Home ownership + moving + pitfalls

As per my last blog write-up, we are now homeowners; we closed on the house on May 29, 2024, six days later than planned, because the former owners and their realtor were being a pain in the arse. The home was owned by a 98-year-old gentleman who passed away, and the house was left to his six children; and they all had to sign individually, none of whom were at the closing, nor was their realtor. Our realtor, the representative from Security 1st Title, Erin, and I were the only ones present to complete the transaction.

Upon closing, we found some new information that our mortgage broker had not clarified. And that information was that because we got a FHA loan and we did not have a downpayment, a separate $8,400 conventional loan was taken out to cover the deposit, which bumps our mortgage payment up by $73.65 to a total of $1,633.12. This is fine; it’s well within our means, but I feel annoyed that this was not made clear before we applied for this mortgage. We knew that the deposit was going to be rolled in, what we didn’t know is that it would be a seperate conventional loan, and not rolled into the FHA loan.

Now that we had the keys to the house, we bought some new furniture: a theater-style sofa and loveseat for the family room and for upstairs, a loveseat, chair, and fluffy chase, which was my wife’s choice; she wanted a cuddle couch. Also included was a desk for me, as my old desk was not going to make the move because it was too fragile. Despite the $400 cost, it was poorly designed and used cheap materials.

I never got to use the desk we bought, it spent a week upside down on my office floor, as it was packaged with the wrong legs, and the wait time for replacement legs was longer than I could wait, so we sent that desk back and bought a desk from Walmart. Despite its $135 price tag, it is better quality than my previous desk. Also, despite requesting the sofa and loveseat set, only the sofa arrived, apparently, the loveseat was not added to the order, so we had to wait an extra week for that to be delivered.

Moving day came, and frankly, we were not ready. Erin had been ill and could not do much to help, and I had to work until Friday, May 31, before taking a week off for the move. I just had three days to get organized to move by Tuesday, June 4, and I spent a lot of time at the new house, being available for the furniture deliveries and several hours to install the Fiber internet. It should have taken 1—1.5 hours, but getting the fiber cable into the house was challenging because our new home is tornado-resistant.

At one point, four guys from AT&T were trying to work out how best to get the cable into the house. The only option was to use some existing conduit used by Cox for coax cable, which was no longer needed. This is far from ideal as the main router is in the living room, and not the office as I would have preferred. The solution was to use smart wi-fi extenders with two RJ45 Ethernet ports to connect Erin’s and my computers, as we don’t have wi-fi cards installed. I think I will buy a PCI-E wi-fi card for both computers as the smart extender only seems to be capable of 300Mbps, which is just 1/3 of the gigabit speed I pay for.

Because of the obscene cost of moving companies, we had repeated quotes of $1,500+ to move us 4.4 miles down the road; we hired two guys recommended by a resident of Erin’s property in Mulvane. And I wish that we did not; yes, we were not ready to move, but these guys were rushing through loading and unloading the U-Haul truck. As a result, there was signifcant damage to our furniture, and also our new home, a door frame was damaged, and a gouge was taken out of a wall. All this could have been avoided if they had just taken some time and care, using the furniture pads we paid for between the furniture and taking more time to bring in the more oversized items like the washer and dryer and Erin’s desk.

And when confronted, “We are not professional movers,” blaming our large and heavy furniture for the issues. I replied that if the job was too much for you to handle, you should have turned down the job, at which point one of them stormed out. We were paying by the hour, in 15-minute increments. I would have been happy to pay for the extra time, but they wanted to finish the job before the storm.

So, I was already in a bad mood because of all the damage to the home and furniture, and then the pitfalls of home ownership kicked in. While waiting for the second furniture delivery, we noticed it was getting very warm in the house, and it dawned on us that the outside HVAC unit was not running. So, we had an HVAC company come out, and they got it working, only for it to fail again two days later. We were advised on the second visit that they could get it running for now but could not guarantee how long it’d stay working, and once again, a day later, the HVAC unit outside stopped working. So, we decided to take the plunge and replace the system for $8,100. We don’t have $8,100 in our back pockets, so we had to finance it; on top of financing $5,000 worth of furniture, the mortgage, and a consolidation loan.

The HVAC system failure is annoying, as part of the agreement with the sellers was to have the HVAC system serviced. It has now become apparent that the service never happened; it was just inspected and confirmed as working. Even the invoice from the HVAC service company stated all the issues, confirming it as working for now, with no notation of any servicing done. The only plus is that we know we have a brand new system installed, which has a warranty and should be reliable with an annual service.

I have never liked moving home, hence why we spent 11 years in our previous rental home, despite 3 separate owners and some dubious lease agreements. Spending 11 years in one place exacerbated the moving challenges, with the sheer amount of crap we had accrued. A lot of the cleaning of the rental home came down to me; Erin did what she could, but suffering from fibromyalgia and severe Rheumatoid Arthritis limited her ability to help. I’m not in the greatest health myself; I have diabetes and, as an extension, neuropathy in my legs, and I have suffered from back issues going back into childhood.

After 10 days straight of working on the move and getting the rental house ready to hand back, I was physically and mentally broken, and I was days away from going back to work, and I still didn’t have a desk and needed to set up my computer. Suffice it to say that on Monday, June 10, I was not ready to return to work. I worked harder in those 10 days off, than I did in 11 years at my regular job!

It’s now two weeks since we moved in, and everything is still in disarray; we have yet to find places for all the stuff we brought with us, much of which I had hoped to dispose of before the move, but as already mentioned we bit off more than we could chew in such a short timeframe. We should have started weeks earlier; the wrangling with the sellers had dragged on, and we knew the move was coming, but we sat on our hands, so we can only blame ourselves for the situation we currently find ourselves in.

I’m 47 years old, and this is going to be my last move. The only way I will move out of this house is in a pine box. To quote Lethal Weapon’s Roger Murtaugh, “I’m too old for this shit”.

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