Tuesday, July 5, 2011

4th of July

Well, most notable news of the last week: We made offers on 2 properties. They were in the same complex (pictured previously) and virtually identical, but one had a much higher asking price. Both were foreclosures, so that explains the price difference-the banks who own them just listed them for the amount that the previous owner had owed to recoup lost profits from the defaulted mortgage. One place we offered $50k with them paying us $3k for assistance with closing costs and the other we offered $31k with us paying all of the settling costs.

50k is slightly higher that the comparable units that have sold in the recent months, so we wouldn't negotiate much higher, but the 31k we are hoping we might be able to get for around 35k. We put both of them out there just in case the cheaper one gets snatched up and are currently waiting to hear back.

While in Atlanta shopping around, we came across an unfortunate snag in our financing plans-there is a federal law preventing lenders from giving mortgages to occupant-owners without charging less than 5% of the purchase price for closing costs. unfortunately, when trying to get a loan for less than 50k, most lenders' standard closing costs exceed that 5%, simply because 5%closing costs would need to be less than $2500 and the lender would barely make a profit. For some BIZARRE reason, the government set this rule only to "protect" people who buy homes that they plan to live in- it does not apply to investors who buy a property intending to rent it out. This helped us understand why so many great condos that are on the market for less than $50k aren't selling-it's extremely difficult to buy such a property if you don't just have the cash sitting around. So, we have got my Dad on board to be an "investment buyer" who can be approved for the loan to try and get around the red tape and then we can work it out with him. Much better option than us spending $15k+interest more than the place is worth just so that we can have our name on the loan.

Bureaucracy is alive and well.

Fortunately, our frustration wore off by Monday and we were able to enjoy a wonderful 4th of July here in Wilmington. We went across the Cape Fear River on a ferry to enjoy a pancake breakfast and parade in Southport. It was very hot, but overall a nice experience. Dad and I each won $100 in gift certificates for answering trivia questions about politics and history. Then we had a fun activity at the church with barbecue and games and headed downtown for fireworks. The fireworks over the USS North Carolina were lovely and we got home easily without a lot of traffic- we definitely parked in the right spot, south of the real congestion.

Sammy stayed here in Wilmington while Micah and I were in Atlanta Tuesday through Saturday of last week and has been markedly more cuddly since our return. I missed his cute fluffy presence a lot, but I think that he bonded with LeAnn and Blake and Pumpkin, so it was a good experience for him. Here's a picture of a trip down to the beach in the past couple of weeks. We found out that Sammy can swim pretty well and isn't afraid of the water or the sand, but he doesn't like the waves very much.

In other news, peanut is growing and is now the size of a lemon. I am definitely feeling it, although it still isn't that obvious that I'm pregnant. I have given up on all of my pants that button and I feel the need to inform people that I am pregnant so they don't assume that I'm just fat.

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