And Then I Stepped in Gum . . .

Friday, June 24, 2005

They're Trying to Drive Me CRAZY, Aren't They?

So the house closing in NY was supposed to happen "on or about" June 15. For those of you not familiar with NY real estate peculiarities, let me just tell you that it is absolutely impossible to pin anyone related to the closing down and make them give you an actual date that the closing will occur. Never mind that you have to get yourself from or to another state, or that you have to arrange for childcare, or that your belongings are IN TRANSIT and need a place to land, or that you have a job or anything -- "on or about" means "we really have no earthly idea until magically, by some sort of divine intervention, all the relevant parties appear in the same location at the same time."

This is the third time we've been through this. The first time we were moving from VA and had no kids and two cats. I don't remember how stressful it was, because we sort of had nothing but time. I do remember that Dave and I drove up together from NY and closed on the house, then I left him there and returned to VA to work for another month, upon which he flew down and we drove up together in my car.

Last year, we made plans to move by the closing date because, you know, we thought the closing might actually happen on that day, and then when it didn't, we had to scramble for alternatives. We ended up imposing on a friend of mine and giving her power of attorney so that she could close for us a couple of days later, because we had to get on the road in order to make it to the closing in AL on time. Our attorney (the very epitome of a sleazy NY lawyer, but older) was incredulous that we had dared to make plans around the date -- I don't know how, but he apparently expected us to order up movers and load up the kids at a moment's notice.

Now we're dealing with NY again, and it's fun, fun, fun. As I said, closing was supposed to happen June 15. The only problem? The house wasn't actually finished yet. Big holes in the walls where the units were joined together, no blacktop on the driveway, carpets not installed, etc. So it didn't happen. So we gave them a couple of weeks to get it together, and went to my parents' for a break. Now we're back, and we were counting on closing next week (we have to close by July 5, or we pay a $1200 penalty to the bank for going over our rate lock period). Today, I found out that the house didn't pass for the certificate of occupancy because it needs the carpets (still), a stove, and a concrete landing at the bottom of our steps from the deck. Oh, and the survey has to be fixed. The seller claims this can all be done by Monday, and that the CO will be available by Tuesday. Our current attorney isn't buying it, exactly, and the bank can't really go forward with scheduling the closing until they have the appraisal in hand (also done today).

The thing is, if this closing is happening on Thursday (which, crossing all our appendages, we think might happen), I have to leave on Monday. Preferably Monday morning, since I'll be driving approximately 10 hours that day. I begged our attorney (actually, his assistant) to move mountains to get this to happen on Thursday, and she's promised to try, but at the moment I'm left with not knowing until Monday morning (!) whether I should jump in the car and drive to NY. AAAAAAAA!!!!

It's just all icing on the cake of the uncertainty we've had to deal with over the last few months. I've never been very good at handing control over to anyone. And when I feel like I'm handing over control to no one, well, just fit me for a straightjacket. As a result, I'm alternating between manically pulling things off walls to prep for hole-filling and paint touching-up, or slipping into an cocoon of obsessive denial in which I mess around on my computer or work on a puzzle for hours. I can't take it much longer, and I'm pretty sure Dave can't either, though he's being pretty good at reining any verbal reactions to my insanity.

Is this ever going to be over?