On Real Estate & the Paperwork (Non)Reduction Act

26 12 2013

I’m anticipating a move in my near future. Moving is more stressful to me than having a suspicious lump in one’s breast (and considering I’ve had both the former and the latter occur in my life, please believe me when I tell you there is no hyperbole involved in my statement.) I’ve been trying to buy a stinking house (well, not a stinking house, but you get my meaning) for over a year now. I am crossing my fingers that I am on the home stretch, because this has been dragging on well past the point where I wish to cry about it, and go hide in my room.

It has also been a learning experience – not in a good way, mind you – but the kind of learning experience where I wish to a) cry about it, and go hide in my room, b) swear a lot or c) blog about it and hopefully feel better in the morning. With both a & b already accomplished and doing nothing in terms of hustling the process along, I decided to embark on some cathartic blogging, and in the spirit of David Letterman and his infamous lists, I have composed a list of my own:

The Ten Absolute OMG Things I Learned Trying To Buy A House While Self-Employed

(Starred items indicate that the item has cropped up simply because I am self-employed.)

10*) You are required to have a profit/loss sheet in a format used by Australians rather than Excel because that is the format that is required.

9*) You have to prove you didn’t make your money robbing a bank. In other words, any cash you intend to use to purchase said house has to be deposited in an “account of record” for 30-90 days prior to purchasing a house, although how this eliminates a well-executed robbery as a possible avenue of income I am unclear.

8*) You have a dent in your forehead from getting daily emails that are titled, “Just one more piece of paperwork”…

7*) If you intend to use any assets that are not in a conventional bank account (example: a mutual fund, CD, etc.) you have to provide proof of those funds, proof that you’re cashing in any of those funds, and proof of depositing said funds into said conventional account.

6) Your realtor has your phone number memorized from the number of times you’ve had to contact him/her because of some monkey wrench in the works.

5) You have your realtor’s email memorized (despite moderate dyscalculia and the fact that said realtor’s email contains numbers.)

4) You play the lottery for the first time ever in the sole hope of winning enough to just pay for the damn house in cash.

3*) You play the lottery for the first time ever in the secondary hopes that you will win, and thereby be able to buy your loan officer and your realtor a tanker truck of alcohol or pay off their houses for the amount of extra hoops they have had to help you jump through because you’re self-employed…

2*) You have to provide proof of a previous trustworthy rental lease agreement and your current landlord’s contact information. (I marked this one as a self-employed thing because no one I have ever talked to with a “normal” paycheck has had to submit this.)

1) You cannot get “typical” homeowners insurance, but instead have to pay through the nose for the first year of coverage because a) the house you wish to buy is a foreclosure, which means that on the basis of the landscaping being dead, the insurance company assumes that there are other inherent problems with the house as well. (Of course the bloody landscaping looks like crap. It’s DECEMBER. In OHIO.) b) You’re self-employed and must run the insurance gauntlet of proving yourself as trustworthy with your newly titled position as “homeowner” because God knows, running a successful art business that is your full time job must mean you’re a fly-by-night sort of person who doesn’t understand the meaning of spreadsheets. Or landscaping.

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