Thursday, October 18, 2012

One Month to Go

A month from today, our loan closes out.  That means everything meaningful that has to be done to our house must not only be finished, but inspected, approved, and signed off on, with appropriate paperwork sent to Delaware, approvals made there, and, presumably, a check cut, signed, and sent.  A month.  One month.  

Luckily, October has 31 days.

So obviously we will not be done in a month.  But at least there's progress being made, right?  Oh, but wait:

Three reds trumps a green and a white in this game.
So what we have here is an approval for work done back in June, a certificate of participation for work done thereafter, and three-- count 'em!-- three failed inspection stickers for work done since.  Oh, and we got one more red one this week, which makes four.  I don't understand.  The reason we hire people is because they know what they're doing, right?  These failures are for things like having a pipe that's the wrong circumference; that's not a requirement that changes by jurisdiction, is it?

We have been waiting for WEEKS now solely because of this.  We cannot close the walls until we get another green sticker.  And, like I wrote in my last post, we can't do pretty much anything until the walls get closed in.  Abby and I are just this side of panic mode, to tell you the truth.  Honestly, it's not a huge wait, if you actually think about it.  My amazingly optimistic hope was that we would get in by Labor Day, but Abby never believed that one.  It then became October 1, then by Isaac's birthday or Halloween.  Now we're pushing up against the loan deadline of November 18.  It's only an extra 75 days after my original optimistic date, which is probably par for the course for a project this big.  But with a renter waiting patiently (and undeservedly) for us to move out, and Patty the Delawarean loan officer looking at her watch and tapping her foot impatiently, this is painful.  

So here's our current plan.  We're already culling, and have made a give-away pile and a yard-sale pile in the attic.  We've been rather brutal with the kids' toys, as well as their clothes.  Isaac's birthday is October 26.  We are having the party at home.  On October 27, we start to pack, moving everything towards the front door.  We hope against hope that we have a place to put things at that point in the bungalow, but it's not going to happen.  Rather, we'll be handing out Halloween candy from among boxes.  That's fine, because it'll at least be progress on our end.  The moment-- the very moment-- we get the go-ahead to start moving things into the house, it'll happen.  It won't mean we will be living there, but it will mean our attic will start shifting into our new attic (in the basement), and we can start emptying.  Jamie will move into the basement-- for free-- that week, and will stay-- for free-- until we're gone.  And we will go the moment the bungalow is livable   It won't be done when we move in, and the work can definitely continue past November 18, but all the major work has to be done.  This won't be another case of Abby and me living for two winters in a house with no heat.  We're not going to get our electricity from one solitary working outlet again, and we're not going to use the end of an extension cord to alternate between a microwave, a toaster-oven, and a tv, and we're not going to light the house with the help of Christmas lights we grabbed from Siobhan and Perry's wedding-- like we did when we were hardy, childless newlyweds.  But we may not have a front porch, we may not have every room painted, and who knows what'll become of the Thanksgiving we thought we were going to host for Abby's side of the family?  But it's gotta happen.

And-- not that I wish them anything but the best-- but my parents, in the span of about two weeks, have found a new house, put a bid on it, had it accepted, and past an inspection.  And they're likely to close and move in by the end of October.  All in one calendar month.  It's a great little house, way the heck out in the twelfth circle of hell-- a.k.a. a town that actually touches the West Virginia border-- but it'll be theirs and done and livable and...  hey!  Maybe we can move all of our stuff in with them!  Now there's an idea.  (Actually, when they first made the decision to move, I promised them I'd help them drive the moving van down from Buffalo.  So now it looks like I'll be helping two different households move in the same month, but the only one that's sure to happen is not my own.  My favorite word lately comes to mind: Argh.)

My parents' new house in Round Hill, VA.
Things are not all frustrating.  Okay, so they're mostly frustrating, but I'm going to end on a positive: our Great Room ceiling is done.  The beams still need to be cleaned up, but the ceiling looks beautiful.  So maybe, when we kick ourselves out of Petworth and move into an unfinished Forest Glen bungalow, we can do a bit of fancy camping-- that's what we called it when we lived with the conditions I wrote about above -- and look up at our own kind of star: the ceiling of the room that sold us on the house in the first place.  Sigh...

This ceiling is awesome.
But is it worth all the pain?
Only time will tell...

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