it's ours!

we finally have the keys...the house is ours! after the expected delays and panicked phone calls (“we forgot to have you sign this form! i’ll bring it to you in an hour so we can file by 11.00!”), it belongs to us. except for the part that belongs to the bank.

we went for the walkthrough the other night and i love it more than ever. i keep adding things to the handyman list, but they’re mostly small things that we could do ourselves. i got a recommendation for someone that does that kind of work, which is always better than calling someone out of the blue. i’m betting that they won’t get in there and get it all done before i move in, but i’ll just have to live with that. if it’s bad, i can always stay at tony’s for a night or two. i don’t expect that all the stuff we want done will take more than a week to complete, once they get in and get started.

the movers are coming to pack on the 7th and to move me on the 8th. i have actually already culled out 16 shopping bags of stuff to be donated. it feels so good to get rid of things! these are mostly items that i have not touched or used since moving here 20 months ago. and i haven’t even gone through my basement storage locker! i’ve also packed 14 boxes…mostly clothes and books. the part i want the packers for is all the kitchen crap. i am really not interested in all that endless wrapping. i am the one who has to unwrap it all and put it away. i am happy to pay someone to take care of it on this end! once i get out, then i will put this unit on the market and get (at least some of) my $$$ back out of it.

tony’s story is a bit different. he has gotten rid of a lot of things. a local UU church is having a rummage sale and he will take them at least one carload of items to sell. i took him some boxes and tape the other day, but he hasn’t started packing yet. he plans on doing all that himself. he hasn’t set a moving date yet, either, although i’m sure he will soon. (he will use a moving service for his furniture.) i think he wants to wait til the work is done inside the house before he inserts himself into the place. i warned him that if he waits too long i will have taken over all the cupboards and closets!

on the other hand, he already has a buyer. his brother is going to buy it from him. he and his family will use it for out of town guests and such. if they end up not using it, they will rent it out. it certainly does simplify things immensely, especially given that he is a lawyer and can draw up all the papers himself. that way, all the realtors’ fees and legal fees are avoided. all that remains are the clerical fees. tony should get much more $$$ out of the deal this way. plus, there is no waiting to see when it’s gonna sell.

we went over yesterday and mowed the lawn and worked on the yard a bit. i have been spoiled by years of condo living! this is hard work! luckily for us, the yard is really quite small and simple. it should require minimal maintenance. also, tony has taken over two carloads of stuff already, so i will get started on that today. i’ll also begin the progression of trips to home depot. i found the one closest to the house…now i just have to learn my way around the store.


so close...and yet, so far

we are very close to getting the house. we have gotten the final mortgage approval; we have the homeowner’s insurance; we’ve put the water/sewer/electric/gas in our names; i’ve even gotten an estimate for the movers to come and pack my things and haul them away. now we are just waiting for the title company to work its magic. at some point next week, tony and i will have to go there to sign our names a hundred times. they are very cagey about when this will be. i spoke to a very nice lady there, who promised me that she will call me a day or two before we need to come in. how is someone supposed to make a plan around work to take care of this??? i understand that it’s important enough that you should be willing to make arrangements, but i find it rude that they’re not able to set up an appointment with at least a week’s notice. what can you do? they hold the power.

we went over to the house last week to just look and we met a couple of the neighbors. they were very friendly and pleasant, and promised us that it’s a quiet neighborhood. i am more anxious to get in than tony, mostly because of my commute. i hope to decide in the next couple days about the moving dates and get things rolling along. there will, of course, be that transitional period when i won’t have internet access at home. (why hasn’t anyone come up with a term/acronym for this yet? TWIA:Time Without Internet Access….or some such phrase.) my current provider does not service that area, so i have to get a new company and email addy, etc. hopefully it will be simple this time around. in chicago, when i had excite and then at&t, they NEVER came for the first appointment. every single time they were supposed to come for installation or service, they would fail to show up and i would need to re-schedule. i hope that is not the case here in cleve-burg.


the house

after looking at about twenty properties, we’ve found a house. it’s in the cleveland neighborhood of old brooklyn. the section we’re in was built in the 1920’s, so most of the housing stock has the same look and feel. it’s the natural extension of the apartment buildings i lived in when i was in chicago. it has beautiful wood detailing throughout. most of it appears never to have been painted, which gives it a nice, dark patina of age. the floors are all hardwood on the first level, and mostly in great shape.

there’s a fireplace in the living room. there are two bedrooms on the first floor, which will be our offices (one for each). the dining room has a huge window flanked by leaded glass built-ins. the bathroom has the original tub in that extra curvy twenties style, while the rest of it has been updated. the heat vent in that room is right in the wall in the shower---which i just love! it’ll be very cozy in there in the winter.

upstairs, there’s a large bedroom in the front of the house. the pitch of the roof means that the ceiling there is only about 7 feet, but we are okay with that since the bulk of time in that room will be spent lying down. there is also a very large unfinished space next to that. ultimately, we would like to finish that off into a huge master bedroom suite with a second bathroom. somewhere down the road…..

there’s a very small yard out back. neither of us is big on yard work or gardening, so it will be a good fit. i want to have a few herbs along with a couple of flowers for cutting and maybe one tomato plant. the other vision i have is for a grape arbor in the corner of the yard. a little patio covered with a lattice framework. i’ll train vines up there—grapes or even a trumpet vine or wisteria—so we have a nice shaded place to sit in the summer. a place to enjoy a supper of grilled steaks, tomato basil salad from the garden and fresh squeezed lemonade. mmmmmmm…….

well, you might be asking yourself, WHAT ABOUT THE KITCHEN? he hasn’t said a thing about the kitchen! i’ve been saving it for last ‘cuz it’s the best part. the previous owners gutted this room to the studs and put in brand new everything! new walls, new appliances (in stylish black), new recessed lighting, new cabinets, new countertops, new wood laminate flooring. it’s quite a contrast to the rest of the house. ultimately, it’s what i would have wanted to do to every other kitchen that we looked at. as much as i love vintage charm in a house, i hate it in a kitchen. i want a clean, modern workspace to cook in. this one has it all. there’s room for a small table and 2 chairs in the corner. i get a window over the sink as well as a window over my main work station. i am just thrilled with it!

i’ve been hesitant to write anything about this so as not to jinx the process. we do not own the house yet. we have a signed contract and have been pre-approved for a mortgage. we have completed a successful house inspection. we still have several hurdles through which to pass, such as final mortgage approval, the title search, etc. while I have a high degree of confidence that this will all go well, i am also well aware that things can go awry at many points along the way. i won’t really exhale until the keys are in our hands. this is supposed to happen before memorial day, so keep all your fingers and toes crossed for us. we can use all the positive energy possible on this one!
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