The Jig is up: House Hunting

I’ve tried to hide the fact that I am buying a home, but the f!@kery that we’ve been going through is too damn much.

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I’ve tried to hide the fact that I am buying a home, but the f!@kery that we’ve been going through is too damn much. 

I don’t really know how I got here, but 10 offers later and no home, it’s been the pits. I am trying to be a rational man, but I just can’t at this point.

When my wife approached me about buying a home, I instantly stood behind her and got on board. We searched  for a bank that would pre-qualify and approve us and got that out of the way. Receiving the price range that we could afford, we went on the hunt for the best possible situation and home.

THE AGENT

I didn’t do my research when I picked my agent. I had no idea what the hell I was doing. Reading web articles, I decided to go with some guy who had a great amount of sales within the past year. When I talked to him, something felt off, but I decided to go along with it anyhow. We talked about each of our schedules and everything seemed fine. I looked at his ratings and this gentleman had nothing but 5 star ratings. In hindsight, I should’ve listened to my intuition instead of random fake reviews.  I have four more offers in with this guy. If these fail within the past week, I am moving the hell on.

TIP: When picking a real estate agent, use buyer/seller reviews accordingly. Make sure that you are dealing with an agent that is great at what you are looking for. If you are looking to sell a home, choose an agent that specializes in selling homes, especially in the area you live. If you are a buyer, choose an agent that not only specializes in your desired area, but also is in rhythm of your schedule. You can’t work graveyard shift and have an agent that only shows property at noon, when you may not be able to view properties until 4 p.m. on off days. Choose an agent that is flexible, don’t get caught up on sales unless you are a seller.

The HOMES

Home offer #1: This home was a probate sale. Probate sales can be done either through the court, or without the court. It means the owner has passed away, and the heirs or de facto owners want to sell the house by auction or standard sale. The listing agent that presents the property must legally state that the owner has passed away. When we saw this home, it was on a random weekday night that I happened to get off early. My wife and I met up at the location with one of our agent’s “team members” in his “group”.  Let’s call her Linda. Linda showed us the property and the condition of the house was murky at best. There was peeling paint, uneven floors, and an un-permitted back house that smelled like rotten marijuana. The carpet was awful, the rooms were decent, and the entrance of the garage was in an alley. I absolutely hated the house but loved the area, so we put in an offer. We put in three multiple counter offers and still lost, because we refused to pay more than what the house was worth. STRIKE ONE: I found out through a third party website that the house was pending before the real estate agent. The agent didn’t notify us of the property being sold to another party until two days later. Didn’t return our calls, until I called one of his “team members.” Pissed me the f**k off, but I didn’t want to make it a big deal.

Home offer #2: This home was also a probate sale that was being sold “as-is”. It fell out of escrow due to a multitude of factors: buyers got separated, buyers refused to split responsibility of repairs with seller, etc.  STRIKE TWO: We specifically told this guy to put in an offer that same night on this house. I sent an email to him and the group member that showed me the property, specifically telling him to put in the offer that SATURDAY. They had an open house that SUNDAY. On Monday morning, no more offers were accepted. My agent did not put in our offer that SUNDAY at minimum. He had to beg for them to accept our offer as a backup that MONDAY afternoon. I WAS PISSSSSST!!!! I was so pissed I let him know about it.

Home offer #3: This home was awkward as hell. Garage was almost bigger than the home itself. The house was crazy small, located on a main street, corner house, driveway not connected to driveway. Awkward to pull in, no dishwasher or space. No backyard or privacy, the home was overpriced and outside of the area we desired. This was a flipped home that felt unfinished. The agent actually negotiated a great deal with this house. They agreed to help on closing costs and were ready to make a deal with us. He did an excellent job, but this time we reneged and backed out of our offer. The house was not appealing at all. It probably is still for sale.

Home offer #4: This home was located in the perfect area, but was dated and ugly. It had floor heaters and possible water damage. The home was ideal, but had some issues. We actually cross qualified and damn near got our offer accepted at asking, but a cash buyer came in and offered 97 percent of asking without any contingencies (at the last second). We instantly got beat out and lost, cash is king, but the agent did a decent job.

Home offer #5: This home is in a sketchy area but the home and block was actually nice. It is what you would call a pocket block. A good block surrounded by a few bad streets with criminal activity. I liked this house enough to put in an offer, but didn’t want to commit to a house that we halfway liked. The house had multiple cash offers, and even blind offers, so we didn’t like our chances on this home beyond putting in an offer. Plus we were waiting on home offer #4. It was MEH!

Home offer #6: This home was one that was the closest of my intended area to move into. I still haven’t received word back on this home. We just know that the competition is deep and the likelihood is low, when there is too much competition. Allegedly we are going to find out tomorrow who gets the home, but the seller’s agent is a hard person to get in contact with. We our crossing our fingers, but expecting a no. This home is dated and has a retro 2000’s feel to it. I thought I was on the set of ‘Moesha’, but the backyard is huge and the driveway is private. I saw it alone and immediately put in an offer without hesitation, because I knew my wife would love it. We shall see.

Home offer #7: Beautiful home, pocket street like home offer #5, turn key and ready to go. We put in multiple offers and was one of the highest offers, but we refused to waive the appraisal contingency. I was like hell no, and they found a sucker who did waive his appraisal. We lost out on that one, and to keep it more gangster — they still are having open houses despite its pending status. We just shook our heads and moved on. We loved that they moved fast and didn’t stall, unlike Home offer #6.

Home offer #8: We saw this property and let the seller’s agent(s) know our interest immediately. This was a pocket block home that was renovated into a turn key, but had more potential that what was shown at open house. This offer is fresh and we are waiting on a response by the end of the week, or next Monday at the latest.

Home offer #9: This home is located in a non-desirable area, but the home is a got damn castle for a KING. I walked through the home and felt like nothing else outside mattered. Only thing that this house needed was a front gate, an electric powered swing gate and that’s it. This house was lit. We offered lower than the asking price, because we know people aren’t willing to move in that area. The home was sick, I could see my dogs roaming the property. Easy home to sell in the future also, something I couldn’t say about home offer #3. No response on this home yet.

Home offer #10: This home is a great location not far from home offer #1, but the wife checked it out alone and became hesitant because of a nosy neighbor. This home has multiple offers that are placed on the property and even our real estate agent doubts that we will be considered for this home.

 

I’m very frustrated at this point with the whole entire process, because I have pressure to find a home soon. My rental lease with my landlord is up, and they are hiking the price up exorbitantly high to coerce us into signing a 6 month to 1 year lease. They disfavor tenants who stay month to month, so I have a lot of pressure to make a deal happen. I am not too satisfied with my agent, because his communication is not great. All of the homes I’ve found on my own, he doesn’t send me any listings. My wife and I attend multiple open houses alone –then write him a long ass email report– and beg him to put in offers before the night ends. He has shown us 4 of the houses we’ve put offers on. He seems too busy at times and he rarely helps us on weekends. He avoids showing us properties on weekends and uses people on his team to show properties during the weekday. My wife gets to see the properties, but I don’t. When the weekend comes, those people that work on his team actually don’t work for him, they ASSIST him.  The one guy who does show us property has clients of his own that come before us. So when (more like if) we need to see properties on weekends, it feels like a hassle to ask our agent if we can see lock box properties that regular buyers don’t have access to. We got into a heated discussion today, and I kept it real. I told him that if I knew that he was this busy on weekends, then I would’ve chosen otherwise. I will give him until the duration of these four offers, and afterwards i’m done. These real estate agents are sharks who hunt for buyers who attend open houses without agents. They tell us bad things about our agent, and how they can do a better job. One guy promised us a house, only  if we left our agent out of the business transaction and did the deal straight up. I know its all bullshit and smoke, but the fact is I get irritated with not having an agent present. The seller’s agent treats you different without an agent, they turn into sleazy greasy salesmen without one. I told my agent that I don’t like defending a real estate agent who isn’t there.”It’s not my responsibility to defend you”. I hope a deal goes through, but I had to use my platform to vent. Thanks for taking time to read my drama.

Let’s Pretend You’re Black: Ty’Qwonne Blacksten (Part 6)

UNCLE ROCCO

Since you are approaching 17 1/2, you are in desperate need of getting  your  driver’s license. Uncle Rocco, a 48 year old heavyset dark-skinned man with a muscular build akin to Ving Rhames, is your fathers younger brother. Every weekend, he finds time to coach you on driving. Rocco, stays in an upper middle-class city 10 miles South of Troose called Maize Terrace. He is a licensed electrician who works as a lineman for the Edison Co. He is the closest thing you have to a male father figure.

Uncle Rocco:”Damn Ty’Qwonne, You are tryna kill me. The brakes are your friend. You need to ease on the gas pedal. Speed will kill you. Stop right here!”

You:”My Bad Unc’ I’m just excited to get my license. I’m tired of catching the bus. I need that Ford Explorer, like yesterday.”

{The Ford Explorer referenced is an abandoned vehicle in Uncle Rocco’s garage}

Uncle Rocco:”I already told you. You ain’t gonna get nothing if you don’t get them grades up and graduate. When you graduate, I will personally get the alternator replaced and give it a paint job. The pink slip will be handed over to you.”

You:”C’mon Unc’. I’m gonna graduate, but I honestly don’t know what it is that I am gonna do. It feels like I’m lost. I would go to college, but honestly, it ain’t for me. Things is changing Unc’. I read online that Mark Zuckerberg, and Bill Gates ain’t finish college. If they quit college, why should I go.”

Rocco:”If you don’t go to college, Whatchu gonna do?!..Smoke weed and hang with the Ballstone Boys. I know you are hanging with ya cousin Skooby, and he is a bad influence. He is a rowdy wanna-be punk. He doesn’t see himself beyond the hood! You wanna be stuck in the hood?!”

You:”But Unc’ Skooby ain’t as bad as you think. He….”

Rocco:”Don’t But Unc’ me!!! Your father would break out of prison if he knew you was hanging with him. You know your pops wouldn’t go for that bullshit! Let me tell you something about me….I grew up in Troose. I was an Original Troose Crip member. I ran around smoking weed, selling PCP, and driving low-riders!”

You: (Shocked)

Rocco: “I was a shit starting, blue rag banging nightmare. I know all about that lifestyle, but you know what got me out?..”

You: (silent)

Rocco: “They killed my cousin Tracy in broad daylight. In front of his mama’s house” {tearing up, crying}

Rocco: “I knew from that day forward, I had a choice to make. Fuck around and let the hood dictate my future, ending up dead like my big cousin. Or go out here and find a way out. I was lucky. I knew I had a second chance. I went to trade school and became an electrician. It was hard as hell leaving the hood and staying wit Sharice(his wife) and her mom.  Mrs Reece (his mother-in-law) was a sweetheart for taking me in. If it wasn’t for them I would be dead.”

You: (aghast)

Rocco: “So, when I am telling you that you need to graduate from school, I mean it with all my heart. I am telling you from a person who has been where you have been. I used to hang with guys like Skooby. Guess where they at now? The cemetery. None of them made it.”

You: “I understand that Uncle Rocco. It’s just hard to focus on school, when you living in a war zone. I’m living in constant fear that I might get killed, or moms might get robbed or shot by a stray bullet walking home from work. You know how it is Unc'”

Rocco:”You are right, I would take you in if it wouldn’t offend your mom. She is too proud of a woman to let you stay with me.”

You:”Nah, I couldn’t invade ya space like that Unc’..I got too much respect for you. Plus, you know moms ain’t having it. I’m her only child. I am her baby.”

Rocco: “I promised your Daddy that I would take care of you for him. I have to protect you. I don’t want you to be another one of these young boys getting killed or sent to prison off of making a few hundred dollars. Don’t be a fuck up T.Q, you ain’t like these other kids. You are smart. Go to school and be something in life. Skooby ain’t never gonna get past Ballstone Avenue. He is stuck on the 4 corners his gang run. Beyond those lines, he knows he is a dead man. He is stuck on the corner. Skooby is the type of guy that don’t wanna see you go beyond Ballstone either. Remember that.”

Part 7 coming soon.

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Let’s pretend you’re black: Ty’Qwonne Blacksten (Part 5)

Black women on #blacklivesmatter

It’s Saturday morning and the men are busy watching college football. Most of the women are preparing to go to church in the morning by heading to the hair salon. There are 3 hair salons in the city of Troose, but Nadine’s hair salon is the most popular. Nadine and her staff handle most of the African-American community. Councilwomen, Bus Drivers, Restaurant Workers, and Postal Workers all go to Nadine’s to spend half of the day. Here is the dialogue that goes on in Nadine’s:

TV: (News Broadcaster) “Officer slammed child and has been placed on unpaid leave until further notice.”

Red mohawk:”You see that Nadine….That officer need his ass whooped, slammin’ a lil ass girl like that. These officers is losin they rabid ass mind!”

(Salon groaning in unison)

Nadine:”Yep, but the backstory say that she was a lil badass. Being hella defiant, screaming at the officer and teacher. She was doin 4 much. Im jus sayin!”

Short brown hair:”So what!, that still don’t make it right. He wouldn’t slam no White girl like that. If Becky was actin out, she wouldn’t even get pepper sprayed. I don’t know why we keep letting these White cops get away with this nonsense gurl!”

Salon Worker Jada:”I agree, I also think that our Black men don’t treat us any better”

(Salon agreeing in accord)

Nadine:” We all being portrayed as bitches and hoes, nothing more than a sex tool to our men. A Black woman is known as a baby momma, but what do they call Sarah Palin daughter?”

(clapping and laughing)

Long Haired woman:” Tell me about it, then you got these White women taking our men. Them damn,(snapping her fingers) whats they name?..Kardashians are taking every rich Black man they see.”

Jada:” Walking around on television with fake asses, fake lips, and sun tans, these hoes wanna be Black so fuckin bad. We can’t even have our big asses anymore. White women wanna take that!” (cackling in laughter)

Nadine:”Y’all know Stretch got out!”

Jada:”That’s random, what made you think of that?”

Nadine:”Kardashian and Lamar Odom, Stretch look just like Lamar Odom”

Red Mohawk:”Yeah he do, He look good too. I’ll take care of his ass. Jail time did him good. Shiit!”(laughing)

Senior Citizen Pearline:”We losin too many of our sons and fathers to jail and gun violence. I have lost a Grandson and a Son behind this madness.”

Nadine:”Our men are passing away and going to jail, and we are left with the responsibility. When we need help or government assistance, we are shamed. We get stamped as welfare queens, cause we swipe an EBT card for food. When a White woman get stuck with responsibility, she divorces, or sues!”

Jada:”Maybe we need to get married, instead of having these no good, jailbird nigga babies, Hey, I’m just Sayin!!! It takes two.”

Nadine:”Even if we get married, what we gonna sue them for? Some Retro Jordan shoes. Hell. they barely wanna pay child support! What the hell I’m gonna sue for? A blunt!”

(salon roaring in laughter)

Senior Citizen Pearline:”We need to talk about whats really killing US!!! Violence and police brutality are killing our Black men, but you know what is killing us?”

Red Mohawk:”What?..broke ass baby daddies?”

(Salon laughs)

Pearline:”Heart disease, Diabetes, Breast Cancer, High Blood Pressure! These are the things killing us. When I was young like ya’ll, I took my health for granted. I cooked soul food and fried foods with a heavy hand of salt and butter. I refused to exercise. I didn’t wanna change my eating habits. I went through KFC drive-thru’s to compensate working two jobs to feed my children, and guess what happened. I had a stroke and renal failure in my 50’s. I go to kidney dialysis 3 times a week. I have to take 20 pills and vitamins a day, just to get through.”

(Salon quiet and somber)

Long Haired Woman:”I feel you Mrs. Pearline, I just can’t mess up my weave. I paid good money for my Brazilian hair. No disrespect, but I don’t do pack hair. The sweat would damage my hair.”

(salon humming and laughing)

Pearline:”So you just chose hair over heart disease?  If you don’t take care of your health, hair will be the last thing you need to worry about..Trust me on that, Sweetie”

Part 6 coming soon.

Thanks for reading this story. If you feel compelled by this story in any way, please share on your favorite social platform.

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Follow me on twitter and on periscope: @eddiestarblog