Sunday, March 13, 2011

When the waiting IS the hardest part

In the past month, my neighbors to the West have been worse than ever.  Most nights they wake me up some time around 2 or 3 a.m.  I get up for work at 5:30, so this has been wearing me out.  I know that they know that I planned to move out, and I suspect that this made them feel a certain license to let their freak flags fly, because I know that they are well aware of my complaints against them. 

The real estate deal finally collapsed under the weight of the HOA's non-certification.  The lender finally became too skittish about lending to a property that was so sketchy, even though the unit itself is sound and my application is already approved.  I'm sad about the loss of living on the edge of the greenbelt.  I wanted to listen to coyotes howl in the moonlight, take my (future) dog for walks there daily, and be so close to the bit of wild nature that is still here in Colorado.  I get teary every time I think about letting go of that dream.  The houses near by that are for sale are out of my price-range, so I was limited to looking at townhouses.

By Friday I was so worn out.  I'd already signed 3 contract extensions and answered numerous questions.  I'd packed up most of the stuff that is going into boxes, arranged for the installation of utilities at the new address, and scheduled movers.  I'd completed the final walk-through and was ready to head over to the title office to close.  And then it fell apart. 

I was crying as I called the companies to cancel the installations that had been scheduled for the next day.  Still, I couldn't help but be amused that even as the customer service reps expressed their condolences, they all urged me to "have a nice day!" as they ended the calls.  When I went to pick up M from afterschool care, I stopped to talk to the Director, as she's become my friend and was waiting to hear that I'd finally closed.
It really helps me when a friend reacts in a genuine way to something that has happened to me.  I have so many relationships that have filters on them, including - unfortunately - my family, so I think I maybe think about or notice it more than other people who are lucky enough to have someone(s) ready at-hand who will get mad for/with them, show that they are upset, or express the very emotions that we try so hard to keep in check while we are at work and out in the "world." 

I told M right away in the most gentle but straightforward way that I knew how.  She cried and protested, and we agreed that it sucked and was so disappointing.  I didn't grow up with people who would let me feel and express what I felt, and I will not do that to my child.  But being the grownup in this situation,  I had to manage this turn of events and decide what to do.  I had talked to my leasing office and knew I'd need to figure something out by Monday.
Still, there we were with Friday night staring us in the face, sad and at a loss, wondering what to do next.  I wallowed in my disappointment for the evening.  But my realtor had asked me what my plan was, and if I wanted to keep looking at properties, and I said yes.

So, Saturday morning we met her at another complex a little farther away.  The location is a lot closer to retail and a main artery, and I had initially dismissed it in favor of the areas closer to where we are now.  Still, the complex is laid out so that no one can speed through it in their car; it is tucked back from the street and doesn't connect through, which avoids through-traffic.  There are lots of mature trees, and space between the buildings.  Every unit has a garage and is two-story, and the percentage of rentals is very low.

We walked through a unit that had been remodeled.  The kitchen had been gutted and redone completely.  I usually shy away from those because I rarely share the same taste as the remodeler, but in this case I was pleasantly surprised.  Except for the stainless steel refrigerator, the finishes were ones I would have picked myself.  The cliche of granite-and-stainless wasn't executed with such relentlessness in this particular remodel, and the overall effect is softer than many I've seen.  The dining room is beautiful, the fireplace re-facing is modern, and the colors are soft and current.  The unit has 3 bedrooms and a two-car garage and a basement.  The feature that got me hooked, however, was the outdoor space.  It is big enough - and private enough - that I could have adequate space for a dog, a fire pit, and plenty of potted plants.  That was the thing that was noticeably missing in the other property; all it had was a balcony.

I was also excited that it has an attic fan and a humidifier system installed with the central heating/airconditioning.  The front room is small but the third bedroom is enticing.  I used to have an office in my house in Edgewater, and the thought of moving my computer and files out of the living room makes me happy. 

I put an offer on it Saturday afternoon, and the inspection is tomorrow.  I so much hope that it all goes well.  Not only do I want to move, and I have a rapidly shrinking deadline, but I've also  paid for one inspection already, and I have yet to receive back my Earnest Money from the first property.  Since I terminated my lease early, I have an extra month's rent to pay for the "privilege" of moving sooner, and this new property is 15K more than the original one, so my closing costs will be higher. 

To say that I just want to put this all behind me is an understatement, to be sure.  We drove by the place today on the way to the grocery store, and I noticed they were having an open house.  The realtor who is representing the seller markets himself as a "bulldog," and I couldn't help dropping in for a quick look at how it was going.  The place was crawling with elderly folks, and Bulldog was a little long in the tooth, too.  I told M to not say anything, that we were "undercover," and we walked around a bit.  I noticed the old folks were straining a bit with the stairs, and spent a long time inspecting the basement.  M was offended that people were touring "our" house, but I explained that they didn't know it was ours.  I admit I felt the same way.  I asked the realtor as we were leaving how long the place had been on the market and he said 4 weeks, but he did add that it was under contract.  So that made me happy.  He wanted to know if I wanted to be emailed any more information, but I told him I'd be in touch.

Tomorrow is the inspection, so I figure we'll be in touch pretty soon!


  1. I remember falling in love with a house during our house-hunting. I was certain it was THE ONE. I can't remember how many times I visited it. Well, things fell through and the next week we found OUR house. I am so thankful now that things turned out the way they did. In hindsight, the first house would have been such a bad choice for us (did I mention, it's OFTEN underwater? YIKES!)
    It can be so frustrating at that moment, but life tends to put you right where you are meant to be, despite your own efforts.
    Looking forward to hearing more about this new place!

  2. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Hoping all goes well for you. :)

  3. Ditto to Mala's comment! Everything happens for a reason, and it really sounds like this new place might suit you better in the long run. Wishing you TONS of good luck and great vibes -- you deserve them! <3

  4. Three bedrooms? Now I'll have a place to stay, the next time I'm in Denver! :-D

    Congrats on finding another place so quickly!