Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Adventures in Homebuying: Another Setback

Okay, so you are probably tired of reading about my homebuying crap because it seems that is all I write about. Well, it is pretty much the biggest thing going on in my life right now, and until Paul concedes that we are dating, you get to read about me buying a house...or my efforts to.

Monday, we had the inspection done by 5 Star Inspections. The inspector, who also happens to own the company, is ridiculously hot, but married. Heather loses interest when she sees the ring. Some girls like chasing married men. Fortunately, I'm not one of them.

At any rate, the inspector does his thing, and I follow him around with my digital camera to take pictures (of the house, not the inspector), and listen to him as he points out things I need to know about the house. At one point, he turns on the water and the house sounds like it's going to launch itself over Arrowhead. Turns out, the house had been winterized, and the water pipes were completely empty. However, all the faucets were left on, so water started spraying everywhere in the utility room. Awesome.

The inspection takes about 2.5 hours (including the termite inspection), and in the end, I get a nice binder with the inspector's report, complete with color photos and booklets explaining stuff about home maintenance that no one really tells you about until the toilet blows up. I walked through the house, and I kept thinking about how in a month, I would be calling this my home. I mapped out where I was going to put my furniture, and what kind of flowers I would plant by the house.

Talk about premature!

A little background on the house: it is owned by Cartus, which is a corporate relocation company. They deal with relocating employees for companies large and small. They deal with almost all the aspects: moving, selling, leasing, mortgage...all of it. Initially, they were asking a ridiculous price for the house, which is why it was on the market for over 200 days. Then, they drop the price by about $25K and offer a $3500 gift card to either Lowe's or Home Depot to the seller.

Then, Heather comes along. Heather likes the house enough to make an offer. They accept. Fun and games ensue.

My realtor and I fill out the contract that they sent us, only to have the company say it's the wrong contract and we have to fill out a different one. We fill out the new contract, and now they are saying they don't want to give me the gift card because they don't do that anymore.


Now, if this were just dinky small amount, I wouldn't sweat it...but $3500 in what I can use for home improvement is nothing to sneeze at. Besides, it's all over their listing online, and the paperwork I have at home. I have proof!!

Initially, when I set out to find a house, I wanted a place that was move-in ready. I'm not handy at all with tools and wood (of the tree!) , so I wanted something that the very most I would have to do is paint. This house, however, needs a little bit more than paint, but I was willing to overlook that because I could use said card to defray some of the costs (and with a little help from friends, family, and Mom's current boyfriend).

My realtor is up in arms. For every different person she talks to, she gets a different story: we used to offer it, but not anymore...we will honor it...we won't...someone besides us must have offered it.

Annoyed, I told her that if they offered it with the listing, then they are going to give it to me even if they had to set up a jar at the front desk to collect it. To me, that's bait and switch. To me, that's unethical and I think we've come to expect that out of large companies who no longer care about the little guy.

I also told my realtor that if they couldn't honor what they advertised, they know where they can stick their house. If they won't honor something as simple as a gift card, how can I trust them when it comes to something as important as buying a house?

I like the house, I really do...but I know there are other houses out there I could like just as well. Sure, this could move back my moving date a month, but I have come to the point that whatever happens, happens as it was meant to happen.

I should hear something from my realtor tomorrow. I'll keep you posted.


Anonymous said...

They OWE you that card, dammit! Kick their asses until you get it, or walk!

(Can you tell I'm grumpy today? LOL)

I hope it all works out. I remember what a headache home buying is - that is why I ain't never movin' again! LOL

Annie said...

Tell them you are going to the real estate board if they don't honor it. You are right - it's bait and switch which is illegal. They could lose their real estate license. That should make them jump.

I hate it when people take advantage of others!

Anonymous said...

Stick to your guns!

Get that card!

That's bullshit!