November 3, 2018
Closing was in Cumberland at 11 am. The final walk-through was at 10:30. All we had to do was get the cashier’s check for the 20% closing costs and then make the 1.5 hour drive to our new home. We were so close!
Nick, driving my dad’s truck towing a borrowed trailer and me in the van filled to the brim with all the stuff from the house that wasn’t in storage and didn’t fit in the trailer. Plus, two kids and a dog, who had to squeeze between the kids’ seats and all the stuff. We left our house in St. Paul at 8:30 am and headed to the bank. I had slight anxiety, but nothing too obnoxious. I was pretty darn confident that things would run as smoothly as could be. Boy was I wrong.
“Sorry, we can’t accept this check”
8: 40 am
We arrived at the bank. It was closed. I thought banks opened at 8 am during the week. Guess not. So we sat in the parking lot waiting. I texted my mortgage broker, “who do I make the cashier’s check out to?” “Yourself” she said. “Weird,” I thought. But she’s the expert.
I considered having the teller leave the cashier’s check blank in the “to” section, but didn’t. Mistake. Always go with your gut.
After a couple of detours and 15 minutes late, I met Nick at RE/MAX in Cumberland for our closing. He’d gone ahead for the final walk through.
“Can we get your cash to close before we get started?”
“Yep! Here you go. The mortgage broker had me make it out to myself. Hope that’s okay.”
There weren’t any TCF banks in Wisconsin either. We called some local banks to see if they’d be willing to cash my check and reissue a new one.
We called TCF to see if they could wire the money instead.
The couldn’t – at least not without me there in person.
I loaded the kids back up in the car to make the 1.5 hour drive to the nearest TCF Bank in Stillwater, MN. Ryker (my 5-year-old son), at this point, was in tantrum mode. He’d already been in the car since 8:30 and the prospect of spending another 3 hours in the car sent him over the edge. I couldn’t blame him. I wasn’t far from a tantrum myself.
“The sellers aren’t moved out yet”
Right after arriving at the closing, Nick quietly informed me that the sellers, an 80-something-year-old couple, still had “a ton, and I mean a ton” of stuff at the house. What! What does that mean? Were we going to have to push off closing? Where would we go? We were already moved out of our old house.
While I headed back to the twin cities, Nick headed back to “our new” house and helped the sellers pack up and move out the rest of their stuff – sort of. They had to come back the next day for a few remaining things.
Thankfully, Ryker fell asleep almost immediately after leaving RE/MAX. I did throw my tantrum. It lasted about 10 minutes on the road on the phone with my parents.
The third time’s a charm. Or is it the fourth?
We arrived at TCF Bank at the Cub Foods in Stillwater. I woke up Ryker and hurried the boys out of the van and through the busy parking lot, rushed them inside (the closer needed us back around 3), got up to the teller – I forgot the slip of paper in the van that had the name I was supposed to make it out to. You’ve got to be kidding me!
I rushed back out with the kids and back through the busy parking lot, grabbed the slip of paper and ran, dragging Townes and Ryker behind me.
Back at the teller window I slipped the teller the slip of paper and he proceeded to create the cashier’s check.
1st attempt – he printed on the back of the cashier’s check.
2nd attempt – he spelled the name of the recipient wrong.
3rd attempt (and by now my fourth issued cashier’s check) – he got it right.
7 hours in the car
I sped through the winding roads to get back to REMAX before they closed.
Arrived. We closed without anymore hitches.
The sellers were all moved out. After spending 7 hours in the car that day going back and forth, we only had a 5-minute drive to our new home.
The rest is history, or I guess the future.
Looking back, perhaps it really wasn’t all that bad, but in the moment, it was a time for tantrums.