The $10,000 Mistakeby Jim

16 Jun 2010
12:06 pm

Every once in a while you do something really dumb. Like what I did a couple years ago when I left my cell phone in my car and ended up with a busted window and no cell phone or GPS. That was stupid, but after some insurance kicked in it was only a $250 mistake.

This last month I made a bigger mistake. This time, I failed to get my paperwork in to the state government to apply for the $10,000 they were giving to first-time home buyers like me. The window of time was very small, and it seemed a miracle that we would be eligible considering we didn’t even try to buy in the two months it was available, it just happened. And this was in addition to the $8,000 Uncle Sam is giving out (though, the state credit is over a three year period in the form of tax credit). We only had 2 weeks from closing of escrow to get the form in, but I didn’t get my Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Settlement statement (which is required to prove you bought a house) back until after the 2 week period. I could complain, but none of the parties involved (including myself) realized the window was so short. I naively thought I had at least 30 days. I sent it in anyway along with a letter explaining the situation, but I have no reason to believe they’ll give me anything.

Needless to say, I feel pretty rotten. It isn’t like I lost $10,000, but it is $10,000 I will be paying to the government that I wouldn’t have to pay if I had just done things correctly. Mathematically, $10,000 over the next 3 years is like having my cell phone and GPS stolen every month until 2013. I probably shouldn’t think about it that way.

I guess the moral of the story is read the fine print. The hard part is, we’ve been inundated with fine print over the last month or so with all the papers we’ve had to sign. I don’t know if I were placed in the situation again that I would do anything differently.  This one will hurt for a while, I’m afraid.

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