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Started: 2021-05-25 21:03:31

Submitted: 2021-05-25 22:50:07

Visibility: World-readable

In which the intrepid narrator signs papers to buy a house in Santa Cruz

We signed a contract to buy a house on the northern corner of Santa Cruz (just close enough to highway 17 that I hope my commute to Silicon Valley is tractable in the After Times) in late March. This marked the transition from the home-search phase (filled with the weird mixture of possibility and hope and frustration and anxiety and despair as we watched properties appear for sale and then disappear into contract) through the contract-negotiation phase (fraught with back-and-forth offers and counter-offers until finally we reached an agreement) into the hurry-up-and-wait phase of escrow.

Our mortgage company helped pass the time by asking for a giant pile of documentation to prove how we'd been paying for our rental house and clarify precisely how much money we had in which brokerage and bank accounts; I counted 60 individual document uploads by the time I'd uploaded everything. (This was somewhat complicated by the fact that we moved money from brokerage accounts to bank accounts in order to actually have the liquid assets necessary to complete the purchase of the house, and not all of the closing statements arrived precisely on time or with the same ending date, so there were some gaps in the account statements that might lead to double-counting if one were not careful.) At length our mortgage company decided to go ahead and underwrite the loan, just in time for us to sign the closing documents on the 15th of April.

Our title company was located in Capitola, but they offered to send a mobile notary to us to sign the papers, which seemed like a reasonable idea. Then just as we were expecting the mobile notary to show up on our doorstep on Thursday afternoon she called to say she'd gotten lost along the way and maybe we could come meet her so she didn't have to find our house. ("Enter our address in Google Maps," we said, "It'll take you to the right driveway and from there it ought to be obvious how to find the house," but apparently that didn't work.)

Kiesa and Jaeger signing mortgage papers on Loma Prieta Way
Kiesa and Jaeger signing mortgage papers on Loma Prieta Way

This was how we ended up signing all of our loan documents on the mobile notary's trunk at the corner of Loma Prieta Way and Loma Prieta Ave, in what was probably the end of someone's driveway. As loan-signing experiences go, it was fairly scenic, compared to the conference rooms at title companies where we've signed closing documents before.

Motoko parked on Loma Prieta Ave
Motoko parked on Loma Prieta Ave

It didn't really matter where we signed the loan documents because the loan funded right on schedule and we closed on our house in Santa Cruz right on schedule on the 20th of April. Then we settled in for another hurry-up-and-wait for the seller's 29-day rent-back while they packed up after living in the house for twenty years and moved out, while we tried to figure out what work we could arrange to be done on the house after the seller moved out and before we moved in.