The Waiting Game

It’s Thursday.  After lots of last minute scrambling, lost documents, forgotten conversations and strange requests we are sad to say closing won’t be tomorrow.  With the 4th of July next week, closing probably won’t be until the 10th (at the earliest).  Which is good, since we have the storage unit scheduled to show up on the 13th, Friday the 13th.  So, here is to another weekend, week, 10 days of waiting.  But hey, what’s waiting an extra 10 days when you have already waited 196.

To get our mind off of things we are going to go “camping” in Kissimmee this weekend.  By camping I mean sleeping in a fully furnished, air conditioned cabin with cable, bathroom and kitchen.   We’ll take the boys to a place that we only go once every 6 years or so, Gatorland.  It should be fun, crowded and hot, but fun.  And just what we need to get our minds off of things.


The “New” Kitchen and Bathroom

First let me apologize for the quality of the pictures in this post.  My camera was the last thing on my mind this weekend.

The timeline went like this:

  • Thursday: Appraisal done on house, fail.  Needs a kitchen, functional 3rd bathroom, all exposed wires capped (and there were a lot, the previous owner took EVERYTHING), light fixtures, holes in walls fixed, no exposed cement, fix dry rot on the side of the house, etc, etc.
  • Friday Morning: Panic.  Start looking at other houses and other states to live in because this is impossible.
  • Friday Afternoon: Talked off the ledge by our realtor and contractor.  Given new hope. Go to the house and start cleaning.  Wishing we had hazmat gear to clean the bathrooms.
  • Saturday: Clean for 4 hours in the morning.  The work crew showed up and took over for the rest of the day.  Learn that there has to be a fridge in the kitchen.  Thank goodness for Craigslist.  Things are starting to look hopeful.
  • Sunday: Clean off the roof.  Pay a visit to the local ER.  Have fridge delivered to the house. By the end of the day the kitchen is done, the bathroom is almost done, all wires are capped off, some lights put up, house is mostly clean, chimney is fixed (bonus- which is good since the remnants of Tropical Storm Debbie are going to be hitting us for the next few days), fridge is in place.

Which brings us to today.  Our goal was to have all the hot spots done by this morning so that the appraiser could come back in the afternoon and gush about what a wonderful job we did (more on that later) and be able to close on Friday.  Hey, miracles happen. I thought I would show you pictures of our befores and afters of the kitchen and bathroom.  Once we have the keys to the house we will show you all of the house, but until then this will have to do.

Kitchen Before:

The kitchen needed everything.  Thankfully our contractor had just about everything sitting in his warehouse and let us borrow it.  They patched the wall, replaced missing tile, painted above the tile backsplash, installed the cabinets and sink, made it look like we had a cooktop and stove, and capped all the exposed wires. It looks like a real kitchen now.

Kitchen After:

Bathroom Before:
Where the real magic happened.  It’s probably better that this picture is blurry.  It is pretty scary.

They put in a vanity, a toilet, mirror, lights, peel and stick laminate tile, patched the holes along the floor and in the tile, tiled and painted the exposed cement board, patched and painted the walls, and somehow made the whole bathroom functional.  It’s not our dream bathroom, but it beats the 3rd world feel it had before.

Bathroom After:

I didn’t get a picture of the shower because one of the work crew was finishing the flooring.  I tried not to be in the way.

So, as of noon the house was clean and ready to go.  All we needed was the appraiser to come back and pass us.  Well, sometimes people have jobs they don’t really enjoy.  Turns out our appraiser had no intentions of coming back out since he wasn’t going to get paid for the reappraisal.  Now we get to wait and hope that someone new will come out in the next couple of days and pass us.

**UPDATE**:  WE PASSED.  An appraiser came out Tuesday afternoon and said it all looked good!  Now lets hope that we can get closing done before the 4th of July.  Just about everyone is taking that week off. If it’s not one delay it’s another.

Sunday, Bloody Sunday

Some things I learned today:

  • Don’t trust ladders that have been left in garages for 18+ months.
  • Florida soil works like quicksand when you stand on a ladder.
  • Ladders won’t give out until you’re just about to reach the roof.
  • Air conditioner units  and ladders are not soft to land on, or so I’ve been told.
  • A 9 foot fall, chest contusion, and various other scrapes and bruises won’t keep my husband from getting the job done.

Even though we did end up going to the ER later in the day, Jamie still managed to rake the roof, remove the trees that were growing up there and cut down some branches that were hanging over the roof.  Thankfully some of the rain from Tropical Storm Debby washed more of the dirt and leaf mulch off.

Jamie will be spending the rest of the night resting his bruised ribs, back, butt, arm, neck and elbow.  The work crew will be spending the rest of the night pulling together the finishing touches of everything that needs to be done.  I get to go out and meet the guy to buy the Craigslist refrigerator that we need to pass the FHA appraisal.  Please let this work.

The Gamble

People will think I’m crazy. I couldn’t say I spent the weekend pouring money and sweat into a house owned by Bank of America. Right? Oh Wow. Actually just writing that sentence is really making me re-think everything. But… that’s … what … we … did. Gulp.

After six months – SIX MONTHS – of waiting for “The 1 Percent Bank” to approve our offer on the mid-century home of our dreams on a quiet cul de sac nestled between the beach and the canal, we pressed our luck too far and got a whammy. Apparently, our lender claims not to have known the house doesn’t have a kitchen or a master bathroom and held up the loan. SEVEN days before closing and 45 minutes before home inspection.

The conversation went something like:

Loan Officer: “The law doesn’t allow you to get a loan on a house without a working kitchen.”

Me: “… So how do I get a kitchen in it.”

Loan Officer: “You can’t.”


Loan Officer: “… Unless one appears.”

So, while those involved giving us a wink and nod to look the other way, we teamed up with a local contractor and got some help from our realtor to build a full kitchen, complete master bathroom, install a dozen light fixtures and scour a house that had been left to the lizards, roaches and Florida Skunk Apes for the 18 months since anyone lived there.

Pouring sweat and nearly several thousand dollars to bring the house up to the appraiser’s “standard”. A house that’s not ours. Not yet, anyway. And if this 72-hour gamble doesn’t pay off, all we’ll have to show for it is a lighter wallet, chemical burnt knees, the slight fear of having acquired Hepatitis B and this blog. I wonder if the Hepatitis charities ever considered Its Hep to “B” Square t-shirts?

We dumped out tons of stuff – pills, pins, wigs, heating pads, cough drops and a drawer a third-of-way filled with beard trimmings. Who knew Skunk Apes shave?

We also found  **Sci Fi Nerd Alert** a Krayt Dragon skeleton in the living room and discovered trees growing on the roof. Trees growing on the roof!

Let’s hope this gamble is worth it in the end!