Sunday, August 1, 2010

Chapter 11 – All your base are belong to us.

Or at least the ones which reside on my property. It’s OFFICIAL. The land is ours. We’ve paid for it and the PAST owners are moving before August 8th which is the day I will meet them to receive the keys.


Here’s a quick recap of what happened at the bank on Friday 7/30 in case you’re interested:

  • Arrived 15 minutes early at the bank. I run into the matriarch, her daughter and her agent. A few awkward bows and we are guided to non-descript meeting room by a bank clerk.
  • We are greeted by the judicial scrivener and this one is no Bartleby. He speaks in high pitched effeminate voice to convey his level of servitude and it makes me wonder what he sounds like when he’s off duty. There’s a large meeting table and I’m not sure on which side I should be. My gut tells me to go on the far side so I don’t have to turn around every time someone enters the room.
  • So we start the meeting by everyone showing a piece of ID and fill out papers with name and address and official stamp.
  • Next wave of papers to fill out are the bank transaction slips, some are for cash withdrawals and some for bank transfers.
  • I double check with my agent each slip for the total amount with a separate sheet which has details the recipient, amount and purpose. When I get to the real estate agent fee I ask my agent : “Do we really need this one? I don’t remember what this is for?”. Puzzled look from the agent. I smile. “It’s joke” I say. “Got it” he says laughing. “How about we add a zero at the end?” he asks. Good guy.
  • The little bank lady goes away with the slips and we’re left alone with nothing but uncomfortable silence, some boring talk of how technology is changing the format of land deeds, commute to work, etc. this goes on for 20 minutes. I know whipping out my blackberry at this point is a bit rude but I can’t resist.
  • Little bank lady comes back with bricks of cash in 5 neat envelopes with their totals written on them. I don’t think I’ve ever held so much money in my life. I double check the totals and what is reflected in my bank book then I hand it over to the respective parties.
  • I get the receipts for all the payments and it’s over. All done in 1 hour.

About the possible savings on the mortgage setup fee I mentioned at the end of my last post, first let me explain the scheme. Under regular circumstances the mortgage setup fee is 0.4 % of the loan amount but there is currently a special discount in effect until March 2011 which brings this rate down to 0.1 for newly built-homes and used homes. Since I am buying a plot of land then building 6 months later, I am not eligible. However, in theory, if the bank were willing to wait 6 months to setup the mortgage then I could in theory be eligible. So I asked and they said NO. Note to self in the future, hire a good tax consultant earlier.

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