Fixing Up A Foreclosure
This Time We Closed
Published on April 2, 2012 by guest author: Adam Rust

Adam Rust is purchasing a foreclosed house and fixing it up for renters. This blog post is part of a series about that process.


This time we closed.

If you remember from last time, the closing fell through because the water heater began to leak. It ruined a ceiling and a carpet. “I just want to make sure that this is a $3,000 cost and not a $13,000 cost.” Well, it turned out that a brand new water – even one from a company that has a monopoly on this particular technology – is only $1,300.

Somewhere through the second half-hour of signatures, our lawyer stopped to hold up a paper.

“This one really gets me,” he said. “These guys at HUD have insisted that you sign this document. It says that you will hold them harmless for any problem with the house, going back to the beginning of time.”

Both parties know that the home was built in 1992.

“This isn’t legal,” he says. “It’s biblical.”

The only thing that leaves me a bit unsettled is the sheer informality of the proceeding. A representative from our seller, the US government, is not even here. Is this really how the government is overseeing the fire sale on hundreds of billions of dollars of its assets?

I am no different. I came to the closing in a pair of old khaki pants and a golf shirt. My wife was wearing crocs. Our lawyer was wearing jeans. 

Americans once viewed the moment of signing a mortgage as one of the turning points in a middle-class life. It was the financial marriage. Until just a few years ago, many of my colleagues worked to convince more working class people to emulate the same ideal.

But things are changing for homeownership and for matrimony. The average duration of both has grown shorter. The people on Wall Street tell each other to expect a mortgage loan to last about six years. The average divorce occurs in a marriage that is less than eight years old. Is there a connection? Perhaps.

To be continued ...

Adam Rust lives is a father and husband who lives in Durham, N.C. He also blogs at

Previous Posts By This Author: A Hiccup

A Snag in the Buying Process

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