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My First Time: Total Crash and Burn

This week, we're running reader tales of first-time home purchases. If you've got a good one, drop us a line. Our first entry, via reader MD, is straight ahead. Enjoy.

"My first attempted try was a total crash and burn (it is true what they say?the first time isn’t good for anyone). It happened on the corner of 3rd and A. The players; me and a cute little 1br pre war. Original hardwood floors, original claw foot tub. Not fancy at all but totally my style as I love the feeling of old stuff.

"The broker loved me, and I loved the apartment. I saw it the first day it was on the market and I put in an offer that evening. Things moved along, my offer was accepted (hallelujah?since I had made offers on 2 other apts and had gotten rejected) I was also starting to get nervous since my current apartment’s lease is up Aug 31st and if I didn’t find an apartment come June 15th-ish, I would probably be out of a home while waiting to close.

"So back to my nightmare??.my offer was accepted and thus began the song and dance of drawing up the contract. I gave them every single solitary piece of information on my finances, my personal life..I was prepared to give them my effing monthly cycle info if I thought it would help my case. Finally a contract was drawn up and I signed it and wrote a big big big deposit check. I did all this on a Friday afternoon.

"Any normal seller, in my book, would want to deposit that damn check immediately if not sooner and begin the process, but come Tuesday, the check hadn’t been cashed yet. I was stumped and called my lawyer. He said that he had already called the seller’s lawyer but no one would return his call. Then I called my broker, even more concerned. She said that she had tried to contact the seller’s broker too but no answer. I was freaking. They had my check and they had my signed contract but weren’t doing anything with it, NOR were they returning our calls.

"Then we finally heard from them. They said they didn’t feel comfortable that I would be able to pay the monthly maintenance on the apt (it was $600?my current rent is $1,200 WTF??) and that they wanted a guarantor for the monthly. I was so pissed and confused but I wanted that apt so badly that I got my mother to agree to be my guarantor. All that took another 3 days.

"Finally, I thought I had everything they could have possibly wanted. I get a call from my broker on the Friday before Labor Day. She asks me if I’m sitting down. Then she dropped the bomb. I had lost the apt. This is when I became a rage infused maniac. Apparently those blood sucking dogs were making me jump through hoops and not returning my calls (all the while, holding onto my big big big check and my signed contract) because they were doing ANOTHER contract secretly behind my back. They didn’t’ give me a chance to counter, they didn’t tell me about it? they just gave the apartment to someone else. Apparently this isn’t illegal but it’s so shady and duplicitous that it never really happens. It’s an apartment urban legend apparently.

"I have never sworn or cried or wished all the plagues on someone as much as I did on them. But at the end of the day, I realized that it was probably a good thing. I wouldn’t want the likes of them to have my money.nor would I want to be doing a business deal with people with such low moral fiber (aka. F*ck heads) People kept telling me things happen for a reason and that I’d find another one even better. I wanted to punch them all in the neck.

"Turns out?..they were right. Even though it took me a while to find it and now will have to sleep on a couch for 6 weeks while waiting for the closing date.

"Moral of the story: Nothing, and I mean NOTHING is yours until they sign the damn contract and deposit the check. Do not for a second think you have an apartment until that is done. Oh and also, never trust anyone when money is involved."
· Curbed Asks: First-Time Buying Stories [Curbed]