Gone Fishin'


I'm not actively blogging here anymore. But if you got here because you were searching for something about bikes, you might want to check out my latest project, Vermont Goldsprints. In summer of 2014, I bought a used goldsprints racing setup and have made it a mission to get more bikes in more people's faces by putting on fun races in unexpected places. Come join me!


The House-Buying Experience: Closing, Part I

This post would more accurately be titled:

 "The Very Long Day During Which the Projected Amount of Money We Needed to Bring to the Closing Doubled, Halved, Doubled Again and Then Got a Little Bigger"

But that seems too wordy and gives away the punch line. Oh well.

The day we closed on our house felt like a full day of work on top of the actual workday.  Our closing was scheduled for 4:30 in the afternoon, but I planned on leaving the office at 2:00 so we could meet the Realtor for one final walk-through before heading to the law office where we would finally meet the seller and become homeowners.  I planned on that, and I did that, but in the middle of the process we had to go to the bank to get the Very Big Check that we would hand over at closing.  The thing was, we weren't sure how much that check was supposed to be for.

Modern technology means that our whole loan application was online for us to view, and that included a cell on a table somewhere in there with an estimated amount we needed to bring to the closing.  I'll refer to that amount as X.  There was plenty of money in the account to cover X, and X hadn't really changed over the week leading up to the closing.  Things were looking good.  On the morning of the closing, Kate called the broker just to make sure.  Suddenly, the amount was 1.5X  Ok, we could still do that.

As I cleared my desk for the day and got ready to go pick Kate up, I got a call from her. She had been in touch with the broker.  There had been a BIG mistake at the law office where we would be closing.  The amount we needed to bring was .75X.  Awesome!  We could eat the very next week!   I got on the road and picked Kate up outside her office and we headed toward the bank.  She turned to me:

"I've been on the phone with (our broker) again since I called you."


"Yeah, there's some property tax prebate/rebate thing and the oil in the oil tank at the house and really we need 2X for the closing."

So much for anything other than steel cut oats, soy sauce and a half grapefruit for next week's dinners.  Luckily, we still had 2X and a little bit more in the bank, but it was a shock.   

Trembling, we went up to the bank teller's window and asked for a cashier's check bigger than either of us had ever written at once.  It was done in half a minute, and we were on our way around the corner to the house for one final look-see.

The plumber's van was out front, and he had just finished.  He found one little leak and left us a slip with an estimate for a few dollars less than what the seller wanted for the fuel oil left in the oil tank. I didn't want to be the one generating surprises at the closing table, but so be it. We verified the amount of oil in the tank, took one last look at the house that was about to be ours (not enough of a loo for that to actually sink in) and we were off to downtown Burlington to the lawyers office to sign the final papers.     

Did I mention that this all happened as a massive snowstorm bore down on Burlington, and that by the time we were headed for Downtown, there was six inches of beautiful fresh powder on the ground?  Because there was. We fishtailed on to Williston Road, barely making the green arrow, and away we went...