Down with The Dingle House

Note: this is part one of my posts about my real estate expe­ri­ence. This one cov­ers all the tri­als and tribu­la­tions I went through, while Part Two will address all the mis­takes I made and the lessons I learned from them. 

I am ecsta­t­ic to announce The Din­gle House is sold and not my prob­lem any longer!

I haven’t been writ­ing much about the prop­er­ty as I was afraid to jinx it.

Well, I should have just writ­ten about it any­way as there were grem­lins muck­ing up the process. Me writ­ing about it couldn’t have jinxed it any­more!

I decid­ed to sell at the end of June/beginning of July. I was get­ting calls from all the neigh­bors com­plain­ing about the ten­ant. He was throw­ing late night par­ties, harass­ing peo­ple from the front porch, sell­ing drugs and prob­a­bly oth­er things I don’t know about were hap­pen­ing as well. I would get these mes­sages and be help­less to do any­thing about it as I was 6 hours away. I have a prop­er­ty man­ag­er for a rea­son, but I could nev­er get a hold of him. They also lost 2 employ­ees out of about 6 peo­ple, so they weren’t doing so hot either and it showed.

I also real­ized the house need­ed a ton more work. I was prob­a­bly going to have to com­plete­ly redo two out of 3 bath­rooms, redo the gut­ters, and prop­er­ly paint the exte­ri­or. That price tag was rough­ly at $50,000 which I def­i­nite­ly don’t have.

I mes­saged a bunch of peo­ple about a pock­et deal, but there were no tak­ers so I went with an agent to list the house. I’m glad I did as he con­vinced me to put the house up for about $10,000 more than I was think­ing. He told me we could’ve got­ten more for it, but I just want­ed the prop­er­ty gone. He put the house up for sale and I start­ed get­ting mes­sages about a typo in the list­ing.

He fixed it but this was about the time I start­ed real­ly wish­ing a way to intra­venous­ly inject alco­hol was on the mar­ket.

I put the prop­er­ty up for sale for $99,900. I bought the prop­er­ty for $82,500 with $5,000 down 18 months ago. 6 days after it went on the mar­ket, I had an offer for $90,000 plus I pay clos­ing costs and 3% of his pre­paids. I coun­tered with full list price plus his demands, and he accept­ed.

Then it was time for the inspec­tion and get­ting it ready for close. My real­tor worked well with my prop­er­ty man­ag­er and got all the nec­es­sary repairs done. The buy­er want­ed an out­ra­geous list of things done on the prop­er­ty which, after some fierce nego­ti­a­tion, I man­aged to not have to do the most expen­sive repairs. Those were all win­dows to have screens and storm win­dows, the attic insu­lat­ed, and the bricks in the chim­ney replaced where need­ed as they were start­ing to dete­ri­o­rate. The win­dows are orig­i­nal wood win­dows and are there­fore weird sizes which meant cus­tom made screens and storm win­dows. No thanks. The attic is unin­su­lat­ed right now, as is THE ENTIRE REST OF THE HOUSE. No way was I putting insu­la­tion in the attic when the rest of the house didn’t have it. As for the chim­ney, well, it real­ly only exist­ed in the base­ment and attic. Every­where else was blocked off and non-func­tion­al.

I did agree to remove some veg­e­ta­tion from around the house, get rid of the car­pen­ter ants, fix a leaky sink and fix a bro­ken down­spout on the gut­ters. All in all, it cost me about $1600 to do all the fix­es.

I was ready to sell by our close date of August 17th, but the buy­er wasn’t ready to buy. Our clos­ing got pushed back to the end of August so they could get their paper­work in order. The buy­er lives in Cal­i­for­nia, to fur­ther com­pli­cate mat­ters. I was pissed, but what can you do? Not much, so we pushed it back two weeks.

The end of the month was fast approach­ing when my real­tor and I start­ed hound­ing the oth­er side for details. The oth­er real­tor was near­ly impos­si­ble to get a hold of and pro­vid­ed no progress updates at all. We lit­er­al­ly had no idea if we were going to close on time until my attor­ney emailed us the buy­er had signed the paper­work.

Accord­ing to them, pro­fes­sion­als who do this all the time, it was a high­ly unusu­al way of doing things. So I drove down to the office 6 hours away, signed my end of the paper­work, and wait­ed for a phat check to mag­i­cal­ly appear in front of me.

It was not meant to be.

The oth­er agent need­ed to be there to sign the clos­ing docs. As the next day was the Fri­day before Labor Day Week­end, they doubt­ed it was going to hap­pen but I kept my fin­gers crossed.

An entire week went by with no word. I was lit­er­al­ly in the dark on the whole process until my real­tor texted me to tell me he got his check and I would get mine in the mail the next day. I fig­ured, a check worth that much was well worth overnight­ing.

I couldn’t sleep that night. It was like Christ­mas. I knew that metaphor­i­cal present was under the metaphor­i­cal tree.

The next day, my boyfriend worked from home and looked out the win­dow of our office room. He made a sound and point­ed. I looked and there was the big, beau­ti­ful, brown UPS truck out­side our house.

I scram­bled down the steps like pup­pies released from their pen and got the enve­lope from the guy. No way was I going to risk him tak­ing it back with him.

Seri­ous­ly though. Look at this pic­ture. Hap­pi­er than a kid in a can­dy shop!


So that after­noon I biked my way down­town to the Charles Schwab office, opened an account and deposit­ed the mon­ey. The 900 mil­lion pound goril­la was off my back and I felt like queen of the world.

I then called the util­i­ty com­pa­ny, the water com­pa­ny and my insur­ance com­pa­ny USAA. Since I was on a bud­get billing plan (to lessen the impact of $500 win­ter bill months), I actu­al­ly got a cred­it on my account when I closed every­thing down! Woo! That’s the first time they’ve ever giv­en me mon­ey so that was awe­some.

I had to pay my final water bill but it was like, $100 so no big­gie.

Then, I called USAA to close out the rental insur­ance pol­i­cy I had. They gave me a cred­it of $900!! I should call and can­cel things more often if I’m going to get that kin­da mon­ey back!

Now all I have left to do is set­tle up with my prop­er­ty man­ag­er and see if I need to do any­thing for my mort­gage (I had an escrow short­age).

This con­cludes Part One of my posts about The Din­gle House. Be on the look­out for Part Two, where I cov­er all the lessons I learned from the many, many, many mis­takes I made. Woo!

Thanks for read­ing! Have you had real estate go bad­ly? If so, sound off in the com­ments below!

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