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Mortgage and a complication situation, don't know where to start


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Hi, I have been away for a few weeks dealing with this stuff, and I have been hesitant to post about this, but I've been not making much progress and I was hoping someone could help point me in the right direction (if there is a direction at all). This is really long but I don't want to mislead anyone about the complicated aspects. 

 

In previous threads, I've said things to the effect of I was unlikely to need a mortgage in the next 5 years, but of course, that has changed. Nearly seven years ago I bought a house with my parent in that parent's name; I am not on the deed and I know this is the main takeaway from this post. As I've alluded in other threads, my house has an apartment and that parent unilaterally decided to allow my sibling to stay in the apartment without paying rent, and asked me to contribute more to cover this person and whoever they happened to be dating at the moment.

 

In what is a super long story, that sibling badly wanted my house (which I chose, and did all the closing work, and signed the first set of contracts, etc etc) as of this year. In my broader and weirdly close family, this house has always been a point of contention because I found it at an insanely low price, discovered that it was actually a rare legal two family, and fought for that to survive closing. It is also waterfront, and has gone up in value since we bought it. 

 

At the beginning of this year, parent decided to do minor construction to give sibling more space, in the process eliminating parent's bedroom, parent has another house in another state that is now their primary residence. Sibling immediately initiated a campaign of constant complaining to parent, with what I suspect was an end goal of parent agreeing to "give" her our house. (I have put about $150K into it, sibling has paid rent a total of six times.) There is a lot more to this, but sibling successfully triangulated that parent to believe I am making sibling's life difficult out of envy or something. Parent buys this story, and was separated from me for the duration of the year due to covid in the house etc.

 

Part of my initial objection to construction was that I was certain my sibling would have a third child by this third partner imminently, making the construction obsolete. Parent said sibling was "not that stupid," but if they did that, they'd have to leave. Six weeks later, sibling both got covid and got pregnant. 😕 (My proposal was to rent the apartment and give sibling the proceeds.) 

 

In July, parent asked me to meet them at the office of the lawyer who did the closing, and indicated they wished to sell the house, to which I said great, I would like to buy it. (I have a cosigner.) Parent and the lawyer asked me to borrow an additional $130K to "give" my sibling. At this juncture I decided to just get my own lawyer, because I did not feel the offer was made in good faith, and it seemed as though parent felt that honoring my right of first refusal was "favoring" me over my sibling, and that the offer was intentionally placed where they thought it was out of reach. 

 

Then parent offered the house to sibling for over $200,000 less than the offer made to me. Sibling was unable to qualify for a mortgage, and cannot continue staying here with five people in a two room apartment. 

 

Parent also continued to get angrier based on things my sibling claimed were happening, which were not happening (that I was bothering sibling in various ways). A few weeks ago parent came back and asked me to make an offer, but then left before even letting me do that. My lawyer has said to just wait, and has not responded to messages this week.

 

Parent then listed the house, and sibling taped an eviction notice to our door this week. That is all just stupid backstory, but the element of parent being unwilling to speak to me is a huge factor here, or I would have made the offer etc. I suspect sibling convinced their new partner that this was their house, and that is the motivation for creating conflict. 

 

Two weeks ago I was referred to a mortgage broker who indicated me and my co-signer qualify for $20K over the higher asking price - but as I updated the broker about the eviction letter, they didn't want to do any more work on it unless I could guarantee parent was willing to sell it to me (which I understand). Theoretically a pre-approval can be for any house, but there may be an element of the income created by this house being part of what a price is contingent on? I'm just guessing. (Co-signer also needs to deal with a negative entry on their report but has a near 800 score per the broker.) 

 

So as of today, me and co-signer have had our credit run once - and I know inquiries don't matter! But I am eager to get this resolved, and just learned sibling has tentative plans to move, which I suspect will make parent amenable to selling the house to me. But I don't know how to go about getting this letter. 

 

As an aside, I'm really frustrated at this being so messy and last-minute, because we easily could have worked out a solution to which everyone was amenable. But this house has tremendous value to me both emotionally (it's me and my dead husband's house) and financially (the apartment replaces his income), so I don't want money from a sale, I just want to buy it. 

 

I do not know where to start or how to get a pre-approval letter, which my lawyer has been waiting on to initiate anything. I understand the initial broker is spooked by my parent's behavior, which looks really aggressive. Knowing this parent, they are a massive people pleaser and terrified of confrontation, hence the horrific communication. This whole situation is just embarrassing and has consumed my year with anxiety and stress.

 

Sorry for writing all of that, but it's been occupying my thoughts and is part of why I haven't been around lately, and is also the lay of the land. Broker also alluded to an alternative deal structure that "wouldn't even require a mortgage probably," but I have no idea what they meant by that. It appears parent just wants to get money for sibling before the baby, and I have no intention of not contending I have a right of first refusal.

 

So the major question is "how can I get a pre-approval letter" and the secondary question is "does anyone have any insight or ideas of how to present my buying the house as advantageous to everyone?" I would have prepared for this, but sibling's demand for the house and decision to rush into having a baby with a stranger have caused all this impulsivity on the part of sibling and parent. I don't know anything about mortgages and I just want to resolve this and save Christmas. 

 

Thank you. 

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Well, on a first read-through I'm confident that I haven't absorbed all the facts and their nuances in this situation.  Having said that, as unfortunate as this situation is, you need to assess your priorities:  is it more important to assuage people's sensitivities, or to acquire the house in your name outright.  I strongly sense that these objectives are firmly at odds with each other.  You may need to come to terms with this.

 

As far as a mortgage, you should be able to obtain a pre-approval letter without specific reference to a target property, averting the need to explain or resolve any situation prior to a full mortgage application.   Many lenders are pretty good about streamlining a pre-approval.  (I obtained one from DCU in advance of our MA shopping.)  The pre-approval simply asserts that, on preliminary review, you have met the credit and income guidelines necessary to qualify for the mortgage terms that you have requested.

 

You allude to the possibility that you may generate future income through renting out the apartment.  While that may be a possibility, without a tenant in place with some history at the address, I expect that a mortgage lender will be unwilling to factor that potential income in determining the income on which you're qualified.

 

When it comes to the actual mortgage application, you'll need evidence of an accepted purchase offer.  I strongly encourage you to have your lawyer draft a strong offer document that addresses all variables that might be inherent in this situation.  Once you've established the price you wish to offer, you likely should strive to have the offer and subsequent transactions handled through your lawyer.  Simply tell your parents that given the emotions that have become tied up in the situation, you feel that you're all best served by having a "neutral" party intercede on your behalf to keep things on an even and fair keel (no adverse feelings at work).

 

With an offer letter in hand, you can go back to the pre-approval agency (or any other lender, for that matter) for final mortgage approval. 

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5 hours ago, hdporter said:

Well, on a first read-through I'm confident that I haven't absorbed all the facts and their nuances in this situation.  Having said that, as unfortunate as this situation is, you need to assess your priorities:  is it more important to assuage people's sensitivities, or to acquire the house in your name outright.  I strongly sense that these objectives are firmly at odds with each other.  You may need to come to terms with this.

 

Thank you, yes, this is like 10% of what is going on and there's a lot of nuance ... boiled down and nuance-free, I think my parent doesn't want to disappoint my sibling, and thought the fairest thing was to do this ... I also suspect a huge amount of guilt is involved on the part of my parent and sibling because they are sensitive about my husband's death and I see this dynamic a lot, it sort of paradoxically empowers people to behave horribly, because they already feel terrible? 

 

But that said, I have already come to terms (I think) with not choosing keeping any sort of peace and I don't think that was an option anyway. My sibling became so invested in their desire for this particular house that they started trying (and failing) to spread rumors about my husband and me and it was just really bad - so I accept that this is already territory where those relationships are largely unsalvageable.

 

My other parent is my co-signer, and they're now divorced. Having the house in my name is a form of security with little equal because of the rarity of houses with two family permits here, and the cost of taxes and housing where I live. So it has been a priority for me for a long time, I just didn't expect my sibling to do this, or my parent to be so open to manipulation when we lived together for so long and I cooked for them, etc. Short memory. 

 

Quote

As far as a mortgage, you should be able to obtain a pre-approval letter without specific reference to a target property, averting the need to explain or resolve any situation prior to a full mortgage application.   Many lenders are pretty good about streamlining a pre-approval.  (I obtained one from DCU in advance of our MA shopping.)  The pre-approval simply asserts that, on preliminary review, you have met the credit and income guidelines necessary to qualify for the mortgage terms that you have requested.

 

You allude to the possibility that you may generate future income through renting out the apartment.  While that may be a possibility, without a tenant in place with some history at the address, I expect that a mortgage lender will be unwilling to factor that potential income in determining the income on which you're qualified.

Thank you, this is sort of the "where do I start" thing I was looking for, and I was vaguely aware that a pre-approval is broad, but I can understand the broker not really wanting to farm this out because of the escalating nature of it, it seems like a possible underwriting nightmare. 

 

She did mention my mom has one open thing on cosigning parent's credit report that likely needs to be dealt with by closing, but I don't know how that impacts the pre-approval part. It's a very, very stupid thing- I've mentioned before that until I joined in 2017, I just didn't have credit at all. As such, my car in 2011 was in this parent's name, it was financed.

 

And about 7 years ago, they took the car back to trade in, which I was pretty sure was not something you could do. But they did, and for whatever reason the car was considered a voluntary repossession. I don't think they understood exactly why it was not a valid trade-in, or why they should have brought it back to me to continue paying off, but that is something that has to be dealt with. That's the only thing I know of, I have a medical collection I've mentioned before.

 

As far as I know, the first broker I talked to did not really factor possible rent in the original figures they gave me - which were also surprising. At $90,000 more as a base price vs what we paid for the house, the monthly mortgage was significantly lower than it has been since we moved in. Saying this feels like a house version of "I want the payment to be," but homes can be refinanced and more than anything I want to keep my kids here so they can move ahead with college etc. 

 

All of that said, a widow friend of mine who like me is not planning to repartner and is committed to their partner (we have a group, we're all like this) asked about the apartment. But I too would not count on rental income against any figures. 

 

Plugging in my cosigner and my income into calculators seems to suggest we'd qualify for a fair bit even over listing price, and listing price has my profit in it. I still would need money to clear a house debt (not consumer debt) and for a cushion, but the listing price is priced so my leech sibling and I each "get half." (This is a nightmare.) 

 

Although I'm normally fairly clear thinking, I'd forgotten DCU existed. I also have NFCU membership, that was part of me not really knowing if I go to a person or if I go to a bank. A person was less intimidating, but I don't know who handles this stuff. 

 

Quote

When it comes to the actual mortgage application, you'll need evidence of an accepted purchase offer.  I strongly encourage you to have your lawyer draft a strong offer document that addresses all variables that might be inherent in this situation.  Once you've established the price you wish to offer, you likely should strive to have the offer and subsequent transactions handled through your lawyer.  Simply tell your parents that given the emotions that have become tied up in the situation, you feel that you're all best served by having a "neutral" party intercede on your behalf to keep things on an even and fair keel (no adverse feelings at work).

 

With an offer letter in hand, you can go back to the pre-approval agency (or any other lender, for that matter) for final mortgage approval. 

My lawyer has been very slow and has not responded even to the eviction letter, but with the new development yesterday, I think the delay is favorable.

 

Obviously I'm not a lawyer, but it seems like my parent either has to adhere to their signature on a document asserting residence in another state and then answer for why they slept in my house, removed rooms, entered without knocking, etc etc thousands of times, or admit that I've always been co-owner and offer the house to me at the price offered to my sibling.

 

But that may not be how a lawyer sees it. My lawyer has said to make an offer (from the beginning I have expressed to my lawyer that i need a third party to do that), and he wants the letter. I don't want anyone to make an offer in the interim, but I feel the most attractive to everyone scenario (including my sibling, whose new partner wants money) is me buying it, my parent just has to stop escalating and listen. (But again, parents are divorced, other parent is my co-signer.) Parent on the deed will not talk to me because sibling has convinced them I'm a crazy widow. 

 

As it stands, I do not know if I have any sort of claim to the price offered my sibling, but I feel like if it was available to them at that price, it can be sold at that price. 

 

Thank you for helping me think this through. 

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Just a couple of thoughts in follow-up to your response:

 

I've shied away from speculating what rights you may have with respect to the property because that's simply beyond my "ken".  On the surface, it doesn't seem like you have a strong position and it's my expectation that you have zero leverage when it comes to looking for a purchase price set to that which they were offering the  house to your sister.  But, this is exactly what you want an experienced lawyer for. 

 

(And, if you aren't fully satisfied that you're getting well grounded answers from your current lawyer, don't hesitate to seek out a second opinion.)  It's fair to say that with the circumstances you describe, you want to seek out a thorough legal assessment.  There are going to be some dollars spent in achieving that, but it's money well spent.  (I would suggest having a thorough up-front discussion with you lawyer about what could be entailed under reasonable assumptions and ask for a cost estimate, just so that you know what to expect.)

 

While I realize that the full path to acquiring the house may be a bit murky, things will clear up as you work through each hurdle.  Focus principally on what you can do next to move things along, while keeping an eye on what you can do to better prepare for steps later on.

 

 

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I’m a little confused as to past ownership of this house. You stated that it belonged to you and your late husband. But you also say you are not on the deed. Were you or your late husband ever listed on the deed? Or was this purchased by your parent for you to live in with your husband and children?

 

You say that you “have put a out $150k into” the house. Was this money paid as mortgage payments to a bank? Improvements? Are you able to provide proof of these payments (cancelled checks, ACH transactions on bank statements, etc.)?

 

Also, as to the eviction, who is the entity evicting you? Do you have a written lease/rental agreement? Are you paying rent to the parent that is on the deed? The answers to these questions, along with the wording of the notice you were served, could mean several things. You need to read your state’s landlord/tenant statutes. If there is a defect in the eviction notice, or a step was skipped, the eviction may be invalid. Also, if you don’t have a lease, or aren’t paying rent, or one of several other possible scenarios, you may not be able to be evicted. Your parent may have to pursue ejectment instead, which takes much longer in many places. That could give you more time to figure out what your options are. 
 

As hdporter said, if you aren’t happy with your attorney, seek out the opinion of another. You need to have an attorney that will do what is necessary in a timely manner. A defense of “My attorney isn’t responding to me” isn’t going to help you if the house is sold to someone else or if you have to fend off an eviction. Make sure that you are hiring an attorney that specializes in real estate. 
 

One last thing for now. It’s great that your other parent is willing to co-sign for you. But you need to make sure that you protect yourself. Maybe not from this parent, but definitely from your sister. Since you’d be taking out a mortgage, the bank may require your co-signer to be listed on the deed. You’d want the deed to have “right of survivorship” listed. This would give you sole ownership in the event of the death of your co-signer. It’s a bit grim to think that way, but necessary. 

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18 hours ago, hdporter said:

Just a couple of thoughts in follow-up to your response:

 

I've shied away from speculating what rights you may have with respect to the property because that's simply beyond my "ken".  On the surface, it doesn't seem like you have a strong position and it's my expectation that you have zero leverage when it comes to looking for a purchase price set to that which they were offering the  house to your sister.  But, this is exactly what you want an experienced lawyer for. 

 

(And, if you aren't fully satisfied that you're getting well grounded answers from your current lawyer, don't hesitate to seek out a second opinion.)  It's fair to say that with the circumstances you describe, you want to seek out a thorough legal assessment.  There are going to be some dollars spent in achieving that, but it's money well spent.  (I would suggest having a thorough up-front discussion with you lawyer about what could be entailed under reasonable assumptions and ask for a cost estimate, just so that you know what to expect.)

 

While I realize that the full path to acquiring the house may be a bit murky, things will clear up as you work through each hurdle.  Focus principally on what you can do next to move things along, while keeping an eye on what you can do to better prepare for steps later on.

 

 

Thank you. From what I understand, it is just generally murky even from the standpoint of lawyers. There are legal protections in my state for people in my position, and there are four elements to be met, and every lawyer with whom I've discussed this has said this scenario does meet all four elements of it. 

 

There might be leverage I have, mainly around the respective contributions and the landlord living here, sleeping on my couch, making unilateral decisions etc etc things. If they continue asserting they're a landlord, it creates a lot of liability. If they drop that claim, legally I likely have first right of refusal. But all of that really is more on the "litigation" side, and my lawyer is more interested in making an offer.

 

Which brings me back to this parent being avoidant and weird and trying to figure out precisely how to do that, which is a primary hurdle. My lawyer just referred me to a broker, so I'm hoping to get the letter out of the way ASAP. 

 

The only thing I wish my lawyer would do that he's not currently doing is take over communication or make an offer, but I also imagine his not doing that is for some reason. 

 

Thank you ❤️ 

17 hours ago, DPB said:

I’m a little confused as to past ownership of this house. You stated that it belonged to you and your late husband. But you also say you are not on the deed. Were you or your late husband ever listed on the deed? Or was this purchased by your parent for you to live in with your husband and children?

It's confusing. I said it's where we lived, but my parent and I purchased it together years ago and I have not been on the deed. It was originally for my family and parent to live in, and there is a legal apartment in it. 

 

My sibling has always liked the house, but only began asking for parts of it this year. If my sibling did not develop an interest in the house, this would not be contentious. 

 

It's only contentious because my sibling has convinced my parent that I am hostile to them (not true), and it seems like this entire conflict is triangulation. 

 

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You say that you “have put a out $150k into” the house. Was this money paid as mortgage payments to a bank? Improvements? Are you able to provide proof of these payments (cancelled checks, ACH transactions on bank statements, etc.)?

Mortgage payments and then as I've mentioned regarding standing debt, improvements.

 

I have all records relating to these payments as well as my involvement in the purchase of the house, the down payment, etc. 

Quote

Also, as to the eviction, who is the entity evicting you? Do you have a written lease/rental agreement? Are you paying rent to the parent that is on the deed? The answers to these questions, along with the wording of the notice you were served, could mean several things. You need to read your state’s landlord/tenant statutes. If there is a defect in the eviction notice, or a step was skipped, the eviction may be invalid. Also, if you don’t have a lease, or aren’t paying rent, or one of several other possible scenarios, you may not be able to be evicted. Your parent may have to pursue ejectment instead, which takes much longer in many places. That could give you more time to figure out what your options are. 
 

As hdporter said, if you aren’t happy with your attorney, seek out the opinion of another. You need to have an attorney that will do what is necessary in a timely manner. A defense of “My attorney isn’t responding to me” isn’t going to help you if the house is sold to someone else or if you have to fend off an eviction. Make sure that you are hiring an attorney that specializes in real estate. 
 

One last thing for now. It’s great that your other parent is willing to co-sign for you. But you need to make sure that you protect yourself. Maybe not from this parent, but definitely from your sister. Since you’d be taking out a mortgage, the bank may require your co-signer to be listed on the deed. You’d want the deed to have “right of survivorship” listed. This would give you sole ownership in the event of the death of your co-signer. It’s a bit grim to think that way, but necessary. 

The entity is just my parent, there is no lease or rental agreement because until July I was always acknowledged as part owner and eventual purchaser of the house.

 

When I took on the expense related to the house, my parent said to pay what I paid toward the mortgage toward that. I have done that since the expense materialized. 

 

I just talked to my lawyer and they said the eviction letter won't stand but did not elaborate. They also indicated that it would "take years," which I've heard from lawyers and brokers. 

 

The issue with all of this is it's a great starting point to negotiate a price, and I can't see a way my parent won't decide that selling it to me is easier. Which goes back to my inability to speak to this parent, and their refusal to hear me. I've been trying to think of a way around that for months now, and I cannot find a way. 

 

My lawyer is a real estate lawyer, and it seems that the slowness in response was proportional to the possible disruption or impact of the letter (minimal). He did say a third party offer would be problematic, but no one is able to enter the house to look at it without my permission, so it might not easily come to that. Anything could happen, but I hope not that. 

 

As for your last point, I am incredibly worried about the same thing with my sibling. This is not the first nor the last time she has gotten a new partner, gotten pregnant, and caused havoc everywhere. It is guaranteed to happen again sooner rather than later, and we're all aware of it. I do think my other parent will okay a right of survivorship clause, and is also aware of this issue but doesn't like to acknowledge it. As for it being grim, widows and widowers tend to be focused on the "what if someone dies" angle since the younger ones have typically been blindsided before or endured probate with an intestate spouse. I don't think there's any chance this won't be part of any sort of deal we might reach, because of both my parents and me and my kids are aware of this pattern. 

 

Thank you ❤️ 

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Minor update, I spoke to my lawyer and the overall impression I get from my lawyer is he isn't really into leveraging leverage unless it's litigation, and he really wants to avoid litigation, so he's like a nice guy lawyer.

 

He said the letter was a baseless threat and would likely be viewed as such, and that there's no real threat of eviction to worry about. He referred me to another broker with whom he works, and I contacted said broker and hope to get a letter and then deal with whatever entry needs to be dealt with after the fact. 

 

Frustratingly, he still believes I need to make an offer personally, which is difficult given the acrimony sibling started, she basically has convinced parent she fears for her life because I listen to David Bowie sometimes (scary!) and have on occasion saged the house if they're fighting. (I actually had to file a police report six weeks ago, twice, for excessive contact from her to my kids because of her ongoing smear campaign, and then the texts stopped). 

 

Parent is old-fashioned old-country about women, and in their heart does not believe a woman "without a man" can buy a house even if qualified, so this part is uphill.

 

The challenge is I have to possibly allude to the liabilities, also convey my sincere intent to buy, and not make him feel emasculated (which he already feels that way because I said "no" a bunch of times). So now I'm back to waiting for a broker to give me a letter, which I have to then send. I just feel like he's so convinced a woman permanently absent a man (he knows I am committed to my late husband) can't own a house. Who will mow the lawn? Operate a drill? Etc. 

 

Thank you ❤️ if anyone ever has insight or has managed to be female and deal with a man who thinks women can't manage money or mortgages, I am all ears.

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Your concerns, while very valid, are undermining you right now.  Trust that I'm not trying to assuage those concerns one bit; just suggesting that you simply steel yourself to address actual difficulties as they arise.  I fully expect your lawyer will be willing to advise as needed.

 

I suggest following your lawyer's advice.  Prepare a written offer as back up to an in person verbal offer (so that, once you've walked away, the document is the authoritative voice as to what was conveyed, and no one can later cite something different based upon what they remember of the conversation).  Get your lawyer's sign-off on the document (or any recommended revisions).

 

Take this one step at a time.  You may find that much resolves itself in a relatively straightforward manner as you move things forward.  In any case, this is definitely a "one day at a time" situation.

 

Adding:  Keep the "offer" discussion simple.  Don't raise any other topic or issue that isn't immediately germane.  (bite you tongue on any "by the way", or anything you feel a need to say from a defensive posture.  Stick to the facts and excuse yourself as quickly as you can while keeping things cordial.  (It goes without saying, don't allow yourself to be baited!!)

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I agree with hdporter. 
Since you seem very unlikely to be kicked out of the home, you have time to handle this properly. 
Since your attorney specializes in real estate, take his advice. But if you don’t fully understand something, or have questions that haven’t been addressed yet, ask the attorney to explain. 
Follow up with the mortgage broker and get a pre-approval letter. But also, check the rate against other lenders. There are plenty of national lenders that will give you a rate estimate through their website. There are even some that will do a soft pull to give you an accurate rate. You don’t need to rush into using the first broker you speak to just because they approve your application. Also, the interest rate isn’t the only aspect. Make sure you compare closing costs as well. 
Once your application is approved, I’d recommend having the pre-approval letter, which will be used as “proof of funds” when submitting the offer, list your qualified amount just slightly above the price you are offering. For example, if you are approved for a loan up to $300k but are buying the house for $150k, have the letter state that you are approved for $160k. It won’t change the amount that the bank has approved you to borrow, but it will prevent anyone from thinking they can ask for more money just because you qualify to spend more. The approval letter can be adjusted as necessary by the lender if needed. 
Once you have your pre-approval, ask your attorney to draw up a purchase offer. Do not make verbal offers. You want it all in writing. And you’ll almost certainly need such a document signed by both buyer and seller to provide to the bank. 
After you have a signed contract, you can worry about some of the smaller details, but for now, I’d just focus on the approval and then the purchase agreement. Good luck.

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15 hours ago, hdporter said:

Your concerns, while very valid, are undermining you right now.  Trust that I'm not trying to assuage those concerns one bit; just suggesting that you simply steel yourself to address actual difficulties as they arise.  I fully expect your lawyer will be willing to advise as needed.

 

I suggest following your lawyer's advice.  Prepare a written offer as back up to an in person verbal offer (so that, once you've walked away, the document is the authoritative voice as to what was conveyed, and no one can later cite something different based upon what they remember of the conversation).  Get your lawyer's sign-off on the document (or any recommended revisions).

 

Take this one step at a time.  You may find that much resolves itself in a relatively straightforward manner as you move things forward.  In any case, this is definitely a "one day at a time" situation.

 

Adding:  Keep the "offer" discussion simple.  Don't raise any other topic or issue that isn't immediately germane.  (bite you tongue on any "by the way", or anything you feel a need to say from a defensive posture.  Stick to the facts and excuse yourself as quickly as you can while keeping things cordial.  (It goes without saying, don't allow yourself to be baited!!)

Thank you ❤️ (Do you guys know how many times I proofread my post and now I have to live with a typo in the title?)

 

You're right, those concerns are getting in the way and don't really matter.

 

I have a concurrent small Facebook message about this with very close friends, and I discussed most recently that I might just send a registered letter and bypass in-person verbal because he gets so triggered by seeing me/he asks for an offer and then shouts over me. 

 

If I send just a letter (which is just going to be about the offer) then I don't have to worry about making it worse. I'm not sure if either manner of offer should address the price he offered my sibling, which was $200,000 or so cheaper. 

14 hours ago, DPB said:

I agree with hdporter. 


Since you seem very unlikely to be kicked out of the home, you have time to handle this properly. 

 

Since your attorney specializes in real estate, take his advice. But if you don’t fully understand something, or have questions that haven’t been addressed yet, ask the attorney to explain. 

 

Follow up with the mortgage broker and get a pre-approval letter. But also, check the rate against other lenders. There are plenty of national lenders that will give you a rate estimate through their website. There are even some that will do a soft pull to give you an accurate rate. You don’t need to rush into using the first broker you speak to just because they approve your application. Also, the interest rate isn’t the only aspect. Make sure you compare closing costs as well. 

 

Once your application is approved, I’d recommend having the pre-approval letter, which will be used as “proof of funds” when submitting the offer, list your qualified amount just slightly above the price you are offering. For example, if you are approved for a loan up to $300k but are buying the house for $150k, have the letter state that you are approved for $160k. It won’t change the amount that the bank has approved you to borrow, but it will prevent anyone from thinking they can ask for more money just because you qualify to spend more. The approval letter can be adjusted as necessary by the lender if needed. 

 

Once you have your pre-approval, ask your attorney to draw up a purchase offer. Do not make verbal offers. You want it all in writing. And you’ll almost certainly need such a document signed by both buyer and seller to provide to the bank. 

 

After you have a signed contract, you can worry about some of the smaller details, but for now, I’d just focus on the approval and then the purchase agreement. Good luck.

Thank you - I remember getting this mortgage, it taking forever, and having to supply proof of funds for myself even not being on the deed. I remember waiting over a month to get approved for it after we made the initial offer. 

 

Also, I don't remember looking at rates at all, and I was so surprised at a nearly $70,000 higher price, the monthly mortgage was so low comparatively. 

 

The part about the offer/qualified price is really good, I have been concerned throughout that whatever I qualify for is the price he'll insist upon, since both he and our closing lawyer wanted me to borrow an extra $125K to give away. 

 

The bolded part ... that is my secondary frustration! I retained this lawyer with that stated intent - I need a male to do this. But he says that I need to do it directly, and I'd much prefer him doing it. I'll send a letter myself if I have to, but it's very hard to explain that attempts to speak to my parent are just ... not only pointless, but it's like, they are so spun up they say the worst things they can think of like "I hate you," and "you're lucky your husband died, I wish your other parent was dead," and last we spoke and he brought up the subject of my paying off the debt for a house thing and then accused me of having debt from my husband's funeral when in actuality I did not. Any attempts to talk to my parent are like that, and it's almost as if they're frightened to let me speak lest I make sense or they have to think about what they're doing.

 

My other parent despite having been married to this person for 30 years thinks I should talk to them too. I don't get it.

 

So if my lawyer still says I have to send the letter, I will. My lawyer says without a dialogue it's impossible to do this, but I feel like it shouldn't be. Maybe my lawyer thinks that's the best way, and if he doesn't discuss an option two I'll do it and be successful, I don't know. 

 

 

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Some added feedback, prompted by your last post:

 

Discuss the advisability of extending the offer in-person vs a mailed offer.

 

My greatest concern with a mailed offer is the risk that the recipient will just sit on it (perhaps not even opening it).  It's been my experience that if you want to move something along, you need to address it as directly as possible.

 

I fully grasp the possibility that an in-person discussion may invoke a personal attack and verbal challenges of many types.  If you first permit yourself to become firmly grounded in your own integrity, and pursue your objective with a clear mind, you can stand up under such an attack and ultimately steer the conversation back to that objective.  (As I stressed before, the key is simply to set aside any inclination to respond defensively and accept that, in their eyes, their frustration and anger are merited.  That acceptance doesn't require you to cede any iota of personal dignity.)

 

As an aside, out of a survival instinct, I acquired the skill to sit passively in the face of harsh criticism in my teens.  I was in foster care through my teen years.  Entering my senior year in high school, I moved to the home of a couple and their younger adopted children (I was their first foster).  They were decent people, but a decided couple of steps outside the mainstream.  (To add a flavor to the situation, but casting no aspersion, I acclimated to their expectation/urging that I would attend Sunday morning services, Sunday and Wednesday evening Pentecostal services, and a Saturday am bible study.)

 

Their expectation with respect to behavior standards wasn't strict so much as narrowly defined; even accustomed to living in the homes of other families', it was very easy to run afoul of their "guidelines".  On one occasion, holy hell was brought down on me (I'm sure that was a literal suggestion, at the time, but don't remember specifics).  What I do know is that I was set down on a stair step and railed at for 15+ minutes by my foster father.  Again, to fill the picture, this guy was 290 lbs of hulking meat having a classic marine drill sergeant's head.  And, I know that if the object of his fury had been my younger foster brother, age 11, he'd have taken me over is lap and subject me to painful punishment (a decent shade shy of abusive, however ... if you accept that any corporal punishment can be non-abusive). 

 

To cut to the chase, I endured this quietly, respectfully, and clamped my jaw down on any inclination to respond defensively.  There was no upside in pushing back ... just in seeing things through quietly until the fury had passed, and being happy to acknowledge that my behavior was at fault (to the extent that it enraged him), without offering verbal judgement re the validity of that anger.  When he had "shot his wad", I merely said whatever was expedient to close out the encounter and retract to my bedroom.

 

The point is, if you center yourself, you can stand up against a hurricane and come away with your dignity, and quite possibly with what you wished to achieve in the first place..

 

Edited by hdporter
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4 hours ago, hdporter said:

Some added feedback, prompted by your last post:

 

Discuss the advisability of extending the offer in-person vs a mailed offer.

 

My greatest concern with a mailed offer is the risk that the recipient will just sit on it (perhaps not even opening it).  It's been my experience that if you want to move something along, you need to address it as directly as possible.

 

I fully grasp the possibility that an in-person discussion may invoke a personal attack and verbal challenges of many types.  If you first permit yourself to become firmly grounded in your own integrity, and pursue your objective with a clear mind, you can stand up under such an attack and ultimately steer the conversation back to that objective.  (As I stressed before, the key is simply to set aside any inclination to respond defensively and accept that, in their eyes, their frustration and anger are merited.  That acceptance doesn't require you to cede any iota of personal dignity.)

 

As an aside, out of a survival instinct, I acquired the skill to sit passively in the face of harsh criticism in my teens.  I was in foster care through my teen years.  Entering my senior year in high school, I moved to the home of a couple and their younger adopted children (I was their first foster).  They were decent people, but a decided couple of steps outside the mainstream.  (To add a flavor to the situation, but casting no aspersion, I acclimated to their expectation/urging that I would attend Sunday morning services, Sunday and Wednesday evening Pentecostal services, and a Saturday am bible study.)

 

Their expectation with respect to behavior standards wasn't strict so much as narrowly defined; even accustomed to living in the homes of other families', it was very easy to run afoul of their "guidelines".  On one occasion, holy hell was brought down on me (I'm sure that was a literal suggestion, at the time, but don't remember specifics).  What I do know is that I was set down on a stair step and railed at for 15+ minutes by my foster father.  Again, to fill the picture, this guy was 290 lbs of hulking meat having a classic marine drill sergeant's head.  And, I know that if the object of his fury had been my younger foster brother, age 11, he'd have taken me over is lap and subject me to painful punishment (a decent shade shy of abusive, however ... if you accept that any corporal punishment can be non-abusive). 

 

To cut to the chase, I endured this quietly, respectfully, and clamped my jaw down on any inclination to respond defensively.  There was no upside in pushing back ... just in seeing things through quietly until the fury had passed, and being happy to acknowledge that my behavior was at fault (to the extent that it enraged him), without offering verbal judgement re the validity of that anger.  When he had "shot his wad", I merely said whatever was expedient to close out the encounter and retract to my bedroom.

 

The point is, if you center yourself, you can stand up against a hurricane and come away with your dignity, and quite possibly with what you wished to achieve in the first place..

 

Thank you ❤️ and thank you for the response in general, that must have been difficult, especially at such a young age ❤️ 

 

The personal attacking element in this situation is less something to which I am emotionally averse, and more just concern about it being detrimental or exacerbating to attempt. An in-person or verbal offer might be better, but this parent lives in a separate state and stated as such on their eviction letter (which is probably overall helpful). 

 

In that respect, I was considering sending a certified letter with signature and CCing my lawyer, but that's still not a guarantee it will be read. I have long since stopped reacting to the attempts to agitate me, I just feel like they demonstrate a broader unwillingness to hear any reason. Early on in this discussion, this parent would ask what I thought we could do instead, and I'd present my suggestion, and they responded like "well, then everyone would be set ... but we can't do that." I kind of feel like their aversion to hearing me is a feeling that they can't dispute or refute my suggestions or proposals on those merits, and they may feel obliged to placate my sibling by ensuring we both leave. 

 

When they said the thing about my husband's funeral, I just laughed, which is probably not the best response, but it was so bizarre and desperate. So that probably did not help. But by and large, I suspect a big part of this is that I have consistently refused to argue, yell, get annoyed, raise my voice, et cetera. Both this parent and my sibling are impulsive and generally cannot manage their responses, so that may be part of why communication is so bad - I'm not susceptible to being intimidate or reacting. 

 

So I'm just trying to figure out how to do it, and I emailed the broker recommended by my lawyer yesterday, but haven't heard back yet. 

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1 hour ago, discopanda said:

Rule #1 - Never do business with family.

 

The roughly 130K you have put in, was this to pay for a mortgage on the home or was this improvements you made out of pocket?

I politely but strenuously objected every step along the way, for those reasons (and because my sibling is an episode of Jerry Springer).

 

About $85,000 is in mortgage payments, and the balance is from something like but not exactly improvements to the home (I am just trying not to be googleable here). 

 

 

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No one here is going to google you, except maybe PotO. :)

 

Can you prove these expenses? I hate to say it but you may have to look at this as a situation where you have to protect your investment. I’m thinking some type of lien.

 

I know it’s family but fair is fair, if they are trying to be unfair to you, maybe you should set the expectations.

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10 hours ago, smartlypretty said:

Thank you - I remember getting this mortgage, it taking forever, and having to supply proof of funds for myself even not being on the deed. I remember waiting over a month to get approved for it after we made the initial offer. 

 

Also, I don't remember looking at rates at all, and I was so surprised at a nearly $70,000 higher price, the monthly mortgage was so low comparatively. 

 

The part about the offer/qualified price is really good, I have been concerned throughout that whatever I qualify for is the price he'll insist upon, since both he and our closing lawyer wanted me to borrow an extra $125K to give away. 

 

The bolded part ... that is my secondary frustration! I retained this lawyer with that stated intent - I need a male to do this. But he says that I need to do it directly, and I'd much prefer him doing it. I'll send a letter myself if I have to, but it's very hard to explain that attempts to speak to my parent are just ... not only pointless, but it's like, they are so spun up they say the worst things they can think of like "I hate you," and "you're lucky your husband died, I wish your other parent was dead," and last we spoke and he brought up the subject of my paying off the debt for a house thing and then accused me of having debt from my husband's funeral when in actuality I did not. Any attempts to talk to my parent are like that, and it's almost as if they're frightened to let me speak lest I make sense or they have to think about what they're doing.

 

My other parent despite having been married to this person for 30 years thinks I should talk to them too. I don't get it.

 

So if my lawyer still says I have to send the letter, I will. My lawyer says without a dialogue it's impossible to do this, but I feel like it shouldn't be. Maybe my lawyer thinks that's the best way, and if he doesn't discuss an option two I'll do it and be successful, I don't know. 

 

 

So you are on the current mortgage, but not the deed? That adds an extra layer to this. But it also helps establish your financial role up to this point.

 

As for the attorney not wanting to present the offer, that isn't what I was talking about. You need the attorney to prepare the offer. Never enter into a real estate agreement without a properly prepared offer. Once the offer is signed by both parties, it becomes a legally binding contract. 

 

As someone that owns rental properties, flips houses, and builds new houses, I have entered into hundreds real estate agreements. Both as buyer and seller. Every contract was prepared by a professional. Every property I purchased was done so with a contract prepared by my realtor. She uses the contract template provided to Florida Realtors by their Realtor association, not just something that the Realtor made up herself. Every sale had a similar contract presented by the buyers' Realtors if the house was sold once listed on the market. When a buyer has approached me to purchase a house before I'm ready to list it, my attorney prepares a similar contract. My point is, even though I have entered into hundreds of real estate contracts and could easily reproduce them myself, I had an offer/contract prepared by a licensed professional every time. 

 

When the official offer is drawn up and it's time to present it to your parent, that is different. I would assume that the attorney wants you to present the offer due to the delicate nature of your situation. The attorney can always be present with you if you feel that is necessary. I'm not sure it's possible in your situation, but you can email the offer to your parent as well. It's 2020, and it is commonplace to do everything electronically now. I have been e-signing contracts for years.

 

When it comes to the family aspect to this, I can sympathize. I was forced to declare bankruptcy due to the greed of a relative. But that taught me the very valuable lesson that people need to protect themselves. Even against those that you wouldn't expect to screw you over. "Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst." The whole ordeal also has led me to decide that it was better to cut out the negative people from my life. I treat people as they treat me. If they are a-holes, I don't need that negativity so I cut ties. Family or not. I'm not saying that's what you need to do, only that that's what I have found makes my life less complicated and more enjoyable.

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A couple of comments re DPB's input:

 

Personally, I expect the optimal outcome will arise out of a mutual agreement of the parties having a stake in this.  I've purposely avoided any suggestion of offering an opinion that has a legal slant because, ultimately, SP and her lawyer are going to be the driving force if that avenue is ultimately chosen and I have no interest in complicating that discussion.  Frankly, the established facts (and related nuances) are soft enough to discourage such speculation.

 

With respect to how the offer is presented, my gut strongly says that SP should present it herself.  An indirect offer affords too much opportunity to simply ignore it, and then SP ultimately may have to step up to the plate anyway.  Whatever the dynamics at play, I suspect that there's a considerable amount of peripheral venting that the seller will likely need to get out of their system before they're prepared to focus on the transaction itself.  A personally presented offer is the perfect opportunity to let the dust fly.  As I've suggested, it needs a stoic reception.   (This is the same "gut" that turned its nose up at dinner tonight and opted for soup instead ... perhaps best, indeed, to take this with a grain of salt ;) )

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2 hours ago, hdporter said:

A couple of comments re DPB's input:

 

Personally, I expect the optimal outcome will arise out of a mutual agreement of the parties having a stake in this.  I've purposely avoided any suggestion of offering an opinion that has a legal slant because, ultimately, SP and her lawyer are going to be the driving force if that avenue is ultimately chosen and I have no interest in complicating that discussion.  Frankly, the established facts (and related nuances) are soft enough to discourage such speculation.

 

With respect to how the offer is presented, my gut strongly says that SP should present it herself.  An indirect offer affords too much opportunity to simply ignore it, and then SP ultimately may have to step up to the plate anyway.  Whatever the dynamics at play, I suspect that there's a considerable amount of peripheral venting that the seller will likely need to get out of their system before they're prepared to focus on the transaction itself.  A personally presented offer is the perfect opportunity to let the dust fly.  As I've suggested, it needs a stoic reception.   (This is the same "gut" that turned its nose up at dinner tonight and opted for soup instead ... perhaps best, indeed, to take this with a grain of salt ;) )

I suppose I could have worded my response a little better. I was suggesting email as opposed to mailing the offer as OP had mentioned. Obviously, if it can be done in person, or by talking on the phone, it is more likely that the contract will be signed sooner. But that may not be an option. Either way, I wouldn’t just send an offer without some prior communication. But only OP has the facts necessary to determine the best way to initiate contact. 

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Smartlypretty, if at all possible, try to limit all the extraneous detailed family dynamics without skirting the important details when you talk to or email your attorney. I fear it may be a turnoff and time waster for the attorney and this may be why you haven't heard back. I only say this not to be insensitive but only because I've been in this situation. Just focus on what you want the attorney to do after you've made up your mind. 

 

I want this to work out for you and I mean that. Family can be biotch. 

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SmartlyPretty -

 

So sorry to hear about this situation, talk about stress and then compounded with a year full of Covid!!

 

There is a lot to read here, but as I understand the situation, you purchased the home, it's YOUR house, you are making the mortgage payments, repairs, maintenance, etc. but the deed is not in your name, correct?

 

Now I am NOT a lawyer but have some insight here for your from a similar personal experience.  First, it's your house and you should be able to get it into your name for the current mortgage balance, thus you would only need a mortgage for this amount.  You have all the documentation of mortgage payments, repairs, maintenance, etc.  and this should be totally sufficient to make your case.  You should not have to "pay" a higher home price due to appreciation, that belongs to you as this is your house that you have been paying for!

 

In the law, there are ways to substitute for that lack of a formal written contract or agreement.  And it appears the agreement is that this is YOUR house (except you are not on the deed), thus you made the mortgage payments, repairs, maintenance, etc., which one would reasonably do, if the home was theirs! 

 

They primary way to enforce your ownership rights is thru the legal doctrine of promissory estoppel:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/promissory_estoppel

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/promissory_estoppel.asp

 

You may also want to read about detrimental reliance as it is a component of promissory estoppel:

https://uslawessentials.com/detrimental-reliance/

 

Thus if you purchased the home in 20?? for $X with parent and the promise/agreement was it's your home, your family lives in said home and makes the mortgage payments, repairs, maintenance, etc., then it's your home and to obtain title/deed, you should only have to pay-off the current mortgage balance, you have been the one paying the mortgage!  Losing the home appreciation is a detriment to you, you own the home and you relied upon this fact to make the mortgage payments, repairs, maintenance, etc., and if the home is yours, then the appreciation is also yours, it's an inherit part of home ownership.

 

Anyway, I am NOT a lawyer thus I am going to just stop here, hopefully Centex joins this thread and opines, but you now have some legal info to research.  But in my opinion, this is your home and your are entitled to it for the current mortgage balance due. Good Luck!

 

 

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On 11/10/2020 at 7:31 PM, discopanda said:

No one here is going to google you, except maybe PotO. :)

 

Can you prove these expenses? I hate to say it but you may have to look at this as a situation where you have to protect your investment. I’m thinking some type of lien.

 

I know it’s family but fair is fair, if they are trying to be unfair to you, maybe you should set the expectations.

Not afraid of you guys, but anyone in the situation might find it -- part of it is the acrimony is their weird fear other people are being made aware of the details - which I suspect is because none of it reflects well on them or is defensible. 

 

My bank sent me images of all canceled checks in the period, and I have emails where parent says "smartlypretty is putting up $X000 for the XYZ," and the same goes for actual expenses incurred that are a significant chunk of the amount I put in.

 

Parent gets enraged about this, possibly because it stops them from "fairly" splitting the equity 50/50 since sibling is not vested in any fashion except for a handful of rent payments. 

 

Also, sorry for abandoning the thread for so long, there have been a lot of developments and I can't seem to type above the first quote line! This is SO time consuming and stressful and I hate it. 

 

On 11/10/2020 at 8:42 PM, DPB said:

So you are on the current mortgage, but not the deed? That adds an extra layer to this. But it also helps establish your financial role up to this point.

 

As for the attorney not wanting to present the offer, that isn't what I was talking about. You need the attorney to prepare the offer. Never enter into a real estate agreement without a properly prepared offer. Once the offer is signed by both parties, it becomes a legally binding contract. 

 

As someone that owns rental properties, flips houses, and builds new houses, I have entered into hundreds real estate agreements. Both as buyer and seller. Every contract was prepared by a professional. Every property I purchased was done so with a contract prepared by my realtor. She uses the contract template provided to Florida Realtors by their Realtor association, not just something that the Realtor made up herself. Every sale had a similar contract presented by the buyers' Realtors if the house was sold once listed on the market. When a buyer has approached me to purchase a house before I'm ready to list it, my attorney prepares a similar contract. My point is, even though I have entered into hundreds of real estate contracts and could easily reproduce them myself, I had an offer/contract prepared by a licensed professional every time. 

 

When the official offer is drawn up and it's time to present it to your parent, that is different. I would assume that the attorney wants you to present the offer due to the delicate nature of your situation. The attorney can always be present with you if you feel that is necessary. I'm not sure it's possible in your situation, but you can email the offer to your parent as well. It's 2020, and it is commonplace to do everything electronically now. I have been e-signing contracts for years.

 

When it comes to the family aspect to this, I can sympathize. I was forced to declare bankruptcy due to the greed of a relative. But that taught me the very valuable lesson that people need to protect themselves. Even against those that you wouldn't expect to screw you over. "Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst." The whole ordeal also has led me to decide that it was better to cut out the negative people from my life. I treat people as they treat me. If they are a-holes, I don't need that negativity so I cut ties. Family or not. I'm not saying that's what you need to do, only that that's what I have found makes my life less complicated and more enjoyable.

Not on the mortgage or deed, unfortunately. I do have records of all mortgage payments made to this parent, in check images and matching bank statements. 

 

Also I'm sorry you've had something like this too. It's very frustrating. 

 

It's also extremely hard to figure out how and to whom these things need to be presented, I'm waiting on one document for a pre-approval letter, which my lawyer wants to wait for to present an offer directly. But other things happened, so it's confusing. (I'll try to recap below.)

On 11/10/2020 at 9:10 PM, hdporter said:

A couple of comments re DPB's input:

 

Personally, I expect the optimal outcome will arise out of a mutual agreement of the parties having a stake in this.  I've purposely avoided any suggestion of offering an opinion that has a legal slant because, ultimately, SP and her lawyer are going to be the driving force if that avenue is ultimately chosen and I have no interest in complicating that discussion.  Frankly, the established facts (and related nuances) are soft enough to discourage such speculation.

 

With respect to how the offer is presented, my gut strongly says that SP should present it herself.  An indirect offer affords too much opportunity to simply ignore it, and then SP ultimately may have to step up to the plate anyway.  Whatever the dynamics at play, I suspect that there's a considerable amount of peripheral venting that the seller will likely need to get out of their system before they're prepared to focus on the transaction itself.  A personally presented offer is the perfect opportunity to let the dust fly.  As I've suggested, it needs a stoic reception.   (This is the same "gut" that turned its nose up at dinner tonight and opted for soup instead ... perhaps best, indeed, to take this with a grain of salt ;) )

Last week, parent inadvertently group texted everyone including my kids about showing the house, and I again said "just let me buy it," and parent texted back an offer that was $200,000 less than their original demand. I accepted that, and texted back, but now they're off again on multiple rants. (I'll explain.) 

On 11/11/2020 at 1:29 AM, StarkRaven$ said:

Smartlypretty, if at all possible, try to limit all the extraneous detailed family dynamics without skirting the important details when you talk to or email your attorney. I fear it may be a turnoff and time waster for the attorney and this may be why you haven't heard back. I only say this not to be insensitive but only because I've been in this situation. Just focus on what you want the attorney to do after you've made up your mind. 

 

I want this to work out for you and I mean that. Family can be biotch. 

Thanks - I agree, it's distracting and unnecessary. I don't know how much needs to be disclosed to understand the lay of the land, but I do try to stick to the numbers as much as possible.

 

A lot of this has to do with imminent issues like people trying to enter the house without notification or consent, or general things like that. My lawyer said I don't have to allow anyone in the house, and with the current state of pandemic affairs and one sick child, I don't want to. 

On 11/11/2020 at 5:20 AM, Rogue said:

SmartlyPretty -

 

So sorry to hear about this situation, talk about stress and then compounded with a year full of Covid!!

 

There is a lot to read here, but as I understand the situation, you purchased the home, it's YOUR house, you are making the mortgage payments, repairs, maintenance, etc. but the deed is not in your name, correct?

 

Now I am NOT a lawyer but have some insight here for your from a similar personal experience.  First, it's your house and you should be able to get it into your name for the current mortgage balance, thus you would only need a mortgage for this amount.  You have all the documentation of mortgage payments, repairs, maintenance, etc.  and this should be totally sufficient to make your case.  You should not have to "pay" a higher home price due to appreciation, that belongs to you as this is your house that you have been paying for!

 

In the law, there are ways to substitute for that lack of a formal written contract or agreement.  And it appears the agreement is that this is YOUR house (except you are not on the deed), thus you made the mortgage payments, repairs, maintenance, etc., which one would reasonably do, if the home was theirs! 

 

They primary way to enforce your ownership rights is thru the legal doctrine of promissory estoppel:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/promissory_estoppel

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/promissory_estoppel.asp

 

You may also want to read about detrimental reliance as it is a component of promissory estoppel:

https://uslawessentials.com/detrimental-reliance/

 

Thus if you purchased the home in 20?? for $X with parent and the promise/agreement was it's your home, your family lives in said home and makes the mortgage payments, repairs, maintenance, etc., then it's your home and to obtain title/deed, you should only have to pay-off the current mortgage balance, you have been the one paying the mortgage!  Losing the home appreciation is a detriment to you, you own the home and you relied upon this fact to make the mortgage payments, repairs, maintenance, etc., and if the home is yours, then the appreciation is also yours, it's an inherit part of home ownership.

 

Anyway, I am NOT a lawyer thus I am going to just stop here, hopefully Centex joins this thread and opines, but you now have some legal info to research.  But in my opinion, this is your home and your are entitled to it for the current mortgage balance due. Good Luck!

 

 

Thank you ❤️ This is very helpful. The house has always been in my parent's name and I have no access to pay the mortgage directly. That is a complication.

 

Normally I think my parent would have agreed to that, but they really want my sibling to get a lot of money from the house in a sale. My sibling hasn't invested in the house. It is complicated and extremely stupid. 

 

Friday I spoke to my parent's attorney at my parent's insistence, and the attorney is very insistent that I not try to pursue buying the house, that nothing not in writing will ever matter, that a judge would never even hear any of this etc etc. 

 

As you've said, there are things like promissory estopple and (I don't wanna show up in search) the c o n s t r u c t i v e   t r u s t remedy, which seems to address exactly this situation on all four causes - down to the enrichment of a third party (sibling). Parent's lawyer is being very odd about it all as if litigation is the only option other than me opting to move out. 

 

Instead of paying the mortgage, parent directed me to pay a house-related debt, which I have been doing at 1.5-2x my mortgage contribution. I asked for a HELOC to get rid of it, but my parent did not want to discuss it. 

On 11/16/2020 at 6:00 AM, Rogue said:

Any updates?

Yes. But updates very lateral in that it's forward and back. As I mentioned above, this parent sent a group text including my kids about showing and selling the house.

 

I texted back and offered to buy the house and they gave me a price for the house, to which I agreed instantly. I got more angry texts back after, because they still elected to drive hours to come here and try to show the house, and I declined in part because it's dangerous (and because we had a verbal understanding I'd buy the house).

 

After I didn't let groups of people in to see it, my parent got enraged again, and then told me to contact their lawyer (who represented us both during the initial closing). That lawyer claims their partner is representing my parent, not them. 

 

My parent also later sent several texts complaining their medication was in the house (not true?) and that they can't get in to use the bathroom etc, which conflicts a lot with their signed eviction notice. They don't seem to understand you cannot concurrently claim to be an out of state landlord and put in writing that you live in the house (I would think). They haven't slept here since March, but they definitely do not have medication here because they haven't been here? It's like ... this is all just crazy behavior, and I don't understand how it doesn't undermine the claim of being a landlord here. 

 

When I called their lawyer Friday, I said that my parent offered the house to me for $XXX,000, and I accepted, and the lawyer said my parent couldn't sell it to me for that amount. Oddly, the lawyer told me my parent offered to and tried to sell the house to my sibling for $XXX,000 - $70,000, the amount apparently remaining on the loan. But my sibling was unable to qualify; I am qualified and waiting for one document to get the stupid letter. 

 

According to my parent's not-lawyer who can't represent us due to conflict of interest, while my parent was able to sell the house to my sibling who has not invested in the house except for scattered rent payments this current year (and who lived here rent free for quite a while), my parent cannot sell it to me for less than $XXX,000 + $47,000 because then my sibling wouldn't get the very specific sum of $1XX,000 (for what?) 

 

So as of less than a week ago, I have a fair price quoted for me that doesn't factor in any of the money I've put in at all, which I agreed to, which now conflict of interest lawyer says is impossible to do, even though my parent was the one who came up with the price. Also this lawyer quoted me $XXX,000 + $47,000 and I said "I could probably do that," and then the lawyer backed away from that price too and said I couldn't buy it at the agreed upon price plus $47,000. ???

 

If this all sounds crazy, it's because it is crazy. There is something off or not adding up about it, but I can't really figure it out. From what I have been told, my parent is desperate to get the house out of the name, but is just too angry to complete the sale to me. The lawyer in question was married to my other parent's best friend for a long time so they know both my parents for over 50 years. 

 

I'm sure there's some major thing no one is telling me, but right now where things stand is I'm waiting for a document to get the pre-approval letter and let my lawyer try to talk to these people. I was really hoping to have this settled by Thanksgiving and especially by Christmas and it's just like, every time it seems resolvable someone throws another tantrum. 

 

Thanks for helping me figure this out. I figured if a lot of people said "but you're not on the deed" it would mean it's not worth trying to fix. 

Edited by smartlypretty
clarity and math
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