Checking in – House updates.

Whew! Just over 24 hours in, and this home ownership thing is really kicking my ass! I’m crazy CRAZY busy until March 7th, so after this post, updates will be pretty short and probably point form. Here’s where we are now:


We closed on the house! It’s ours!

Thursday afternoon, we went to the title company’s office to sign the papers. Kind of a bizarre experience, all around.

It was this thing that we’d been looking forward to for weeks, but I was actually really numb about it. I think that my husband was worried that I regretted the decision to buy – I’m actually not outwardly excited. I’m so super overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done by the 26th, I think that the numbness may be a coping mechanism. As an overview, this is all on my plate in the next 1-2 weeks.

– We are not finished packing.
– I need to finish a fake cake for the American Craft Council Show and have it photographed tomorrow.
– I’m not finished the curtains.
– I need to finish a completely epic cake for the Food & Wine Experience on March 5th. (I still can’t believe that they invited me back after last year!)
Evil Cake Overlord has to be sent to the publisher the end of the week – the day before we move! That involves a bit more formatting, a last edit, and one more photo.
– We are not finished packing. Yes, I know I already said that.

You know how I was asking who’s got an over/under going on when I go crazy? This is why! Holy crap.

Another bizarre thing about signing is something that’s been a recurring theme for me. Why do people act surprised / inconvenienced when I want to read a contract before signing it? I’m constantly being told that it’s customary for the person to summarize it FOR the person signing, and that “people don’t normally actually read the full contract”. Uhmm.. What? It’s a house purchase. That’s pretty major, why on earth WOULDN’T I read it?

Went through the same thing a few weeks ago when I was working on one of those group buy deals, like Groupon. The guy was flabbergasted that I wanted to actually read what I was signing. This is my business! If one little thing is off, especially when dealing with something like that, I could be completely screwed! I’m just shocked that reading contracts is considered wrong, or some sort of rarity. It runs completely contrary to what I would have expected, given that the culture here is far more litigious than the one I grew up in.

Although, maybe the culture of not reading contracts is the reason for that? Hmm. Hadn’t considered it before… and I’m babbling.

Anyway, I read it all, we signed, and now we have a house! Yes, that sums up the closing nicely! We got our keys, met a friend at the house, gave our VERY first tour to anyone we know… and then went for sushi to celebrate.

Day 1 at the House

So, yesterday was the longest day I think I’ve gone through in a very long time. Here’s our updates there:

– Got the ducts cleaned… which ended up costing more than double what we had planned for, as the (new!) Furnace was a total mess. Had to add a furnace cleaning, extra pipe cleaning, and sanitizing onto the bill.

– Got the locks changed, and a funky stainless keyless lock on the front door. Awesome!

– Phone company hooked us up for internet.

– Drywall guys got started. Came by, papered up all of the floors, bought supplies. I’m going to have to blog a love letter to these guys, if their work is even a small fraction as good as how the experience of working with them has been.

– Furniture delivery was attempted and aborted. Apparently the doors are all way too narrow for the appliances. They got left in the garage, so that my husband can build a quick set of steps up to the deck this morning, so they can re-attempt delivery through the back door. Yikes.

– I started the curtains for the diningroom and livingroom, and actually managed to get them done *right* at the end of the day. They’re long, wide, and complicated to make. They’re lined with a heavy satin, with an overlay of an iridescent crinkle fabric. I had to make over 50 tab tops, with the crinkle fabric lined with the satin. It took FOREVER, and I work fast. The unfortunate thing? For all of the planning, cost, and work that went into them, the final appearance is very straight forward – you wouldn’t be able to tell the insane amount of work in them, unless you’re a seamstress yourself! Hahaha!

– The City of Minneapolis phantom water appointment mystery was solved! It was dragged out to be far more drama than it needed to be, but hey, at least I know I’m not crazy – yet. Here’s the deal:

One month ago, I called to set up water and garbage with the city. I scheduled water to be turned on Friday the 18th in the afternoon, as we were scheduled to close that morning.

Earlier this week, I called to re-book the appointment for a day earlier, as we were able to close a day earlier. Was told that they had “no record” that I’d ever even called, much less an actual appointment to do so. Moreover, they had no appointments available until NEXT week – which wouldn’t work for us, as we’re already on a tight schedule for the renovations, and kinda need a working bathroom in there! I asked them to look up our other phone numbers, in case that’d help. Was told that it would not, as everything went by the address.

They were very accommodating, even though it really sounded like she did not believe my story. I was trying not to be too obnoxious, but I was livid – I had planned everything in advance, so stuff like this would not happen. I had talked with the initial CSR for a while, getting ALL of the info I needed, and I took extensive notes. Yes, I HAD booked!

They were able to get the water set up the next day (Tuesday or Wednesday this week), by fitting me in as an on-call. Basically, they’d have a guy call me sometime between 8am and 5 pm, and I had 20 minutes to get to the house. Ok, fine.

So yesterday afternoon, I get a call from City of Minneapolis water. He’s asking why I’m not at the property. Well, for one… I was. Secondly… this was all dealt with. Why is Water calling?

Well, he was calling from 1 block away. He had the 2nd of 4 numbers of our address wrong. We were at “4″, he was at “5″.

Ah! Everything is explained! The CSR wrote my address down wrong! See? I DID book it!

Well, HE sounded like he didn’t believe me, and wanted to come by to check out the job that the OTHER city guy did. I didn’t understand why, but fine. He very thoroughly checked it out, then called HIS supervisor.

It was bizarre, almost like he wanted to make it far more complicated than it was. At NO point did he mention that I’d called to re book, was told they didn’t have an appointment for me, and fit me in earlier this week. Without that information, sure, it probably did look weird. Why would someone else have turned it on a few days early, right?

After FAR too long of an interruption – especially considering it was something that had been dealt with DAYS earlier – he was finally satisfied that it was all on the up and up (even though his supervisor looked up the work order and gave him the name of the guy who’d come out earlier!), and he took off. Whew.

Long story short? I called. I had an appointment. I was not going crazy. LOL.

– The carpet guy came to measure for our bedroom, which has no flooring at all. After much stressing out over floor / wall colors, we changed our carpet from a dark tan, to a cream color. It was just SO hard to find a wall color that would look good with the flooring AND the wood work around the tub.

Now… we still don’t know what color to do the walls (stress!), but at least our options are more open.

Hrm, what else?

I finally got to try the red curry dish at this awesome little Southeast Asian place just a few blocks away. SO good.

Oh! I know… ok, apologies in advance, I’m gonna be a little crass here and talk money.

So I’ve mentioned that this house was a foreclosure property. 3 bedroom, HUGE basement, 2 car detached garage. Aside from the kitchen and some cosmetic stuff, the house is in great shape, and … hey, we have a hot tub in the bedroom.

So, I have to spill. We paid $45k for it!

The reason I bring this up is because a.) It’s awesome and I’m proud of my first time home shopping skills, and b.) it’s been an ongoing source of entertainment/pride.

Our drywaller is in love with our house. Every single pro that’s gone in to that house has fawned over what a great deal we got.

Remember how I said that 2 other people had bid against us when we made our offer? I had the pleasure of meeting one of them, who came by to check out the house for sale next door. When he realized that I had bought the house I did, man.. It was awesome. Then, his business partner came by and outwardly lusted over my house.

For one, I’m pretty sure no one has ever been envious of anything I’ve done, owned, or whatever. It was a novel experience for me!

Secondly… you know, it was a huge risk to buy the house. It was the first I looked at, we put in an offer right away, and it was accepted only one week after the idea of looking at buying a house was FIRST brought up.

It’s just really cool to have our risky idea / purchase to be affirmed as a really good idea / buy / etc like that. Even once or twice would have been awesome, but *everyone* loves it. I’m just… well, honestly, I’m used to my crazy ideas and impulsive risks being looked at negatively, for the most part. I’m used to “You did WHAT!?”, not “You paid WHAT!?!?”, followed by statements indicating how lucky we are!

So I guess this experience has been a bundle of firsts for me!

Oh, and when I said that I was numb, and my husband concerned that I wasn’t more excited?

Yesterday, he had to fill the hot tub and run it as part of the sanitizing process. When I saw it, I guess I lit right up, and he was glad to see me excited and grinning like a fool. For that moment, I stepped away from “I need to be calm and mechanical, can’t afford to get excited with all that is on my plate for the next 2 weeks”, and I was really, truly excited.

5 thoughts on “Checking in – House updates.

  1. I can imagine you lighting up at the site of that hot tub–it’s a good reminder of what your hard work is worth! Keep at it, girlie!

  2. Wowowowow! That’s totally a steal! Congrats! Awesome work.

    Also, I read all my contracts, all my terms and service things (well, except the ones online lol!) and all my insurance packages. People are always surprised that I know so much stuff but if they’d bother to read their coverage plans, they’d know it too!

    Glad I’m not the only one 🙂

  3. Naila: But you’re a fellow Canadian!

    I’d never, ever run in to the “why do you want to read that?” before moving here, which is what made it soooo completely bizarre to me!

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