So, my family is basically homeless. Until Tuesday.

There is a helpful new federal law that requires a three-day waiting period if your final, calculated mortgage payments/interest vary more than a certain percentage from what was initially estimated. This is great (at least on paper) for folks who were somehow swindled into a mortgage they can’t afford, and they get sticker shock when they see the final numbers. I suppose there’s some way to get out from under the mortgage during this window.

The problem is, this waiting period also applies if the actual costs are less than what you expected. This is the situation I’m in right now, so we will be waiting three business days to close on our house. Interestingly, Saturday counts as a business day in real estate, so three business days from Friday equals Tuesday.

You might ask, “why did this push back the closing? If you knew the final numbers enough in advance, you’d be fine, right?” Theoretically, I suppose. However, there is another helpful new federal law that requires an independent appraisal of any sale before locking in the mortgage, and here’s what “independent” means:

  • No agents working on your behalf are allowed to contact the appraiser
  • No agents working on your behalf can know the status of the appraisal process
  • No one can stoke the process along if it’s taking too long
  • The appraisals are run through a state agency that has no incentive to act in a timely fashion

I don’t think we knew the final final numbers until this morning. As I understand it, this current batch of laws will need to be revised, or no one can close on a house in 30 days anymore. It’s really that simple.

The best you can do is 33 days (hopefully). Until then, we are at a Fairfield Inn about five minutes from the new house. The builder (that still technically owns the house) has been great, and is letting us keep some things in the garage until then. The movers are holding onto the bulk of our stuff.

We’re trying to stay positive and consider this a mini-vacation, and we’ll try to do some fun things around town. But this still sucks.

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