I'm an adult now

Vote 0 Votes

I shoulda picked up on the clues last summer when I had to work the entire time with no six or eight week breaks, but I've realized today that I'm an honest to God adult. Why? Because I'm a homeowner. Yeah... that's right. Woot!

I took half a day off from my increasingly hectic job to walk over to Chicago Title and sign papers for three hours. The closing went pretty smoothly. I'm pretty sure I got jobbed by about $140 bucks and had made a wrong assumption that will cost me another $580, but the bloodletting wasn't too bad, all things considered. I'm certainly better off for the experience of 'purchasing' and hopefully the stakes weren't too high so that my missteps were too costly.

Stupid things I did
I didn't understand the compensation structure for agents before signing my deal. If I'd realized that I didn't have to pay a buyer's agent, then I probably would have got one. It turns out that there are internet agents that will refund you 3/4 of their fee, which would have been in the neighborhood of $3,000 more into my pocket. Oops.

I should have hired an attorney before signing a preliminary contract. This is both obvious in nature, and limited in how bad it turned out. Stupid me. I knew I would hire an attorney, I was just worried that the unit would disappear if I didn't move quickly. Of course, I didn't move quickly enough to get the unit I really wanted, but I'm not sure anyone would have swooped in to take the unit if I had waited a bit longer and had an attorney review the contract beforehand. However, I'm pretty sure the damage I did wasn't too severe because I hired my attorney while we still had an open negotiation window, and I got basically everything I wanted... except part of the buy-side real estate fees. Oh well.

I made my decision to buy in the building too quickly. Now, I made that decision because I got a great deal... but I still am learning things about the housing market and different neighborhoods in Chicago. Still haven't found anything more desirable that I could afford, but there's a certain 'buyer's remorse' for 'what could have been' in that I had to compromise on some things so I could buy.

Things I did Right
I let the City help. I knew there was a reason for 9% sales tax. If you're gonna live in a 'Socialist's Paradise' (to borrow a phrase from Dad), you might as well take advantage of it. I almost passed up the units I was looking at because my first reaction was: "That program's for poor people. I don't need the money, I should leave it for people who really need it." After a while though, I thought: "If they really wanted the program to be for 'poor people' or those who 'really need it,' then they wouldn't have let me qualify. Anyhow, by the time I finished the whole process, the City has contributed a Subordinated Note to lower the purchase price about 13%, and provided a program that got me a below market interest rate and about $5,000 for homebuying fees. Not bad.

I asked people at work for suggestions. It might be tough to keep a realistic viewpoint on money when you work with a bunch of upwardly mobile folks, but they sure are the right people to give you advice on home buying. In particular, my real estate attorney was suggested by someone at work, and I think she did a good job. (How do you really know?) She had a bit of a rushed demeanor, but was willing to explain things when I had questions.

Anyhow, I'm thrilled to be an owner, but not so thrilled to be a landlord for two and a half months. Current plans are to move in to the new place in mid-June. The tenant's lease expires at the end of May and I'm going to want to remodel a bit before moving in. I think it's time to spend my Saturdays at Home Depot and Lowes so I'll have some ideas for when I get to move.

Other than Condo news, life is going well. I'm still waiting to hear about my last CPA exam... and I still have to finish the blasted ethics portion. As for the girl I mentioned a few posts ago... she's seeing someone.