Posted to PennsmithLostValleyTX by Michael Penn in Dripping Springs, TX
Closed on my loan this week.
It’s a one-time close, with all of paperwork included for the final mortgage.
LOTS of paperwork!
It has been an arduous and drawn-out process of talking to lots of potential lenders (figuratively kissing lots of toads)--most of whom didn’t really grok the wondrous benefits of this “owner-builder thing” I was waving my arms about. It’s been frustrating, and a few times I was tempted to be scared that it just was too hard to get it done the way I wanted.
But once I finally settled on a couple lenders to do the formal apps with, the process actually sailed thru with barely a hitch, at least with the one that closed this week.
It went so smoothly that I got to fearing there must be a “gotcha” lurking somewhere. Actually, the day before closing, there was one “gotcha” that popped up. In doing the title search, the title company came across an easement for two oil or gas pipelines referenced in earlier surveys related to my acreage lot (7 acres in a rural area).
Mr. Smith, did you know about these pipelines?
Haven’t you seen the signs posted in the ground where they cross?
No, and I’ve looked everywhere too—haven’t seen any.
Well, Mr. Smith, you understand you wouldn’t want to start building and find out later that the pipeline ran right under your house. You know that could be dangerous!
So the first thing I tried was to gather all the old Xeroxed copies of the plats for my lot and the lots around me, and take them down to the title office to see if the absence of any sign of pipelines on these would help.
But these weren’t real surveys, and they didn’t help. It looked like I’d have to get a formal survey done. (There will be a survey required at two stages during construction, but it hadn’t been required to close the construction loan.) This would cost some extra money, but the main problem was that it could easily take several weeks to book a survey, get them out to the site, and get back results.
I put in a call for help to Kristin, the loan originator. When she called back, we decided that maybe the local county office might know something about it. I never got that far, but did get ahold of the real estate agent who’d sold me the lot. He said:
Oh yeah, that comes up a lot out in that area. They’re looking at an old survey for a much larger area, many years ago. There’s actually four pipelines out there—you can see them on McGregor on the way out there, about two miles back…
So he wrote an email to Kristin, she cleared it with her “underwriter” and she wrote to the title company stipulating (I guess) that there were no pipeline encumbrances, and all was well again--we were hunky dory to close.
Never met the underwriter, of course. But heard reference to him several times thru the process. The underwriter will look at this, or our underwriter has cleared that many times in the past. A little mysterious--kind of like the wizard behind the curtain.
So we were scheduled to close late afternoon the next day, on Tuesday. Only one big obstacle remained—the weather. My mother was to be my builder-of-record, and she lives one city over, in Fort Worth. She’d been following the reports, and was convinced that Tuesday would be too stormy to be driving across the Metroplex. But I persisted, and finally convinced her that I’d come pick her up to go to the closing, and everything would be fine.
But it wasn’t fine. As soon as I got out on the freeway headed to Fort Worth, it started pouring. Listening to the radio, I heard nonstop interruptions for storm warnings, tornado warnings, flash flood warnings—ahead of me, behind me, to the south, to the north… The standing advice was to stay under shelter, don’t go out, get off the roads. Of course I heard all this while driving as fast as I could in 10 lanes of traffic.
As it turned out, there were actually three tornadoes that touched down in the multi-county area during the day. But after I picked up mother we were lucky, and didn’t experience anything too outrageous, and got to the title company just in the nick of time, to meet Lynda there and sign the papers.
One big step taken, but many more to do now.
No this weather radar picture isn't from last week--couldn't find one--but that's about how it looked.