Friday, September 4, 2009

Housing Update: Early September 2009 (aka We Signed a Contract!)

Columbia wrote an awesome housing update for August, and for some reason we never hit the 'publish post' button. So here you are with an early September update. Why such a long gap since there was housing news? Because buying a home is stressful! Could someone have told me that... more often... with more emphasis... and then urged me to stockpile some 2 Buck Chuck and chocolate?

To summarize Columbia's eloquence:
- We put in an offer on an apt that needed A LOT of work but was in our neighborhood. We couldn't get the seller's to negotiate and their broker was not pleasant to deal with... at all.
- We started looking at apts in Central Harlem, just north of the park. It was an area a little our of our comfort zone, but was still safe. We saw a few great apts. One felt a lot like a home: was beautiful, had plenty of space and was in a well-maintained, gorgeous old building. We put in an offer (through our amazing broker Rachel) on Friday night and had a counter offer back on Saturday morning. We accepted that offer and had a verbal agreement!

This was 3 weeks ago. We did not plan for it to be so long before we signed a contract. There has been some slowness on the management company's part for various reasons. However, all of that is done with and...


And wrote a check that had a lot of zeros on it.

Everything is still not done. We need to wait for the seller to counter-sign before we are officially "In Contract" and the rest of the headaches... I mean exciting work, is still ahead. Thankfully we used the last 3 weeks to reorganize our financials and filled out all of the paperwork with our mortgage broker. It is at times like this that we are very thankful we have professionals working with us. We could NEVER do this on our own. I'm not even sure now why people try.

I am not sure we have an amazing sense of excitement. There has been a lot going on with my family, and the wait time has brought the joy down to a manageable level so that if things didn't work out we wouldn't be too disappointed. Our lease is up at the end of September and our landlords are refusing to extend it a month. Columbia started work early and the munchkin and I are making an unexpected trip to PA to help out my fam. With so much going on and so much to do I am more glad to have this major milestone behind us.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Free Kids Stuff:

The Children's Museum of Manhattan (83rd b/w Broadway and Amsterdam) has a program where admission for adults and children (all ages) is free on the first Friday of every month. We took the pumpkin last month and she had a blast. As it gets busy fast, we recommend getting there as close to 5 as you can, especially if your little one is under two.

Target First Free Friday! (Next as of this writing: Friday, September 4, 2009)
Children's Museum of Manhattan
(212) 721-1234
Admission is free from 5—8pm

Extra bonus? During August's event, there was a Time-Warner ice-cream truck outside (that isn't a typo) selling cups and cones of soft-serve for a buck!*

* More info on that TW ice-cream truck: One hundred percent of the proceeds will be donated to nonprofit organizations that offer science, technology, engineering and math programs for kids. Cool, huh?