Friday, December 26, 2008

Life in Escrow Hell - Day 36

Today is the first day I have awoken with a sense of doing rather than a sense of waiting to hurry up. Today, all I have to do is hurry up - so simple, I love it! Rather than wondering where we, our dog, and our 5 tons of stuff (according to the movers estimate) will be in a week, I finally have certainty that we'll be on wheels, headed up to a warm house in the darling town of Ashland, Oregon.

The last 35 mornings of escrow had greeted us, consistently, with chaos, new problems, and dramas created by an aggressive and inexperienced buyer's agent who complicated this process beyond measure. The likelihood of the sale going through waxed and waned throughout each day: part of the day I'd look for moving companies, while the next part I'd begin to prepare to go back on the market, and by evening I'd be scouring "freecycle" for moving boxes again.

I had hired a lawyer to help with the tough stuff, but he turned out to be an obstacle in negotiation ... at $300 per hour.

Why such chaos?
* This house is eccentric (diametrically opposed to tight-ass FHA requirements for the buyer's loan)
* Our real estate agents can't talk to each other
* The buyer's wife is a hormonally excited pregnant woman who NEEDS many things NOW
* It's a crappy market! On one hand we feel lucky to be selling the house, on the other hand it's harder to sell a house right now because all "professional" parties in the real estate/financial industries are in sheer terror and behaving erratically.
* I'm stubborn and refused to sell this house with out clearing enough money to pay off all my debt, and have plenty left over to finance a new business and make a down payment on our next house. When I leave this madness I'll have a car fully paid for, no debt and enough "fuck you money" that I never again have to be a cog in an institutional wheel! :-) So, as I complain about this escrow process, I also muse, "poor me, I'm the girl who got everything she wanted."

The good news: We met with the buyers of our house yesterday to sort out a last minute heating installation that must be accomplished for them to get their FHA backed loan. Their agent had turned it into a hostile battle, but since we and the buyers are simply nice people who want to complete this transaction, we were able to ditch our agents and create an elegant solution. PHEW!

Now we can finally sign the moving contract, put a deposit down on a rental house, and pack up what remains after having sorted through 20 years of material residue from my art and life in Los Angeles.

Some of today's topics:
I'm moving into a house with no garage - where will I put my sledgehammer and table saw? Am I really going to need a sawzall and or a 25# table vice again? Should I leave my 8' ladder behind?

Because my psyche embeds itself in my material surroundings, questions about my building/studio tools and supplies become deep questions about my current mutation: who will I be??? Am I trading in my construction apparatus for the the home sewing kit? WHAT DOES THAT MEAN????!!!!! :-) It also makes me wonder who I really was. I spent so much time creating nomadic artworks, but in reality I am the most materially laden person I know! (except maybe for Eugene!)

Stucco, cement and tile tools ... among the mass of stuff I didn't sell at our yard sale last week.

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