28 November 2014

Things Fall Apart

As a Peace Corps volunteer (PCV) in Burkina Faso, I read a lot. Yes, I accomplished a great deal, thanks to my wonderful village; but there's lots of downtime as a PCV, so one reads . . . and reads, and reads. And watches movies on a laptop. Why, I have a better movie library on my laptop than in my DVD collection (thanks, Kyle). Anyway, at some point after I'd read all of my Nelson DeMille novels three times, I turned to new literature, including Things Fall Apart: the woeful tale of poor Okonkwo and his life in Nigeria. And to this very day, when I think things are rough in my little world, I think back on Okonkwo. My life is pretty swell . . . though for the past 10 days it seems anything but swell.

So this is how one really buys a home in Samara, Costa Rica. It starts with a little bit of savings used as earnest money on the sales contract. Simple enough. Then negotiate the terms of the contract (or have Costa Rica's best realtor do it), and wait for a December 2014 closing date. OH! I forgot to mention one other step . . . one tiny little step: sell a home in Irving, Texas. How difficult can that be? Homes in the neighborhood are highly sought after (though not pricey). That home will sell so quickly it will make your head spin . . . or so I was told by everyone, daily. And indeed, four days after pounding a For Sale By Owner sign in the yard, I had a contract at the title company. All cash deal, I pay no closing costs, fast close . . . before 15 December. And then these wonderful buyers asked if they could move-up the closing date to December 1 or 2. Why, certainly! I'd be in Costa Rica placing my new poolside furniture by early 2015. Great. Let's do it. And then . . . things fall apart. 

 I began hearing words from my buyers such as the bank wants another piece of paper. Bank?! What bank? You said all cash, no financing was needed, quick close. And it got worse. Then came the words we don't even have our house for sale yet. And finally, We need to cancel the contract. My words were and are not suitable for publication. Things fall apart . . . and I don't want to hear anyone say lo que hay!