How Our Marriage Survived Escrow

by Erika Torres

I alluded in my last post that the escrow process can be stressful. I think this is partly largely due to my Type A personality, especially when it comes to finances.

I also have a really hard time with change and uncertainty. Even if it’s change that I’m looking forward to (like buying a house!), it makes me very uneasy to not have any control over when things happen, like having no control over when escrow closes.

I also felt like I was cut out of the process because the realtor communicated mostly through Eric, which was largely our fault because I had Eric act as my messenger and asked any questions through him.

This was really bad because Eric would try and remember the realtor’s answers, and then if I had follow-up questions that Eric didn’t ask, Eric would get frustrated with me for wanting to know the answer.

I can’t tell you how many times the phrase “I want to know what I’m getting for my half-million-dollar investment!” escaped my lips.

How Escrow Escalates

At the beginning, I was fine with everything and I liked to see the progress that was being made.

We received the home inspection report and could see everything that needed to be fixed (one big thing, and a lot of minor things). My issue was that I wanted an update every day, even if it was to say “no update today.”

During the final stages, it was making me very anxious to see that certain things hadn’t been done yet, like the termite inspection.

Furthermore, there was a big issue with the electrical wiring that was supposed to be fixed, and Eric told me that he had agreed to a $1,000 credit instead. Well, when I looked up this issue, I saw that it could cost up to $3,000 to fix and I freaked out.

No offense to my husband, but he has in the past been known to ignore costs when he falls in love with something. I felt that he was acting like a child with a shiny new toy and couldn’t see the financial ramifications of his actions.

I had already fallen victim to this shiny new toy mentality in the past and I wasn’t going to repeat the same mistake.

However, further complicating matters was that Eric was working nine days in a row during this time so I didn’t have constant communication with him.

Without getting into the details, the whole electrical thing was a giant misunderstanding, and so was the termite process. Everything worked out in the end, and Eric and I didn’t kill each other.

The one issue that I still can’t get over though is feeling like our realtor took advantage of us because we were first-time homebuyers, and honestly the whole process left a really bad taste in my mouth.

Hey, but live and learn right?

Read Part I: We Bought a House! 
Read Part II: How We Decided to Buy Our First Home
Read Part III: The Escrow Process of Buying Our First Home


Robin @ The Thrifty Peach December 17, 2014 - 6:00 pm

My husband is the exact.same.way when he sees something new and shiny. It drives me crazy!!

Megan - FireWifey December 16, 2014 - 3:32 pm

So lame that your realtor took advantage of you. Seriously. We lucked out and both our loan officer and realtor were trusted friends from church.

Rachel December 15, 2014 - 6:38 am

Congrats on the new house. I’m a realtor in So Cal and I’m very curious to know what are the things that you think makes a realtor good or bad. I completely agree with you that many realtors are only in it for the paycheck. I’ve been in real estate for almost 4 years and try my best to serve my clients in any way possible but I know that’s not the case for everyone. Hope you’re settling into the new house nicely! It will be so nice to be truly home for Christmas 🙂

Alice @ Earning My Two Cents December 11, 2014 - 4:08 am

My hubby and I are just starting the first time home buying experience. Thanks for sharing yours! Fingers crossed we have a good experience. I am a person with a thousand questions, lists, and fear of being taken advantage of so my husband helps keep me even and I keep him informed, so it works out.

Kait December 10, 2014 - 8:06 pm

Are you a taurus, too? Because this entire article sounds dangerously like the thoughts that would be in my head if my bf and I were closing escrow on a house! I especially liked your comment about your husband ignoring additional costs when he gets excited about a purchase, my bf is the EXACT same way – stresses me out every time! 🙂 Congratulations to you both for working through it and a second congrats on the house!

newlywedsonabudget December 12, 2014 - 10:18 am

I totally AM a Taurus!! 🙂

Sally December 10, 2014 - 1:50 pm

We should have a chat about this to see if we can make a post about realtors and loan officers and first-time buyers! I had some similar feelings but I also know that I tend to freak out and think someone’s pulling a fast one on me.

Misty December 12, 2014 - 8:24 am

I’d love a blog on how to find a good Realtor. I’m probably going to end up going with a coworker’s uncle, which makes me nervous. But he did find them an excellent house at a great price and knows about all of the conditions of different loans so he can rule out what can and cannot be financed as is. Honestly, everything about the process makes me super nervous!

holly@clubthrifty.com December 10, 2014 - 12:26 pm

From my experience, buying a house is always a huge pain. Totally worth it, though. Enjoy your new home!

SavvyFinancialLatina December 10, 2014 - 8:49 am

I remember when we bought out house. I felt I was more competent than my realtor. I still feel we left money on the table. Live and learn right?

newlywedsonabudget December 10, 2014 - 10:09 am

Wow! I’m glad to know then that I’m not alone. Eric did say that he thinks we had a very normal experience that lots of people go through, so perhaps he is right…. maybe there is no such thing as the perfect home buying experience and you just have to go with the hiccups along the way.

cece December 10, 2014 - 8:20 am

House hunting and buying is just an incredibly stressful thing and when you are someone who likes to be in control of things it’s 10x harder!! I’ve often thought of how difficult it might be to be a real estate agent with all these nervous home buyers stressing you out.

newlywedsonabudget December 10, 2014 - 10:08 am

Agreed. I’m sure I didn’t make it easy on him. I have to remind myself to stop driving myself crazy with all the “what ifs” and just be thankful and grateful that we are finally homeowners!!

Mysti December 10, 2014 - 7:47 am

First off….congratulations! When we bought our house, we were fortunate that the overall process went pretty smoothly. Even at the closing table, everyone said how odd it was that it went so easily….I like to think it was my Type A personality too. (I bet we would be great friends in real life!)

As for realtors….I am discovering how bad the whole lot of them may be. I am sure there are some that are great….but somehow I haven’t foiund the good one yet. Now that we are selling our house, boy am I finding out how bad it can get. I am convinced that none of them really want to work….they want to collect a check. They count on us Type A’s to do the work.

I understand the feeling of loss of control and how anxiety ridden it is. I am right there….and it isn’t a comfortable place.

newlywedsonabudget December 10, 2014 - 10:07 am

Well that makes me feel better then!! I think for sure the only way to have a good realtor is to have one that you know as a friend in real life because you know that your personal relationship is at stake, and you’re willing to do more for friends. However, I’m always wary of mixing business with friendship…

Kirsten December 10, 2014 - 7:24 am

Home buying is always incredibly stressful, even without bumps in the road and with wonderful Realtors. I’m like you, though. I prefer overcommunication to disappearing, and I think I would have been feeling a little out of control through the whole thing. And I would have flipped at accepting the credit that would end up costing us money, but what is done is done and, also, sometimes those negotiations are the only way to keep the deal on track.

newlywedsonabudget December 10, 2014 - 10:06 am

we actually recently had an electrician come out, and it turns out a lot of the work had already been done!! So we actually have come out on top, I’m really happy with that.


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