• Erin Lair

Uncertainty and Momentary Heartbreak

Updated: Jan 18, 2021

There are innumerable cliché phrases relating to waiting, frustration, and emotional distress being a prerequisite for anything good in life. Clichés, by definition, mean people regularly have use for them. All this to say, I know these processes aren't guaranteed, and they surely aren't ever entirely smooth and easy. This orchard purchase is proving to be no exception.

Our offer was accepted in late September, written to use a local credit entity. Overnight, we had an offer on our house. Since we had looked at the orchard on a whim, we hadn't ascertained any kind of pre-approval for our ability to actually buy the property. The owner, genuinely interested in helping us through this process, gave us 45 days to get confident forward progress and tentative capacity to fund outlined.

Within the week, we had submitted all necessary documents to the credit entity for review: a business plan, balance sheet, taxes, IDs, and the like. Two-way confirmation of receipt of these documents and we were set! The first of many waiting games begun.

We waited. And waited. And waited. At around 40 days into this waiting game, we called and asked if having a pre-approval was on the horizon. The credit entity had "forgotten" this portion of the sales agreement but assured the owner and us that it would be in our hands by the end of the week. It arrived and made apparent that they had also not done much of anything on the account, barely looking at the file because a software update was upcoming. It is hard when you have poured your soul's every hope into a plan while you are only a number in a docket to the ones with the power to make it happen. A mixture of angst, frustration, and helplessness saturated our conversations throughout this period of time.

The process then seemed to be back on track, at least momentarily. We were told nothing further would be done until the software update took place. A verbal understanding of commitment was communicated with an appraiser according to the credit entity, but no formal request would be submitted until it could be done in the new program. We waited a full week after the update took place (which was three weeks from the last conversation). At this point we were pushing up against Thanksgiving and the likelihood that most work would slow significantly through the holidays. The closing deadline was a mere week after Christmas. Still no news on an appraisal. The buyers of our house, however, were starting to appear anxious.

Thanksgiving came and went without much information. In keeping with a lack of communication with the credit entity, we finally had some answers on appraisal timing- from the owner's agent. He had sold a timber property locally and the appraiser for that piece of land happened to know the appraiser that would be taking on the orchard. His belief was they were set to complete the appraisal prior to December 15. Wonderful!

Almost. My dad (our realtor) texted me news that the buyers of our house were going to pull their offer. One of them has ongoing medical issues and I believe the wait and ambiguity of the closing date was more than they were able to manage. Calling the credit entity, I felt only a slight smugness hearing a bit of a "tail between legs" response to my information that due to the length of time and lack of communication we had lost our buyer. Any satisfaction in knowing it was related to a lack of forward progress was overshadowed by the complete devastation we all felt in that moment. I told our credit entity to push forward with the hope we could resell quickly, but my heart was in my throat. We relisted that afternoon. We had a second offer by the next day. Supply and demand was on our side! We were the only stick built house for sale in our little community. Back on track.

As promised, but still not through any communication by our credit entity, the appraisal happened a week later. The inspection and appraisal on our current home all seemed to have gone smoothly as well. There are so few pieces of this puzzle left to place. It seems as though it might actually go through. Well, as long as the FSA loan documents get refiled with our credit entity's "better understanding of them." As of today, we should have everything completed within the next 14 days. So we wait. Probably not overly patiently, but we wait.

In the meantime, my family is fairly convinced I am trying to sell every item we own. It's possible that is true. I just hope that the packing and selling are not all for naught.

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