The Condo Buying Saga is Finally Over Comments66 Comments

condo-buying-saga

I have to admit that I’ve been keeping a secret from most of you for a while now. Earlier in the summer we went through condo buying hell as you can read about here. That whole situation put us off condo shopping for a little while, but we did eventually climb back on the horse.

I didn’t want to jinx anything until it was official, but we did end up finding a new condo…new to us that is. The paperwork has all been signed and we’ve picked up the keys. So I think we are in the clear. If only we hadn’t gone through that other mess. Then there wouldn’t be any lingering paranoia about our bad luck still hovering over us.

Based on the condo we’re now moving into, I do think this ultimately worked out for the best. While we did like the previous condo, we were accepting multiple faults based on the great price. The building wasn’t really well maintained and there were bound to be some big projects coming up soon. The unit itself was in need of a fair amount of renovations. If we had went with that one we’d probably spend just as much we we did on the new one, but with a whole lot more hassle.

This new condo is exactly what we were looking for…good size, already renovated, good neighborhood, solid building, etc. We really can see ourselves living there for a while, especially since it has 2 bedrooms. The second bedroom is even painted to be a nursery. We might just leave it as is while I use it for my workout room. It might not be the manliest workout room, but maybe that paint theme will come in handy shortly down the road :)

Although this condo does have a higher price tag, it’s much better suited for us to stay there long term. If we do stay there for a while, the value could very well increase with the way the surrounding area is continuing to grow. Eventually we’ll probably put in hardwood floors to improve the chances of profiting. Even if we don’t make a profit though, it’ll be a great place to live for the next chapter of our lives.

Last Minute Mortgage Scare

Of course with our recent luck, this purchase wasn’t exactly smooth either. A couple days before we were to close, our mortgage broker informed us that the lender he had lined up decided to decline our application. They were a little wary of my contractor status at my job since that technically made me self employed. In that situation they needed at least 2 years history of similar self employment. I figured my side business history would be sufficient, but unfortunately they thought otherwise.

So with only two days before closing we were left scrambling to secure a mortgage from a different lender. It had an eerie sense of deja vu, except last time it was the seller who couldn’t get the mortgage cleared at the last minute. Maybe this was the universe’s way to put us in her shoes and to show us to not hold any negative feelings towards her.

Fortunately my bank still had me locked in on a mortgage pre-approval rate that wasn’t too bad. It wasn’t the interest rate that the rejected lender was offering, but beggars can’t be choosers. Despite that pre-approval, we were extremely anxious that the mortgage couldn’t get processed on such short notice. If we couldn’t secure the funds we’d be in breach of contract and could be liable. I got thinking of how many other sales might be affected by such a domino effect.

Our realtor requested an extension from the seller, but since they were closing a purchase the same day they weren’t having any of that. I have a feeling they were pretty pissed off when they heard that we were requesting an extension due to funding issues. In times like this, it’s probably best that the realtors act as middle men and we’re not in direct contact with the sellers.

Meanwhile the mortgage broker was trying to pull some strings on his end. He was able to get us an approval at a higher rate, but we had no idea if that could be completed in time either. That at least put pressure on my bank to expedite things on their end though. With the potential backup plan in place, at least things were looking a bit more promising.

The day before closing we finally got word from my bank that they could indeed fund the mortgage in time. Talk about a big weight lifted off our shoulders. That meant that we could pull the plug on the backup option before the paperwork went through.

Normally getting an accepted offer is supposed to be the moment of excitement. In our case, we knew things had to be set in stone before we could get counting our chickens. Now it was time to get counting.

I’d love to be giving some advice about realty, but this is nothing more than a personal story. As I write this, it’s actually the day before I get the keys and we’re so excited. I doubt I’ll want to be on the computer in the first few days of getting the keys to our new home. It may be the first home we’ve owned, but I think in the end we got pretty luck regarding the condo we landed.

What do you remember most about the first home you purchased? Do you know anyone else who had such a tough time buying a home?

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This entry was posted in Real Estate, and tagged , Comments66 Comments
By : Jeremy Biberdorf | 16 Aug 2013
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66 thoughts on “The Condo Buying Saga is Finally Over

  1. John S @ Frugal Rules

    Man, I can understand how that would’ve been quite nerve wracking (putting it lightly) after what you went through a few months ago. That said, I am glad it all worked out in the end and that you ended up with what sounds like a better place overall. The headache in buying our house was the couple was getting divorced and one of their parents had put up some of the money to buy the house. So, whenever we had to agree on anything it required approval from all three of them individually. It was a mess, but thankfully the agents worked together well to get it all worked out in the end.

    Reply
    1. Jeremy

      Buying a home when there is a divorce involved on the sellers end can be a real hassle. If I ever come across that situation again I’m just going to run….well that is unless I really love the place.

      Reply
  2. Jake

    Congrats on the big purchase! Owning your own place is so great. My wife and I have been homeowner’s for over 2 years now and we love it. Good luck with getting the keys and moving in. I’m sure you’ll have fun with it!

    Reply
    1. Jeremy

      It’s bound to be better than renting apartments and dealing with all the stuff we’ve gone through with trying to buy a condo. Now it’s time to enjoy it.

      Reply
  3. The Warrior

    Congrats on the new place. Always nice to finally have those keys in hand.

    Our house buying experience wasn’t as bad as I make it out to be, but it was still an emotional roller coaster. Between the endless paperwork and inspections, our life felt like it was up in the air for about 2 months.

    Enjoy the new home.

    Reply
  4. snarkfinance

    So I bring the beer and strippers, and provide the place, right? Congratulations on the purchase. I am always confounded as to why the home buying process is such a large pain in the rear; diligence pays off, though!

    Reply
    1. Jeremy

      lol I’m not sure how my fiance would take that. It would be nice if buying a condo was a lot easier, but I guess they need to keep out the people who wouldn’t be able to keep mortgage payments going.

      Reply
  5. No Waste

    Banks have loosened the purse strings, but they’re still acting like a Dad opening his wallet for a prepayment of allowance.

    The happy days have not yet returned but I’m about to go through a move and I’m curious to see how everything goes.

    Reply
    1. Jeremy

      I don’t think all banks are quite at that level yet…well at least not all lenders anyway. Some do seem to be wary of potential problems. Maybe it’s just tougher here in Canada still since they’re worried we might have our own mortgage crisis eventually.

      Reply
  6. Rita P @ Digital Spikes

    Congratulations for your new home sweet home. It is big headache to purchase a new home. Glad you finally got it , Have a great weekend

    Reply
  7. E.M.

    Oh how exciting, congratulations!! I am so happy everything finally worked out for you guys. I don’t blame you for wanting to take in your new home and staying off the computer. It sounds like you are happier with this purchase and the long-term opportunity it has.

    Reply
    1. Jeremy

      I actually thought the same about the first place, but it doesn’t even compare to this new condo. I may have been blinded by the low price of the other one. I guess I’m a true frugalist lol.

      Reply
    1. Jeremy

      It would be if our bad luck wasn’t still hanging over us like a dark cloud. I have a feeling it won’t be following us to the new condo though.

      Reply
  8. Tianna

    I thought buying condos was bad because they don’t hold value like houses do or return on investment or whichever? What’s benefit to buying one?

    Reply
    1. Jeremy

      I think it really depends on the market. The condos here in the Vancouver area certainly go up in value over time. It’s also not feasible for most people to buy a house here. It wasn’t simply an investment move.

      Reply
  9. Savvy Scot

    It really winds me up how dependent everything is on the lender until the very last minute! I feel the pre-approval process should be a lot more definitive!

    Reply
    1. Jeremy

      I was pissed off about that part too. I don’t see why they can’t do more of those checks earlier on. I guess they don’t want to waste time on deals that might not go through. It sure puts people in a bind if there is anything wrong though.

      Reply
  10. Liquid

    Buying a home can be stressful. Too bad lenders are so strict with their rules regarding employment situation. My condo purchase experience went pretty smooth fortunately, but I had problems securing a loan for my farm. Similar situation, almost didn’t make the deadline because I had to switch lenders, but it all worked out in the end. Congrats on your first home. Now you can relax :)

    Reply
    1. Jeremy

      It is understandable that lenders have to be strict about employment situation, but if they have any doubts they should allow longer proof of income or something. They’re probably making more money by avoiding any questionable deals.

      Reply
  11. Tara @ Streetsaheadliving.com

    I’m glad everything worked out in the end! I think picking the place in the newer/recently remodeled building is always the best idea. To have to face serious building repairs down the road is not something I personally would want to face. Congrats being a homeowner!

    Reply
    1. Jeremy

      Having to face those repairs and the costs involved would be bad enough, but worse yet, they were putting off the fixes. As a result the building wasn’t in very good shape at all. So yeah I think we did make the right decision, even if someone else stopped us from buying the first one.

      Reply
  12. canadianbudgetbinder

    Congratulations to you both Jeremy and I wish you all the best. I’m the same way about not saying anythign because I don’t want to jinx it. You both sound like you’ve found a place you can stick around in for a long time to come. Cheers mate.

    Reply
    1. Jeremy

      I wasn’t that way with the last condo and it came back to haunt me. I’m glad it did though so that we could end up with a better condo.

      Reply
  13. MakintheBacon

    Huge congrats to you both!! It much be such a relief. The one thing I remember most about buying our house was actually bursting into tears when we found out the guy had accepted our offer. It was just such an emotional moment. And I’m not really that much of an emotional person. Haha.

    Reply
  14. Thomas | Your Daily Finance

    Congrats on the new condo and sorry about the trouble with the first. Didn’t seem like this one was that easy either but you have a new to you home and thats all that matters. We almost lost our lender as well at the last minute the needed to do another credit check and wouldn’t you know it something negative had popped up. Luckily I got it resolved and we are in our home. I guess its just how real estate buying goes these days.

    Reply
    1. Jeremy

      Compared to the first one this one was a cake walk. It’s just too bad they had to throw in that scare at the end and get us stuck with a less favorable interest rate.

      Reply
    1. Jeremy

      Being at the last minute sure made it a lot more stressful. If it had happened earlier we could’ve easily had time to shop around more for a different lender instead of settling for whatever we could get.

      Reply
  15. a terrible husband...

    Wow! Congratulations on the purchase and getting all the drama behind you. We’re buying a place now, too. Under contract. Made it through inspection. Now waiting on the Purchase and Sale agreement. We got the $$ side of things together a while back, so that part is smooth for us. But wanting to find the steal of the century was our challenge. We finally think we got the right home for the right price. Now we “just” need to close and move in! Keep your fingers crossed….

    Reply
    1. Jeremy

      Sounds like it’s all going smoothly for you. Congrats. We thought the same thing though until an obstacle was thrown in our way at the last minute. I was telling my fiance, at least we are getting a lot better at dealing with shitty situations.

      Reply
  16. MonicaOnMoney

    Sorry you had such an ordeail with your mortgage! I had a similar situation when I bought my condo years ago. Buying can be so stressful when you’re battling all this last minute drama! I bet you’re so glad to be past that now. Congrats!

    Reply
    1. Jeremy

      Glad to hear that you did get a condo in the end despite having a similar situation. The last minute drama definitely sucks when you have to commit to a certain date on so many different fronts.

      Reply

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