Well, by "relocation" I meant 800 miles. :) From NJ to IL. >:(
Another thing I just thought of (and because we happen to be renting from someone that is underwater on the house we live in and the landlord is an absolute scum) is that if you rent from someone that's in foreclosure and the foreclosure goes through (while they are renting to you and pocketing the rent to try to recover something out of owning the place), then you pretty much get 30 days notice to vacate. So it's kind of a scary time to be a tenant right now anyway. I absolutely would not be surprised if that was what was going on in the house I'm in right now. I don't know it to be the case, but it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest.
And seeing my son run around with the neighborhood kids IS helping me make peace with the fact that I can no longer own chickens--let alone expand to sheep. :( But I do miss my food garden.
We are in the process of trying to buy a short sale that is literally 5 doors down from where we're living. We made an offer in late August and the seller didn't want to accept it. We made another offer 6 weeks later and came to agreement. From there, it goes to the bank. This particular seller is a couple in the process of divorce and they are with an experienced short sale attorney that pre-screened them for being good candidates for getting a short sale granted, but not all of the paperwork had been filed yet. We just got word 2-3 days ago that the bank had everything they needed (their own estimate of value of the property, the seller's documentation, etc.) to make a decision and had assigned a processor, but we wouldn't hear anything at all before Jan. 7th. Even then, we're not sure if they'll hand down a decision or what. It's a LOOOONG process. And really, if the bank turns around and says that someone will need to come up with $10,000 (or whatever) for them to make this deal, we're pretty sure that the seller will say "The buyer wants to be on this block--let them pay it!" What they don't know is that we're no longer feeling like it's critical to be on this block--so they would be sorely mistaken. But we made our initial offer and they'd wanted us to come up $10,000 and we didn't want to. Six weeks later when they hadn't had a single offer and the buying season was pretty much over, we came back and offered at the $10,000 higher they initially wanted. Well, they now wanted us to come up ANOTHER $10,000. So we're thinking that they're just going to assume we'll do anything to be here because we live here already and love our neighbors. And we do, but... The other thing is: the contract is writing such that we can void the contract if the house doesn't appraise at or above the contract price. The process is going on so long and the available comps will now be from the slowest time of the year. It's close to impossible that the house would appraise for what we offered (and when we offered, we were already cutting it pretty close. I estimated we were about $10k-$15k over what it was worth already). So that one has good odds for not working out. It's going to depend on how badly the bank and the sellers want out of the house and how much it actually appraises for. If the bank will let it go for the appraised price without asking that "someone" come up with more money, great. But I'm not sure how likely that is. The current owners aren't in pre-foreclosure, both work, etc. I can't imagine the bank writing off $60k or more and not holding them accountable for some portion of it. And that's where I think they will try to pawn it off on us thinking we'll just eat it to be in that house. Sometimes the amount that the bank needs is so small that the realtors will get together and shave their commission a bit to help the sellers with the amount they're stuck with and then the buyers do a "little" something and everyone is happy. We're not doing that.
HOWEVER, we are also about to close on a foreclosure a few blocks away. We made the offer on that one in late October. The offer was accepted after some banter (there were multiple offers) within a few days (maybe 3?). But from there... blech. There aren't any appliances in it and depending on the loan program, it could've needed for us to buy the appliances and put them in before we owned the house. We escaped that, but the appraiser had to have the water turned on in order to do the appraisal. Well, that got into us not wanting the water turned on because our inspection showed that there was a leak. We happened to apply for the mortgage with the large, national bank that owns the property thinking it would be a quicker process (WRONG! But sometimes it is) and this has all resulted in the bank doing an awful lot of plumbing repairs that we honestly thought we would be doing (the house was winterized, so we just wrote off all the plumbing and made our offer under the assumption that most of it would need replacing). Of course, the process of getting bids for the plumbing work and getting them approved to do the work has been LONG. We are now on our second closing extension. The initial work scope was expanded. They claim that they've repaired all the stuff they ripped apart to DO the plumbing work. So, score for a huge expense that we no longer have to deal with--for sure. We could've changed loan programs to a 203k so that the water wouldn't need to be on for the appraiser, but this works out way better for us (especially since we can wait it out). So we just need the appraiser to get in there and after the bank looks over the appraisal, we can close (we know that it will appraise at LEAST at what we're paying for it, but likely a little more). Our current extension has us closing Dec. 20th--which is possible if the appraiser can get out there tomorrow. It's a smaller house, so we can't live there forever; but if the short sale falls through--we at least have a place to live. Heaven knows we're not staying here with the landlord who has yet to fix the sump pump that flooded the basement in early August... 2 weeks after we moved in. >:(