Packing Purgatory

Lucy in a box
Lucy in a box

I suppose it’s time to suck it up and write more about the house booshit.  My house is a disaster and I’m literally sitting on a box as I type.  Soon I’ll box up the desktop (yes she has a name but it’s explicit and I haven’t had a mimosa so I’m not telling) and then it will be just me and Bubba.  I suspect the two of us will be traveling to Panera daily as the couch I’ll be crashing on doesn’t have wifi.  Sometimes it’s a damn shame I don’t drink that dirty brown caffeinated water so many people seem to enjoy…

The latest on the purchase in Maplewood:  We finally worked out all the fun with the contract and lawyers and had the house inspected last week.  Because Drew and the Rents were still in town, we all piled into the van for the great event.  We pulled up just as the owner was leaving.  I’m sure he thinks we’re going to have twenty people living in that tiny little house if the number of people for the inspection is any indication.  Watching everyone get out of the van was a little bit like watching a clown car unload.

As I regrouped, I sat and watched the flurry of activity on the front lawn.  There was my family, the seller and his wife, my realtor, the home inspector, the tank sweeping guy, the termite inspector and of course the paparazzi – all at 9am.  Everyone was pecking around in their appropriate corner, not unlike a pen of chickens looking for grain.

We entered through the basement which was great for the inspection dudes, not so great for Mom.  That poor woman hasn’t lived in a house this old since the one she lived in as a child..and at that time it was a new construction!  (Thems just jokes, Mom.  I know you’re not THAT old.)  After about 10 minutes of milling about and trying to figure out the space, ducking around pipes, her face just screamed, “No, not my baby!!  You can’t live here!!”

To be fair, this basement is weird.  I mean, there’s a shower next to the boiler.  In the laundry, there’s a toilet.  They’ve dry walled and finished the little room where the oil tank used to be and it seems they’re using it as a dressing area when they jump out of the boiler/shower.  Drew’s already called dibs on that swank space for his bedroom.

The good news is Drew won’t be lonely down there in the basement.  He’s got all kinds of creatures to keep him company!  He’ll be able to sit on the edge of his floor mat and feed chunks of house to the termites and carpenter ants that are all happily living there already.  Yay!

Hopefully he hasn’t picked out names yet, because the sellers have agreed to treat and repair before we get in there.  That’s great news because it turns out I can’t get a mortgage or home owners insurance if the little buggers are still alive.  Now I’m researching just how bad termite chemicals are on a girl’s health.  Luckily Mike knows loads about toxic chemicals and he’s recommended a lesser evil.  We’ll see if I can talk the peeps involved into using my chemical of choice.

They’ve also got to repair the fireplace and the sidewalk out front, but otherwise I’m told my house is in incredible condition – for being 80 some years old.  But I like old things.  So does Dad.  Which explains our spouses.  (More jokes – I kid, I kid.)

So despite a bit of a roller coaster over the past few weeks, operation Maplewood Move is a go.

The latest on the sale in Hoboken:  When we bought this joint six long and glorious years ago, we had a tidge of trouble with the closing.  in fact, – it took over six months.   They accepted our offer on Labor Day.  We moved in on Valentine’s Day.  No really, as I’ve said time and time again – you can’t make this shit up.

Apparently, this building was converted to condos in the 80’s.  One guy owned both this apartment, and the apartment across the hall.  It seems he sold both apartments at the same time to two different parties and accidentally switched the deeds.  Oh yeah!  Fantastic, right?  Over the years, the properties changed hands a few more times and no one noticed.  Luckily for us, our lawyer was good enough that he caught the mistake before our purchase was finalized.  So we had to track down the guy that had made the initial mistake (who was now living in Germany) and get him to sign all kinds of mumbo jumbo explaining the discrepancy.  Then we had to change the tax records and I don’t know how many other fun and exciting legal docs to correct the titles.

But wait there’s more…now the people that owned the apartment across the hall had a mortgage on our apartment to be.  In other words, there was a lien on the property which would prevent us from getting financing.  So more letters and faxes and memos and documents (at five gazillion dollars per billable hour) to try and remedy this situation.

Obviously there’s a happy ending here as I’m currently residing in the apartment in question – if only for a few more days.  But then again, maybe I’ll be here longer after all!  Yes folks, apparently my lawyer was good enough to catch the discrepancy, but not good enough to resolve it properly.  Apparently there’s still all kinds of drama over who owns what apartment.  Even better, a year after we moved in to our sweet little condo, the owner of the apartment across the hall got a second mortgage…against our property.  Doh.


So now there’s an additional lien against our property that nobody was aware of.  fanTAStic!  So now I’m unpacking my file boxes to try and find what paperwork I have from our purchase of the place.  I’m going to owe my current lawyer some serious margaritas after she straightens this mess out…hopefully by Thursday.  Otherwise it will be darn interesting to see how the living arrangements work out for all parties involved.

To soothe my jangled nerves, Lucy insists on helping with the packing.  I’d write about how she keeps crawling into boxes when I’m not looking, getting taped in and added to the growing cardboard mountain, but I’ll deny such activity in case any animal rights groups are on the prowl.  I certainly didn’t hear a muffled meow last night and have to launch a reconnaissance mission.  No.  Hells no.