The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Tornado: Columns

July 8, 2011

Joe Hadsall, Geeked Out: Home closings always stressful

JOPLIN, Mo. — As of today, I should close on a brand new Geek Central. As of this writing, I’m knocking on wood between every paragraph.

In other words, closings make me nervous.

I understand why the process exists. Purchasing a home is a big deal that must be done properly. I’m sure that the process has gotten easier over history, and has become what it is because of history.

But still, it’s nerve-racking to have a sale depend on one moment, where anything could happen and slow or stop a sale.

My move to Joplin featured one of those potential closing disasters. The lot where I used to live, located near the seemingly redundantly named Gabby Street Boulevard, was one of two smaller lots that used to be one lot. The owner built a second home on his property, and had to divide his lot into two long skinny lots.

The main home’s patio went right up to that property line. Or at least, that’s what I found out during closing.

During the sales process, everyone was under the assumption that the property line ended at a roof that covered and hung over the patio. We’re talking about maybe two feet of roof. My Realtor, the property owner’s Realtor, the county, everybody. We all believed that there was no way in the world that a piece of roof would be built over someone else’s property line.

When we found out that a sliver of the house I wanted to close on was technically on someone else’s property, we freaked. No bueno. I had just closed on my Nixa house that day, so I had all my stuff in a moving van and my dog and cat outside the house I wanted to buy. My choices were to go along with the closing and hope I could get the neighbor to agree to the roof being over the property line, or halt everything until paperwork could get resolved.

I banked on my new neighbor being a good human being who understood that people who draw property lines make mistakes, and went ahead with the closing. Fortunately, she was a good human being, and she turned out to be a great neighbor.

That neighbor is living in Pennsylvania now, with a new husband and a baby on the way. Though I miss my old neighbors, I’m looking forward to meeting my new ones. I’m also looking into getting a great house for the price, with room to grow in a great neighborhood and a place where my family can stretch out a bit.

If closing went without a hitch, that is. Here’s hoping.

Text Only
Tornado: Columns