Wednesday, 9 October 2013

The house saga

Now that we've got the bond back I can finally tell the truth about everything that went on with our rental house. I was going to make this part of a FFS Friday post but it's too long so it gets a post all of it's own.

If you're going to attempt to make it through this marathon post, you'll need a packed lunch. Don't say I didn't warn you.

As I mentioned previously, we'd been in the house for five weeks when the owners put the house on the market. The estate agent told us that the house was going to get repossessed if it wasn't sold and that if it got repossessed we'd have 30 days to get out. Considering I was pregnant at the time, this was not good news.

We seriously considered putting an offer on the house but realised that we'd only buy it because we couldn't be bothered moving again and that it wasn't the type of house that we'd want to live in long term. So we didn't put in an offer. Instead we started looking for a house to buy.

We found a house and fortunately it was empty so we were hoping we could have a short settlement and be in the house within four weeks. We already had pre approval for finance and were told we'd get final approval within five days. We should have known that things are never that easy.

We put in an offer on the house, it got accepted and the owners were happy for a short settlement. We were hoping to be in the new house before I had the baby. Meanwhile the owner of our rental property said that she'd let us out of the lease. Things were looking good.

We put in all the paperwork for the mortgage application and waited for finance approval. As part of the application we had to get my investment property valued. The valuation came back $70,000 less than the actual value. They'd based the valuation on a 3 bedroom fibro house. My investment property is a 4 bedroom brick house. Since they'd clearly got the valuation very wrong, we asked for that valuation to be reviewed. They reviewed it and refused to change the valuation. I still don't understand how they worked that out. Their reasoning was that the house next door had sold at $60,000 under it's value. And even though that house was a 3 bedroom fibro house, they insisted that it affected the value of my house. You'll never guess which agency sold the house next door. That's right, the same dodgy company who were selling our rental property!

The low valuation meant that we had to get mortgage insurance. Great. More money for absolutely nothing. After five days the loan application hadn't been approved so our broker followed up to find out why. We discovered that when we'd sold our house in the city the bank had released the wrong title. They'd released the title to my investment property. They said that they'd fix it up and pay the appropriate fees. How kind of them! As if we'd pay the fees to fix their stuff up! It's got me beat how they managed to release the wrong title considering our investment property is in another town with a totally different address to the house that we sold.

Two weeks later we still didn't have finance approval. When we pushed to find out why it turned out that the bank still hadn't fixed their stuff up so when the application went for mortgage insurance it was turned down as they thought we still owned the property in Perth. Onya Bankwest. It's bad enough that they stuffed up so badly, but then not to fix it straight away is disgusting. A stuff up like that could have cost us the house. Thankfully our mortgage broker and estate agent were very clever and got us an extension of time to get finance approval so as not to void the sales contract.

For reasons that I don't understand due to the time that had elapsed, the entire loan paperwork had to be redone. So we filled everything in again and once again submitted the application. Our broker came around and we signed all the paperwork for him, then waited. They'd said that our application would be rushed through due to the delays. Tiger called up a few days later to check the progress and was told that the paperwork wasn't all signed. We signed the missing parts and waited. After another two days, Tiger called up again and was once again told we hadn't signed all the paperwork, so we signed everything and sent that through, then we waited.

Two days before the day our rental home had to be sold, I had Eljay.

The day that our rental home had to be sold the selling agent rang us and told us that it was likely that there was going to be an offer on the house and asked us if we wanted to put in an offer at the same time. WTF? Did he really think we'd be stupid enough to get into a bidding war with another couple? We politely declined.

The date that our rental home had to be sold had come and gone and we had no idea if the house had been sold and if we were going to be evicted. We didn't know if we were going to get finance approval so weren't sure if we should start looking for a rental or what to do. Our property manager didn't know if the house had been sold either, so we were waiting for a letter from the bank telling us we had to move out. Thankfully, the day after the house had to be sold, we found out we got finance approval. What a relief! This meant that even if the house was repossessed we had a home to go to.

All up the finance approval which should have taken five days, took four weeks. That was solely due to the bank making a monumental stuff up and then not fixing it straight away.

Once we had finance approval we asked the owners of our property for vacant possession. This would mean that we could move into the house before settlement. The owners agreed provided we pay them rent, which was fair enough. We called our property manager and let her know that we'd be moving out. She said that she didn't think the owner would be willing to let us out of the lease. We reminded her that the owner had agreed to let us out of the lease and that was why we'd found somewhere else to live. Our property manager phoned the owner who said that she was no longer willing to let us out of the lease and that it'd been a one time offer. No-one had bothered to tell us that! We said that we were moving out regardless and the owner said she'd take us to court, so we said we'd see her in court. 

Five days later the selling agent rang us and said that the property had been sold and that the new owners wanted us to stay in the property. Great. That wasn't going to happen. When bub was ten days old we moved. Luckily for me my Mum and Sister in Law did all the packing and unpacking, whilst I looked after Eljay. The only thing I did was pack and unpack our bedroom and bathroom. I couldn't have done it without them!

The rental property saga continued. We were getting ready to go to court so documenting everything that had happened. Thankfully our property manager was on our side, she said that in the same position she would have done exactly the same thing. She told the property owner that if she took us to court she wouldn't win. A few days after that the owner stopped advertising the property for rent and that was the end of it. We moved out, got our bond back and that's the end of the saga.

I'm so glad the whole thing is over and we are finally settled in our new home. It's lovely here and it really feels like home. Chai loves it here, he loves having space to run around and a backyard to play in. He's also very excited about having a pool to swim in. For me, living here means that my best friend, other friends and family are all no more than 15 minutes away, so I get to see them all the time which is great. Our rental home was on the other side of town to my friends and family so I didn't get to see them very often.

The only downside is that it takes Tiger an extra 15 minutes to drive to Perth and fly out. It also means that when he comes home it takes an extra 15 minutes. This doesn't sound like a lot but when you've worked 168 hours in 14 days and are exhausted, 15 minutes is a long time. It's something that we just have to deal with for the time being. Tiger isn't going to do FIFO forever so it won't be forever. Other than that, everything is lovely here.

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