i spent a lot of money today

Well, there are two ways to look at it. On one hand, I have about a thousand more dollars in my bank account now than I did yesterday. On the other hand, I am in well over a hundred thousand dollars in debt, now.

I haven’t wanted to shout too loudly about it, lest I invoke bad luck upon myself, but Gloria and I have been in the process of buying a house. This completes one of my 2006 todo’s, which is looking like one of the only ones likely to get a green stamp.

We looked at maybe a half-dozen houses, and it came down to two, both very close to each other and to our current apartment. We chose the nearer one, which is in slightly poorer shape, but sold for about 10% less. There were a number of obnoxious little problems along the way, but far fewer than I heard about from friends who wanted to tell horror stories. In the end, it went pretty smoothly. Everyone we dealt with was just great. Our realtors were really easy-going and helpful. Our mortgage advisor was the same. I really don’t like dealing with large financial issues, and they made me feel pretty comfortable. I said, “this is what we want to do,” and they told us how to make it happen.

The home inspection (performed by yet another great guy) was sort of nerve-wracking, because it exposed a bunch of problems that we hadn’t anticipated. Most of these were no big deal, but one or two seemed scary. For example, we were told that “the porch is pulling away from the house, but we can’t know how bad it is until we disassemble it.” Uhhh!?

We struggled to get someone to come get an estimate for repair, but to no avail. We made dozens of phone calls, even to people we knew, but nobody wanted to be bothered to give us an estimate. In the end, someone told us there was no real problem, but we’re not feeling very reassured.

We went forward anyway, and then found out that the city didn’t give the house a clear certificate of occupancy. That’s the document that says it’s safe to live there. Most of the violations were tiny, though, and we got credit from the seller to have things fixed on our own.

The seller seemed like a really nice guy, as did everyone at the closing of the sale. We spent about an hour signing papers, but it all went smoothly. I’ve started to go through my three-page outline of House To-Do’s, and I expect it will take a few years to get through it.

We’ll be moving in on Saturday, and saying good-bye to the apartment we’ve lived in for almost six years… but not the neighborhood. We’re only moving about two hundred meters, and will be about the same distance from everything that matters. I guess we might be farther from Hogeez, but I can walk an extra block for a cheesesteak.

I’m sure I’ll have plenty more to say about the house soon enough.

Written on September 21, 2006
🏷 house