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HELOC home equity line of credit loan and homes on the black sheet.
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Small Talk: Equity shmequity

I don’t look for opportunities to feel like a blithering idiot, but somehow, they seem to find me.

During the last 10 days, I have had to search far and wide, and apply for a home equity loan to pay for my wonderful new roof. Yes, I thought I had the financing all worked out. It seems I was given misinformation from the loan “expert” I called for guidance. In short, a new HELOC was needed and my bank isn’t offering them.

No, I didn’t need two loans, nor can you get two. But I thought I had found the best deal and spent the hours giving them all the needed information to launch the paperwork. An hour later, I found a better deal and, with some chagrin, had to call and cancel with the woman whose morning I had taken up.

So, I chose a bank, chose a loan and was sent a list of the documentation needed. After I regained consciousness, I still felt completely overwhelmed. Rather than crawl under the bed, I summoned every shred of my self-discipline to just do what had to be done. Unlike my clever friend, who had all the needed information stored on her computer, I did not. I comfort myself knowing she bought her home just 5 years ago and does her own taxes. I, however, had to get half my paperwork from my very disorganized husband, who does our taxes … at the last possible moment.

Bless his heart, he managed to dig up what was needed, all on paper. Then I had to figure out how to properly fill out a personal financial statement. I have never, in my considerable years, had occasion to do this. I was pleased to discover my credit rating and my net worth — all better than I thought, but it was a definite learning experience. You know how I hate those.

My head didn’t explode, but the day is still young. I’m dropping off the papers first thing in the morning and will then begin lighting every candle the church can spare.

I am now longing for the days when a handshake is all that was needed to seal a deal.

Jean Gillette is a freelance writer beginning to see why some people choose to live off the grid. Contact her at [email protected].