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. 🙂

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So the truck has been loaded and the Boyfriend et. al. are in transit from the G.C. I have completed my Very Important dual duties of “Requester of the Keys” (I had to show I’d and everything!) and “Inspector of the Apartment” and am now just hanging out in the lobby waiting for the assorted troops to arrive.

You may be curious as to why the Boyfriend’s Sister is not, say, inspecting her own apartment and that would be because she is not actually going to be present for said Big Move as she has been in Miami all weekend for work and is scheduled to land in Newark at about 3:00 at which point, barring any unexpected incidents/I find out we are actually also expected to unpack everything as well, the Big Move should be complete.

Some people might, I don’t know, wait to schedule their move for a day when they are actually around to MOVE, but the Boyfriend’s Sister does not roll that way. Instead, her big contribution was to send around a powerpoint “presentation” (Can you call one single lonely ppt slide a presentation? I think no.) Detailing what time we all needed to arrive and what we needed to be doing at different times. I kid you not. Highlights include:

10:30 – fifi arrives at apartment
10:40 – fifi begins apartment inspection

And my personal favorite:

10:15 – Boyfriend’s Sister boards plane in Miami

Specialness.

Anyway, the Boyfriend thought this was all clever and awesome as evidenced by his “My sister is so good at organizing! Look at this awesome powerpoint presentation she made to help us!” email he used to circulate the ppt.

I forwarded it to my mother. She emailed back that she was laughing so hard she couldn’t breathe. She may be full of awesome, the Madre is, but she is not always full of empathy. Particularly when it is related to ridiculous situations the Boyfriend’s Sister gets us into.

—-
Update: Shortly after I finished that paragraph, the Boyfriend’s Cousin and his wife showed up to help so I was forced to pack away the snark. The Boyfriend’s Sister ended up getting in around 1:30 as we were finishing up and was her usual cheerful self and proceeded to be bratty to her mother who was innocently trying to help organize things. (MA! Ugh. That is NOT where I want that box. MA! You’re doing it wrong. MA! etc.) Charming.*

*I mean, yes, this is a different strokes for different folks situation, but all I know is that if the Madre volunteered to unpack and set up my kitchen for me, I would be all: YES PLEASE. But that is just me. And I also know she would do an awesome job.

God, I don’t want to be here. I want to be home.

Shit is about to hit the fan and I am too tired to deal with it.

But what else is new?

Things are kind of in turmoil on this end of the blog. There’s more than this, but the biggest issue is that I start work in under 2 weeks and I have nowhere to live. I have pounded the pavement, looked at a ton of apartments, wasted 9 days, and…nothing. Nada. Zilch.

I helped the boyfriend search for his current apartment (which, for the record, I actually found so I am seriously considering evicting him and taking ownership) and it was not a fun experience so I had an idea of how much this would suck this time around going in. That said, we found his apartment in Spring ’08 when the market was much different than it is now (example: boyfriend signed his lease for 1 year, paying $2200/month for a jr. one bedroom in which the “bedroom” and “living room” are 17′ by 10′ TOTAL. He is now paying $1800/month. Much more reasonable. FOR NEW YORK) and I really thought I’d have better luck this go round. Instead, I’m seeing the same crappy apartments we saw then (literally THE SAME APARTMENTS). I tried using a broker that a friend recommended, but that didn’t work out because, despite me telling him “absolutely nothing above 34th or on or east of 2nd” (because 2nd in this area is pretty sketch, people), he keeps sending me emails with “great” apartments for $2500/month on 39th and 2nd. Awesome.

Yesterday, he upped the ante by saying he placed one of my soon to be colleagues in a building on 38th and 1st. Because clearly that will entice me to take an over-priced apartment in a location I do not want to live in. FAIL.

However, I am a soon-to-be 27 year old soon-to-be lawyer starting her career with nowhere to live. I suspect that is an even bigger FAIL (let us just say that the parentals are none-to-thrilled about this turn of events because, in part, the current plan is for me to stay with the boyfriend until I find a place and “what will the pure and innocent Bro think about his jezebel sister shacking up with her boyfriend before marriage???”*^). At this point, I want to hole up in my room in my parents’ house, beg the firm to let me work from here, and never ever leave.

Sigh.

*HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. This is the boy who was dating at least 2 girls at once this summer. I don’t think me crashing with the boyfriend is going to corrupt his morals, but that’s just me.

^Interestingly enough, what the parentals don’t understand is that neither the boyfriend nor I are particularly thrilled about this turn of events, but that is another post for another time.

Subtitle:

“Moving A Queen Box Spring Up a Teeny-Tiny Extremely Narrow Set of Stairs That a Full Box Spring (the Bro’s) Just Barely Fit Up”

Subtitle 2:

“I Wanted A Hot Dog, Not A Hamburger”

Document1Mattress moving step twoMattress moving step three

The background you need here is that it was Zack’s (the Bro’s friend and the now former owner of the queen box spring) dad’s idea to break the box spring in the first place (and my dad went right along for the ride). The moms suggested things like, say, going to the Lowe’s 5 minutes away and buying a saw, but Zack’s dad saw no reason they couldn’t just snap it over the edge of the porch.

The hot dog vs. hamburger comment stemmed from the fact that Zack thought they were going to break the bed lengthwise. Instead, his dad broke it widthwise. Zack repeated this comment multiple times in varying tones of shock and disbelief. (The picture in the middle above is actually an attempt to break it lengthwise, after Zack’s dad and my dad had already broken it widthwise). What you can kind of see in the background of that picture is my dad, Zack’s dad, Zack’s mom, and my mom sitting on one edge of the box spring while Zack and my brother attempted to snap it again. The whole thing was, of course, awesome and hilarious and the highlight of moving day for me.

Which, just in case it was not clear, to update you all, I spent Wednesday in Columbus helping the parents and the Bro move into his house at Ohio State. Monday & Tuesday were spent getting ready for the move (note: Target furniture is kind of impossible and overly difficult to put together and, therefore, kind of sucks), which is why I have not yet written about the weekend. I’m going to IKEA tomorrow to get furniture for my as-yet-unselected apartment, but will try and update again sometime tomorrow night. We shall see. I may come home so enamored with my Hemnes that I will feel the urge to put it together immediately. To know Hemnes is to love Hemnes.

Okay, maybe that’s a little harsh, but I would still not exactly recommend them. In order to explain, we must go back a month or so…

Even though I ended up selling the majority of my big furniture on Craigslist pre-move, I still wanted to keep my bed frame which was just a little too big to fit in my Dad’s Santa Fe (the original plan had been for both my dad and my brother to bring their cars (my brother’s car is my car’s twin – also a Tucson)), but once I really looked around at what I had and the sizes of boxes and such, I realized it would just make more sense to rent a small truck. I looked around online and, for a 10 foot truck, Budget was offering the best price. Now, with Budget, you book through a central system and then get assigned a pick up location. I was assigned a location about five minutes from my apartment. Easy-peasy, no?

Yeah right. Now, as always, I should have been more proactive with the whole thing and followed up directly with the pick up location, but with finals/packing/selling stuff on Craiglist/graduation/saying goodbyes, I didn’t. Let that serve as a warning, people. Anyway, Monday morning of the move rolls around and we are scheduled to pick up the truck at 12. I have the service elevator and loading dock in my apartment reserved from 2-4. My dad and I get to Budget and the woman tells us that she has NO 10 foot trucks, she’s never had any 10 foot trucks, and she doesn’t understand WHY they would tell us that she had one because they are all reserved for in-town moves. Instead, she will give us a 16 foot truck. Now, I don’t know how familiar you all are with trucks, but there is a significant difference between the two. The 10 foot truck is kind of like an overgrown van. You know it’s a truck, but it’s all one piece, it’s not that tall, and it’s really not THAT overwhelming. The 16 foot truck, however, is like a junior semi-truck and it is HUGE and TALL and massively overwhelming. My dad was very sweet and said he thought he could drive it, but after a family conference, we decided that wasn’t going to work. Plus, there was absolutely no way I had enough stuff to fill the 16 foot truck – all my boxes would just be sliding around and all over the place. Not good.

I tell the woman that we will not be taking the 16 foot truck and I call the central booking line for Budget. It turns out you have to talk to an operator who puts your “ticket” into the system and then a booking agent will call you back within 2 hours. In the meantime, my mom is calling other vendors and finds a U.Haul with two available trucks about 15 minutes away. The only issue there is that it will cost about $75 more. My parents are very nice and offer to cover the difference, but I feel bad and want to see if I can get the Budget thing to work out (mistake # 2). Rodney, the booking agent, actually calls within a half hour and tells me that there are no 10 foot trucks to be had in all of Arlington, Virginia, BUT that if I am willing to drive to Falls Church, he has a 10 foot truck there AND he will give me a $25 credit for going out of my way (Falls Church is next to Arlington, people, where Jill lives, and approximately 25 minutes away – of course I said yes). So my dad and I hop in my car and set off for the Falls Church Budget office. However, when we get there, the truck woman is off getting lunch. So we wait. 15 minutes later, she arrives, only to tell us that while she does have a 10 foot truck, the transmission on it is shot and she told Rodney that. Note that after this point in the story, Rodney is no longer picking up his phone or returning my calls. She then says that she doesn’t know why Rodney sent us to her, but that she’s pretty sure there are no 10 foot trucks to be had in all of Northern Virginia. Awesome.

So at that point, I admit defeat, my dad and I go pick up the U.haul truck, and get back to the apartment with 45 minutes left on the elevator/loading dock. We haul ass and use 2 dollys and a bell cart to hustle everything downstairs to my mom who is organizing the truck. The fifi family is pretty darn athletic and awesome, so we are able to get everything through the elevator and down to the loading dock by 4. Luckily, there is room on the loading dock for two trucks and the guy who had the dock reserved at 4 was very nice and said that of course he didn’t mind us sticking around and that we were not in his way (which, for the record, we were not). That did not stop the bitchy front desk woman from coming and yelling at us that our time was up,* but whatever. At that point, the attitude was flowing right back** and I won.

So anyway, you might be asking why I’m writing about this now? Well, not only did I end up having to pay $75 more for the U.Haul truck ($100, really, if you count the discount Rodney promised me), BUT Budget also charged me a cancellation fee which I, of course, contested. I thought I had settled it with Budget myself after wasting a considerable amount of time on the phone with various people (Important lesson here people: Whenever you are dealing with a situation where things are getting sketchy, take lots of notes and ALWAYS get the names of people you talk to so you can refer to them later. Although it didn’t work in this case-mostly because I didn’t feel like wasting anymore time weeding through the hierarchies of Budget management- this technique will generally help you to get your way), but finally gave up and deferred to AmEx (I heart AmEx). The charge has now been refunded.

Ultimate lesson of all this: Moving is a bitch, but if you must rent a truck yourself, go with U.Haul.

Note: I am very very very glad that my firm is paying for movers to NYC. Hopefully this will result in much less hassle.

*This is the same woman that yelled at the boyfriend and me the weekend before when we somehow managed to get locked out of the apartment. The building has keys to all our apartments, but she kept threatening to make us call a locksmith (“we don’t do lockouts on the weekends”) and made us wait 30 minutes before she finally agreed to let us in the apartment (“Just so you know, you only get three lockouts before we won’t do it for you and you have to call a locksmith.” fifi: “Well considering this is the first time and I am moving next week…” the boyfriend: (elbowing me): “You can be a bitch AFTER she lets us in the apartment.”).

**Note as well that my building management company had to have been THRILLED to see me leave. We did not have the greatest relationship – all their fault – that cost them quite a bit of money, (another story for another day, but in summary: they let someone in my apartment when they were not supposed to and did not supervise that person and that person went through my drawers, stole my spare key, and stole my car. In an unrelated incident, they lost my full length cashmere winter coat and thus ended up writing me a check for $500 for that one) so I think we were both very happy to part ways.

Reposting this as part of 20SB’s Looking Back Blog Carnival, and Ben & Jerry’s is awarding free ice cream to lucky bloggers and readers!*

I have four boxes of books. Just of books. And that is after I thinned out the herd, making sure to keep only books that I love and reread.

What does this tell us?

1) I love to read obviously. And, despite being in law school for the past three years, still found time to read a lot.

2) Again, I am screwed. I have NO idea how I am going to get everything home, much less where it is all going to live once it gets there.

Also, I have only packed three boxes today because I got stuck working until 7. I could be packing more now (I’m in the ZONE) except for the fact that I ran out of packing tape (way to plan ahead, fifster). Apparently I have no choice except to retire to bed with the new Vanity Fair (the Madre is going to kill me if she has to help pack). It is a good thing that this blog is anonymous – am currently trying to con various friends into helping me pack and they might be much less sympathetic if they could read about my procrastination and general laziness.

*Ben and Jerry’s has graciously donated coupons for their new line of Ice Cream – Flipped Out. The 6 posts that the Carnival Team picks will get 25 coupons each, to be shared with blog readers!