Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Return and beginning

I have returned and will resume the former posting system. But first, an explanation ..
The move.
I knew last year (2013) I would have to sell my 3 br unit in Carramar It was likely I would have to move, and so I made plans. I wanted the federal election to be over so the market would settle, I felt it had been compressed because the ALP government was that bad. It doesn’t mean that Liberal governments always mean better house prices, but Liberal government usually mean better growth and lower inflation, and that puts pressure on house prices. I wanted a year of Liberal government before my sale, but I knew I would have to sell before the end of 2013 because I had run out of my own money.

Disaster struck for me on the October long weekend. A main sewerage blockage beneath my unit resulted in my unit being flooded with sewage for over two days. It needn’t have been that long or that bad. I had called strata for the plumber straight away, but it was a public holiday and I accepted their delay. Even so, I indicated where the blockage was and they ignored me, making the spillage worse. On day two my home contents insurance had declared my unit uninhabitable. I stayed. My reasons for staying were sound. Others thought it was a paid hotel holiday. However, I’m way too fat to enjoy a hotel stay and I had things at my home which were too precious to risk losing by allowing unsupervised access. I still lost things, but it was different to what would have happened had I not stayed. It took five months before both insurance companies gave up, and that delayed my sale plan. At the end, incompetent insurance (tip, avoid GIO or any Suncorp related companies, because their premiums are low but they don’t cover legitimate claims) failed to actually repair the damage by dragging out the issue and walking away.

The payout from Allianz was in March but it did not cover my losses. I had under insured and could potentially have complained for much more, but to do so would delay the payout which I needed to prevent the bank from seizing my home and selling it before I was ready. I was forced to give away a $50k library I had collected over my life because I could not take it with me .. I had to scale down and worse, nobody wanted it. I tried giving it to charity, libraries and friends. But I didn’t have those kinds of friends. Mind you, I have some wonderful ones .. they wanted to help .. but for many reasons they couldn’t address underlying issues. I approached the media and they were uninterested. Media were interested in my issue, but not me. I turned to my brother for help and he refused.

I had avenues of appeal with authorities. But I was ignored. I am unemployed and have to declare anything that is given to me. ATO have hit me with a disputed bill, meaning they were my highest priority even before my home. I made it known that I would consider selling as fallback while I appealed to authorities. One former student of mine took that as permission to engage an estate agent they were linked to. The pushy agent warned me that if I delayed the sale might be for a lower price. I told them my preference would be to sell for an investor and then lease back. They said they would consult their lists. and would await my permission. My oldest sister came to town to go cruising with my estranged mother. Instead, my estranged mother had a heart attack, and survived, anchoring my sister who couldn’t help and wouldn’t visit but wanted to see me. I expressed my frustration with the refusal of authorities to engage, and the pushy agent contacted me again. They hadn’t even looked at their lists.

A few thousand dollars would have immensely improved my place, but pushy agent did not think it necessary. They advertised $340k for a 3br unit in Carramar adjacent to the train station with water views and park, shared lock up garage new carpet, new paint, new tiles the only balcony on that side of the building, security shutters and split system air conditioning. It was a reasonable price, but high relative to last year. The expectation was there would be lower offers and I might choose to accept or reject. Nobody even offered in the first week. So, on advice, I lowered it for the second week to $330, not wanting to seem panicked, but requiring a quick sale. I had run out of money, including the insurance payout, and the bank was going to be in a position to seize and force a sale, as they had attempted in '10. A lone buyer inspected, and would not make an offer. I instructed the agent to inquire and they offered $300k. I accepted it. 

Problem was I had been fuzzy with strata fees. I said they had been $200 a quarter in '02, but were now $400 a quarter. Pushy agent asked "Why so expensive?" which that sum isn't. I ignored it as the agent seemed very young. But the agent had told the buyer $200 a quarter and when I corrected them he began repeating the question. I had let my agent beat up the buyer to $303k. But, when I discovered the strata fees increased to $500 a quarter, the buyer asked to lower the sales price to $300k. I explained to pushy agent that the sum was reasonable. Too late. 

The agent told me the buyer had their own residence and wanted the place as an investment. I said that it hadn't mattered either way, I had to sell, but I preferred being able to stay. The paperwork sent to my solicitor declared a vacant possession. Agent assured me he would broach the issue after the cooling off period. Cooling off period is ten working days and following the exchange of contracts on 23rd April were three public holidays. At the end of the cooling off period, I contacted the agent to make sure I was to stay and they told me the buyer wanted the residence for themselves. The agent's firm had a rental unit. Out of loyalty, I approached them. It was easier than explaining to third parties what had happened. The issue was urgent. I had three weeks to secure a rental property and move. A new agent would require all sorts of papers and details. I found a place I liked in the Agent's list. The agent promised me they would forward my application to the owner. A week passed and they told me they hadn't contacted the owner, but my application was a low priority. I was looking at a bed room unit I was moving from as I had not time to get rid of furniture. But the agent decided I would not want to keep a unit with 3 beds long term. 

I approached several other agencies. I got together the papers needed for an application. I engaged remove-alists without knowing where I would be going. Kents were a big outfit and would bill me, not needing cash on the day. I finally found a unit I liked from Ray White Cabramatta. It was a two bedroom unit close to public transport on the top floor. But I could not secure it in time. My bank delayed payment of the settlement because of their paperwork, so my solicitor offered to allow me a seven day extension. I borrowed money from a friend (Thanks Mona and Nathan) to pay the cash deposit and contacted the removalist who backed out because it was inconvenient. I found another removalist who wanted cash and I borrowed that from my friend too. 

I then got a mobile phone and took steps to reestablish broadband at the destination. My new landline is silent .. it is a blessing not to get the obnoxious calls I had been getting. On the morning of the move, I'm called on my new mobile by the Telstra mechanic keen to connect my internet prior to my move. I rebook for after the move. Solicitor advises me that the disbursements are not electronic. I have bills to pay and the delay will hurt. Removalist informs me they will be delayed until afternoon of the move. I make sure refrigerator is turned off a few hours before the move. Removalist shows. He is a family guy and he has brought his three sons. I had boxed most things, but not the kitchen items. He suggests I leave the old premises to him and prepare in the new one. I agree. He calls me after a few hours about some of the larger items he wants to remove by the windows. I approve. However, I had carried the same items through the front door. It took the removalists eight hours, and I had begun to panic at the destination, where the only seat had been the toilet seat. I discovered that the newly pinter unit was over run with cockroaches. I had instructed the removalist to leave behind a mop and a vacuum cleaner, but he decided to leave behind a car load of material, including all the things I might have used to combat the cockroaches. 

It was 8pm when I found out the removalist had packed my frozen foods by removing them from the freezer and boxing them. He had taken so long not because he used my computer, but because he had reboxed all my goods and wrapped everything in paper. The next day was settlement and I now had to go back to my old place to collect the items the removalist forgot. He had left a mess and not replaced the fly screen he had removed from a window. I phoned a friend with a car (many, many thanks, Tim). Solicitor informed me that the buyer's bank had failed to show for settlement. Settlement was rebooked for the following Monday. I'd already passed on the keys to the pushy agent. On Monday the sale settled, but checks were not prepared for me until the Tuesday. Solicitor gave me bank checks. Pushy agent gave me a personal check. I tried to disburse the bills but my bank wanted the bank checks to clear three working days, aiming for the following Monday, but I negotiated the Friday. For some reason, Bank checks are no longer recognised as being secure.
Happy birthday and many happy returns Robert Hibbly Goliath and 'Mattie Gir. Born on the same day, across the years. You won't believe what happened on your day. In 1855, Major Henry C. Wayne departed New York aboard the USS Supply to procure camels to establish the U.S. Camel Corps. In 1913, Emily Davison, an activist for women's suffrage in the United Kingdom, was fatally injured when she was trampled by King George V's horse at the Epsom Derby. In 1920, The Kingdom of Hungary lost 72% of its territory and 64% of its population with the signing of the Treaty of Trianon in Paris. In 1944, A United States Navy task group captured German submarine U-505, which survives today as a museum ship at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. In 1996, The maiden flight of the Ariane 5 failed, with the rocket self-destructing 37 seconds after launch because of a malfunction in the control software—one of the most expensive computer bugs in history. I guess the moral is that Bill Clinton had the wrong software, and royally backed the wrong horse in WW1, offending women, while looking for salvation in great depths with a camel. I'm not much with morals, but hope you have an awesome day.

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