Part 2 of the story picks up on 9/11.
The “Sell” transaction (selling our Austin house) went about as smoothly as expected. All real estate transactions have issues that need to be addressed, so “smoothly” means no deal-killers. The “Buy” transaction (purchasing a house in San Antonio) had several odd issues but we were confident they could be fixed. Most notable was the lien created when one of the sellers defaulted on a student loan. It showed up on the Title Commitment and typically is NOT an issue for the buyer (the seller is forced to apply all proceeds from the sale toward the defaulted loan.
The ORIGINAL plan was to have movers pick up our furniture on Thursday, double-close on Friday the 13th, spend the weekend working on the new house while it was empty and moving in on Tuesday.
Late in the day on Wednesday (9/11) I got a call from Tammara. The sellers were behind moving out and wanted us to delay closing for four days. They had been in denial about the whole student loan issue – so much so that they had just figured out they would have to move in with relatives. To close this deal, we would effectively have to throw a family of five out in the street. It became obvious that the only person who would benefit from this was the seller’s Realtor who (in my opinion) was negligent in not making sure the sellers fully understood the consequences of contracting to sell their house. We chose to allow them to default (and stay in the house) over enforcing the contract and collecting a lot of bad karma. The cost to us: the money we spent on inspections, the time involved and living in our hotel until we found another house to buy.
Thursday came and so did the movers. The 4 guys that showed up worked HARD and got us loaded out in about half a day. Karen, Walter (our lovable Yorkie) and I caravanned down to San Antonio. Leaving the Austin City Limits for the last time as a resident was very emotional for me. I love the town but I had known for months (long before being approached about a new job) that my time there was ending.
We took up temporary residence in the Super 8 Fiesta. I had been staying at there part time since August. The price was right and the people working there made me feel instantly at home. Walter immediately missed his back yard (and dog door) but quickly got used to the added attention. I wrote a review of the hotel on trip advisor. The ORIGINAL plan had been to stay there five nights. The pivot (buy a different house in San Antonio) meant we might be there as long as six weeks. I want to give a particular shout out to Jack and Patricia, the night auditors that provided company during my bouts of insomnia.
The good karma of NOT forcing a family of 5 out of their home swiftly moved in our favor. At least 3 house deals (better than the original one that fell through) came our way over the next 4 days. On Monday, September 16, we saw our new home in the rain. By Friday, the deal was far enough along that we had exited the Option period.
LOTS of people moved heaven and earth for us. The guys at Unicorn Movers had to crate our stuff for an undetermined amount of time, effectively making this 2 moves instead of one. Real Estate Broker Tammara Alarcon and one of her Reators, Shelby Howell, went into overdrive to find a house. Travis Fenner and Usa Heyward made sure as much of the existing mortgage work as possible could transfer to a new loan. The Title company put a rush on everything they were responsible to produce.
We used a pre-purchase lease to get us into the house Monday afternoon, a full week before the closing. The close happened on September 30, compressing a process that normally takes six weeks into 14 days!
We are “settling in”. Unpacking promises to be an ongoing process for some time. This all happened so fast that we certainly packed stuff that we no longer need or want. There is always more stuff to detach from your life! This new chapter in our lives is extremely full of promise and possibilities.
Thanks for reading this self-indulgent post. Its main purpose was to thank everyone that helped make this happen, The next Thursday’s post will begin a series on personal finance and the finance of education. Jack (one of the Super 8 night auditors) will be a case study!