'This Old Crack House' #28: I mortgaged my soul and pawned my caddie…

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Blog entry by Dusty posted 04-09-2007 01:03 AM 2786 reads 0 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 27: They only liked me because of my money... Part 28 of 'This Old Crack House' series Part 29: The OTHER shoe drops... »

I had 24 hours to come up with $9500.00 in order for the purchase agreement to be legally binding. I knew this wouldn’t be an easy task considering all the money I had spent on remodeling our house and had tied up with other jobs in progress.

I didn’t want to go to the homeowners and get an advance on the work I was doing for them. I simply wouldn’t put someone in that position. I have been there before and got burned. I have always had my integrity in order and never wanted to be paid until the job was done and the owner was completely satisfied.

I didn’t want to advance my credit cards because I would need them to buy materials to remodel the house after I closed the deal.

Borrowing the money wasn’t really an option because I still had to qualify for a mortgage after I raised the money for the down payment which this would go towards. Due to the debt we were already carrying, I knew obtaining a mortgage would be a challenge. Being an investment property, the mortgage requirements are much stricter. Suddenly this whole house purchase seemed to get more complicated and I realized that it was far from being a done deal.

For a moment, I felt overwhelmed and wondered if I had made the right decision.

I then looked across the street and decided then that I couldn’t stand looking at that junkyard anymore and got back to the matter of raising the money.

One option I had was to sell my vintage 1967 Cadillac convertible. I had restored this car back to its original mint condition and had lovingly tended it for 17 years. I really only drove it a few times a year and had it stored the rest of the time. I certainly couldn’t justify the expense of upkeep based solely on how much I drove the car, but I really was very fond of the car. It held some great memories for me.

I had acquired the car seventeen years earlier from a co-worker who was going through a divorce at the time. The judge ordered him to sell it and he had to split the proceeds with his wife. He had dragged his feet on selling the Caddy convertible, his pride and joy. The judge eventually lost his patience with him and gave him 12 hours to come up with a buyer or go to jail.

I didn’t really want the car at the time. It needed a lot of work. I knew that lot of money would be required to do all the repairs. When he asked me about buying it I told him it would be fun to own the car but that I really wasn’t interested.

He begged me to go look at it with him. He and his wife were separated and she was living at their old home out on the farm. I finally agreed to look at it.

When we arrived, we found that his former wife had pulled it out of the garage and drove it into the woods where she had left it. The hood was up, the battery was missing and a sapling was growing through the hood. The convertible top had been torn and the squirrels had been storing their nuts in the car along with several other critters that had been making nests.

I don’t know who was sicker looking the car or my friend and co-worker.

I bought the car for five hundred dollars and had it towed to my house.

Over the next year I restored it. It brought it up to mint condition which was a lot of fun. I just didn’t get to drive it much and was always afraid someone would hit it or that it would be stolen. So I didn’t take it out much.

I decided it was time to sell it to raise the cash I needed.

That was a bitter sweet decision.

The first person that looked at it bought it.

It sure hurt to see it drive away.

I was only a few hundred dollars short now and would be able to raise that in time.

I went to the bank and got cashiers check for 10 grand and called the realtor up and told him I had the money in my hands.

He sounded disappointed.

The deal was signed and legal. All I had to do was get the other $137.000 in the next thirty days.

This was not going to be easy, but I wasn’t fazed by this challenge either. We made immediate application with a major bank and lender in the home mortgage market. They sounded very encouraging. I told them right up front that time was critical so if they foresaw any problems what-so-ever, to let us know right away so we could seek alternatives.

They assured us they would but didn’t foresee any problems. I felt an uneasy sense of relief.

I remember thinking this is going too smooth.

I made a couple calls a week to the mortgage company to see what the status of the mortgage was. I always got the same response from the guy who had been assigned our loan. He always said he didn’t see any problems and that if he did, he would let us know.
Two weeks into the mortgage process and only two weeks from closing I hadn’t got an approval yet. I was getting very nervous because the purchase agreement was clear. We had to close in 30 days or they kept the ten thousand dollars.

I called daily. I wasn’t getting any return calls.

I was getting nervous; very nervous.

I finally called the supervisor of the loan department and of course they said they would have to research the loan and would call me back.

No call.

I called the supervisor’s boss.

Same promises.

Still no call.

Now I was beyond nervous; even a bit panicky.

I had ten days until closing.

I called a few other mortgage companies and they all said even if we met their underwriting criteria, there was no way that they could get the loan approved and the title work done in just ten days.

Panic set in.

I told myself and my business partner that this was no time to allow ourselves to become frozen with panic but rather it was the time to get to work.

I stated making phone calls.

I called an old friend with whom I had done a lot of business in the past. I had even done a few mortgages with him. We had an excellent business relationship in the past. He had since sold his small business and joined a large banking firm.

I called him directly and explained what I was up against. I laid it all out and it wasn’t pretty at that point. The closing was fast approaching, the home owner was under pressure from the foreclosing mortgage company and there were daily visits from sheriffs severing papers and summons on her for every thing from fraud to condemnation proceeding.

Needless to say, these were not happy times.

My buddy listened to my plight and said, “Not a problem! We will get the job done for you.” He went on to say, “You and I have done a lot of business over the years, I trust you and appreciate you coming to me, I won’t fail you”.

He then said, “This is what I need.”

That sharp pain I had felt in my chest was gone.

All I had now was a pounding headache.

I had no idea how bad this headache was about to become.


copy right all rights reserved D. Jerzak 04-08-07

-- Dusty

19 comments so far

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4187 days

#1 posted 04-09-2007 01:09 AM

thank goodness I know that things turn out ok in the end—I don’t think I could handle the suspense!!!!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4426 days

#2 posted 04-09-2007 01:51 AM

Maybe Dusty’s writting this from jail for all we know.

keep it coming Dusty. Interested readers want to know.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Dusty's profile


785 posts in 4182 days

#3 posted 04-09-2007 02:08 AM


No not jail. I will admit I felt trapped and hopeless many times threw out several of my projects.

This was very true with the first projects I took on with Ms. D, and her yard and learning to use my hand.

Some how, I have so far ,had the strength to keep going and not give up.

I’m great full for that.

I have been blessed and have learned a lot. I hope sharing it with others may some day help some one else, even if just a little bit.

It will then have been worth all the effort I and others have spent writing my story.

One thing is for certain. I have started my healing process by telling this story.

Thank you.

-- Dusty

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4187 days

#4 posted 04-09-2007 02:12 AM

the gifts that are given in this life (the trials and tribulations) are meant to be shared, I think. That is what makes them such powerful experiences.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 4203 days

#5 posted 04-09-2007 02:24 AM

Debbie’s comment reminds me of a favorite Scripture passage.

”When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your lives, my brothers, don’t resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends. Realize that they come to test your faith and to produce in you the quality of endurance.” James 1: 1&2 [JB Phillips]

Or another version of the same verses,

”Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.” James 1: 1&2 [NLT]

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4340 days

#6 posted 04-09-2007 03:35 AM

67 Caddy! OH! The heartbreak! Poor Dusty.

View Greg3G's profile


815 posts in 4111 days

#7 posted 04-09-2007 04:51 AM

Amen Don, well quoted.

After reading the last few paragraphs, Dusty why didn’t you just go to your friend first? Hind sight is always fog free and 20/20. :)

-- Greg - Charles Town, WV

View Sawdust2's profile


1466 posts in 4114 days

#8 posted 04-09-2007 09:55 AM

I haven’t bought but 2 houses in my life but I totally understand Dusty’s concern. With all their “We need something else from you to close” stories we finally told them we were not gong to close, we were tired of the runaround and got up from the table. “Sit down. We’ll cl;ose”

In one of my “professions” I ferried single engine airplanes from the US to Europe, Africa and Australia. That was nowhere near as stressful as trying to get a mortgage. Or selling a 67 Caddie.

Dusty, this is a great series. I went back and read the string from the beginning. Can’t wait for the next episode. Have you contacted “Fine Homebuilding” to see if they’d run it?

-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

View Dusty's profile


785 posts in 4182 days

#9 posted 04-09-2007 11:39 AM


I admit it stung when the caddy went down the road, even though I didn’t get a change to drive it a lot, and it was really a expense and kind of a pain always finding a place to store it, and of course all the little things that keep going wrong.

It still was part of me, after all I had it 17 years.

First off I was up against the wall for the extra money, second in my heart I knew that there would be sacrifices. I some how felt that this would be one of those that in the long run would be worth the trade off.

I never have looked back.

The guy who bought it owned his own auto shop, and returned with it completely done.

We went for a ride. It was great but the best part was when he dropped me off in the driveway of “This Old Crack House”......

I was home.

-- Dusty

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4187 days

#10 posted 04-09-2007 11:40 AM

that’s a great little ending to that part of the story. It was really nice of him to do that.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Dusty's profile


785 posts in 4182 days

#11 posted 04-09-2007 11:43 AM


The answer is simple. We had all of our business and current mortgage with this company at the time. Our first contact with them they made it sound like no problem we can get it done and we thought this is good because they had all our tax returns from the past and other related information.

My buddy and I had been out of touch for a while and he was more a commercial mortgage underwriter.

-- Dusty

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4187 days

#12 posted 04-09-2007 11:45 AM

and if it had gone well in the first place we would have missed out on this piece of the “nail-biting” story!!!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Dusty's profile


785 posts in 4182 days

#13 posted 04-09-2007 11:55 AM


I have decided that I would rather have all my wisdom teeth pulled with a pliers than get a second ( investment) mortgage.

It would be less painful I’m sure.

Don’t even get me going about all the bogus fee’s and charges they come up with to get into your pockets.

Talk about creative yet shameless.


No Lee, I haven’t contacted anyone about the story, but thank you for reading it and suggesting that it should be published.

I have chosen to share it with the lumberjocks here they are so encourgeing and have supported me in writing the story and reading it.

I’m great full for that.

I’m certainly not much of a writer, I try my best to be a carpenter and woodworker.

As far as writing I enjoy it but I wouldn’t quit my day job.

I’m afraid I fall short in all the above.

I just keep trying, to become better at the crafts, thats all I can do.

I will keep plugging along as long as my hand holds out.

Its getting harder to do.

-- Dusty

View Dusty's profile


785 posts in 4182 days

#14 posted 04-09-2007 12:01 PM


All those nailing biting parts really were lessons in patience and character building. The defently were tests. At the time I had no idea why I was subjected to all of them and so many.

No I know.

I don’t question them anymore.

Even if it doesn’t make them easier at the time to go threw I know now I have the tools and strength to get threw them.

That is one thing I can say with out a doubt.

This house and it’s experiences have had a profound effect on me and how I handle things.

I’m all the better for it as a person.

-- Dusty

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4187 days

#15 posted 04-09-2007 12:03 PM

I can relate. I wouldn’t want to relive parts of my past but I sure do appreciate the gifts that I got out of them!!

I think your character building will rub off on others as well.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

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