Crappy Times in Buying a Home

So for about 2 weeks I’ve been trying to buy a little manufactured home. Sure, it’s on a lot I have to pay a monthly rent on but I’d own the home and it’s completely in my price range and like right next door to my brothers. It’s just been a pain in the ASS to get though.

So about two weeks ago I looked at the house and told the sellers I wanted it. We both agreed to forgo a realtor to save money. This is the first time I’ve bought a house but my parents were there to help me out with everything so I felt ok with this route. At this point I ask the sellers if they had contacted the owner of the lot (the person I’d be paying lot rent to) and they just said that was something I had to do. So that night I call the guy and he agrees to send me a rental application.

Cut to the next morning. The sellers want to meet me at the title company to do all the paperwork. So I get ready to go over there and get another call. Oops, can’t sign any paperwork until the lot owner approves my application. Fine…whatever. I thought that would have to happen. So things get put on hold while I wait on that.

Basically it takes over a week for the guy to process the paperwork. In between all this, he’s calling ME and tell me to call the title company for him. And they’re calling HIM to tell him they need to talk about things and it’s just this huge mess. Finally this morning I get a call from the title company. I’ve been approved and they have the contract. I can come in today and sign the papers. Great! So before I go, I ask how much more I need to pay in fees. There’s the normal taxes and title transfer fees and application fees from the land owner. Then…apparently he charges a $100 move in/move out fee. The lady at the title company has NO idea what that’s about. AND he also charges a $350 security deposit on the LAND. What the hell? I’m pissed but basically there’s nothing I can do unless I want to not buy the house.

So I get the money together and meet the sellers at the title company. We’re there for a good hour. Talking, chatting it up as we sign papers. Everyone’s in a good mood since we’re finally getting this done. Papers are signed, money’s exchanged and I breath a sigh of relief. And then I ask for the keys. The sellers look at me and go “Oh well…we’re not quite moved out yet. We can give it to you on Monday.” I was just…dumbfounded. Completely knocked off guard. By that point they’d had almost two weeks to get out and the place cleaned up. I didn’t know what to say. I just stammered a “Oh…ok…”

After leaving I thought to myself, “Wait a minute, this isn’t ok.” And after talking to my parents I was further reassured that, no this was not cool. So I decided to call them up. But being the non-confrontational pussy I am, I couldn’t give them an flat out “leave now bitches”. So I just called and told them that I had things I really needed to do on Sunday and that I needed the key by tomorrow (Saturday) night. They sounded annoyed and pissed but agreed.

I can only imagine what the place is going to look like when I get there. Not because I think they’re going to trash it but because I have a feeling they’re going to be rushing to just get their crap out and not worry about cleaning.

A standard clause in our real estate contracts is “Property to be delivered vacant and broom clean at closing.”

Those people are now living in YOUR house. You should have said "Okay, but I need a per diem of X amount of dollars for each day I cannot take possess of my property. It’s four days, so take the average house rental amount in your neighborhood, divide it by 31 and multiply by four. Tell them to pay up or leave.

We had a similar problem when we bought our house. The tenants were refusing to leave and were trashing the place and threatening to make the owner go through an eviction process and it was holding up the sale. The owner finally paid them off to leave and they left a disastrous mess and a lot of abandoned junk behind and then we had to wait some more for the owner to get it all hauled away and to have a cleaning service come in. In the end it was still a mess, the owner knocked another 10K off the price and we agreed to go ahead with the sale as is. Then I had to spend another week scrubbing every inch of the place before we could move our stuff in. In the end it was all a big pain but we got the fixer-upper home that we really wanted and that was worth a month or 2 of headaches.

Here, security deposits on the land are taken in case someone leaves a lot of junk behind or dumps chemicals that have to be cleaned up.

Look at it in the reverse: You had rented a U-Haul, loaded it up with everything you own, then gone to the closing and said “You know, I don’t have all funds I need to buy your house. I’ll have them in four days. Can I move in now?”

This actually happened to my boss when she was just a agent, and she let the buyer move her things into the empty house without the sellers’ permission. She can give you 1,500 reasons why that was a bad idea, and all of them green ($500 fine to the agent, $500 fine to the broker, $500 fine to the company).

IANA realtor but this sounds right. It’s in your name now, per dated contract. I haven’t bought a home in six years so I’m hazy on the details but I thought keys were surrendered at signing unless otherwise stipulated.

They were annoyed and pissed, eh? I hope it goes well for you but I’d brace myself for worse. A lack of planning on their part does not constitute an emergency on yours. Hey, Sunday is Feb 1, which is the drop dead date on leases—maybe you need to be out of your old place or pay another month’s rent, or maybe the landlord has someone moving in Feb 1. How adults who are grown up enough to own property and sell it to you don’t realize that is beyond me. Besides, you’ve been chasing this goose how long now? About two weeks, you say? Were they packing/cleaning or sitting on the couch with their thumbs up their asses?

IANAL but you may need to look at having them evicted. People like that can delay and delay and they may have you pegged already for a pushover.

In as much as it’s nice to save money on commissions for realtors, this is the kind of situation where they come in very handy. Our agent fought it out with his agent and we didn’t have to get involved in any of it, and she was much better at threatening to pull out if they didn’t get it together soon. I wanted the place so badly that I could never have pulled it off.

Getting tenants out is a whole nother ball game. In these parts they can refuse to move without a “court order to show cause.” If the court agrees they have a right to live there, the new owner is screwed.

Anytime you buy a house with tenants that you want to live in after closing, make sure there is a clause that the owner will agree to evict the tenants before closing. If the owner doesn’t cancel the deal. No matter how good the house is, nobody needs that headache.

Well apparently she dropped off one of the keys to my brother last night. He lives right next door and that’s how we had agreed for her to leave the keys. She said she’d leave the second one tonight after she was done cleaning and then tomorrow her husband was going to come by and clean the shed and the dog run of all the dog crap. So…yeah…that’s fine with me as long as I have the keys and they’re out. Still wondering what I’ll have to deal with when I finally get into the house though…

Glad to hear, OP, hope it continues to play out according to Hoyle. If you haven’t already, make that mental note of ‘Never again.’

Well we went to the house today to do some cleaning. And wow…that’s all I can say. They left me a lot of…‘presents’. An old wood desk from the Forestry Service, a rather nice vase, some lamps, half full jar of vaseline, a plastic bag full of broken wood shards, some table fans, two used toilet brushes, and a bunch more useless crap.

Plus…when we were looking at the place, they mentioned the woman before them was a heavy smoker. Like twenty years of smoking in the house. The ceiling was stained yellow from all the smoke but we can paint over that easy enough so no problem. Well…apparently these people never cleaned the whole time they lived there. The front door was just covered in cigarette tar. Took me three times of going over it with 409 to get it clean. The wallpaper in the kitchen, which I thought was supposed to be cream…nope supposed to be white. All yellowed. Luckily whoever put it on did a crappy job so I was able to rip it right off to reveal much cleaner, albeit very dated, wallpaper underneath. When I was cleaning the insides of the medicine cabinet, I sprayed some 409 on it and just rivers of yellowish brown tar started running down. Totally disgusting. I won’t even got into the inch thick layer of grease under the burners on the stove top… It’s going to take up a couple of weekends to really get that place cleaned. Oh well…good thing I’m in no rush to move in.

congratulations on your new house. cleaning is a bit icky.

don’t forget to get all new locks on the doors. you don’t know who may have copies. many people leave copies with friends and relatives then not collect them when they sell or move.

Ditto this. We bought a new house in April, and the previous owners showed up without a key, much less keys to all 6 exterior doors. We had a locksmith out the 3rd day after we moved in. Also, if there is a garage, don’t forget to change the code on it, and reset it to only accept garage door openers you actually have.

You will be lucky if the paint sticks. If it does stick, the yellow and stink are likely to seep through. You will probably need to clean the ceiling first as well as use a special paint. There are special paints for painting over cigarette smoke. Some say Zinsser makes one that works.

In my experience, if something seeps through the first coat of paint, no number of coats will do, you need something else. What kind of ceiling is it?

Oh yeah, we’re going to prime it with Kilz first. My brothers are both pretty decent in home repairs and such so I have some good advice from them. I have no idea what kind of ceiling it is honestly…

I went in today to do a few hours of cleaning and found the power shut off. Apparently the old owners had enough money to buy a new house but not enough to pay their utilities. About $500 past due. So I spent some time getting that fixed. Decided to clean the (wood panel) walls since everything else was caked in cigarette smoke. Holy crap. Went over a small section about SIX times with 409 and the towels were still coming up yellow. I’ve decided to just paint the damn walls. It’s ridiculous and after seeing this I can’t fathom why ANYONE would ever smoke indoors.

In my searches on the topic, Kilz was mentioned as not working despite being marketed for this purpose. You may want to try a test patch before working on the whole ceiling. What kind of wood paneling? Is it solid wood, or thin sheet goods stuff? Solid wood can be sanded down and refinished. You may find sanding the ceiling is an option. You really should try to find out what the ceiling is before messing with it as asbestos is a possibility.

In any case if you do sand, you want to protect your lungs. This means using a respirator, but if you have not used one before, then you should go to the doctor’s and get checked out first. People have died from using a respirator when they were not up to it physically, and people have died of inhaling nasty stuff while doing home improvement. Know your material, know your limits.

Another possibility is to put up a different ceiling treatment. A friend of mine put up a pressed tin ceiling and it was literally a snap (snap together panels). It may be that thin sheetrock and two coats of regular paint is a cheaper solution than several layers of specialty paint. We installed tongue and groove wood on the ceiling of my son’s room and I think it is nifty.

Kilz doesn’t work well huh? Damn…I’ll look around and see what else I can find. And there will be no sanding. Cheap stuff on the walls. If it tells you anything, it’s a manufactured home from the late 70s. Actually as old as I am. The ceiling isn’t like what you see in a ‘real’ house, and is all like paneled. It’s hard to explain. I had hoped we could just lift off the panels and paint them on the ground as opposed to overhead painting but was told that’s not possible. Starting to see there was a reason I got such a good price on the place :confused:

My family’s used Kilz for exactly this purpose. Well, it probably wasn’t as severe, but both my mom and dad smoked (and dad still smokes) a lot and we had about 12 years’ worth of smoke on the walls and ceiling.

What we did is wash the walls first with TSP (trisodium phosphate). Then we primed with Kilz, then the actual paint color we wanted. It’s extra steps, but it works and you know that the walls/ceiling will be clean under the paint (so it doesn’t seep through after awhile).