closing on the investment house
Wednesday, October 1 2014
Somehow we slept in, not awaking until 9:39AM on the morning of our closing on the house we're buying in Kingston. Indeed, we woke up at precisely the time we were supposed to be having a second walkthrough of the house (the one yesterday not having counted because the house was still occupied). We told Larry our realtor screw it, we didn't need that walkthrough. He was already there and reported that it looked great, which is precisely what the seller's disposition had led us to expect. That house is so immaculate and in such great shape that we hadn't bothered with getting it professionally inspected.
Still bleary-eyed from having recently been asleep, we drove over to our lawyer's office and did the closing. The seller was a bit younger and hipper than her racist figurines had led us to expect, though her son looked to be about our age and in much worse shape. She also seemed super-nice, and said she was excited that so many nice "young people" (as she described us) were moving into the neighborhood. She looked to be about 75 and said she'd lived in that house since she was something like 12 years old.
In addition to the seller, her son, our realtor and attorney, there were a couple other attorneys, one of whom seemed to represent the interests of a bank. Because we were buying the house for cash, it was a much simpler transaction than it would have been had we been purchasing it with a mortgage. Somewhat amusingly, our attorney was dressed in jeans and a shirt that had a collar but didn't button up all the way, whereas the seller's attorney was wearing a full-on suit. As Gretchen pointed out, an attorney wearing jeans and a short-sleeved shirt just has to be better.
Once our business was done, we drove over to Forsyth Park (on Lucas Avenue) and walked the dogs on some nature trails that had been hacked through the Jewelweed and Poison Ivy. It's Jewelweed seed explosion season, and I ate as many as I could so as to enjoy their nutty deliciousness. The Jewelweed hasn't produced as many seeds as last year due to the drought, though there was a little rain falling today (the first in weeks).
Back in Uptown, we went to Outdated, the hip coffee shop that somehow is also an antique store. Judging from the many hipsters (most of them were actually hipsterettes) in there drinking their coffee and eating their eggs at 11:10am on a Wednesday, our real estate investment was a wise one. Why would anyone pay the absurd rents of Brooklyn when there is a place like Kingston? We ordered coffee and various vegan sandwiches (I had the tempeh reuben). [REDACTED]
After we left the greasy/eggy atmosphere of Outdated, we drove over to our newly-purchased house and Gretchen proceeded to tear out the carpet in the dining room. Somewhat as expected, the flooring underneath appeared to be perfectly preserved. Meanwhile, I was investigating options for installing a half bathroom. Larry the realtor had told us that it wouldn't do much for the value of the house to put such a bathroom upstairs next door to the existing full bath, so we started investigating options on the first floor. One possibility was to take a corner out of the dining room, but a smallish L-shaped dining room is awkward. Larry had suggested somehow putting the half bath in the hallway connecting the kitchen to a side door and then abandoning that door. But that's where the refrigerator lives and then basement access would have to go through the bathroom. Today I wondered if we could just convert the small closet near the front door into a bathroom. The closet measures only 28 inches by 43 inches, but it's got nearly nine feet of headroom, so perhaps a toilet with an overhead tank might make it a possibility. To make it work, I'd have to remove a large (and probably unneccessary) steam radiator, but working on the first floor would mean I would have easy access to the underside of the bathroom via the unfinished ceiling of the basement.
Once we returned to the house, I went down to the greenhouse downstairs to see if there was any flooding from the light rain that had been falling off and on since last night. There didn't appear to be any rise in the water level at the bottom of the excavation, but to be on the safe side, I used the hoist to raise the jackhammer out of the hole. At this point, that's pretty much the only possible way to do that. Without the hoist, the only access to the hole is via an eight foot ladder, but that's useless when moving items heavier than about ten pounds.
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