In California when you buy a house, you have to go through something called ESCROW. And when I say go through…it’s like when a fetus goes through the birth canal. It’s that painful. It’s a series of disclosures and paper signings and documents and reports that when completed look like the monolith in 2001 A Space Odyssey. Only politicians would think it necessary for me to know that the property I am buying is Radon free. Who cares. Just sell me the fucking house.
This is how it starts. “We need you to initial this.” And they hand you a pile of paperwork larger then the Emperor of Japan signed when he surrendered in WWII. Initial here, sign there… initial this, look at that, smell this, eat that…up SIMBA. UP…UP!! Suddenly I’m a trained elephant with Ringling Brothers. LEAVE ME ALONE. The stack of paper is literally six inches high. You couldn’t read it all if you were Evelyn Wood. What the hell do they want from us?
But to get you through all this they have an Escrow Officer, mine is a former SS Guard at Bergen-Belsen. No matter when you call her, she is not available. What the hell do these women do? I’ll tell you what they do. Xerox. That’s why they can’t answer your call, they are always Xeroxing something, duplicating something, highlighting someplace that you need to initial. I have a friend Frank Ulanka. I wanted to buy a house with him just so I can watch him initial everything F. U. page after page after page after page.
Here’s a t-shirt I want to have made: ESCROW IS A NIGHTMARE FOR A DYSLEXIC. I have now signed so many documents that I don’t understand, I could qualify as a special needs recipient. I’m not sure but the house I bought is either in a Flood Plane or is a Flood Plan… or maybe it’s just a plane. . Either way, I don’t care, I just want to end Escrow.
They send you Escrow Instructions. They are so simple to read, it’s like the clues Nicolas Cage got in National Treasure. I think when I finally take possession of the house The Magna Carta will be buried in the living room. Why do they make it so complex? Why can’t they just say… you bought a house, it has termites, the water heater will break two weeks after you take possession… good luck. But no, they have give you a wheel barrow of paperwork to read with cross reference tabs and highlighted paragraphs and buyers signatures referencing the seller’s signature witness by Morgana King. WHAT THE FUCK!!!!!
I hate this process so much I can’t even begin to tell you… OH!! And the real estate person who was your best friend while they were showing you house after house after house after house, saying things like, “You need to snap this one up, it’s not going to be around much longer.” Neither will you if you don’t stop pressuring me… suddenly that nice person has become your English Professor from English 101. “You have to get those papers in on time. Did you get those papers signed? What about the money? Have you got the money? YOU FORGOT TO INITIAL PAGE 418!!!!” Suddenly she’s a pressure cooker with a Lexus.
And the expenses are incredible. It’s not enough you have to mortgage your right testicle to get this place you now have to pay for the entire Escrow Office’s kids to matriculate through USC. $300 bucks for a house inspection… $300 bucks for a termite inspection… couldn’t the house inspector find the termites… everyone is a specialist in this deal. Why can’t we all get along?
Here’s the bottom line. I hate pressure. I hate deadlines. I hate stupid shit that’s a waste of time that some asshole thought up because once in 1931 someone sued someone for something that is not related to me. Just sell me the house and leave me alone. Going through Escrow is like going through menopause, cramps, hot flashes and fits of anger. If you’re thinking of buying a house sit down, take an axe and chop off a toe. It will be less painful.
AND NEXT… THE RENOVATION!