I drove home slowly from work last night. There was a dense fog advisory that continues until 10 am this morning. I guess this is what you get when warmer than usual temperatures slide in during the height of Winter.
Anyway, as I turned the corner onto the street where we live, I nearly went off the rails. The house beside us, the one that has been in foreclosure for the better part this past year, was lit up like a Christmas tree. Every light in the house was on and since there are no blinds in the windows, I could see straight through to the people moving around inside inspecting the house.
I was rubber-necking so bad, I nearly missed my own driveway. Getting out of the Jeep, I squinted looking for the For Sale sign that's been up. Nope. It's gone.
Looks like someone has finally closed on the house.
Last Fall, rumor in the "Hood" had it that the bidding war went in favor of a Deputy Sheriff and his family. That the home would be "owner-occupied" and not an investment (i.e. rental) property. Of course, SM and I were happy to hear that. But who knows for sure? Time will tell.
As I walked into my own humble abode, I thought about how I felt on my own Closing Days. The thrill of Christmas along with the terror of Halloween would be my best way of describing it.
SM and I have had three homes. One in Virginia Beach. Another in Columbus, Ohio and then the home we're in now.
I still remember the thrill of walking into those empty houses. It was better than any Christmas Day you ever had as a child. Did you feel the same? Yet there was also that slight tremor of fear that catches you in your gut and makes your insides turn to water.
This is the big time. Home ownership. Time to pull yourself up by the bootstraps and become an adult.
The closing I remember best was our first house, of course. A 1200 sq foot 3 bedroom brick ranch that we'd bought in Virginia Beach for $95 K. We'd gone through our first ever closing a few hours before, that had gone quite badly as we hadn't a clue that our realtor was (in the words of the lawyer overseeing the entire process) a "total idiot."
Seems our realtor didn't give us the correct amount due for closing.
And since we were young and stupid, we had no idea that we could have requested all the closing documents in advance. I can't really remember the details now but it was an additional 5K that we had to have at that moment for the deal to go through or loose our escrow.
We had the money (in savings thankfully) but when were told we had to cough it up, I had to drag SM out of the room for a private "pow-wow" as the poor man was having a major meltdown as he fought the urge to strangle our realtor or just walk away from the whole deal.
After I calmed him down, we went back in, wrote a very HOT check, signed all the paperwork and received the keys to our first ever home. After which, we made a bee-line to the bank to transfer the money to cover the check and then headed for our new home.
By the time we got there SM had exhausted himself detailing (in very colorful expletives) how he planned the demise of a certain realtor who, thankfully, never showed her face to us again. Once that storm had passed, SM once more became my "Squeetie Man" and we went into our house.
I remember we walked around, mostly silent, sometimes together, sometimes apart as we explored our first home. It was raining that day and we came together and sat down on the baby blue carpeting in the dim living room looking out the patio doors at our backyard.
And we talked.
And we dreamed.
It was very romantic.
At some point though, I glanced down and looked at my white socked feet in the dim light of the rainy evening and saw little black specks.
Curious, I peered closer and suddenly sprang to my feet shouting "Fleas!!!!"
I stripped off my socks faster than you can imagine, hopping from one foot to another. I was flapping the socks around and slapping my shorts to remove the imagined interlopers.
Overcome, I promptly ran out of the house.
So much for a romantic moment.
Our first purchase?
A flea bomb kit.
Welcome to home ownership.