- We switched realtors. Our old realtor was fancy, but I think too concerned with the million-dollar properties he was dealing with. Our new realtor is my friend from high school named Mala Gandhi with Coldwell Banker who is PHENOMENAL (she deserves her own post). I am kicking myself for not asking her at the outset due to a misconception that she only worked in the suburbia. Seriously, email me if you're selling/buying anywhere in suburbs/Chicago; I will hook you up.
- We got an offer on our first showing with Mala. Unfortunately, the buyer wouldn't budge on his offer and decided to go with one of the 18 foreclosures in the building. :(
- We got an offer on our third showing with Mala. This one really seemed promising. We bargained and came to an agreement. After two years this was actually going to happen! We were excited.
- I visited CC in San Diego. We did so much awesome stuff, including hanging out in Coronado at the hotel where Some Like It Hot was shot, as well as fancy high tea.
- In exchange for the plane tickets, Jon and I shot his friends' wedding in LA, much like we did with that friend's sister at about the same time at the same location last year. We tried very very hard not to repeat stuff from last year, as a lot of the guests were the same, but it was a whole different ballgame.
- We were supposed to close at this point on the condo. But because regulations have gotten so tight on lenders, they perform checks at the beginning of the process as well as at the end. This buyer is very solid; there was no problem with him. However he wants it as an investment to rent out, and for that Fannie Mae requires the building to be at least 51% owner-occupied. At the start of the deal 246 units in our building were owner-occupied. The day before close? 251. And that was enough to derail our sale. I was DEPRESSED, because all around us, units were dropping prices like insects smacked dead against a wall. If this deal didn't happen, we wouldn't be able to compete with those foreclosures and thus would continue giving all our money to the mortgage and not be able to move on with life until this economy turns around. You know, when we're 87.
- One of my BFFs Highcon is a superduper rockstar at his job. In appreciation, his company awarded him an all-expenses paid, four-day trip to The Bahamas. For two. He asked me to come "because I've had a rough couple of years." So--with Jon's blessing--I went. It was awesome; especially swimming with dolphins. Thank heaven for BFFs.
- Basically in the time it took for me to fly home from Nassau, the deal with the same buyer somehow was back on track with a new lender. Closing was set for June 4.
- We lost the money I had hastily put down on an apartment near the train station (so Jon could get to work) before the first closing. But I didn't feel so terrible when he spotted two little squirrel faces poking out of a hole in the roof above our potential unit.
- Mala found us another apartment for a good price. We signed the lease and cleaned the heck out of it. It's not nearly as nice as the condo I was selling, but really, what is?
- Closing was set for 9 a.m. Jon and I stayed up late packing, so when my parents showed up at 5:30 (there has been a LOT of construction and they didn't want to be late) we tried to get them to go out for breakfast so we could sleep a little more. But we were awake already, so we just got going. Over the next 60 hours, we got a total of 6.5 hours' sleep.
- There were several other snags during closing that I don't have the energy to explain, but let's just say we got to know our buyer pretty well as we sat there for four and a half hours before the deal was done. It didn't feel real until I handed him the keys. Nice guy. I hope the renters he gets don't completely destroy the upgrades (esp the beautiful but soft bamboo floor) we worked so hard to make.
- Moving was a NIGHTMARE. Between the lack of sleep and the lack of food (I had an egg sandwich and OJ and Jon had a Jamba Juice, that is all) and the stress of trying to get out of there by the end of the night, it was not our best day, with our next worst day nowhere near close behind. If I had to deal with us that day, we would have been smacked. My brother happened to be in town and saved our butts on more than one occasion.
- Our good friends MFM and A got a babysitter so they could help us move. We thought we'd be in suburbia with a truck full of stuff by 5. They were going to help us try and squeeze the couch and other big furniture into the 1960s elevator. Sadly, at 5 p.m., not even half of our stuff was into the truck back in the city. I called them at about 7 to let them know to eat because we weren't going to make it to the apartment at a decent hour, but forgot to add that they should probably go home. They waited around for us at the mall until 9:45. And that day was their 5th wedding anniversary. We feel terrible about ruining it.
- As the sun came up through the floor-to-ceiling windows we got the last of our stuff out of the condo. It was sad. That place was the last remainder of my old professional life, ten years of slogging crap hours for little pay doing what I enjoyed and hoping it would eventually pay off. All those weekends not going out with my friends, of living with my parents so I could save to buy a place of my own. And it's all vapor, now. I won't even go into the heartbreaking amount of money I lost beyond the fact that it sold for way less than what I paid five years ago, not to mention all the upgrades and the fat chunk of change I had originally saved to put down. Funny, when people in the building asked us why we were moving, somehow "we just can't afford it anymore" didn't seem to be an acceptable answer.
- Moving into the new place was challenging, what with the rain, the faulty security door key (other residents kept kicking out the rock we'd put in the door, which I actually think is a good thing), and the fact that it was Jon and I by ourselves. But it went surprisingly well.
We are so very thankful to my parents, my brother (who spent a good chunk of his visit helping load/unload stuff) and MFM and A. Without them, we would likely STILL be dragging ourselves and our things up and down elevators. And that's only a slight exaggeration.
Everything is still in boxes. I can't keep my autopilot from turning into my parents' driveway. It'll be difficult to go downtown and remember that we no longer live there. This is going to be a big adjustment. But we're looking forward to the future. And we're ready for what comes next.
*Mala was our realtor for only 90 of those 765 days.