08 February 2011

Offer {almost} Ratified

The ratification process has been taking awhile.  It's a long back-and-forth process particularly when dealing with a huge bank like Fannie May (or was it Freddie Mac??).  Every time we sign off on something we have to wait another week or two for them to get back to us.  Last night we went in to see our agent and sign off on the contract sent from the seller.  Once they sign off on it then we will have a ratified contract and after the inspection and appraisal we can work towards closing which is set for March 11.

While going over the paper work last night our agent pointed out that the bank was not going to be paying any condo fees that may be outstanding.  We asked him to find out if there were any fees (we were thinking maybe $1300 for the two months the bank has had the property) and about an hour later he called to say that the bill was actually $9600!!  That was a deal breaker for us and we were so thankful that we found out about it before we were fully committed to having to pay an unexpected $10k!  We still had the option of submitting a counter-offer making them responsible for paying those fees, but luckily we didn't have to. Our agent spoke to the seller today and they said they would pay all condo fees up until closing.

Since I am due to have this baby soon (only 9 more days until the due date!) we wanted to get the inspection out of the way, however you generally can't do it until the agreement has been ratified and that may or may not happen this week.  Our agent spoke to the seller and received permission to do the inspection this Saturday regardless of the ratification status.  We have to do it during the day so the inspector can see since there aren't a lot of overhead lights and there aren't any lamps and we have to work most days.

We have an inspector lined up for Saturday morning so it shouldn't be a problem.  We did a small search of inspectors in the area and received a bunch of different bids that ranged from $175 to over $350. We decided to go with the cheapest guy after talking to them all since we're buying a condo and the overall structure is up to the condominium to care for and the thing I'm most concerned about can't really be detected ahead of time.  I'm mostly worried that the seller painted over mold on the bathroom walls, but none of the inspectors can really tell without drilling a hole in the wall and they can only do a visual inspection before the condo is actually sold.  

The seller confirmed that this test, where they take a sample of the wall, was done in the fall and no mold was found.  This makes me feel better since the only thing the inspector could do is an air quality test to detect mold spores in the air, but the bathroom tiles have mold/mildew on them so there will most likely be mold in the air. We're going to replace all the tile so I'm not worried about them having mold/mildew, but I am worried about the walls.  We are planning on putting in ventilation systems into both bathrooms so this won't be a problem in the future.

I have been scouring design/remodeling blogs and websites for weeks now and we have a pretty good idea on what we want to do for each room.  I'm really excited to get started!  Unfortunately the condo association won't let us submit the request for the approvals from them until it's officially ours and I'm not sure how long it will take to get their ok.  We can't exactly move in until the bathroom is done since it's uninhabitable right now.  Geiko said that they won't provide insurance on a foreclosure unless we move in within 30 days of purchase so hopefully it all works out.

We decided since Albert will be going to school and working full-time we'll go with a general contractor for most things (minus the painting).  It took Albert awhile to decide whether or not he wanted to go to school or not with the baby coming and buying a new condo, but since the GI bill pays a monthly housing allowance he couldn't pass up the extra pay check every month which should pay for a big chunk of our remodeling costs.

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