Wednesday, November 09, 2005

House Appraisal in, Lawyers still panic

First off, we got the appraisal in on the new house, finally. It came in at 6K over our purchase price, which is a very validating thing to find out. I had built up all these nightmare scenarios where we were going to have problems due to a low appraisal, and none of them are there. In fact, we are getting a little bit of a deal, which is nice (and kind of expected, since the sellers discounted from their expected price since we are bypassing the realtor).

On the other hand, I swear that working with lawyers is bad for the soul.

In an abstract way, I understand my lawyer's goal. His office watches out for the money we've already put it into the house, so that if anything goes wrong we pay as little as possible as a result. They make sure we, the sellers, and the lenders are all obeying the law.

What I don't get are the repeated requests for extensions on our contract. Basically as of the 1st we needed to have a commitment letter from our lender -- and we did. But our lawyers asked for a week extension on that so they could review the terms of the letter. Fine.

Now, after a week, they ask for another week, because not all the terms have been satisfied. For example, they have not seen the septic system inspection form. Since our getting the loan hinges on that form, they "seriously advise" that we allow them to hold off on saying the commitment letter portion of the contract is fulfilled until they have a chance to review that inspection document.

Part of this makes sense: if the septic inspection form is bad, and we've signed off on the commitment letter, we lose our deposit (of $500). So they want to make sure the form is good.

What doesn't make sense is not once did they tell us, up until the week extension was about to expire, that they wanted to do this. We could have had the septic inspection form in their hands on October 31st! But they never said they needed it, until it was almost too late.

It's frustrating, because now we look like idiots. Our lawyer has to call their lawyer (the sellers) and request an extension. Their lawyer calls them, passes it along, advises they accept, and of course they do. Then we call our friends and apologize to them, and reassure them that yes, we are buying the house, and our lawyers are paranoid. They agree, we laugh it off, and then we repeat the whole scenario a week later ... over a form we could have already had, if they had just asked for it.

And, for what it's worth, this law office came highly recommended.

On the plus side, it's ramping up to fireplace weather pretty damn quick. I'm looking forward to it. Big time.

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