Daddy is an iPhone- Why You Should Stay Away From Short Sales-Updated 6/4

{warning- adult language} {Scroll to bottom for the update} With 2 months 3 Months of living in separate states under our belts a few things have become clear- Everett thinks his father is an iPhone and Fletcher believes Daddy is always “at the office” or finding a house in Florida.

3 months ago we put a bid on a home we fell in love with that had a large back yard with old oak trees all around. It was on a cul-de-sac so the kids could play in the street and it had a lovely pool. There is work to be done on the home (built in the 70’s and has had some updating but still needs TLC) but the price was good and the location was better. Problem? It was a short sale.

Originally we took “short sales” out of our search because we read that the process took 3-6 months. Short sales, come to find out, aren’t short. Short refers to the fact that the mortgage holder will receive less money than they are owed because the owners are in danger of foreclosure. A short sale is better on their credit than a foreclosure but the paperwork and process is a bit of a nightmare. (better explanation of a short sale) (Also I need to stop googling about Bank of America Short Sales because every post/blog/article is nothing but bad news.)

Florida homes in our price range were lack luster, cookie cutter, boxy, and had no yard and definitely no trees for shade so after weighing our options and speaking with out realtor we took a gamble. One that isn’t paying off and that is threatening to drive us up the wall.

We were reassured that the stars were aligned in this case and it shouldn’t take longer than 3 months (we are pre-approved, they are HAFA approved, etc). I was planning to move down with my husband into an extended stay hotel, paid for by his company for 2 months, but we both decided it would be easier for the boys if we stayed behind at his parents in North Carolina after moving from Syracuse. It has definitely been easier in many ways- my Mother-in-Law has no shortage of toys for them and there is plenty of space. They have made friends in the cul-de-sac and I’m loving having “Oma” make them lunches and dinner everyday. I’m lucky that my in-laws are not typical and seem to like me. I do get whiffs of judgement here and there, usually concerning my choice to still nurse my 18 month old on demand and to sleep with him at night, but they leak that out passive aggressively. I expected it and I ignore it or reply back kindly that we are doing what we think is best.

Yesterday was when panic set in that it has been 3 months and we are no closer to having a home than we were before we moved! (Thank you Bank of America employee who went on vacation with our paperwork on your desk to work through- I can not tell you how fucking much I appreciate your consideration in this matter. I kinda hope you got sun burnt). We’ve been told “Your paperwork has been escalated and your (infuriating) negotiator (who went on fucking VACATION before getting to our paperwork like they were supposed to) has 48 hours to complete it (which was 1.5 weeks ago.) Then “You should hear back on Monday” (Which was 6 days ago). So we signed an extension on our bid until mid May. After that I don’t feel like I can wait any longer. We are currently browsing for homes now so if there is no news by then we can promptly bid on another house. Either way it seems the earliest we will have a home is mid to late JUNE.

During all of this time my husband has lived in Florida. He has 4 days to find another place to live. I won’t go into more detail but this is stressing us both out because it is either rent some room who knows where, rent a $$$ furnished apartment maybe? Then there is the cluster-fuck of what is happening with our entire earthly possessions in storage which was only originally meant to be temporary. This is another mess.

funny screencap from a late night FaceTime session. We look awesome

2 months in baby world is a lot. Everett has changed so much since we arrived in NC. He is saying many more words, expressing himself through sign language and hand gestures of his own invention, running and climbing like a boss, and really just turning into a little person! Fletcher has just blossomed even more and his verbal ability is just amazing me! We chat with my husband on the phone and we often do family FaceTime. Thank goodness for technology. It does break my heart than Everett learned to say “dada” when his father wasn’t even here to hear it and used it for the first time to refer to my iPhone. He knows who Daddy is and can point him out but he also knows Daddy is always in the phone so he brings it to me and says “dada” in his sweet voice then proceeds to mash the screen and try to navigate his way to the phone to call him. He associates my iPhone with his father in every way. Fletcher always says “Daddy is working” to Everett when he calls for him. He also tells everyone who will listen that “Our house is all packed up with bockes (boxes.)”

It is such a strange feeling when you have no “home” and don’t even know when you will be a family again. Steven says he is doing ok and that he is at least happy his parents are getting to spend time with our kids since he never knew his own grandparents. I understand that- I’ve actually been able to see my own family more too since they are all in North Carolina. Still- I am really missing my husband, and miss him seeing our kids grow. I also miss the extra help! I’m running on E and need a little time to myself and some extra sleep. Steven will be visiting again next week and I’m already excited!

Moral of the story- unless you have somewhere to live and infinite patience stay the heck away from short sales! The crazy thing is we could wait this whole time and not even be approved to buy- in which case I might just go bat shit crazy. It almost seems that BOA would rather the homes go into foreclosure than let a short sale be approved. Why else would the process be so convoluted and complicated that it takes 6 or more months to complete?! Don’t these people know that families are waiting for these homes? In our case, 3/4 of a family in one state and 1/4 in another? I don’t know who I’m angrier at- the bank, the employee who set us back who knows how long, the sellers who haven’t been cooperative either, or myself for expecting this to work out and putting us all through this nightmare. The entire short sale process needs to either be completely changed or done away with altogether.

UPDATE: May 8 we received word that our short sale was approved. This was a verbal message. Bank of America stated we should have an approval letter Friday or Monday. That was almost 4 weeks ago. 4 weeks where every. single. time. my phone rings my heart jumps because I think it is my husband calling to tell me we got the paper we need to move forward. 3 weekends where each Sunday I think “Monday is the day. It’s going to happen. We are going to get good news.” And then each time the clock rolls around to 6 PM and nothing happened my hopes are dashed and instead of playing with my kids, getting them dinner, bathing them, and putting them to bed I would much rather just hide in my room. In this time my Sister-in-Law has house hunted, bid on a home, been approved, supervised the remaining contruction, and closed. She became a homeowner in the time it has taken for one remaining document to be mailed to us. As happy as I am for her I can’t help but feel……. bitter? Jealous? Hopeless? While my family lives in different states and my heart is heavy from this ordeal I watched the easiest home sale in history happen for a family member. I wouldn’t wish our situation on anyone but that didn’t help my mental stability.

Tomorrow is Monday. Right now I am part anxious because I’m hoping to get good news. And part of me is dreading another day of dissapointment that is sure to come. Even after being in touch with the social media team of Bank of America, even after they escalated our file once again, and then again, and were reasured it was being working on and would be complete in 3 days (this was 2 weeks ago) there are no indications that this process will ever, ever, end.

For 5 weeks I have been physically ill off and on and I am sure it is stress related. (Not pregnant…. your question was pre-answered) If buying a home is an emotional roller coaster then buying a short sale (especially with BOA apparently) is like sky diving, but without a parachute.  

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29 Comments

  • I’m so sad for your family. I know you’re tough and you’re hanging in there and all of that shit but I have a kiddo Ev’s age and I know how incredibly hard that must be for you to watch. On the plus side, your hair looks great. Stay tough mama, it’s almost over.  

  • Sending hugs, how incredibly stressful for you!!! We eventually want to move down to Florida to be closer to family I hope this isn’t a prelude to what we are going to find down there 🙁 

  • I know how infuriating BOA can be.  They are my home loan servicer and I have been working on a modification for over a year now as well as a huge home owners insurance claim.  It has been a nightmare, but through that I have kind of figured out how they work.  “Escalation” means very little.  I have a few ideas for you to try if you are interested.  It might help you get better people to work with and should hopefully remedy the situation faster.  Please email me if you would like a little help.  

  • I know how infuriating BOA can be.  They are my home loan servicer and I have been working on a modification for over a year now as well as a huge home owners insurance claim.  It has been a nightmare, but through that I have kind of figured out how they work.  “Escalation” means very little.  I have a few ideas for you to try if you are interested.  It might help you get better people to work with and should hopefully remedy the situation faster.  Please email me if you would like a little help.  

  • I’m reminded of 2 things I have always used to get my family through hard times like this.  
    This too, shall pass.
    Just keep swimming.

    My kids are older and know dad has a corporeal form…but for almost 2 years he either lived in letters, emails, the phone or skype.  This was hard when the youngest was 18 months.  She would try to look behind the computer to see where dad’s body went.  

  • I’m reminded of 2 things I have always used to get my family through hard times like this.  
    This too, shall pass.
    Just keep swimming.

    My kids are older and know dad has a corporeal form…but for almost 2 years he either lived in letters, emails, the phone or skype.  This was hard when the youngest was 18 months.  She would try to look behind the computer to see where dad’s body went.  

  • I feel so sorry for you and almost know what you are going through. Being in the military everyone you move you are always homeless and with out your stuff for a good month. I hope and pray things get worked out for the best for you guys so you can be a normal family again.

  • What a bummer! I do realize how upset you are and feel so bad for all you are going through. How frustrating! BUT, you really need to CLEAN UP YOU LANGUAGE, as your foul choice of words in this post really can be offensive and a turn off to many and are totally unnecessary.

    • I didn’t even notice the language until I read your comment even after I read Kim’s disclaimer. I actually had to go back and look to find what you were referring to. I guess the combination of college and working in a production facility has completely desensitized me to seeing a few words here and there that are entirely necessary to express the emotions being felt.

  • I’m in the exact same situation, buying a short sale home from b of a and away from my husband for 2 months now. Its a CRAPPY situation, we are living with my dad and step mom. I don’t think it’s bank of America’s fault though, for how long it takes. It also may just be your area you are in. We just found out our offer was completely approved two days ago. Actually, b of a approved it almost 3 weeks ago, but there were other parties who had to approve it aside from b of a. In fact, we are now getting our inspection done today. I hope the process speeds up do you. Just try to stay positive, it’s the only advice I can give, I have my days where I feel like I would go crazy if our doesn’t get approved. And days where I just want to go crazy because sharing a bedroom with a 10 month old is no no. It’s a long frustrating process, but it’s not bank of America’s fault that you chose a short sale home. It will be worth it in the long run!

  • This is so stressful!  I really don’t know how you’re dealing with it.  Can you show up at the person’s office with the kids and sit there until they finish your paper work?  I have done the whole being seperated from my husband thing, and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.  At least you have your in laws help, even if it comes with the judgement.  Silver lining?  Either this house will work out or you will find another dream home.  It all works out in the end!  Sometimes the finish line is farther then we’d like!

  • aww kim, i will keep your family in my prayers and hope things work out soon. I have always seen on HGTV how long short sales can take. they can be worth it sometimes but can take FOREVER.

  • I understand and feel your pain.  We used a private lawyer for our short sale and even though it was not necessary, our short sale was finalized within 4 months.  I like to believe that having a professional lean on the banks to do things in a timely manner helps.  For the life of me, I can’t find the guy’s name right now but I would highly recommend looking into hiring one if this house is everything you can’t live without.  Best of luck momma and keep your spirits up… and enjoy that Oma is so awesome 😉

  • I know the pain.  30 days to close on a short sale and the bank decided they didn’t want to go through with it.  It was infuriating to the family that needed out of their huge mortgage and to us, who has patiently waited for 6 months, and made SURE to do everything right on our end.  We’re still looking now.  Sigh.  My husband is also a merchant marine.  I know what it’s like to not have him home for up to 6 months at a time.  It just makes the time you do have that much sweeter.

  • I’m glad you added a disclaimer. I was ready to report this as spam or a hacker when I read the language and the “BOA sucks” stuff.  I was kind of shocked to get this via email, as I am subscribed to your blog.  So sorry you are going through this. 

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