Gaga couldn’t make it again….so here I am.
I don’t sing and I don’t dance. I hawk houses.
I don’t kiss and tell….I close escrows and tell!
I recently helped friends move from their country property to a condominium near the beach, which they’d wanted to do for twenty years. They wanted to take their old property taxes with them since they’ll save about five thousand dollars a year. This is possible under California Proposition 60, which allows a once in a lifetime transfer of property taxes, if the seller is fifty-five years of age or older and buys a less expensive primary residence than the one he/she sells. Contact me for details about this.
My friends spied a place and called me on New Year’s Day to show it to them. We looked. They salivated. They zillowed the value of their house and became very depressed. I told them that Zillow is useless and that we could do better than that.
The beach property was owned by four heirs, living in different parts of the globe: London, San Francisco, New York and Bangkok. They had recently inherited the property and owned it free and clear. Over priced, it had been on the market a year. They reduced the price one hundred thousand dollars and my friends decided to go for it.
We wrote up an offer contingent on the sale of their property. It was accepted and we went to work. My friends did everything I recommended, cleaned up twenty years of family life in a weekend. The house looked great.
We put it on the market, quickly received two offers that were substantially higher than the Zillow zestimate. They accepted the best one.
Both escrows proceeded smoothly. All parties removed contingencies and looked for loan documents to arrive at the title company. My client’s papers came. They signed off, deposited their down payment and were ready to close. Their buyers experienced a delay due to who-knows-what and lots of excuses from their lender. We had to extend the closing date for both escrows.
My clients had a weekend garage sale, got rid stuff that filled their basement, including beds and a dining table that they hated, but used. Their house began to resemble a campsite as we all waited not-so-patiently for their buyers’ papers to arrive.
Anxious to move into their new beach home, they got permission to install new carpets in the property they didn’t yet own. Worse case, if the escrows didn’t close, the condominium sellers would have new carpet.
Delay after delay occurred. The lender excuses were really lame. Finally the papers arrived and were signed. My client’s country house closed on Friday. Their loan funded. Their down payment was in the title company’s account. Escrow was to close on Monday.
They requested permission from the sellers to move into the property over the weekend. The sellers decided that they would have to pay $150. rent per day to take early possession. Remember, this was an unencumbered, inherited property that had been on the market over a year…. I couldn’t even bring the subject up to my clients. I paid the two days rent.
Escrow closed. My buyers are delighted with their new beach home. I’m relieved and happy. I wrote the rent check to the heirs and made the check payable to all of the siblings, so the check would have to be sent around the world for each of their signatures for three hundred dollars. On the line describing what the check was for I wrote, “Petty cash.”