We visited the house again today, and the flooring was being installed. The builder also gave us some good news -- the house will be finished August 18, 2003, not late in August like they'd initially guessed.

We raced home, and I immediately called the lender to tell her I want to have the closing done by August 13, 2003, since our loan is apparently not quite traditional and the builder won't give us the damned key until the closing is done, recorded, funded, etc.

Y'know, these little hidden gotchas in home buying are really beginning to piss me off. It isn't enough that at closing we'll have put our signatures to hundreds of sheets of paper? It won't be enough that we've legally bound ourselves to the terms of a mortgage, and that escrow is closed and everybody involved (apart from the builder, apparently) is satisfied? Doesn't the mortgage lender have to lend us that money once the closing is completed?

It's not like I can get the house key, run off with the whole damned house, and disappear without the builder getting their damned money.

Anyway, true to form, the lender refuses to take this stuff as seriously as we have. Sure, she's got lots of other people to deal with, but it'd be nice to hear back from her, just a quick, ten-second phone call saying "be at the titling company's office at 2:00pm on August 13" or similar. But no. A full business day has passed since we left a message (conveniently, she's never in the office when I call these days), and we've heard nothing.

Oh well. I'll pester her tomorrow again.

There most definitely seems to be a "keeping borrowers in the dark" type of mentality in the mortgage lending world. Calls go unreturned, simple questions go unanswered (i.e. "did we actually get the loan or not?" and "have we satisfied the conditions you've set or not?"), and the overall process is never actually laid out in front of us to examine all at once. Fortunately, I'm not a complete idiot and I've had a pretty good idea what to expect from the beginning.

At this point, I can't possibly imagine what else is left. Closing should be a matter of signing paperwork that's already been printed (the lender called two days ago to tell me what our mortgage payment will be, and said the investor was there right at that moment to sign the loan lock, so that should be everything, shouldn't it?), and I can't imagine that would take more than an hour to prepare.

The good news is Sprint tells me DSL service is available at the new place (woohoo!), at the same speeds, and we'll be able to keep our phone number. Hurrah! Just for asking, they knocked ten bucks a month off the bill, too. I also ditched the static IP address that I've had for months but never needed.

So we've got a house with a south-facing view (not that this matters now; I can damned well bolt the dish to my roof if I wanted to), so satellite remains, and we keep our DSL service. Cox Communications can take their cable service and shove it.