Well, I closed on the house in escrow Friday and the sale was finalized today. A very wonderful agent at Countrywide worked his magic (as did his coworkers) and my buyer's agent and attorney were impressed at my perseverance. Thanks to all of you who offered advice and encouragement. I learned a lot and I'm happy to be back among the rank of homeowners -- at an extremely affordable price!
If anyone wants insights from the buyer's perspective on purchasing a single REO, I'll be happy to share my experiences.