I have not been totally transparent on the number of things that have seemingly killed this deal only to have it spring back to life. Like a cat it must have nine lives and it has all but chewed through 8 of them at this point. After thinking it was dead and gone for certain last week and going as far as to have my realtor draw up the cancelation for the contract to get the earnest money back — once again the sellers and both realtors have come together to find another way to close this deal.
Its not that this avenue was not tried in the past — it just did not pan out very well in the past and was avoided due to a bad initial experience.
The biggest issue that has come up with buying this property is the type of home that it is or is not. See, when you look at the pictures without going inside you might think that this was just a normal pier and beam home. In fact even going in side you might not really tell sometehing was off right away, but it is there. In the front of the home it is basically a full width living room with vaulted ceilings and a fireplace. Going from the living room to the dining room you notice immediatley that those vaulted ceilings are now only about 6.5′. This was the first give away that this was not a normal pier and beam home, but none of the paperwork we had told us otherwise.
It eventually came out during the insurance (or even before then, I forget) when they found paperwork on a mobile home being the primary residence. This is of course in stark contrast to what you see when you get there. There is nothing mobile about this piece of property as it has been so heavily modified the only thing that remains is a small piece of the structures metal framing. The rest is all add on including the front living room, possibly one bath room and one bedroom, the carport and shop area, breezway and prorches. Now I am not saying you cannot finance a mobile home. There are tons of people that will finance mobile homes. But there are very few people who will finance a single wide mobile home. The ones that will charge an arm and a leg for the privilege. Mind you – that is only if you have a single wide.
If this were a double wide mobile home then everything would have been fine. Nobody was sure what it was any more. My personal belief was that it was modified so heavily that it was more of a regular single family home than any mobile home. My realtor though the same, as did the broker and pretty much everyone else that had been there. At worse we though it would be classified as a double wide mobile home which was still fine for financing and insurance purposes.
The person that determines what kind of structure the property is lies in the hands of the appraiser. I ended up paying for this to be done early – right after inspections so underwriting would not get hung up. We were all blown away when he came back and classified it as a single wide mobile home. I ended up calling to see what was up with that and he explained that it was industry standard. Once a structure has been classified as one thing, it is always that thing. So even if the previous owners built a hotel off of that, it would still be a single wide mobile home.
This is what killed the deal last time. Once it was classified as a mobile home it ruled out any investors from the broker that I was using, meaning getting a snazzy 2.50 – 2.65% rate was out of the window. That was it for me. I was done, I am already kind of numb by this entire rollercoaster to be honest. I asked my realtor to draw up the cancelation so I can start looking again. This sparked a fury of work behind the scenes (honestly this is where my realtor starts to earn that commission (aside from crawling under houses in full business attire).
I was presented with an offer from a Farm CoOp financing offer that was better than the one I had pursued when all this mess about the mobile home started (to make sure I had a backup plan if my broker fell though and meet the 1/31 contract deadline).
Originally when I checked into this option the rates were 5.85%, but being a co-op means you do get some money back at the end of the year. The amount was not explained, honestly I was so put off by 5.85% when 2.5 – 2.75% was the norm (and with my credit I qualify for easily). Why would I pay double, the money did not make any sense. The P&I payment at that rate is nearly 50% more cutting into my savings goals for moving to this lower cost housing.
Anyway the new rates were only .85% less (4.99%) but the co-op side of it was explained more. Average is 1.1% over the last 14 years with one year being 2.5% back. 4% is high given current rates (shit is is higher than what I have currently for the McMansion) but in the end it is about $80/month more than what I had planned on — for the property I can live with that. So we are back on.
This deal can still die (again) and I will not resuscitate it again — its too much for me. Also the owners are kind of fucked now for selling this property. It would take another person like me willing to jump through all these hoops and pay more to close it. I also understand that I will be in this same position when I go to sell it (if I sell it) but I do have plans to improve the property and get the value off of the primary house (by adding another regular modular home).
It should be clear if this deal is going to close in about 3 weeks once the CoOp does their appraisal – which is not necessarily based on the house but more on the land (probably should have explained that this is why this option works — its basically a farm loan).