two months for pain relief! Ugh.

I Dislike Realtors

Selling our home has taught us some valuable lessons. The first being that your agent is looking out for their best interest. Not yours. I am saddened by our experience thus far, and honestly, quite angry.

For the last few weeks our agent has been trying to get ahold of the buyers agent to confirm the appraisal was received. No answers to texts, calls, or emails.

Out of nowhere last Thursday, at 9pm, the buyers agent sent us a message stating we need a termite certification letter. That’s the first we heard of this. The buyers chose not to do an inspection, their due diligence period is long gone, but apparently their lender requires it. Well our agent failed to send us the contract page with this information. As a result of this unexpected issue, we postponed our POD pick up from. No way were we packing up a POD if we could potentially lose this sale.

Basically sellers are solely responsible for having a termite inspection, certificate, and any treatment done. If any physical damage is noted, sellers are also responsible for having professional estimates done for repairs, and renegotiating with the buyers.

Now we’ve never had an issue with termites. The previous sellers had a small infestation, and it was treated, they also did the soil treatment around the entire house. We have the termite company out Friday morning and he failed us. He found a TINY piece of wood trim with maybe 1″ of termite damage. This trim is up against the basement exterior garage, directly attached to cement walls. No further damage was found. We still failed.

Because of that we had to pay $600 for termite treatment in order to get that stupid certification. And what ticked me off even more was when the guy handed me the certificate and it’s all marked “no signs of active infestation” throughout the entire paper. What a scam! You know they failed us just to get that extra money from us. Oh I was livid. I told my agent we’ll fix that tiny trim, I’m not paying a professional for something we can do for less than $5. And if they want to “renegotiate”, then we can also “renegotiate” the closing costs we’re paying for them! But it doesn’t end there!

Wednesday, at 9pm, the buyers agent texts our agent and says: closing documents are in, we’ll close this Friday. WHAT?! Our closing date is December 30th. I said absolutely not! We still live here. My agent informed them that the property is still occupied, and we cannot close this Friday, but the 28th at the earliest.

The agent ignored that and went ahead and sent an addendum. They put the 18th as closing day, and allowed us a “10 day temporary occupancy” at a daily rate of $150! LOL!!! They’re expecting us to pay $1500 because they want to push up the closing date? Hell no. I shut that down real quick.

Today the buyers agent informs my agent that the reason they want to close early, is because the buyers wife has COVID, and he’s afraid he’ll have it by the 30th. WTF! After some back and forth we agreed to close early, but with a 10 day occupancy at NO ADDITIONAL COST, because we’re paying their damn $15,000 in closing costs!!! Ridiculous people. Well then I’m informed they want to do a final walk through. Ummmm you just told us you’ve been directly exposed to COVID and now you want to enter my property? Absolutely not. I have a high risk child. The agent said she could do a video walk-through for them. Fine, whatever.

So now we’re waiting for a response from the buyers agent. She’s amazing at disappearing and never to be heard from until the last minute. Between her crappy communication and my agent leaving out VERY important information, I’m irritated. I think if your agent screws up, and it costs you money, they should have to forfeit .5% of their commission each time. That’s $3,000 and she sure as shit has cost us a lot more than that.

It’s going to end up costing up just over $50,000 to sell this house between realtor fees, closing costs, and all the repairs we’ve done. I am over it. I am bitter and angry. We clearly got the short end of the stick and our realtor failed to keep our best interests at the forefront of this process. The other three homes in our neighborhood sold for asking price, were conventional loans, and buyers paid closing costs. I knew we shouldn’t have had to pay. At first we thought, well it’s a small price to pay, but now? The demands and entitlement have us thinking the complete opposite.

It makes me sad was a greedy, selfish world we live in.

Waiting Game…and Crazy People

Living in limbo is exhausting. I need to sell our big furniture, but don’t want to sell it too soon. Always afraid something may go wrong, because if you’ve followed this blog long enough, you’d know luck is never on our side in life. I’m being cautiously optimistic!

With that said the buyers decided to forgo a home inspection. Who does that?! On a $500k house, why would you not want an inspection? I know I would! Then there’s the 14 day financing contingency. Today is the 14th day. They should have everything approved and ready to roll today. But…

The appraiser came late last week (finally) and told us he’d submit it within 10 business days. That’s way past the finance contingency date. Very frustrating, considering these people wanted a quick close, and want us out immediately. Meanwhile I have a household full of large furniture to sell off before we leave. They’re leaving me very little time to do that, especially with the holidays fast approaching. My agent is reaching out tomorrow to see if they’re expediting the appraisal.

The selling situation is strange. No inspection. Delayed appraisal. Their realtor is also their lender, and she is terrible with communication. It took over a week to be provided proof of earnest money, and even then they only had $2,000 and not $5,000. They were suppose to have 1% of the sales price in earnest money. If they do not back out today, we are entitled to collect that money if this deal falls through. I’m still amazed at how much real estate dealings have changed in just 5-7 years since we last bought our previous homes.

While I have been holding off on selling our larger furniture (sofa, dining set, etc), I have been listing small stuff every day. It’s too cold to do a yard sale now. Facebook Marketplace has been my go to, but I swear it’s 99% crazy people! I was selling two coat racks for $25. The title and description said both for $25. This woman hounds me for a week over every little detail. Measurements (asked four times), if it’s $25 for both – YES (asked three times), are they strong, etc etc. Nonstop! Finally she wants to pick up Friday night, but we weren’t home. I told her I would be available Saturday between 3 and 5.

Then she asked me to deliver them to her, 45 minutes away! LOL! No! At 9am on Saturday she begins messaging me for an address, she can come now. Well I didn’t get up until noon. By then I had eight messages from her. At 1:30 she again said “give me your address so I can be on my way” – I reminded her I’m not available until 3pm. At 3:03pm she’s like “WHERE DO I GO?” I gave her the address. That crazy woman showed up in 5 minutes flat.

I sent DH to the garage to deal with her. That’s our deal, I handle online, and he handles the in-person. Compromise lol. DH said she was extremely rude to him. “YOU live here?” Wow. She starting knocking around the pieces, asking a million questions, saying they aren’t worth $50 (?!) overall her attitude was nasty. Said she didn’t want them. Fine.

As DH walks back into the house, she messages me: “Overpriced, wasted a drive, misleading.” LOL. I just replied “As stated multiple times, it was $25 for BOTH. SMH!” and blocked her. Five minutes later our doorbell rang. That crazy Karen was at our door!!

“I’ll take them for $25. There must have been a miscommunication.”

DH said no thanks and slammed the door shut. LOL!!! The look on her face! Clearly she hasn’t been told NO! enough in her lifetime. My Ring caught the entire thing, it was priceless. People are insane. If you want something, don’t be rude! It’s not hard.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you have at least some things to be thankful for during this crazy year. I know 2020 hasn’t been kind to many.

I am thankful that our family has not been directly affected by COVID. DH was an essential employee, while risky, at least a paycheck was never a concern. No one has been ill – knock on wood. And overall, things seem to be going well for us.

Third times a charm, right? Third showing, we were under contract. The people were in our house about five minutes when they had their agent call ours to discuss something before submitting an offer. They made a full asking price offer, but needed closing costs to the tune of $15,000. Originally we agreed there was no way we would pay closing costs. It’s a sellers market!! But things with MIL have steadily declined and we need to part ways as soon as possible.

The buyers are in a time crunch too. So the fact that we can accommodate a two week closing was very appealing to them. Our POD is ordered! Our rental accommodations are in place. We are good to go! And it happens while the kids are on school break, which will make things much easier. Plus we’ll be settled in before Christmas!

After all is said and done, we should have close to $400k cash in the bank. To sit on and wait and see what happens with the economy and real estate. All the agents we’ve spoken with are preparing for a 30% drop. Not good for them, or sellers, but as a buyer, this is very good. We’ll see what happens! When and where we permanently move is still unknown, but I’m 99% sure it will be out of state.

Enjoy your yummy food and family time!

“Needs Paint – Even Closets – Too Expensive!!”

That was the primary complaint, yet again, from the people who viewed our house for the second time. My goodness. Paint colors are a personal preference. They’re so hung up on the colors that they’re being snarky in responses to my agent.

The house was professionally painted in 2016. The entire interior and trim all throughout 5200 sqft, was less than $4000. If colors are a deal breaker, why would you come view the house in the first place? You see the pictures in the listing. LOL.

And yet again we caught them on video being quite rude about the owners. Their agent said “as you can tell, the owners must be young people with no taste” – WHAT! WOW! That was said about my office, which displays some Lego collections. I thought it was rude, but to each their own. Then one guy went off about gutters, the windows, the “outdated” kitchen. Wish I could share pictures here. None of their complaints stand.

That’s fine though. Bye! Then the next day their agent starts texting my agent, being very snarky in her responses. “My clients are not interested.” Okay, thanks! “Needs too much work. Need all new paint, even closets!!!!!” – Yes, that many exclamation marks. I mean, when we bought the house it was hideous and filthy. I had the painters paint everything. Even the closets. Didn’t know that was a big deal?!

The agent continued pestering mine, and mine just stopped responding. For not being interested, they sure want to keep complaining. Sounds like that ARE interested, they’re just trying to get us to make a deal before they submit an offer?! Very strange.

I can’t imagine how awful they would be after an inspection! Probably want us to bulldoze and rebuild new house haha. Selling is awful. I can’t wait to be done. Fingers crossed we get some reasonable showings scheduled this week!