Hooray for Homeownership!

All right, let’s start with the fact that I woke up on my bed sideways with all my pillows and blankets shoved to the side yesterday morning because I quite possibly had a bit of trouble sleeping the night before.

That kind of set the tone for the rest of the day.

Butterflies in my stomach on the train and all morning.

I get a call from our attorney around 10 am and she goes though the final
numbers with me. Not too bad. I’m covering a few things I wasn’t anticipating but nothing unexpected.

Boyfriend picks me up around 1 pm and we go get the cashiers check and have lunch and try to calm my nerves.

It’s an hour and a half before closing and it takes 25 minutes to get to the office. We try to kill time by walking to the farthest point we can in Manhattan until we have to get on the train. We decide to get on and just hang out in Queens somewhere until 4.

We spot a Starbucks across the street and spend the next forty minutes nervously checking watches and phones. We try to take care of some administrative stuff while we wait but I’m mostly just staring at my Facebook newsfeed hoping for a distraction.

Finally it’s 3:45 and we decide that’s just early enough to show up at the office.

We are soon followed by the seller’s agent, who we last saw with a pea coat and much more hair. A few minutes later the seller walks in and we all just sit quietly and wait to be called in.

We are brought into a conference room that overlooks the borough with authority. Being on the 15th floor of a building in Queens actually means something.

The title closer sits at the head of the table. She has been sick for the last few days she says. She ends up being funny and cracking jokes between business.

The stand-in for the sellers attorney is already in the room, a kind-looking older gentleman who turns out is doing this as a favor for the actual attorney.

The bank attorney is situated at the other head of the table. He and the title closer have the final word on what will fly.

The meeting begins with a flurry of signing. That seems to be going smoothly until we start looking at when we have to start making mortgage payments.

October 1st? I thought we put that off until the renovations were done.

Patch in a call to my mortgage lender. Turns out talking about the option is not the same as actually working it into the loan.

We look at each other and cringe a bit. All right. Noted. Already crafting an email in my head to the contractor about getting the house done ASAP, now with more reason than ever.

Title closer is going through the title.

Pest control charges – who is handling?

Our attorney looks at me and she gives me the look. The look I’ve heard over the phone. The look that the seller is not going to pay anything.

We will pay them, I say.

Tax lien?

We got it.

Title closer pauses. Wait, this letter expired today at 2 pm.

I thought the sellers attorneys assistant was sending an updated one?

They try calling her a few times hoping she is for some reason in the office after office hours.

Title closer hangs up the phone. Okay so here’s what we have to do. You give me a $250 extra buffer on top of what the amount is on this letter. We get the right letter from the attorney. We mail you back a check for the difference.

I guess that’s happening.

About halfway through, I realize the seller and I are just observers in the middle of a frenzy. It feels like we are awake at an operating table and are hearing the surgeons joking around while they connect the aorta back to the central valve.

I am taken out of my haze by our attorney asking my boyfriend and me to come outside.

She tells me this is literally one of the sloppiest short sales she has ever seen. On top of everything else, she says that the seller’s side is normally responsible for paying the title closer. Guess who forgot to add it to the HUD?

Our attorney heads back into the conference room. My boyfriend and I hug for a few minutes and take deep breaths before heading back inside.

We are back and pens are flying and calculators are whirring (or whatever they do). There is some complicated math going on that we just walked into the middle of and my attorney is orchestrating. She said at the beginning of this closing that we were closing – in a way that implied nomatterwhat – so I just hold my boyfriend’s knee and let go of trying to even understand what is going on because everyone else in the room clearly knows and you know what, I’m really okay with not knowing anymore.

I know it’s near the end when I start writing checks and our attorney tells me she is an hour late to meet another client (and just sign anything they put in front of you at this point). Final signatures are captured, hands are shaken, copies passed out, and, well, it’s over.

The seller’s agent gives us the code to the lock box for the keys. We run down the hall to wave goodbye to our attorney and thank her profusely. She was truly a miracle worker in that room. This would not have happened without her, I can say that much.

We walk down to the elevator, trying to decide what we should send her as a thank you.

As we head out of the building, it really hits me. This is it. The house is ours.


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