the Apartment


Minor updates today.

More beam:

And more walls in the bathroom:

When you walk in and see this:

you know some progress has been made!

The rest of the wall is gone:

and the thinset is gone:

(unfortunately it appears to be plywood underneath – not more nice oak, but that is a minor setback.)

The kitchen tile is gone:

The beam was attacked:

And there is lots and lots of debris:

There was lots of progress with the bathroom:

And last but not least, a preview for the future:

Apparently today was a supply shopping day, so no new pictures. Hopefully there will be some updates for you tomorrow!

So this is what the kitchen looked like this morning:

Here’s the floor:

And check out that doorframe:

(that’s the view from the back of the kitchen looking out)

One last view of the closet:

And this is what the kitchen looked like when I checked back in after work today:

The sink is in the living room:

Say goodbye to the closet:

And the doorframe:

And the floor:

Is that wood under there? Hopefully, we’ll find out tomorrow!

The kitchen is not the only place where there were big changes today. Let’s take a look at the bathroom, shall we?

Remember the hamper? That’s gone now.

Just in case it wasn’t clear how BIG what happened today was, I leave you with a shot of everything they got rid of. Check back tomorrow for more updates!

The contractor comes tomorrow and the renovations of the apartment officially commence! I say officially because the boyfriend and I spent 4 hours yesterday taking the tile off the walls of the bathroom (aided only be some instructions on the internets. We are handy people), but Day 1 is really tomorrow when the pros come in and start knocking down walls. Clearly this blog is sorely in need of updating on a regular basis and I would like to have a record of the renovations and this whole process, so the blog is going to temporarily become a renovations blog. There are still things which much be purchased, so any and all suggestions are welcome.

Now without further ado, let me introduce you to the apartment (apologies for the berry pictures – I have not been able to locate my card reader):

THIS is what the apartment looked like when the tenant was moving out:

Kitchen:

Living Room:

Bathroom:

Check out all these tiles in the bathroom:

and picture them covering ALL the walls.

They were not in great shape:

Now for the bathroom, AFTER:

Look at all these tiles! And, shockingly, we got most of them off intact. I was proud of us.

And here’s the living room post-appliance and cabinet delivery (not much visible difference there, I know!):

You may be asking, where is that all going to go? (at least that’s what the Boyfriend was asking.)

Check back tomorrow night to see!

So today is the big day where I finally get to tell you what exactly it is that I’ve been hinting about for the last couple of months. I suspect some people may have guessed or put two and two together as they wondered why exactly it is that it is March and I am still essentially squatting in the Boyfriend’s apartment (those that guessed we were moving in together? Hahaha. Not so much. But that is another post for another day.)

So this is it: I am buying an apartment!!!!

And we are closing in less than an hour.

Obviously, I’ve wanted to tell you all about this sooner, if for no other reason than that DEAR LORD this has been a process, including dealing with incompetent sellers who take a month (A MONTH) to return the signed contract of sale, a tenant who enjoyed playing fun games like locking the top lock so the appraiser couldn’t actually get in the apartment (that was a fun $75 fine), and brokers who hid the fact that the tenant had a 60 day notice clause in her lease and said notice could only be given on the 1st of the month. (Surprise! Even though you all came to agreement on Dec. 2, we can’t give notice until Jan. 1, so the soonest the tenant wil be out is March 2! Oopsie!), BUT with all these fun little hiccups, I didn’t want to push my luck and jinx everything. Now, though, I have the keys and, even though the last 24 hours have been full of the ridiculousness that has characterized this whole process, I feel pretty comfortable spilling the beans. No celebrating just yet, but I feel like that’s close too.

But let me tell you about the last 24 hours…I hired a lawyer who was recommended to me as competent by a friend who said that said lawyer (“Urkel”) who is generally awkward and twitchy and likes to talk about how he is looking out for me because he thinks of me as a little sister, but then fails to back that up with action. Urkel has been promising all week to send the closing breakdown, but didn’t finally send it until about five last night (it is always somebody else’s fault and NEVER Urkel’s) and that is when the fun really started.

In retrospect, I think that between me, the Madre and the Boyfriend we could have handled this just fine without Urkel, but everyone said that I needed someone who was familiar with New York co-ops and the process and the law, so I retained him in a burst of “better safe than sorry” logic. I have no doubt that we are, in fact safe because Urkel is generally competent, but sorry is another question entirely, because, frankly, dealing with Urkel makes my head hurt.

So anyway, as it turned out, Urkel had made some mistakes. There were small ones (none of his math actually added up) and big ones (he got the purchase price wrong on the final documents and these documents cannot be changed. So now in all the filings while I (we-my parents helped SO SO SO much with this, but it is technically my apartment) paid X for the apartment, it appears we paid X + $3,000. Luckily, this doesn’t really have an effect on anything, but STILL). He also sprung on us that, OOPSIE, even though he had assured us that the sellers would take a personal check, it actually has to be a certified check and that’s not a problem, right, when you are writing the check from a brokerage account, OH WAIT. Yes that actually is a wee bit of a problem.

But bygones. We sorted that out (with no help from Urkel). Then, my favorite: it turned out that even though Urkel told us he held firm and got reimbursements from the sellers for the $75 fees from when THEIR tenant refused to let the appraiser in, it turned out that he is a big old WIMP and basically convinced my broker to reimburse me out of pocket. Obviously, that is not how these things are supposed to work.

As a result of these issues, we spent about five hours trying to call Urkel, but he was clearly avoiding us. The Madre sent Urkel an email detailing the issues. It was pretty calm, although she did end it with “I am disappointed with your handling of this matter.” The result of THAT was me getting a call from my broker at 10 to midnight saying that Urkel was “scared” and that could we please, please let the reimbursement thing go because it was totally cool with him.

SIGH. Clearly, some people do not have the personalities necessary to be lawyers.

And, seriously, to those of you out there who have taken PR, doesn’t that just sound like a bad PR case? “Lawyer is called before the Board for because he screwed up and then avoided client calls for five (5) hours because he was scared.” Clearly Urkel has forgotten everything he learned studying for the MPRE.

But anyway, we did everything settled and we CLOSED and as of Thursday around four pm, I am now officially a homeowner (well, co-op owner if you want to get all technical about it). Now the real fun starts-fixing everything up to move in! I’m hoping to document the process with pictures here so stick with me. I hope to get some “before” pics posted in the next few days.

*Also, as you may have figured out, I started this post on Thursday on my way to the closing, but while at the closing got an email asking me to come into work. I went straight there from the closing and then didn’t leave until about 1:30 Friday. I proceeded to go home and sleep for about 17 hours before coming into work this morning. Oh, the very exciting life of a corporate lawyer! Besides, it is letting me be a homeowner, so I can’t complain too much. 🙂