It ain’t easy staying green

Cripes a’mitey! …as the old expression goes. I’m not sure whose tag line that was, but all power to them. I just finished the process of buying a home. The odyssey began a year ago when the VA found me qualified for an Adapted Housing Grant. Basically that means that the VA will help you purchase an adapted home, build an adapted home, or adapt one you found and bought on your own. I bought the house I have been living in for the last four years from my extended family. The house belonged to my wife’s mother and so I bought it from her estate. The act caused the heirs to get bought out quickly, rather than putting the house on the market and waiting for a sale. There was never any question about whether I would qualify for financing, I had a couple of different mortgage brokers trying to woo my business.

Still, I had to go through my credit rating and take care of the different marks against me. It wasn’t like there was a lot of debt remaining from my days of paying for my Multiple Myeloma care out of pocket, I owed about $3k in old bills that had been missed for some reason. Dealing with ¬†you’re calling them to pay off an account. There was a lot of back and forth, produce this, pay that, look this up, chase that down and three annoying months later I had cured my credit profile of its woes. While the debts weren’t enough to disqualify me, it was good to get them off the books, once and for all. The annoying calls I get are no longer collection calls, instead they are solicitations –which of the two is worse, I don’t know. Those calls invariably come at an inconvenient time; trying to eat, watch a program, read a chapter, use the bathroom. Ring! Ring! There you have it.

But my credit numbers are now looking good, and brings smiles of proud satisfaction to my loan underwriters. Who respond with an avalanche of forms and paperwork that could choke a goat and cause me concern for getting carpal tunnel from all of the signing. And that was just the offer! After another back and forth flurry of information sharing, we now get to have the mystic closing meeting and I start writing checks that take the wind from my lungs and steals my will to live. I’m certain that some of those charges in there are made up, like the fee for notarizing the notice of acknowledgement stipulating to the existence of a document which purported to be a page certifying myself as me. Like the hospitals and their ten dollar Tylenols, these little acidic fees eat away the wallet like the blood of Lt. Ripley’s Alien’s eats a ship’s hull.

It is the day before the house is to become mine: the water heater dies. It is, of course, a very expensive heater for below grade use, so the water heater I need is only two times as expensive as a regular high quality water heater. There goes another $1800. Then my tractor, my brand new shining black tractor belched loudly, emitting a cloud of black smoke. Now it won’t run or even light the lights. $1600 in jeopardy. Then there was the check I had to write for renovations being done and that took a mere $21,000 away. To make a long story short, I’ve dropped thirty grand, which was my entire safety blanket for my family. We come out with a new home, modified for ease of handicap use and likely not needing a lot of maintenance for five years, but at a cost of my next egg. So, Cripes a’mitey, it’s like my dough dingy is swamped to the gunwales and likely to slip beneath the surface any minute.

It all shows to go you that every silver lining has a black cloud, and one can become very insecure making sure they’re secure.