May 7th, 2004


House update: it's official

Closing was scheduled for 4pm this afternoon. I finished with the dry run for my department review at 12:30, went home, gathered up paperwork, and then took willowisp out to lunch. We figured we had an hour or so before we needed to head over to CTX, so we split up to run some errands. Not five minutes after she'd left, she came back in, breathless, and asked "Want to go buy a house?"

See, CTX Mortgage had set us up with a 4pm closing appointment. That was the last thing I heard from Susan. Commerce Title thought we were supposed to be there at 2. When we didn't show up, they were confused, and they called and said "Well, if you can come over now [meaning 2:30] we can take care of you..." We were off.

Closing was exactly what I expected: a nearly interminable stack of papers to sign, explanations that went with each one, and at the end a handshake and congratulations all around.

We picked up our house keys and garage door openers from Pam after our orientation and walkthrough yesterday. She happened to have them with her and thought she might save us a trip to Los Candelarias, another Centex development in town. We had a fairly nasty experience with them over the issue of a construction key to our house: on the one hand, yes, they were going strictly by the rules, but on the other, there's just no excuse for the snide, rude, desperate-for-authority attitude they gave us. We were just as happy to avoid the extra trip. We were, however, supposed to go back after closing to get the transmitters to open the gate. They had been told we were coming. When we got there, the office was locked up and the lights off: the sign on the door said "We are closing early today for a company function. We apologize for the inconvenience."

I was not amused. I was very glad we had our keys in hand already. Susan (sales manager) says she doesn't know of any company function, and when she had tried to drop off the transmitters earlier in the day the office was also closed. I'll just pick them up from her tomorrow. We know the gate code if we need to get in while it's closed between now and then.

Anyway. Back to happier stuff. While willowisp and I were on our honeymoon in Disney World, six years ago, we bought a blown-glass ring of dolphins as a gift for each other. We decided we would take that over to the house right after closing as a ceremonial moving-in sort of thing. It now sits on the ledge above the fireplace. (Hey, clubjuggler, look! Caustics!) It feels different, somehow, parking the car in the garage without worrying we'll be in someone's way, walking into the house knowing that it's finally ours to decorate and live in. It's really exciting.

The two things left on the punch list have been pretty well dealt with. This morning, the garage was scrubbed out fairly thoroughly. While the oil stain is not totally gone, it's substantially cleaner than it was yesterday, and that's very much improved over how it was originally: while not perfect, I'm willing to live with it. Second... I don't know what Pam said to Prewire, but whatever it was, it must have been pretty serious. The blank faceplates on the wall have been replaced with RJ-45 jacks. Beyond that, someone opened up the wiring cabinet and terminated all the loose cat6 strands. It was something of a mess when they first installed it in mid-April. Here is what it looked like today. I'm impressed. Whoever did this has terminated a lot of cables in his life. While this doesn't undo the trouble we've had with Prewire so far, it does keep from adding a fairly big complaint to the list.

So now we're back in our apartment. I did steaks on the grill for dinner. willowisp made salads and baked potatoes. After I post this, we're probably going out for dessert. Flying Star and Cold Stone are the most likely candidates.

We finally have a house!
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