On day 2 of our travels, we got a late start. The guys caught up to us in Ontario, OR, everyone filled up with fuel at Loves truck stop and we got back on the road around 11:30.
We were making better time than the day before, but about 5 hours into the drive some travelers were ready to call it a day and others weren’t. We decided to split up after making it to Jackpot, Nevada. Mitch with Taylor as his sidekick, Eli and Cassey wanted to keep driving through the night. Angela, Nettie and myself stayed at the Pilot gas station in Harvy the RV for the night. The RV heater wasn’t working, so it got pretty cold overnight again. My hedgehog Kiwi, who’s very temperature sensitive had a 10 hour microwave heated warming pad, but since it was so cold I put him in a small cage, and cuddled him all night.
They made it safe to Kingman, AZ at 4:30 am and slept in the trucks for a couple hours before contacting the sellers of the Vineyard. The couple, in their late seventies were kind enough to let us store some of our stuff in their shop since we’d be moving in soon.
Us girls woke early on the 16th of April and began to last leg of the journey. The wind was crazy bad, so for me driving the RV, I had sweaty palms, white knuckles and couple gusts that threw me into the opposite lane. I think I forgot to mention I’d never driven an RV before this, ever. I was always so intimidated by the size and length. I actually ended up loving it! With this wind though, I was not loving it..There was even a semi that got blown over on the side of the road! By the grace of God we too made it safely to Kingman around 4:30 pm.
After making the 1,144 mile trek we were ready to settle into our temporary home. The VRBO we rented allowed 6 people and pets, and it met our needs. Ideal, it was not. The floors are carpeted and the scents remaining from previous pets created instant chaos. Tyler took his dog Axel, but not before he too left a calling card. The other dogs immediately followed suit. Every time we turned around there was something to clean up. A passcode is required to get into the building, stairs up to the apartment, the second passcode into the place and the fluorescent lighting helps to ensure we don’t get too comfortable. There is a law office below, it’s situated behind a Walgreens and no matter how many times I try and contact someone, I’ve never gotten a response back. Today is the 26th of April and we are supposed to be out by 10 am today. I’ve called, texted and sent emails stating we needed a couple more days. Nothing… so we’ve decided just to stay. We’ll see how that turns out.
Ok, back to the other story..On Easter Sunday, the 17th of April we unload the last of the three Penske trucks into a storage unit. The going rate here for a storage unit is 200-250 dollars a month! Thankfully Angela’s sons Tyler, his friend, Kaelen along with his wonderful wife Olivia came from Lancaster, CA all to help us! We gave away some things to those who helped as we unloaded, realizing the abundance of our items and just as a way to say thank you.
Monday April 18th Angela, Taylor and their dog Chloe decide to head back to California while we wait for the house to close.
On march 18th We offered full asking price for the Vineyard, $800,000. We also put 10,000 earnest money, 5,000 non-refundable. We were all in, and beyond excited to begin this new life. The one thing holding everything up was getting an appraisal. Why so long to get an appraisal you ask? A couple of reasons. At the suggestion of the sellers, having a great experience with rocket mortgage and us having a horrible time with ours (neighborhood loans are awful, they were going to charge us 16,000 to give us the loan!) and because the vineyard isn’t a typical residential home, it was harder to find an appraiser.
We’d been in communication with the sellers since the beginning, they were going to teach us everything we needed to know about a vineyard. They were kind, generous, including all the equipment for the land, a couch, a bed and so much more. They were willing to work with us, and us with them. When their movers were going to charge them and things got delayed, we offered to help them move when the time came. We were going to get through this together.
At the request of the sellers we set up a meeting with them on Wednesday, April 21st at 8 am. Mitch and I show up with special new note pads and pens, ready take notes on all the things we were going to learn about the vineyard. Come to find out, it wasn’t that kind of meeting. We were confronted with three options, 1- tell Rocket Mortgage that the deadline is the 26th of April, get it done because there would be no extension 2-come up with 650,000 cash and they would do an owner carry loan for the remaining 150,000 for 90 days. If, for some reason we couldn’t refinance and pay them off in time, not only would we lose the 650,000 dollars but the house also. 3- the deal is off. I was dumbfounded, as they explained that they needed something to happen, and couldn’t stay in limbo. They questioned our decision to buy the 40 acres nearby (we planned on making it a place for family to build onto) along with saying the truck Mitch wanted to buy from them would still be available down the road. Even if we didn’t get the land and truck, we wouldn’t have that kind of cash.
My eyes began to fill with tears, realizing that this dream we’d been holding onto and working towards was dead. I sat in silence, in disbelief, while they kept talking. After selling three houses, uprooting our entire family and doing everything in our power to make this happen, this? I take a deep breath and state, “there is no way we’d risk all of our money doing an owner finance. That’s not going to happen.” Mitch steps outside, needing some time to process how we could still make this work, and I just sit there, paralyzed with confusion. Didn’t they say they’d work with us? Where’d this come from? I thought we were on the same page. Why are they suddenly playing hardball? Do they think we’re made of money? Finally the husband steps outside and I ask the wife, “this deadline of the 26th, to tell the mortgage company, is this just to pressure them to get it done, or are you serious?” The wife states, “ no it’s a serious deadline, they picked that date and they have to meet it, no extensions.
I gotta tell ya, I had moments of doubt through this process, them wanting to get the appraisal waived( I wanted the appraisal), him saying it’s just another way for lenders to get more money. Considering the work involved in a vineyard and what would happen to the Rescued Relics business, but it also seemed to be a unique opportunity to do something new and different. Not to mention the price of it all! Was it really worth the 800 thousand? we would once again be house rich and money poor… but then again it was an investment and our future…
Thankfully, life lessons I’d had in the past culminated into this one moment. Having been pressured into a deal in my younger days, and then making a rash decision because I felt under the gun that I would later regret, came flooding back. It was as if God was saying to me, “ my child, you’ve had these lessons before, and they were for this moment, have you learned?”
We went straight to our realtor and began looking for houses. We called our lender while we were there and they stated that they’d just scheduled an appraiser for the 17th of May. Based on the conversation with the sellers we knew that wouldn’t work and even if it did, the rose colored glasses had come off. We were ok with giving them the 5,000 non-refundable money. There were no hard feelings, and we were ready to move on. A couple hours later we got notice that our loan fell through due to unverifiable information while we were looking at other houses. We assume it was because of our online selling and how volatile it is. No matter the reason, it’s was the universe confirming that we weren’t supposed to get that vineyard.
The comedy of it all, we had more money than we’ve ever had, and yet we’re homeless. To celebrate this momentous occasion we took Eli and Nettie out to Chili’s.
The sellers were still cordial as were we, accepting that the deal had fallen through. Then comes new information, there was to be an appraisal on the 9th with results coming back on the 13th. NOW they were will to give us an extension. Thankfully the loan denial is what will give us back our other 5,000 Ernest money.
The next day we found an amazing house, in a great neighborhood. We’d still able to buy the land and Pay off all our bills. It all worked out the way it was supposed to, we were at peace with all that had happened… but now half of our stuff is still in the shop at the vineyard. We offer to pay the sellers a couple hundred dollars for allowing us to keep our stuff there and tell them about our loan being denied.
Friday the 22nd I’d gotten a much needed massage, feeling relieved and revived I see that our realtor had called, so i called her back. She had received an addendum stating that the sellers do not believe that our loan denial is legitimate and want the other 5,000 dollar earnest money!
Needless to say, my disgust of their greed knocked me for a loop, I was beyond disheartened. These people who we thought were kind, generous, nice people not only lay down a hammer of unobtainable deadlines and absurd options 5 days after we arrive, already have 5 thousand from us, but are now wanting the other $5,000!? Talk about doin us dirty!
Hours after being notified of their intentions, the husband texts Mitch and asks when would we be coming to get our stuff from his shop, and so it goes; we rent another storage unit, rent a uhaul, hire help, ask our friend Mike to help us, and with 7 people including nettie, spent the entire day on Saturday moving things once again. we took two trips to the storage unit, filled it full and we’ve decided on keeping the third and last load in the uhaul, paying daily for it.
So let our experience be an explanation as to why it’s not a good idea for buyers and sellers to communicate. I’m grateful the deal fell through, we are in a much better place, Financially, physically and emotionally. We may have gotten knocked down, but being on the ground has given us a much better perspective. Check out our new home…