View from The Loft: Buying a Home in 2020 is a Process!

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By Jim Coleman, Special to The Paper

Well, if 2020 wasn’t screwed up enough, I decided to MOVE. That in itself proves that I have some form of dementia. I started to describe it as “early onset dementia,” but at my age I suppose I have to drop the “early onset” part. It’s so strange being the same age as old people!

So, there will be no more View from the Loft column. I don’t yet have a new title for this column. VIEW FROM THE MIDDLE-CLASS MID-CENTURY SUBDIVISION OUT ON THE HIGHWAY GOING TOWARD FAIRBURN just doesn’t roll off the tongue like VIEW FROM THE LOFT does. I’m going to miss walking to the square for dinner, walking to my office, hearing the courthouse bell toll the hour and having a four-locomotive freight train pass my bedroom window 12 to 15 times a day, but sometimes we have to just settle for the best we can do.

It’s been seven years since I participated in the real estate market.  Hopefully, this will be my last. Looking at houses and finally choosing the one you’d like to live in for the rest of your life was pleasant enough assuming you are prequalified, have a letter from the bank and you are capable of making a lifetime decision in an afternoon, because tomorrow anything that is decent won’t be available. Now I know how my eight-pound Chihuahua feels when she can’t even get her nails clipped without three pages of documents.

And then there is the loan process. “Jesus take the wheel.” These days we try to practice caution when dealing with personal information, log-ons and passwords. Well, I have never actually met any of these people, I have never been to anybody’s office and I have never signed a real document until the actual closing.

But I have given out my full name, my social security number, my credit card numbers, my birthdate, my income, my bosses email address, my former addresses, my driver’s license number, my bank account number, my brokerage firm account numbers, my credit history and a hair sample from my first-born.  I wrote an earnest check, it cleared the bank so then I had to prove with copies of my bank statement, that the check was actually mine, it actually came from my account, the balance before it cleared and the balance after it cleared.  Oh, and not just a screenshot of the transaction, an actual statement sent from the bank for the entire month in which the check was written showing all the account activity.

So now, in addition to proving the money was actually mine, some loan processor also knows how much I pay for gas and groceries, how much electricity I use, and which Canadian pharmacy my Viagra comes from. It was, without a doubt, the most obscene violation of privacy I have ever witnessed. We should all sleep well knowing that seasoned criminals are the only ones who can get away with fraud by fooling all these people who work at the bank.

Women tell me that the pains of childbirth are quickly forgotten when you finally see the baby.  I’ll try to remember that as I sit on the patio with a glass of wine and watch golfers in my back yard. At least I bought a house built on a slab. That way I can get around with my walker, when the time comes, and the gurney with my body on it will just slide out the door with no trouble.

NEVER DOING THIS AGAIN!

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Jim Coleman is twice retired as a financial advisor and flight attendant. A theatre geek, musician, arts administrator and preservationist, he lived a relatively obscure life until he crossed paths with Corby Winters. Jim chose Newnan as his new forever home five years ago and is dedicated to making our community the best it can be.

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