I got a call from a mortgage appraiser.
What it is, is that I carry a line of credit on my house in case anything hits the fan and I need cash in a hurry or can’t work for a few weeks, and in the process of rolling it over into a new line (they only live for ten years or so, like Rottweilers) the bank has to make at least a superficial appraisal of the property, just in case I razed the house and replaced it with a Bucky Bubble, or cut it up into apartments or something.
A lady from downstate Virginia rang my home phone, didn’t leave a message, rang my cell (which I never use), left her message there, and was lucky enough for me to hear the beep before the week was over. I called her back. She was clearly working from home. “Aw, scuse me honey, lemme go turn down the ray-de-o! Okay, now I can hear ya.”
Her job was to verify details about the house over the phone. I could have told her anything but probably they have ways of catching you. I actually know the lot number off the platt in my original deed, which is in a file that I went right to anyhow, to check. Appraiser Lady was gobsmacked. “I usually have folks ask me, oh, give me a couple days to get back to you, and they’re folks who bought a couple years ago, not back in the nineties like you,” she said. “And here we are twenty eLEVen! Just can’t think what the new year could bring! One day at a time, I guess,” she bubbled. “Now let’s see, I need your square footage, you know, hon, this don’t look right, I think they just doubled the first floor number…” “I have the appraisal from the last refi on my browser,” I said.
And so on, through the price of the HVAC system I bought three years ago, make and model, and outstanding repairs (“my handyman blocked out a date in spring to replace some of the fascia board.” “Flashing?” “No, fascia.” “Oh – soffits.” Whatever.) When we were done I wasn’t sure we were, at first, because she kept rambling. “I think I can get this back to them by close of business today, I really appreciate you bein’ organized like that. I hope you have some children that you taught those values to,” she said. Why would a nice lady wish such a thing on me? I wondered, but managed, “I have cats and they’re very organized… know right when dinner is due…” “Well you just have a blessed day, now,” she concluded.
Downstate Virginia. It isn’t like here. Or anywhere else.