It is March, 2008 and I have been referred to the greatest couple looking for a house in Santee, Ca. This couple is a friend of a friend and we hit it off perfectly! A fun, easy going couple with a couple of kids looking for their Dream Home!
He is active military so a VA loan is no problem! I refer them to my favorite lender, they have perfect credit scores and I thought, boy, this is going to be a piece of cake; and fun too!
Out house hunting we go! And then......within 2 weeks of our hunt, my military home buyer finds out he is being sent to Singapore for 6 months! House hunt on hold. Wife moving to home state of Washington in the interim to save money, pay off credit card debt and hope to qualify for a larger loan amount at the return of her soldier! Great plan!
Fast forward to last week of December 2008. Although we have continued our search virtually, it was more a pass time than an actual home search. Tour has lasted longer than expected, but 6 weeks more and her man will be home in San Diego and they want a home! She flys in for 5 days and we spend 3 days on a massive home search. Inventory has changed over the year. Not as many options available as when we started. Not a problem! We found it! The perfect home!
We make an offer on this short sale, and are assured by the listing agent they have short sale lender approval as a previous buyer walked. Not a problem. We have time to wait. The husband will not be back for 6 to 8 weeks, perfect timing for him to come home to his new home! And then we wait, and wait, and wait. Oh, and then we wait some more. FINALLY we have approval. 1 week prior to the husbands arrival! Such timing!
Day of husbands return is the day of home inspection. We have a fantastic time. This is the first time he is seeing the home in person. He has seen the home via the Internet and heard all of his wife's excitement as she plans to rip out the cabinets, tear down walls, put new flooring in.....As we walk from room to room, the husbands excitement grows with every step. Until the home inspector finds a small crack in the tile in the kitchen floor tile..........and he puts down his golf ball sized ball bearing..........and it rolls to the east. He moves further into the kitchen, it does the same. Then the living room....same.....garage.....even worse. This is the end of our fun.
We contact the listing agent and low and behold, since she was on her last minutes of disclosure and had not received them yet, oh ya, the home had a cracked slab at the time these sellers purchased and it has been corrected. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? Did you not think to mention this at ANYTIME over the last few months as we are waiting for bank approval? Whatever. Let's move forward. The listing agent offers to provide the previous report showing the problem corrected, but to no avail. They can not find anything. We request the seller to provide a current engineers report. The agent has no idea where to begin to get this, so I provide a company for her.
Report: $70k worth of repairs that need to be done to fix the existing slab. This does not include any amounts to correct the problem to avoid this happening for the THIRD time.
Home Inspection: $400, Cracked slab: $70,000. Value of a home inspection: PRICELESS.
The seller is in no position to correct this. Short sale lender will NOT fix this. Buyer will not purchase this home this way. Escrow canceled. Buyers now must find a place to live in a matter of days. Coincidentally, the house next door to me is for rent. I know have clients as neighbors!
A new search begins!