So, for those of you keeping score (*insert the sound of crickets here*) I’ve been away for a while. Why? Well, because I bought a house. Well, actually….let me tell you a story of how this has all come to be, and why the heck I’ve been so absent. Go grab your favorite beverage, and possibly a snack. Get comfy. This is gonna take a few….
So, at some point in the beginning of the summer, I decided that if I was going to hand out hundreds of dollars over to someone, I would at least like it to be a worthwhile investment, and so I started looking into the possibility of purchasing a house. Luckily, I happened to work with a dude who is now selling real estate, and he just so happened to stop in the shop I worked at (and he did as well) and we started talking about what I was looking for. He gave me some advice and then pointed me in the direction of a first time home buyers workshop so I could potentially get some financial assistance with the whole process. I’ll skip all the ins-and-outs of this process and we can fast forward to the middle of September. At this point I have my pre-qualification letter from a mortgage company, I have attended this workshop, I have found a house, and I am well on my way to sealing the deal…..or so I thought.
One of the things I was told during the workshop was that at the end of the two nights, there was an optional one-on-one credit consultation that we could take to more accurately determine where at in the home buying process we are at. Obviously, because I hear the word “optional” I decline to indulge in this meeting, feeling confident in where I am both financially and where I’m at in the home buying process. I then tell my agent, as well as the mortgage company I’m working with, that I have completed the workshop, and we all jump in the air in unison and complete a four-way high five on the beach, JUST as the sun started going down. It was a goddamn thing of beauty. Like, even more beautiful than last months centerfold. Okay, I’m probably lying, but let’s dredge on, yeah?
Okay, so, now that I’ve completed the workshop, I’ve found the house that makes me get all heart-eyed and my loins burning with desire (note: if YOUR loins are burning, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. It’s a medical condition. Luckily for you though, we live in the 21st century, and it’s treatable these days. Sorry, Napoleon! Wait, where was I going with this…oh yeah….) I tell my agent that I would like to put a contract in on my house. That’s it. Jaysin has found his home-sweet-home (*cue Motley Crue*)! So, Brian (my agent) and I start getting the paperwork together with Joe and Charonda (my mortgage team) and everything seems hunky dory! I then go to the office Brian works out of on my lunch break and sign what seems like seventeen thousand papers, promising the next thirty years of my paychecks, the naming and working rights to my first born, as well as both my kidneys and spleen should I fail to find someone willing to procreate with me.Then the following day I get a phone call from Charonda asking me about my first time home buyers certificate. I inform her that I never received one, and that I had assumed they would be mailed out to us since we had to provide addresses (at this point it is about two weeks after I had completed the course, so I should have had it with plenty of time to spare) but since I hadn’t gotten anything, I would make some phone calls. I hang up and begin doing some research and finally find out whom I have to speak to about said certificate. I’m then informed that A) if I have already put a contract in on a house, and it’s accepted, that I can no longer receive any assistance as a result of that workshop and B) that I would only receive said certificate once I complete my one-on-one credit consultation. Fuck. After a brief moment of panic, I ask when I can schedule my consultation and am given some random date twoish weeks later. I let out a defeated sigh, confirm the appointment, and then hang up. I call Brian and inform him of the date, and that I can not get this $5,000 credit with an accepted offer/contract. He tells me to call them back and look into getting into my one-on-one sooner. He also warns me it’ll probably cost me some money to expedite the process. I mumble something unintelligible as I hang up the phone, call the home buyers workshop back, give them my credit card info so they can charge me $150 to move my session up to four days from the day I’m calling them. I apologize for being a hassle, they take my money, and I call Brian back and explain the situation to him. He calls the seller and everyone agrees to post-date the contract to the day after my credit session. Crisis averted…..for now.
This is now the beginning of October (the 5th, if we’re being super accurate) and everything is going smoothly. That alone should have told me to batten down the hatches, that a storm was brewing. But I’m stupidly optimistic, so I’m just strutting my stuff down the road, whistling myself a happy little tune like I’m Leonardo freakin DiCaprio or something. Anyway, the contract had been accepted, all my credit had been run, everyone had plowed through my financial records, and everyone seemed happy that I could pay my loan with little worry. We had a closing date of Friday November 13th, I had put in for a week of vacation that week thinking I would use it to move and paint and generally get my place up and ready to go. Man, everything is awesome! And it was in that moment that all hell broke loose.
October 5th is a Monday. I’m off on Mondays. My friends Jason and Tyler are both working though, so I shoot them a message in our group text asking if they wanted to meet up for lunch. They do. We meet at the Mall in Columbia and get Sarku. We’re all talking and I make a comment how at some point in time that week I wanted to get a picture taken with Jason, Tyler, and another coworker Neil, because we’re all working the same day job while all working on pursuing our dreams (Jason is an author, Tyler, Neil and I all have clothing companies) and I think it would be awesome to document this sort of thing and share the love. We all decide it’ll be a good idea, and that we’ll do it at some point in time that week. Fast forward about four more hours and my boss shoots me a text, asking him if I can meet him around 6 o’clock at a Pizza Hut not too far from my apartment. I tell him sure. I think it’s weird, but I knew there had been a lot of stuff going on at work at the time and I was just expecting him to kick some knowledge to me on the side, or something like that. I couldn’t have been more wrong. It’s at this Pizza Hut that I’m informed that my services will no longer be required. After 9ish years working with this dude, I have outlived my usefulness it seemed. I was fairly surprised at the time, though apparently I had the foresight to bring my work keys with me. After a few moments of attempting to explain, but really only talking in circles, my now former manager apologizes, excuses himself, and leaves me and Jason sitting at the Pizza Hut wondering just what the hell happened. (Side note: despite this happening, I hold absolutely zero ill-will towards the man. Looking at it from HIS perspective, he made the right choice. I was a fairly heavy salary for him, and offered the least amount of “extra help/knowledge” as far as the behind-the-scenes type stuff went. Though it wasn’t for a lack of trying on my end, but I digress…) Once Jason and I get out to our vehicles, we make some small talk, but both of us are still fairly in shock as to what just happened. Jason says he’ll reach out to a few people he knows in the business and that he’ll do what he can to help me get back on my feet. I thank him, give him a hug, and cry like a child that just scrapped it’s knee the entire drive home. Upon walking in the door I shoot Brian a text asking him how bad it would be if I had just lost my job. He replies moments later assuring me that we’re far enough in the process that it won’t matter. I immediately apply for unemployment and food stamps because who the hell knows how long I’ll be unemployed.
The following day I get a few phone calls and texts from friends asking how I’m doing, that they’d all talk to anyone they knew looking for help, etc. I even remember on my second or third day of unemployment talking to a friend, telling him I had never realized just how empty my life was without a job. He reminded me that my life was NOT empty, and that this was just another hurdle I would clear and that I would land on my feet soon enough. I’d spend the next few days furiously searching out places to work online in the evenings, and then the next morning I would plan my run to go out and put in applications to the places I found the night before. All in all I was unemployed for about three weeks or so, which isn’t very long in the grand scheme of things, and in comparison to others, but holy crap did that ever feel like an eternity. It was also during these three weeks that I would constantly fluctuate between thinking “everything will be okay…..it happened for a reason…I got this” and thinking I was the worst thing to happen in the world since Hitler. Yeah, it sucked. Super highs to manic lows. It was a rollercoaster for sure, and one I would like to not ride again any time soon! It was also during this time that I spent a good portion of my evenings trying to get everything packed up so that come moving day, it was as smooth a transition as possible. (THIS was the biggest reason you hadn’t heard from me in so long, as I had packed up my computer, microphone and webcam. Then the domain name and hosting package I had purchased for the site had expired.)
So, fast forward three weeks, and I am now gainfully employed again, thanks to Jason reaching out to a friend. It’s at this point that I think we’re all aces, and that I’ll finally be getting that house that I put so much work into trying to get! Only then I get another phone call from Charonda. Apparently, and I don’t know if this is JUST for people using a first-time-home-buyers loan, or if it was because I had applied two days too late and had to fall under a whole new slew of guidelines, or if maybe the universe just felt the need to kick me one last time, but apparently one week prior to closing, the mortgage company will re-validate all the information you had previously given them, so when they called my former place of employment, they found out I no longer worked there, and that is a BIG no-no! So Charonda is a bit panicked, which means I’m in full blown paranoia frenzy. She’s telling me that they could now walk away from the loan if they wanted to because I had, inadvertently, changed the terms of the loan by switching jobs. This isn’t what I want to hear, at all. So now I have to harass my NEW manager, and everyone above me/him for copies of my pay plan on company letterhead, as well as sales for the previous year so they could verify that my commission would provide the supplemental income needed to afford my loan. I’m told it’ll take “up to 48 hours” before I would hear anything, and it’s during these 48 hours that I am literally planning all sorts of alternative options. Everything from staying in my apartment, to packing up as much as I could and moving cross-country to live with my brother all ran through my head.
A day after the originally mentioned 48 hour period I broke down and called the mortgage company to see if I could get a status on the updated loan application. They still had no information for me, and that they should know “any moment now” because apparently everyone was doing favors for everyone to “fast track” my application, though I am told that at this point, I will definitely NOT be closing on November 13th, and that the new date can’t be set until everything is re-approved. Fast forward another few days and I FINALLY get the phone call that I was waiting for. I could still get the loan, but they needed more paperwork from me. I fax over all the requested documents, and finally get a new closing date of December 4th. And while I was definitely relieved that I was approved for the loan, and that I could still purchase the house (the seller agreed to basically wait a few more days for the process to take place, despite our original contract expiring at the end of November), it was a bit of a bummer because I had told my apartment complex that I would be vacating my apartment at the end of the month. Luckily for me though, my good friend Noamel was willing to put me up for a week while all of this stuff got sorted out. Fast forward a few days and I am sitting in the title company’s office, signing and initialling my life away, but walking away with the paperwork claiming I owned a house!
This brings us up to the now, so to speak. I am currently sitting at my desk, in my office, in my new house, typing away this blog entry as I listen to Cave In on shuffle in iTunes. For those of you that have reached out, whether it was to ask where the podcast had gone, or if I was okay, please know that they were all appreciated and didn’t go unnoticed. If I play my cards correctly, my first show back from this ridiculousness SHOULD be this weekend, but don’t hold me to it! I should also be doing my next guest appearance on Cinema Villainy here in the not-too-distant future, so you can stay tuned for that as well! Now that we’re all caught up, I’m gonna hit the shower before inspecting the insides of my eyelids. Thanks to everyone who took the time to read this malarkey!