Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sticker Shock

Sticker shock alert!

Yesterday I received the Good Faith Estimate from my local bank which is handling the refinance of my mortgage.

It never ceases to amaze me at the amount of closing costs on real estate transactions. Yesterday was no exception.

For the third time in less than four years I’m entering a real estate transaction on my home here in the wonderful, glorious state of Delaware.

My first transaction was April 17th, 2006. That was when I purchased my newly custom built home here on the eastern shore of Sussex County, Delaware, two miles from the Broadkill River and another two miles from the Delaware Bay.

At that time my mind was preoccupied by the fact that I had not sold my home in Pennsylvania which I had planned to do to pay for my new home in Delaware. You know the old adage “The best laid plans of mice and men…….?” Well, plans did not go the way I thought. I didn’t pay much attention to the figures on the settlement sheet. I just wanted to get the transaction over with. Money was flying back and forth and I couldn’t do much about it. I was more concerned with selling my house in Pennsylvania.

My second transaction was November 17th, 2006. I had finally sold my home in Pennsylvania but for a LOT LESS than I had planned to. Again, the old adage “The best laid plans of mince and men……” Since I had sold my home in Pennsylvania I had to refinance my mortgage with what proceeds I did get from the sale of my house. Instead of paying off my house, I now had a mortgage for the first time since 1979. Not what I had planned but I had no choice. Again, I’m paying for a title search and all the other charges in the hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars that appear on a settlement sheet. I now have a mortgage that will be paid off when I’m 95 years old. Good luck.

Now here we are today. I have accumulated enough greenbacks to pay down some of my mortgage in order to have a lower monthly mortgage payment. This is necessary because I am living on a fixed monthly income of Social Security and a few pensions from my previous life as a banker. I was paying my mortgage payment with my part-time job as a hotel front desk clerk but my hours have been cut back because folks aren’t traveling that much these days to take advantage of our wonderful accommodations in downtown Lewes and all that historic town has to offer. Besides, I don’t plan to be working at the hotel until I’m 95 years old. But you never know. I’ll work until I drop or they tell me to hit the road.

So here we are now at my third real estate transaction in less than four hears. I’m going to refinance my mortgage. Yesterday I received the Good Faith Estimate. STICKER SHOCK! Again I’m paying for that title search. This time around it’s $950 smackeroos! How much can be going on with my title? How many times does it have to be searched?

I checked on the Internet with that very question and the answer is: every time a purchase or refinance is done the title has to be searched. It makes sense.

I have an appraisal charge. I also have a survey charge of $354. Survey? WTF? That’s a new one. I didn’t even have a survey charge on my last refinance settlement.

Well, e-mails were sent to the bank handling my refinance with these questions.

Of course it didn’t help to read in the newspaper last week that Bank of America (my mortgager) is considering reducing outstanding principal balances on many of their outstanding mortgage loans in order to help those individuals who are near foreclosure.

While I understand the thinking behind such an action (to prevent foreclosures and those people losing their homes) somehow it doesn’t seem fair to those of us who did the right thing and paid our mortgages on time. But then who said life was fair?

I’m thankful that I have this beautiful home in wonderful Sussex County, Delaware near the ocean. I’m thankful that I have the income to continue to live in this home without the threat of foreclosure. But something doesn’t seem quite right here.

Now if you can excuse me, I have to get ready to go to work at the hotel today. I have to pay for that survey.


Nitewrit said...


That's interesting, a survey charge. That's for them checking the boundaries, survayors. Ain't it something how every transaction they may repeat those things even though you haven't went anywhere. Do they think the land shifted since you bought the place? Been any earthquakes down your way recently?

You should check with Lo. She use to work for a Title Company, knows what goes into to things like deed searches. I'll tell you, most the time it isn't much. I figure back when she worked for one it was pre-PC and a bit harder to find stuff than now.


Ron Tipton said...


I found a copy of my original survey of this property taken when I purchased this house in April of 2006. I asked them if they could use that. They said as long "as there weren't any improvements like a shed, patio, deck, etc." Well, I did add a shed. So I pay $540 to get the property surveyed again because I put a shed on it?

I also went to the dentist today. I need scaling. More $$$$$$$$$$$$. Never ends does it Lar?


Nitewrit said...


Wow. $540 just cause you put a shed on. What has that to do with surveys? It doesn't change the property lines, unless you have the shed up against your line and they have to ascertain if you encroached over the line. They have ways to get you coming and goping , don't they?


Ron Tipton said...


It's near the property line but they don't know that.....yet. It's not over the line. I asked the woman at the bank if it would make a difference in the survey and she said "it could."

You're right, they got you coming and going. All these little (big actually) money traps just lying in wait for us.

Now they're talking about taxing Internet transactions to raise more money. Won't work.


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