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.
I called the supervisor’s boss.
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