We had the home listed and lots of people came to look at it. (That was a feat in and of itself. House always has to be put together and look nice.) The house listed Sept 2nd. We knew Jim would be moving Oct 2nd so we were hopeful that it would sell quick. We had an offer right away but it turned out they couldn't qualify for the house with the HERO program lien.
Emotionally Scarring Backstory:
In May, we talked to a company about putting solar panels on the house. Our electric bill was sky high and we were hoping to lower it. (We were on the level pay plan through So Cal Edison and we were paying over $200 a month every month) The saleswoman explained to us about the program and we made sure to ask how it worked when we eventually sold the house (Because we knew this wasn't going to be our forever home) She told us its super easy to sell your house with it. It just transfers into the other buyers name and everything is great. (We should have done more research) We made sure to let her know that we wanted to OWN the panels. We did not want to lease them, or just "purchase the energy" We wanted to make sure they were ours. She said that was exactly what we were getting. We would own the panels. Our electric bill would be about $186 which was lower than we were currently paying. Things sounded great. (That should have been a red flag) We were also told the total amount we would be financing would be roughly 23K.
Fast Forward to the home selling:
Turns out its not quite that easy to sell a house with them on. They are listed as a lien against the house. They are in the first position. 9 out of 10 banks will not fund on a home with a lien in first position. (This basically means if you go bankrupt or short sell your home the lien gets paid before the mortgage does) The first people to offer on the house - their bank wouldn't fund on it. This happened 4 times. As months dragged on it was becoming more and more apparent we were going to have to pay off the entire 28K! Yep you read that right. Our payoff amount was 5K more than the amount we signed off on. (And in looking at the final paperwork our payment would have been $265 not the $180) (We wouldn't have to make a payment in the first year so we didn't know the exact payment amount until that point)
We also found out that we did not own the panels like we thought. We had gotten what is called a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). Which means we were paying for 20 years of electricity. This was what we specifically said we DID NOT want. We got copies of all of the paperwork and the PPA only had my name on it. Jim's name was no where on the PPA. Both of our signatures were on every other form we signed. Both of our names were on everything. We are both listed on the title of the home so we both should have been on every form. All paperwork was digitally signed. This form was not one I remembered signing. In fact I wouldn't have signed a paper that only had my name on it without Jim's and I definitely wouldn't have signed anything stating we were getting a PPA. I can't say 100% that the sales woman forged the documents but I can say I didn't sign that paper.
But at this point there was nothing we could do. We had to get the house sold. This stretched through to November. Jim came back for Thanksgiving and on his birthday Nov 28th we accepted an offer on the house! It was a full price offer but we did have to pay off the solar panels. We had gotten to the point that we didn't really care about that. We just wanted it to be sold and us to be together again. Our closing date was originally early January.
We fought with their lender for quite awhile. They wouldn't return calls, they didn't complete paperwork on time. They were a nightmare to work with. But eventually we closed on the house and it was finalized on January 20, our anniversary. (Funny thing is when we bought the house we closed on January 22, 2010 so we lived there almost exactly 5 years to the day)
The kids and I would be moving in with my parents for just a couple weeks until we found a house in Georgia. No problem this half had to go smoothly right? Jim had already been in Georgia for over 3 months, it couldn't be much longer. Maybe 6 weeks at the most.......?!