The Roller Coaster Goes UP, the Roller Coaster Goes DOWN
Call it a sign. Or a lesson learned. Or just...the roller coaster of life.
There will be no refinancing, or cash in hand to perform renovations. And that is just the way it is.
I'm a relatively grounded person. It took me about fifteen minutes, maybe twenty, after hanging up the phone with Rocket Mortgage, to get the hell over it. I ferociously cleaned a high chair and left it to air dry so I can touch it up with paint. I cried. I swore.
Who am I kidding? It took about two hours for me to completely deal with the emotions.
So it won't take the 6-9 months I had hoped for. Instead, according to my estimates, it takes around 28 months instead, maybe 30. It will happen. It WILL. Maybe less, more on that in a bit.
What it all came down to was, ironically, overpaying on my mortgage. I overpaid and overpaid and the mortgage company kept sending these weird statements that varied each time. I finally called and they basically told me that due to my overpayments, I could go without paying for two months and it would be just fine. And it was close to Christmas and I thought, "What the hell?" And so even though I didn't have any missed payment charges, thanks to so much accrued in overpayments, the underwriters for the new loan insist that I didn't have a full 12 months of payments and this invalidates me for the loan.
So, lesson learned.
What lesson? Well, let's see...
Underwriters suck ass.
Don't trust your mortgage customer service reps as far as you can throw them.
No amount of logic or proof that you are overqualified for this loan will do. You can't fix stupid.
There were other lessons learned. And yes, for most people there are other loans out there. Not in our case. In the aftermath of Covid, I had tried to see if bankruptcy would work at all for us. It didn't. We backed out of it, but yet another lesson, even if a bankruptcy doesn't go through, it stays on your record. So even though we have cleared up most of our debts and have the rest scheduled for payment, the canceled bankruptcy meant that only an FHA loan would be considered. And for an FHA loan you must have 12 months of mortgage payments listed, whether or not you owed any payments for the months in question or not.
Honestly? It's for the best. Better to take it slow, to set aside the funds each month as we have been doing faithfully for more than a year, ever since the Hedy Lamarr Airstream began earning her keep.
I think that the biggest frustration, other than the reams of paperwork and amazing number of hoops I had to jump through, is the hope I had. I reined it in until yesterday. That was when we got the "three days until we close on your loan" message and finalizing paperwork. It was finally REAL, you know? It was happening. After weeks of paperwork, requests, more paperwork, and MORE paperwork. It was happening.
Until it wasn't.
I was so excited yesterday. I started going through my lists, my action plan, and getting psyched for putting out the call for bids for various pieces of the project. And to have it all dashed over the overpaying so much that I was able to take two months off from mortgage payments only to have it bite me in the ass by underwriters who are unwilling to hear it from the source (my mortgage company) that my payment history is exemplary... it's beyond frustrating. I offered twice, maybe three times, to do a conference call with Carrington to get clarification on this, but Rocket Mortgage refused.
So no loan.
Instead of focusing entirely on Cottage East and adding in the Rambler later, we will instead tackle it in hybrid fashion...
Extend the gravel driveway and reposition the Rambler
Organize/clear/clean Cottage East basement and move the furniture and flooring stored on the main floor into the basement
Move the lath and plaster already demo'd out to a dumpster I'll have delivered in a couple of weeks
Finish demo'ing the inside of the Rambler, replace the floor, and install new wiring
Over the winter we will finish the Rambler renovations and plan on opening it for business in April 2023. Any funds from that will go towards additional renovation savings, accelerating our timeframe for Cottage East reno, while we slowly chip away at the "to do" list for that project. Who knows? With the extra funds generated by the Rambler, our savings for Cottage East might double, and halve the time estimates for that project. Rough estimates are telling me that as soon as September of next year, we might have enough accrued to finish Cottage East with the Rambler done and earning a modest net amount of $1,300 per month. And that will mean that Cottage East is mortgage-free! So is Cottage West, technically, since the loan we took out to finish that is a home equity loan on our house and will be eliminated in a matter of months once Cottage East is up and running. It also means that our mortgage on our current house stays at a nice, low rate and low balance and will be just as easily paid off as we super-pay to eliminate our current mortgages. We should be 100% debt free before my husband reaches retirement age in 13 years.
The roller coaster goes UP, the roller coaster goes DOWN. That's life.
Lunch Dates and Plans
My wonderful husband took my mopey butt out to Mission Taco Joint, our favorite destination for street tacos. We hammered out a basic plan and will start by organizing, decluttering and cleaning Cottage East basement so we can move any furniture and flooring currently stored in Cottage East on the main floor and get it out of the way. It will be good to have a clean slate there. After the furniture is moved, we can tackle the demo work we desperately need to do this fall.
After that, before the weather grows cold, we need to finish the demo of the Rambler, replace the flooring and run wiring. That way we have some way of staying warm over the winter as we work on it.
Back to Regular Programming
I have allowed myself to be distracted from writing far too long. Especially when you consider that I'm actually seeing a profit of $100-$300 per month on my writing. This is important, because every book I finish has the potential of elevating that amount higher. Especially non-fiction. So I really need to get the STR Success book DONE.
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