It's been a week, all right.
As you probably gathered from Instagram/Facebook, our move did not exactly go as planned. In fact, in the span of about an hour on Friday afternoon, things went from moving along with near military-like precision to a complete and total clusterfuck.
I've relayed the events and details over text message about 500 times since then, I estimate, and I always include something like "someday this will make a great/funny story, but right now I just caaaaaan't."
I'm still not sure we're at "someday" yet, but I guess I can try.
On Friday morning, my in-laws arrived at the hotel we'd spent the night at and took the kids and pets so we could head to settlement on the townhouse. The plan was for them to head to Yellow House and hang out in the backyard, have a picnic lunch, and possibly let the movers in if they arrived before we got back from the second settlement. (We'd been graciously given the garage door code by the owners ahead of time.)
Settlement #1 went off without the slightest hitch. We were in and out in under 20 minutes, congratulated our lovely buyers and that was that. Goodbye house and neighborhood and everything and gaaaahhhh okay painful let's move on.
We jumped back in the car and booked it up to settlement #2. We arrived about 10 minutes late because of traffic, which at the time felt like an agonizing eternity.
And then we sat. And sat. Finally we asked what was up and got our first piece of (totally downplayed) bad news: The relocation company still hadn't signed the settlement agreement. They were still waiting for it. But no worries! It's all been approved and whatever, we'll just start signing the rest of the closing documents anyway and it'll probably arrive by the time we're done.
Our movers were scheduled to arrive at Yellow House in just under an hour at this point. "That might be problematic," we were warned. "But let's do what we can."
So a primer on the "relocation company" thing: The previous owner was transferred across the country by his company. His company enlisted a relocation company (a very big, well-known one that ohhhhh I would so like to name but am refraining for now) to handle their move and ultimately, sell the house on their behalf. We were warned before we put an offer on the house that relo companies can be...difficult. Similar to buying a bank-owned property, there was going to be a lot of paperwork and an extra level of bureaucracy added to the process, so be prepared.
And that warning turned out to be perfectly correct -- almost every other day there was an new form to sign or document to provide. We dutifully dropped everything when the requests came in and turned things around as quickly as possible. We scanned and copied and e-signed and got on a first-name basis with the notary public at the UPS store. We waited patiently for over TWO WEEKS for them to send us our own damn ratified contract (without which I couldn't enroll the boys in school, or sleep completely peacefully at night knowing that Yellow House was definitely totally going to be ours). We dealt with near radio silence when trying to get updates because no one would ever answer the phone.
But through it all, we trusted that things would get done on their end when they needed to get done, because duh. Selling this house was their job.
The entire time we were signing everything, everyone else in the office was on the phone in a futile attempt to track down an actual human being at the relo company who could sign the settlement agreement. Emails were going unanswered. Every phone number they had went to voicemail, and every possible contact listed on the company's website was the same number: The Office of the President. Jason started calling this number, which of course also went to voicemail every single time, leading us to believe that the Office of the President was simply a lonely phone ringing endless in a conference room somewhere, the vaporware of company executives.
(Jason and I now respond to each other's requests with "hello, you have reached the office of the president" when we don't feel like doing whatever the other is asking.)
We were starting to panic. The movers had been dispatched and were officially on the clock. And if the settlement agreement wasn't received before 4 pm, it would be too late to get our loan funded. And we'd have to wait until Monday to actually settle on the house, and our stuff would be on moving trucks and we'd be in a hotel and oh my God school starts on Monday this can't be happening.
But of course, it was happening. And it was getting worse by the minute.
Not only were we missing a signed settlement agreement, the loan underwriter suddenly discovered that we were missing any goddamn shred of evidence that the relocation company had any legal right to sell the house in the first place.
Like. Literally the first thing that should have been signed between the homeowners and the relo company BEFORE THE HOUSE WAS EVER EVEN LISTED FOR SALE...had simply never been signed. Or was lost. No one even knew for sure. And STILL no one would pick up their goddamn phone.
From there, it kept spiraling. Documentation holes were cropping up left and right. Our attorneys got us an extension on the loan deadline until 5, then an damn near miraculous one until 6. They brought us beer and promised us they wouldn't give up.
Jason called the movers to find out our options for storing our stuff until Monday, and found out that uhhhh yeah...they're booked with other moves and wouldn't be able to move us in until NEXT THURSDAY.
Almost an entire week of expensive long-term storage and living with three kids and two pets in a hotel, with one small suitcase between us containing exactly one change of clothes and zero things the boys needed for school.
We tried asking the listing agent about a rent-back agreement through the weekend, and while the homeowners were totally okay with it, wouldn't even charge us a dime, we couldn't do it. Because while the relocation company couldn't yet PROVE they technically owned the house right at that moment...they did. And of course, were totally not going to approve something like that on the spot. Give 'em a couple weeks and 500 more reams of paperwork, maybe.
That was the closest I came to crying. I could hear voices getting raised in the back, pleading and begging SOMEONE to take some pity on us and GET THIS SHIT DONE. THIS FAMILY IS HOMELESS AND IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT.
Dear Internet. We had the code to the garage. What would you have done?
6 pm came and went. By 6:15 the attorneys and our lender finally, omg amazing, had everything they possibly needed to finalize the sale and fund our loan. They spent another 20 minute futilely trying to find someone willing to wire the funds after hours before finally giving up and rescheduling us for Monday.
Again, what would you have done?
Especially if all the other eyes in the room deliberately and pointedly decided to look the other way?
Sigh. This is the part of the story that might be funny someday, but just isn't yet. It was just a crappy situation all around.
On Monday morning, we dropped Noah and Ezra off at their new school (that's all going GREAT, more on all that later), and headed back to the settlement office to re-sign everything we'd signed on Friday with Monday's date.
Once we were done, the attorney said, "Okay, one little bump here..."
Fucking relo company hadn't signed the fucking updated settlement agreement.
"You're JOKING, right?" I asked. I mean. No. Come the fuck on. There's probably a hidden camera somewhere, right?
Nope. Not a joke. They were expecting it "any minute." We should go grab some lunch. They'll text us when it comes through.
Minutes ticked into an hour. Then an hour and half.
Two full hours after our settlement appointment time, the signed agreement arrived. Our loan was funded and Yellow House was finally, officially, forever our own.
And it was worth it, all of it. We're completely in love.
Sponsored post tomorrow (that was supposed to have been published already, another casualty of the chaos) and then back with more post-move stories and pictures on Friday. Everything is okay now, though. Better than okay, even. Could probably use another beer, though, because oh my GOD.