2010-07-03 00:34 - GeneralMy Co-Op Saga
So, back in 2003, I had graduated college, and (eventually) found a job ... in Brooklyn. The commute from my house at the time was around three hours each way (an hour on NJ transit to get into the city, an hour on the subway to get to the right area, and a lot of wasted time getting to and from, making connections, etc). I was practically forced to move, so I did. I ended up in Bay Ridge (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bay_Ridge,_Brooklyn), and I've lived there for just shy of seven years.
But pretty much off the bat, I "knew" I wanted to buy a home to move into. At first, it was going to be moving back to Jersey. And I could have done that. But over a few years, I got used to city life, not owning a car, so many things being in walking range, and all that jazz. So I kept renting for a while.
I even seriously looked at moving into Manhattan, while still renting, at least once. But I couldn't justify the expense at the time. Very early this year, though, something about the state of the economy, the First Time Home Buyer's Tax Credit, and the amount I had managed to save up (remember, seven years ago, I started saving up to buy a home in New Jersey) made me decide to look at buying. And look I did. I know for certain that I was looking in early February, and saw my first place in person on the 8th. I worked "with" a broker for a while, and found that to be counter productive. I started heading to open houses each weekend, by finding them online myself, and got to see places much closer to what I wanted.
Long story short, I eventually found three places I liked enough to make an offer. My first two offers were rejected, but when I put an offer on the third one in late March, it stuck! It took till the end of June for the process to work its way through, but on the 24th, I closed the sale and took ownership. That was one heck of a big day for me!
But the story only begins there. So, I'm happy with the place. It's very nice. It had a "popcorn" ceiling (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popcorn_ceiling) which I didn't exactly mind, but my Mom hated. And it was peeling in spots. We decided (looking back, I can say foolishly decided) to take the week between closing on the 24th and my move in on the 30th (given early termination of my lease at the end of the month) to do some renovations: namely stripping the popcorn off the ceiling and repainting the (purple!) walls along with it.
We started on Saturday morning, and got about half done that day. Probably on schedule. But on Sunday, I got sick, and could barely contribute any progress, and we found some patches of the stuff that were much more difficult to remove. Basically, by mid Monday we realized we would barely finish the first step (stripping off the popcorn), and never manage to clean up, or paint, the ceiling, much less repaint the walls. (I buzzed that early progress: http://www.google.com/buzz/arantius/abKfth5ipov .)
So I called someone, got them in, and hired them to finish the job. But the scraping leaves tons of dust and the painting will surely leave fumes. I don't want to live there through that, and my cats definitely can't. So I'm waiting it out through the hired out work, back at my Mom's house, working from home until I can head back in. I was sick right through yesterday -- almost definitely because I kept stressing out, and trying my best to get the work finished, rather than resting. I felt better today, though, and even though the past week has been pretty dismal, things should be looking up soon.
I'm almost completely done with the move. Except the one final niggling detail: the super was kind enough to let me use some space in a locked room in the basement to store my stuff, while the work is being finished. But that means all my stuff is down in the basement. I'll have to get it upstairs at some point! Elevators and dollies should combine to make that work out pretty easy -- except one table that won't fit in the elevator, and is too much for me to carry on my own. I've also got wall-to-wall carpeting coming in, so far at a to-be-determined time (waiting for the special order carpet to come in). So I'll wait until after then to move things in, if I can.
But the end is in sight!!