I should take a step back and blog about a subject that caused me at least a couple sleepless nights full of stress. Closing on our new house. Why? Because it almost didn't happen.
The day before our loan closing on Thursday, I hadn't heard from anyone on the actual specifics such as time and place of the closing so I casually called up my mortgage broker and asked. Less than 24 hours before closing, I was informed that she didn't know if we would be able to close or not and couldn't give me any definitive reason as to why. She would call me when she knew more information. Thus began sleepless night number one.
I had all these grand schemes of cleaning the carpets with a rentable steam cleaner and possible getting some shelving erected or painting done over the four days between closing and moving. I had movers paid a retaining fee, utilities scheduled to be connected and mail swapped over to the new address. I had basically several weeks of legwork completed for this day and now I was being told that it might not happen. My mind was spinning with the possibilities and none of them good.
Also, not to be entirely selfish, the person selling me this house was counting on this closing on Thursday so that he could turn around and close on his house, that he had already moved into, the following day with the owners who were flying in specifically on Friday and would be returning by airplane the following morning. So at least three families (not counting the people I am selling my house too) had significant time and money wrapped up into this loan happening on Thursday, two and a half months after I had been told that it was approved and we were just waiting for the closing day to arrive.
Thursday morning came and went with no word from the mortgage broker. I tried calling several times in the afternoon but only got her voice mail and nobody at the bank could tell me if she was definitely there or not. So after a call home, my wife dug up a cellphone number that she had handwritten on her business card and I called that. She answered. She told me she didn't know what was the problem, she couldn't get hold of the underwriters and that she essentially didn't know anymore than she had the day before. She would get back to me on Friday morning. Cue sleepless night number two.
Friday morning my wife called the corporate office and was told that the mortgage broker should know everything. So when I hadn't heard from her by late morning, I again called her cellphone. Again she claimed to know nothing and that she would get back to me when she did find out more. By two in the afternoon on a Friday, I still hadn't heard anything and I knew that it being Friday afternoon, things were slipping to the point where the closing wouldn't happen until next week. I was starting to get frantic. I tried to call one more time only this time, the broker didn't answer her cellphone.
So I did the only thing I could do. I went home, collected the wife and checkbook and drove to the bank. Halfway there, she finally made first contact to say she still didn't know much and started hinting that the closing might be Monday at the earliest. I told her that we were in route and we could talk about it in about fifteen minutes. As soon as we walked into the mortgage department, the broker came out to say that she was still trying to contact the underwriters via email and they hadn't responded. She said that we could go about our business and she would call just as soon as she heard from them. I politely said that I was fine just where I was and that I had brought a book to read until she heard word. I wanted her to see me every time she looked out her office window. Indeed as she walked out of her office a couple times, she couldn't help but see us in the holding area and suddenly she seemed to be working the phones (instead of the email) pretty hard. To make a long story a bit shorter, it worked. 45 minutes later, we had a closing time of 4:30 pm.
Several times throughout this whole ordeal, we had heard many different answers as to what had happened. The first was that because my wife was starting her new job more than 30 days away from closing, (a fact all have known for several months) As we were signing the last of the documents, the truth finally came out. Despite having our documents for a full six weeks, she had only submitted them for our loan three weeks ago, just as the underwriter left for a two week vacation.