Pop Culture Gadabout
Monday, April 07, 2008
      ( 4/07/2008 04:29:00 PM ) Bill S.  

THAT OLD HOUSE: This morning I received a call from my realtor telling me that closing on our old home back in Normal, Illinois, had finally taken place. It should've been a moment of relief and celebration, but the past two weeks have been so up and down - and ultimately down - that I mainly feel depressed and exhausted. We knew we weren't going to make any money on the home: after seeing a decent offer fall through two months ago, we just wanted to get out from under a monthly mortgage payment.

But the last few weeks had been so full of stress that I was starting to get a clenching feeling every time I saw a 309 number on my cell phone. One day it was my realtor calling to tell me that some birds had gotten into the attic and ultimately into the house, shitting all over the place. Two days later, it was my realtor telling us that FHA wanted all the outside window sills repainted before they'd approve the buyers' loan. Last weekend, it was my realtor telling me that a panel of our backyard fence had mysteriously disappeared. We've been away from the house for over six months now, and the little craft-style bungalow that once served as a comfortable nest for my wife and me and our pets had devolved into a repository of never-ending bad news.

It looked like we still might escape unscathed until today, though: no real profit, but no real loss either. A little over a week ago, Jimmy our Coldwell realtor phoned to tell me that the papers had been all drawn up. "Guess how much you're gonna have to pay?" he said, dropping the sum of two thousand dollars over the phone line. When I told him that we didn't have that money at the ready, he laughed and told me that he was only joking. "Actually," the funny guy added, "you'll be getting a whopping $350."

Three-fifty for a house sale: we laughed at the paltriness of this sum, but also counted ourselves lucky that we wouldn't be paying anything. Over the past week, though, we watched that sum drop down from afar (thanx to FHA and the bird poop) to about $95. And then I get that call today from my realtor telling me that a cost had been left off the estimate. Early in the process, we had new carpeting put into the home at a cost of $3449. This was supposed to have been included within the costs, but apparently it hadn't been. So now, though we've sold the old homestead, we still have several months' worth of payments left to go. Once more into the loss column.

I know at some point we'll be done with all this for good, but we really were hoping that time would come sooner instead of later. Not to be, though. It'll be a long time before I'll be able to watch one of those put-yer-home-in-our-hands real estate ads on television without uncontrollably grinding my teeth . . .
# |

Pop cultural criticism - plus the occasional egocentric socio/political commentary by Bill Sherman (popculturegadabout AT yahoo.com).

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