Hello, Failure

Of all the enemies of literature, success is the most insidious

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Failure of the Day: Escrow: The 30-Day Christmas Eve—Week 4

There came to be some doubt over the closing date—our lender suddenly demanded a THIRD appraisal, and after some doing, it wound up happening on the 23rd, too late to make it for a closing on the 26th. We’ll now close on the 30th if all goes well. A woman I work with started her escrow a week before us and she’s now a week past her original closing date with no papers to sign yet, because her lender is making additional appraisal demands as well—it seems to be in lending zeitgeist.

But there’s a bit of lucky planning: we allowed almost a full week between the original scheduled closing date and moving day, so we can absorb some delay. Not a lot, but some. Chris did an astonishing job packing this weekend—we’re more than half packed a full 9 days until the movers are scheduled to arrive. Honestly, the amount of work he’s capable of is a little staggering.

The upcoming surgery has given me a nice bit of perspective—I don’t feel particularly nervous about the condo at all any more. We’ve received approval for literally every single other aspect of our application, and we have every single other form and piece of paperwork filed and approved and ready. It seems, I think, knock wood, that we can be delayed—but I don’t think we can be stopped from actually purchasing this condo. I think.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Failure of the Day: Escrow, Interrupted

Because if you’re going to one huge life thing, you might as well do EVERY huge life thing at the exact same time. Welcome back to the tit monster, scourge of the xray, enemy to the needle. The 6-month follow-up mammogram was suspicious: Shifty eyes, bulging pockets, loitering outside of 7-11.

So even though the Christmas biopsy was negative, the mass in my left breast is larger and more defined now, and the doctors are not happy. So next up is a surgical biopsy, a minor procedure in which they will remove most if not all of the mass. They are doing the procedure on the day that escrow is scheduled to close. Because why not? It’s not like we have to plan a whole move and the largest financial transaction of our life right then or anything.

But the tit monster waits for no mortgage. So I am back to practicing my flat chest cancer routines, settling on a suitably disrespectful demeanor, and absently looking at wigs online. Never mind that no one seems particularly convinced that it’s cancer, only concerned that they don’t know what it is at all, and so, abundance of caution, etc.

Chris is a brave little toaster, glued to my side at the surgical consult and creating for us a charming visual narrative of the stalwart and extravagantly devoted husband with his caustic and loudmouth wife, all the better to win over the surgeon, who will hopefully now be less inclined to come to work drunk or suddenly dyslexic on operation day. I liked the surgeon, oddly; he winced when he crossed his legs and it reminded me of Dr House. Also he spent an HOUR with us—can you imagine? Just going over our general and local anesthesia options.

I suppose I’m as comfortable with the whole thing as possible—I’m not thrilled with the idea of the surgery, sure, but that didn’t stop me from choosing the local anesthesia because the doctor promised to show me the mass after he digs it out. And with some luck, that will be the last we hear of the tit monster.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Failure of the Day: Escrow: The 30-Day Christmas Eve—Week 3

We’ve booked the movers and given notice to our now very sad landlord. We’re good, tidy tenants and no doubt in this economy he’s not going to get the rent we were paying. He’s a great landlord and it’s a great place; email me if you’re apartment hunting. I watch the Home and Garden network obsessively now because the Blooomberg channel gives me a really bad stomachache. But an otherwise very quiet week.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Failure of the Day: Escrow: The 30-Day Christmas Eve—Week 2

This is the week we learned that we had missed out on the low, low interest rates that we had heard so much about. Six days before Erin submitted all our info to the lender, mortgage rates jumped by one-half to one full percentage point in a single day. Erin advised us not to lock in a rate and float a rate, betting that the markets would correct in the next several weeks.

And would you listen to me spouting off about the rates market like Michael freaking Bloomberg! And that’s because I’ve been watching the Bloomberg financial channel obsessively. I’ve never watched financial news shows before (duh) and I barely understand half of the vocabulary, but even I can tell that not a soul on the TV has any idea what’s happening or what any of us should do. They should all totally be wearing silk scarves around their heads, and we should have to slip a quarter in a slot to get them to print out their advice on little cards they spit out.

My problem is there’s nothing to DO anymore. When we got 35 emails a day keeping us appraised of our various in-progress documents, I felt busy and engaged and actively participating. Now it’s all out of hands and we can only wait. And there are a LOT of shows on the Bloomberg channel. Our condo-to-be passed both appraisals, and the loan application was submitted and we should get our approval in 7 days knock wood.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Failure of the Day: Escrow: The 30-Day Christmas Eve—Week 1

So, we found a place. It’s spectacular and affordable and in the exact neighborhood where we want to be. We made an offer on Sunday and it was accepted on Monday and we opened escrow on Tuesday. That brief transaction involved more paperwork that you can possibly imagine. And it was but a small fraction of what was to come.

We spent much of Tuesday and Wednesday getting and sending emails about all manner of legal and financial minutia, and then we met with our realtor on Thursday night to sign even more documents. Later that night, we got the good faith estimate of our closing costs. Which prompted an immediate sobbing, teeth-gnashing freakout. Did you know that the line on the estimate that is called “Cash the Buyer MUST Have to Close” has absolutely nothing to do with the actual amount of cash the buyer must have to close? Yeah, me neither. Luckily, Erin, the world’s nicest mortgage broker, called us back at 9 PM (!) to talk us (me) down. All better now.

On Saturday we had a more-detailed visual inspection of the property with our realtor and the seller’s realtor. That’s when I noticed the window treatments. They are moiré silk taffeta in a dark olive green with a thin stripe of iridescent burgundy along one edge. Hanging in both the bedroom and the living room, they are exquisite. The seller’s agent told us they were custom made in Italy, and the contract we signed specified that they are included with the condo. And that’s when all the enthusiasm I’d been tempering with caution just burst right through. It’s essentially over for me. I can hold myself back quite a bit, I really can, but at this point I’m done. I am a helpless puddle in this condo’s palm. I am a gape of my own want.

On Monday we emailed and faxed one thousand financial documents to Erin, who now knows more about me than any person to whom I am related by blood. I understand that there are plenty of things that can still trip us up—the FHA is stern mistress—but everything that we can do, we have done. It’s out of our hands. It’s June 1; we are scheduled to close on June 26.