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Dan-ecdotes: And they never moved again

I am officially a homeowner, and I finally live within my newspaper's coverage area.

And I have got to tell you, this whole process of buying a home has been the absolute worst.

Every step of the way, we have been thrown a seemingly unnecessary curveball. Not one part of finding and purchasing a home went as smoothly as we (or anyone) could have hoped.

I have been living the apartment life for eight years, but now I'm married with two cats and a mountain of unopened wedding gifts at my in-laws' house - since we didn't have the space for them in our way-too-small apartment.

My wife and I now are "grown up," we have a decent handle on our income and debts and decided it was time to find a home.

Beginning in August, my wife and I toured roughly 25 houses throughout Crow Wing County. Some were nice houses in less-than-stellar locations, some were shoddy houses in great locations and some houses had crooked floors. That last one was actually far too common.

Early in our search, we came across a house that we loved. It was in a good location with a decent size and reasonable price, so we put a bid on it. We were outbid, naturally, so we moved on to look at a dozen more not-ideal houses.

On my way to my parents for Christmas Eve, I got a call from our real estate agent saying that house we loved was back on the market. We had another offer submitted as soon as we could, and then we didn't hear from the sellers for many, many days.

Our agent finally heard from the selling agent, who simply said he would "send over the paperwork." We weren't entirely sure what that meant. Weeks went by without hearing a word, and we eventually found out that the selling agent quit his job, just like that. He didn't tell anybody - not even his employer. He just left.

Because of that, we had to cancel our submitted offer and re-submit it, but in that process the house had to go back on the market, where it received higher offers than ours. Thankfully the sellers did the right thing - knowing we already had an accepted offer on it - and went with our offer, but it only compounded our stress level.

That ordeal was followed by a heated debate about closing date, which again nearly cancelled our offer.

Our closing day finally arrived, and I ended up with the worst case of the flu I have had in probably 15 years. It felt like fate was kicking me in the shins one last time before this whole home-buying process reached its end.

But all of that is over now. The down payment is in place, the mountain of paperwork has been signed and we are finally done with apartment life.

In the end, it seems like everything worked out for the best but I, my wife, our real estate agent and our loan officer would agree that this was a nightmare. If we can avoid it, we are not moving again.

However, I can finally say this to the people in the Echo Journal coverage area: I'm one of you guys!

It's good to be home.

Dan Determan

Staff Writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal weekly newspaper.

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