Monday, February 13, 2006

Real Estate: A Bastion of Losers, Cheats, and Retards

Why is it that the largest purchases of our life are handled by people barely qualified to flip burgers? My wife is an honest real estate agent, but the money these people make for doing the most mundane of chores is a racket in and of itself. Not only that, we fund this transaction through loan officer whose main qualification is that they know how to lie and gouge you within the limits of the law. Here is just some examples of incomepetence, deception, and out-and-out gouging from these highly-educated, highly-ethical professionals in the industry. This list is only through the process of buying two homes:

From Buying our first home:
- Sheila Watson, our first realtor, told us that getting a home inspection was "a waste of money". Apparently, Sheila didn't realize that she was in violation of the law by telling us this since she is supposed to look out for our best interest. We recently spent a couple hundred dollars and several man hours fixing our basement wall which was rotted out from two poorly placed cement blocks on our patio. If there were any structural damage, we would be suing the shit out of her and Maloof Realty.

- The same Sheila "worked" with the selling agent of our current home to get us up to the price we paid for the home. I didn't say "negotiated" there did I? Sheila told us during the process "She thinks if we go to X amount, her client will go for it." In actuality, her and the other real estate agent bartered with each other to come up with the price. Collusion is definitely a good sign you have a shitty real estate agent.

- The same idiot from before, suggested we close on the house in the middle of the month because it was conducive to her schedule. What she failed to point out is the extra interest we would have to pay for that month on our mortgage. Her schedule cost us an extra $300 in closing costs.

From getting a mortgage for our new home:
- Heidi Picco, the loan officer from Countrywide Home Loans in Peoria, suggested I pay off my 7% interest car loan with a high-interest credit card to lower my monthly expenses. That is some solid advice for anyone with an IQ in the upper, single digits.

- The same Heidi Picco also would not even give me a quote on a home loan. This is the same company who has held my home loan for the last three years (of which I have never missed a single payment or even been late on a payment). She insisted that I get a "Good Faith Estimate" from another loan officer and then they would see what they could do. Apparently, Heidi's family tree includes the guy who looked at the wheel and said "great invention but I could have done better". When I realized I was not getting a 2nd paycheck for being Heidi's assistant, I decided to go elsewhere.

- Neil Leaves, the loan officer from GMAC, told me that we could get a home without escrow (paying the taxes and homeowner's insurance with our mortage every month). After signing the papers and the "Good Faith Estimate" (which is a written, binding, legal document that apparently isn't worth a roll of Cottonelle), the loan processor called to inform us that we would have to escrow. Her exact words were, "Neil should have told you that." The difference in monthly epenses comes out to about $350 per month. One would think that was a pretty important bit of information to have up front.

- Mike Boehme from Associated Mortgage Capital took the cake. Seventeen days before closing, he told us that Fannie Mae would not underwrite our loan at the stated loan rate that he gave us. So much for a "Good Faith Estimate". Instead our loan rate was to go up 0.75%. It doesn't sound like much until you realize that a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage would cost us about an extra $22,000 over the life of the loan. Mike Boehme is still wondering why I fired him on the spot and why GMAC is financing the loan ... Though, to be honest, I am still trying to figure out why GMAC is financing the loan as well.

If you need a good real estate agent, drop my wife an e-mail at pam.lonteen@coldwellbanker.com ... if you are looking for a competent, honest loan officer, join the club.

1 Comments:

Blogger Who's Your Daddy said...

Just to update this: Pam and I are divorced; however, she's still a good realtor. She is now with Exit HOI, Realtors and can be contacted at:

reodepartment@exithoirealtors.com

3:47 PM  

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