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Moving Pains

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11/12/2009

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This month I’m stepping outside my fitness expertise to discuss a wonderful yet painful process—buying a condo. By describing the buying and moving process I hope to entertain and offer some helpful insight.

My wife, Erika, and I purchased a wonderful place we like to call, “The Money Pit.” After a year of living in a one bedroom, six hundred square foot condo, we decided it was time to upgrade. As we searched, my criterion was: two bedrooms, two bathrooms, open kitchen, and located in a fun area of town. Erika’s wish list was a little longer than mine:

  • One flight of stairs or elevator (I’m a trainer, the more stairs the more calories burned)
  • One form of public transportation to work (I agree)
  • Three beds-two baths
  • Safe (obvious, but somehow I missed it)
  • Double vanity in master bath (this has changed our life)
  • Hardwood floors

Our real estate agent, Rusty, did a great job of carting us all around town. Despite Erika’s longer wish list, I think I was pickier. My expectations slightly exceeded my pocket book, but I saw the place for us, 1W. Rusty agreed with me, he made himself comfy on their couch and said, “This is the place I can see you guys living.” I wanted to make an offer for it right away. No other place we’d seen had spoken to me like this one, but the process was just beginning, we couldn’t have found the “one” already. A week or so later, while driving from one average condo to the next, I suggested we go back to 1W. Rusty took out his cell phone and dialed.

My dream house crush ended with one call, “So they’ve already accepted another offer? If anything changes, call me.” I felt like I had just been dumped by Heidi Klum, and we’d never even slept together.  Metaphors aside, I was pissed. I wanted to make an offer the moment we walked onto the cherry wood floors.

We soldiered on and found a new place, but not really. We negotiated for two days. I felt like I accepted a new job but we couldn’t agree on a salary. Finally we both caved and signed an agreement. Suddenly, I forgot about 1W and got excited. This place had two indoor parking spots, a large cooking area, and was in walking distance from a gym (always a trainer).

Before we hired a moving company, the deal fell through. The real estate agent said someone else had made an offer. Since the homeowners had not returned the contract, technically they could weasel out, and they did. We were back at step one!

The second round of searching turned me into a bitter mom, nothing was good enough. The commute was too far, the El was too close, one place smelled, one agent smelled and we had had enough. Then our luck turned around—1W was back on the market!

Without going back to 1W for a second look, we made an offer and agreed on a price. Things were starting to look up. Then we had the inspection and the soap opera continued. The inspector we hired had already inspected 1W a week ago. He did not want to come back, OMG! Not a good sign. To make a long story short (if it’s not too late), the inspector came back anyway. He told us, “Get this roof fixed, then move in.” And that’s exactly what we did.

Moving day actually wasn’t so bad for me. That might have had something to do with the fact that Erika did all the packing and dealing with the movers while I worked. Don’t think I’m a horrible husband. I moved our entire jam packed storage unit with the help of a friend (thanks, David).  I also would have helped packing more, but I spent one day and night at 1W, while we had some flooding issues. My dream house became a money pit, before we even moved in. Oh, the joys of adulthood.

Flooding, noise, and water damage are just some of the downsides of  of homeownership. Of course, there have been several up sides:

  • We can both use the bathroom at the same time
  • When someone snores lightly the other can go in another bedroom
  • The bus stop, across the street, takes us a block from our office
  • We actually have a kitchen big enough to start using fun wedding gifts

Also, we still have a lot of furniture to buy, so if you came here looking for fitness tips, hire me!

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