So the story goes...

Does anyone care to know what I have been up to for the last 3.5 months or so?
You clicked on the link to get you here, so I am only to assume that you're at least PARTIALLY interested in the goings-on in my world. I would give you more lead in on this, but that would take away from this meticulously documented time line I have constructed.

07/14/2009 - 9:37am

Moms gets an email from her best friend about the group who had a program in place helping people get into houses. She knew where to find the information, since this group had sold the house next door to her.

07/27/2009 - sometime in the morning
After looking at the website, then moving in with Granny on a temporary arrangement, I spend the weekend casing the houses they have available. I arrange them in my mind with "I want that," "I could go for that," "I would settle for that," and "hell no," but there were 2 on the site at the time that I could definitely see myself in. One being right around the corner from where I'd been and one right down the block from the gym.
Wow, did I digress or what?
Back to Monday morning.
I go back to the website and fill out the quick application for the program, knowing my credit situation, cross my fingers and wait.

07/29/2009 - 10:43am
I get an email thanking me for interest in the program, further explaining how the whole thing works, and beckoning me to apply for the next step. With nothing to lose, I go ahead and fill it all out to get the ball rolling, having already seen the properties, I knew which I would like to be in and everything.

07/29/2009 - 03:14pm
I receive a copy of my credit report and my concerns are just, but on the whole, the work I'd done on cleaning things up over the last 2+ years has been working and I will not need any "repairs" to qualify for an FHA loan, but we WILL be disputing some things just to be a little better.
In this exchange of emails, we establish the plans for me to see the INSIDE of the house on the 31st.

07/31/2009 - 5:32pm
The Katie and I meet up with Matt to see the house on the inside, and I note that inside it is basically identical to Linda's house (mom's best friend), which happens to be situated less than 20 seconds (literally, I counted one day) away.
3 beds, 2 baths, 1200 ft²... I can do this.
I want to show it to mom, but I am sure I wanna do this. I am given the code to the lock box on the door and a free license to come and show it whenever I like.

08/01/2009 - 12:30pm
The Katie, Marian and I are in the house, and mama likes it as well...
I make plans to go all in and make this happen now. I will need $1000.00 up front and then I will be leasing the house for up to a few months, transitioning into a purchase and I am able to go ahead and move into the house. Short rent-to-own agreement.

08/01/2009 - 2:00pm
All applications are filled and signed and all that goodness in the office... Now all I gotta do is get that moneys up...

08/03/2009 - 11:01am
The information-gathering begins from the mortgage underwriters and all that. Banking information gleaned, paystubs sent, disclosures, disclosures and more disclosures.
They're a bit early, but I am to understand that this puts us WAAAAY ahead of the game.

08/10/2009 - 12:11pm
I deposit the moneys into my checking account and arrange to drop by the office and pay in the moneys to get moved into the house ASAP.

08/10/2009 - 5:30pm
I write check for $1000.00, then one other for $375.00...
The grand is for the deposit, the $375 is the first half of the first month's "rent," I explain that I will be paying like this so as to not have the money burn a hole in my pocket in wait to pay at the end of months, also speeding the process along as well. 12 weeks instead of 3 FULL months.

08/11/2009 - 10:00am
I call to Duke Energy and other utilities to have them connected, arrangements made to be connected the next day are made, moneys paid in and yaddayaddayadda.

08/14/2009 - 12:30pm
Arrangements previously made come to fruition, we get all the stuff moved into the house and begin to enjoy our first nights in the new place. We spend the rest of the next couple of weeks arranging to get all the rest of the heavy lifting done and everything else into the house, but it is inhabitable now, even though there is no cable.

Everything is in the house (still no cable), we are prepared to begin the journey. We live on home-cooked food and DVDs and video games replace our need for cable television, all will be fine at least until basketball season, but it won't even be that long.

08/24/2009 - 9:30-ish pm
Some old man decides to try his hand at death 15 feet from my car while The Katie and I are in the back watching American Gangster.
I blogged about it.

[Phlip note - know that every other week, there is a check written for $375, the "rent" is 750 a month. I am not including this otherwise mundane detail]

Cable and internet were on sometime in the in-between, I do not have the date and time because there was no business tied to my email surrounding this.
Also during this time was a deluge of requests for MORE information, W2 forms, more banking information and everything else under the sun to prove that I can afford this house.

09/14/2009 - 10:41am
The emails show that I am closer and closer to the goal here, mentioning things such as offer to purchase and what have you, only about a month left now.

09/16/2009 - noonish
Granny calls me "you've got a fedex package from WR Starkey Mortgage."
This is common, as I have ALWAYS had my mail and packages sent to her, since she is always home at the times of day I might need someone to take such a delivery.
I get it to the house to realize that it is MORE disclosures, explaining terms of the loan, interest rates and what have you, that I must read and sign all of.

The next couple of weeks were also slow, shopping for homeowner's insurance (FYI, I am firing Nationwide as my automotive insurance provider over this as well), and going in on the final funds to close and all that goodness. Of course, I returned the disclosures and paid the $400.00 for the inspection/appraisal and all we need now is the last of the moneys for the down payment. Time, my friends, time...

This is where it gets fun!

09/30/2009 - 10:05am
I run over to HR to change my direct deposit, now that I have paid Granny back for some money she'd loaned me a while back, I will have it directed only at my own checking. Every other time I have changed it, it has taken only 2 weeks, so all should be fine when I write that last check on 10/15.
10/13/2009 - 11:30ish
*desk phone rings*
"There's some guy here taking pictures of the house, should I be concerned?"
"Nah, no worries... That has to be the appraiser."

10/14/2009 - 12:53pm
"The appraisal came back at 94,000, attached is a copy of your appraisal."
Cool, 94k... Asking is 93.9, I will be getting it for 93.9, hundred dollar discount, woohoo!!!

10/15/2009 - 9:00am
Last check written, direct deposit will go through tonight and we'll be able to close one day next week, all is fine.

10/16/2009 - 8:15am
I am given my paystub, knowing the money is already spent.

10/16/2009 - 11:57am
"Phillip, we don't see record of you having filed your 2008 federal taxes, is there something wrong there?"
"Actually, I had not yet filed... I had gotten into a bit of a beef with the NC Dept of Revenue earlier this year... While I got it resolved, it took them quite a while to get me back my bread, spilling DEEP into the summer and I was already late filing. Then this situation arose, I decided that I would go ahead and do this to completion and just eat the penalties..."

10/16/2009 - 01:08pm
"you know, lemme just LOOK at the stub, make sure they changed the direct deposit..."


10/16/2009 - 5:10pm
I enter the bank, deposit the check... I am needing real-time statement information and copies of the deposited checks... I get the statement and see that I have been assessed a returned check fee already, but I know that it is kind of my fault. More on that in a minute.

[Phlip note - October 16th was a STRESSFUL fucking day]

I requested to leave work early on Monday, and had my mother prepare my federal taxes for me, I would then take them down to the IRS downtown on Monday and all would be fine.

10/19/2009 - 2:00pm
I leave work, to find that I have locked my keys in the FUCKING car!!! Mama works like 10 minutes away, and has the extra key, since I have this odd habit of doing that, and brings it to me.
She arrives 20 minutes or so after my call, and I am on my way.

10/19/2009 - 2:50pm
Home to The Katie, who had stopped by Granny's and gotten my prepared taxes earlier in the day, and she accompanied me to the IRS building. I got information from them that they could stamp my taxes as "received" and send them on to Atlanta, but not electronically enter them themselves...
[Phlip note - what the FUCK is the point of having an IRS office here if they can't enter the shit themselves?]

10/19/2009 - 3:39pm
I call Debbie, "the mortgage lady" -- as I refer to her as given that I do not know the professional title of someone in her position -- and do not get an answer...

10/19/2009 - 5:00pm
I venture out to Wal Mart to look for HotWheels and get some juice, as well as killing a little time.

10/19/2009 - 5:39pm
Debbie calls me back and the conversation courses to the explanation that the IRS stamping the return as "received" is good enough for what we're in need of and that is fine to be sent like that...
Well hell, Tinkerbell... If I would have known that at 3:39, I wouldn't have to...

10/19/2009 - 5:50pm
... I call my supervisor to inform that I will be a little late in the morning because now I need to go BACK to the damned IRS.

10/20/2009 - 8:30am
I enter the IRS, take a number and wait, then have the 1040 stamped, go ahead and pay what is due (I will WAIT on the penalties), get a receipt and copies, and then head toward work.

10/20/2009 - 9:36am
Ellen (from the sellers' office) calls "Phillip, what's going on with your taxes?"
I explain everything and that it has just been handled, that I am on the way to make it right by sending documentation. I explain the situation with the check and my account, and that it will need to be re-deposited.

At this point, ALL we need is for that check to clear, for me to go to the bank and get a copy of it and a real-time statement of activity showing that it did come from my account.
I'm gonna miss the originally-hoped-for close date of 10/23 waiting on this.

10/26/2009 - 12:10pm
I go to the bank and get that statement and, after printing that check myself, sent them along and all should be fine, right?

10/26/2009 - 1:30pm
"Phillip, this statement won't work... It doesn't have the bank name on it, and we need it to show that. You'll need to get it stamped and dated/signed and re-send it... Also, that NSF charge is an issue as well, FHA hates to see those without a water-tight explanation, you're gonna need your HR department or bank to concede that it was due to the miscommunication with the change of your direct deposit."
[Phlip note - FUCK!!!]

10/27/2009 - 12:10pm
Back into the FUCKING bank... Nice lady stamps, signs and dates the statement, then makes that letter for me on Truliant letterhead and stamps and dates IT for me as well... Good, I have EVERY fucking thing that I need, and I return it to the necessary parties immediately upon return to be sent back to underwriting.

10/27/2009 - 2:04pm
"Final Approved for 10/30/2009 Closing"
Damn, FINALLY!!!

10/29/2009 - 12:04pm
Attached is your HUD-1 for closing. It looks like you will need to bring just $1.23) yeah!! Please let me know if you have questions)
A buck 23? I am laughing... I should bring the shit in nickels.

10/29/2009 - 12:20pm
*phone rings*
"Phillip it's Matt! I got good news and I got bad news. Bad news is that you will need to bring something with you to close... Good news is that it's just a dollar 23..."
We laugh it off, then the conversation is back to business.
"You wanted black appliances, and the order has been placed, fridge, stove and dishwasher, they should be delivered on Monday or Tuesday... Do you prefer 10am-noon or 2pm-5pm delivery?"
"The morning delivery will be cool, The Katie will be there."
"Okay, thanks!"

10/29/2009 - 8:48pm
You think you can get by just fine without a microwave?
Fine, hot shit... Try it for 10 weeks, then report back to me with how fucking CRAZY you went by having to fire up the FUCKING oven to reheat last night's chicken wings.

10/30/2009 - 3:13pm
After a week of waiting, shortened lunches and massaging my time so as to be able to leave work a little early at the end, I am off work now and on my way to the lawyers' office, $1.23 in nickels and pennies in pocket and checkbook in hand. The appointment is at 4 and the drive SHOULD be about 36 minutes according to Google, but this IS the weekend that the city will be overrun with non-native brown people (GOD, I hope it rains!), so I built in some

10/30/2009 - 3:50pm
Well shit, I guess that 36 minutes was accurate after all, and I would not have cooked up a quicker set of directions than this, and I would not have thought to come this way. First time Google's directions were actually better than what I would have written, wow!

10/30/2009 - 3:54pm
I am inside, Matt is already there and Ellen -- who lives 5 minutes from my job and has no reason to be in Greensboro on a Friday -- is here too? Wow!

10/30/2009 - 4:05pm
Lawyer comes in, I commence to the disclosure of legalese and signing of my name... Good thing I remember how to spell it and for the fact that the ONLY thing I can write in cursive is my own name.

10/30/2009 - 4:58pm
I have signed my name on no less (or "fewer," whatever the fuck ever -- correct me and I will burn your goddamned fields and curse the children you will never have -- not to mention never approving the comment) than 70 times on random shit stamped and branded from the department of justice, finance, HUD, and lord knows where else. I am now the rightful owner of this house in good faith, provided 524.change in mortgage monthly, plus 90.something in state/local taxes and 29.whatever in insurance. My monthly payment, the number mattering to me, is $684.57 and 30 years is the term of the agreement.
I know the mortgage COULD be sold to someone else before I am at work on Monday, but the 5.5% interest rate that my mediocre credit has afforded me to be locked into will not change, so the amortization is and will be what I reviewed and signed off on 4 hours ago as I type this.

At the end of this all, I am posting live from El Casa De Phlip, and I am on the other side of this whole ordeal. The least I can say is that it was one hell of a ride and a huge fucking learning experience.
I won't complain about the majority of the problems that arose in this, as a couple of them were my own fuckupperies, even if born from that of others. I am the 4th of my peers -- following Josh, John and Brandon -- to get into our own spots this year, and the consensus is that the whole process is abso-damned-lutely rife with hurdles and such. For that, I am at least fine that the process remains consistent.

The Katie is away at class right now, and I am home alone with her mean-ass dog who hates me for no apparent reason, other than the fact that she is a Chihuahua with a Napoleon complex... Bitch.

I am celebrating the completion of my new situation by blogging about it and then getting shitfaced drunk while I avoid the Festivus of Coonish Behaviors [living within 40 minutes of not one, but THREE HBCU (NCA&T, Winston Salem State and NC Central) homecomings all taking place at one time] right here in the comfort of my own home.
See what I did just there? "my own home"
Oh what a feeling... Clothing optional, "extracurriculars" with the bedroom door open is quite okay as well. Don't judge me.

If there is ANY question of my attention to detail as it relates to this shit, know that I have kept EVERY piece of paper related to this process, as well as creating a folder in my email box that I archived EVERYTHING I sent or received related to it.
[Phlip note - how in the fuck ELSE do you think I had the dates and times? I'm a drinker, my memory is for shit sometimes, I damn sure didn't REMEMBER every detail without the reminder I created for myself]

Anyone wanna donate to the housewarming?
paypal address is, or send me an email for the actual address if you just wanna send something.
Enough of the serious talk, I will be back to my silliness and cooking very soon. I am going to go back in on this vodka and nurse thoughts of those 12 oops, Preston was here, 11 green bottles in the fridge.

Face numbing process begun, I am headed off into the celebration.


Fuckin A. Congrats, Phlip! Of course, if houses could be had locally for $94k, I'd have a few already lol.

I'm happy for you, and I'm happy you're happy - sounds like you deserve it ~
Allen H. said…
Congratulations home skillet!!! This sounds almost identical to the process my brother had to go through when buying his house. lol. So sad, but it's worth it in the end. This was worth reading for the "Festivus of Coonish Behaviors" statement alone. lol
Tony Grands said…
Good shit! Congrats, & good luck.

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