Here's a quick and impromptu recap of the last few weeks!
If you've ever bought a home, you know what I've been doing: planning, coordinating, waiting, worrying, and spending. I've been dealing with official-type people such as mortgage brokers, lawyers, insurance agents, and bankers. I've also been counting my pennies and trying my best to make sure my finances stay in good shape, while still keeping myself happy and amused.
Purchasing this townhouse condo has been an all-consuming process. Every day I email, telephone, and fax the people who need to coordinate their efforts to make this happen. I've suffered through a drastically "stuck" hedge fund which threatened to leave me $18,000 short of the required down payment...fortunately this appears to be resolved today. I have gone from a total fax newbie to a virtual fax repairperson in the space of a month: scanning, dialing, confirming, crossing items off the checklist, moving to the next one...
I'm AWFUL at this stuff. I hate bureaucracy and have managed to avoid it for most of my life. Now I suddenly find myself competent, able to learn the ropes and harass the foot-draggers. These skills alone are worthwhile results of this whole ordeal.
I followed a house inspector as he poked into every nook and cranny of my upcoming home, and I was thrilled to hear that it's in tip-top condition (considering it's exactly as old as I am). Meanwhile, every day I look at the real estate listings, dreading the moment when The Perfect Home becomes available, and I'm happy to say that nothing even CLOSE has appeared. Everything else is too expensive, too far away, or too crappy...often all three.
I've started packing, which is silly because I still have a month to go. People are giving me cardboard boxes. My basement is FULL of boxes, each one waiting to be filled with my life's irreplaceable trivia.
When I told my landlords that I was moving, I initially felt a bit guilty: they've been conscious of my needs and we've always had a pretty good relationship, and ten years is an awful long time. But then -- after chopping down the precious greenery under my living room window -- one of the tenants next door got permission to park his "for sale" junker car on my front lawn. And -- totally by accident -- I discovered that this building has been on the market since the week before I said I was leaving...at least *I* had the decency to tell them we were through!
Meanwhile, in consideration of prospective buyers and tenants, I've been monitoring Zsa Zsa's catty smell, the result of a kidney condition which causes her to pee about eight times a day. Any odour in this apartment instantly spreads through the entire building -- and my unit has always smelled a bit like cat-spray, since before I even moved in -- but I still want to make things as painless for others as possible.
Last weekend I spent five hours with my mother, aunt, and grandmother looking for new living room furniture. I am determined to leave as much of my ramshackle and mismatched furniture behind, and five hours of comparative shopping -- and sitting in about six hundred chairs -- was more than worth it. I'm looking forward to planting some shrubs, and having my own washer/dryer, and not sharing ventilation with anybody except those who I invite. I want a coffee maker. I want my own home.
I am hopeful and happy and busy. This is probably the most significant thing I have ever done. That might seem silly to those of you with spouses and children, but for me it's a big deal...and wonderful!