Monday, March 29, 2010

And We're Back

Sorry for the slowness. I was in Paris last week. See?

Not much of an update, as everything ground to a halt, but I'll give a synopsis.

The home inspection went on without a hitch (or with many known hitches). I approved it this morning and that's all finished up.

The lawyers are working on the lawyery stuff.

I will be dropping off a check tomorrow to cover the deposit.

The mortgage guy is working on the mortgage.

The end.

Next up is getting the official contract drawn up between me and Al Medina, Contractor. Once that's drawn up, we will both sign off and be ready to close on the 9th of next month.

That's actually kind of soon. Crap. I'm going to be busy this spring...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Inspection #1

Yesterday morning, I headed over to the house to meet with Richard Aube. In the future, he will sign the paper work that will leads to checks being mailed to me. Big checks. Read all about Richard here if you give a crap.

The purpose of the meeting was to walk Richard through the house and let him know what Al Medina, Contractor and I plan on doing this the essword-hole. Once we got into the house, I was fantastically disappointed. Why? Because the first floor apartment, where the crazy woman was (is?) living (squatting), is still full of her stuff. Terrible. I was hoping that when she moved out (which she hopefully did) that she would bring along some of her belongings. Not the case. There are still two beds, a few couches, some chairs, etc etc etc...

This is going to cost me at least two extra dumpsters to clean out. Not good for my wallet.

That aside, the meeting went smoothly, I walked Richard through what was to be done, I signed a few things and we parted.

Tomorrow morning is Inspection #2. This one will tell me exactly what enormous structural thing is wrong with the house that will make all of this work moot. Can't wait...

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Staples Button

After a few days, and about six messages left, Stanley Dickenson, City Inspector Extraordinaire finally called me back. Around 4pm yesterday, he called my cell phone to discuss the property. I asked him the few questions I needed answered and he answered them. It was fairly easy. Here's the rundown:

I need to basically gut the back unit, to make sure that it's unlivable.

He will come inspect it when it's finished, after some permits are pulled, and that will be that.

It won't be a big deal.

I may be able to purchase the house and have the violation carry over, but some forms need to be filled out.

Oh crap.

He told me to call someone else in the department.

Oh crap.

He gave me her name and extension and I hung up.


After hanging up, I was resigned to another two days, plus the weekend, of leaving messages with another apathetic half-asser at City Hall. I figured I might as well get an early start on the process and dialed her number.

A receptionist picked up and I asked for Jasmine Checo. She transferred me and I readied my super sexy voicemail voice. To my surprise, Jasmine Checo actually picked up her phone and spoke with me.

Holy Feces.

I asked her how I can go about taking ownership of a property with a violation on it and she was very helpful. Basically, I need to go to the building she works in and sign some papers. She will take a copy of the Purchase and Sales and we'll be on our way.

With this news, I immediately called John McCann, Realtor. I asked him to meet, he said he could at six, and Amanda and I, before our regular Thai Thursday (pronounced 'Turs-day') dinner went to visit his office. We pet his enormous/elderly/smelly dog and I signed off on the addenda.

This morning, I got a copy of the freshly signed Purchase and Sales from the seller and I'm ready to go down to City Hall and wait around. Hooray.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

He Called Me Back!

No he didn't.

I've left 5 or 6 messages with a fellow at The Department of Standards and Inspections. Each concise and each containing all of the vital information to make it as easy as possible for him. Things like my name and phone number. You know, the basics.

As of now, no response. Awesome. I love the City.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The City. Awesome.

So I finally heard from some lawyers. Here's a little background on the problem:

The old owner turned the garage into a studio apartment. They did so without letting the city know that they were doing it, which is not that uncommon. The problem is, the city found out and sent along some nice violation paperwork. The violation has not yet been cleared (two or so years later) and one of the addenda (I just found out that that is how you pluralize 'addendum') to the Purchase and Sales basically says if the violation is not cleared by the current owner by closing, then it becomes my responsibility.

I am generally OK with is, as I don't think much will need to be done in order to clear the violation (remove the kitchen for final inspection most likely). I just wanted to be sure that everything is OK before signing off, so I asked my lawyer to take a look into it.

I got a call this morning from said lawyer and he outlined the problem. He said that, depending on the inspector, I may have to convert the studio back into a garage in order to clear the violation. That would be bad. He advised me to check with the city folks, who I love, to see what would be needed.

I called the city offices this morning, after I hung up with my lawyer, in order to get some more info. The first person I talked to didn't know much about the violation stuff, but checked into the property for me anyways. She said that the violation isn't her department, but it should be taken up with Inspections and Standards. She also said that she didn't see the violation I was inquiring about, but mentioned in passing that there were a few others.

I asked about those, implying that there should only be one, as that's all I was aware of. She said, with a chuckle, that there are nine violations on the property, not including the garage/studio.

My eyes widened, a little less than an ounce of pee squirted out and I readied myself for the descriptions of the violations.

She went through them one by one, and luckily, they are things like, 'a first floor window is broken' and 'paint the exterior'. Basically, my pee could retreat back into my body, as the nine violations she was talking about were things I was already planning on doing. Phew.

The next step is to talk to the folks at Inspections and Standards and find out what it will take to clear the violation. Al Medina, General Contractor mentioned awhile back that it would most likely involve removing the kitchen and some other minor stuff. No big deal. I am inclined to believe him, as he deals with this crap all of the time.

Why did my lawyer say I may have to convert it back to a garage? Because that's his job. His job is to be worried about things. He then passes that worry along to his clients.

I should know within a day what it will take to clear the violation. I am still confident that I will purchase the property, but I'd rather hear from the inspector what it will cost me...

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Lawyers and God

The addendums are still with lawyers. I don't think they've looked at them yet, as it will take about 35 seconds of effort to give them the OK.

That's my update. What follows is what inspired me to write today.

Most days, I go to the gym on my lunch break. Today was no exception. After my short and half hearted workout, I decided, as I do every day, to wash the stink off of myself in the shower before returning to work. While in the shower, I overheard a few fellows talking. One of the guys was talking about how he had a lung removed when he was buried at a construction site. Basically, he was in a hole and a bunch of dirt joined him in the hole. It crushed him and he considers it a miracle that he didn't die. He then went on to say that people take life for granted and blah blah blah.

A little later on in the conversation, the topic turned to his sister. He revealed to another nude fellow that she had cancer of the pancreas and liver. If you don't know much about cancers, then I'll tell you that pancreatic cancer is super duper good at killing people. He knows this as well, so he's pretty much resigned to the fact that she will get extra killed.

After the obligatory condolences from the nude fellow he was talking to, he went on to say that he prayed for her every night and morning, as 'that's the only thing that can cure her now.' I hate that crap.

Let's say that this woman makes a full recovery and somehow defeats her super deadly pancreas. I can only assume, that since the prognosis is so dire, that this man will sincerely believe that a ghost listened to him and healed her. Not that some crazy new treatment or her genetics cured her, but that something we can't see gave a crap about this one poor woman and decided that it was OK to take away the disease.

I have a lot of problems with religion in general and one of them is described above. Too much credit is given to a magician when things go well, and not enough blame is shifted when things go wrong. 'Miracles' are the fault of a mystic, but disasters are caused by everything but said mystic. It's absurd.

I understand that the above is probably poorly written and I am no expert of atheism vs. zealotry, but I felt like writing about it. You can thank two naked men and tragedy for it. Or maybe it is all part of the divine plan?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Minor Updates

I've spent the last few days making phone calls, meeting with people and waiting for the Purchase and Sales agreement to be signed. It's kind of important.

The hold up was first with the seller's and bank's lawyers. They like to take their time, as they charge by the hour. When the agreement finally came back my way, it had a few addendums. Now those addendums are being looked at by my lawyer. Hooray. Once they give them the OK, I will sign off and that will be that.

As for all of the other stuff? I've been in touch with my Contractor to go over some things, and more importantly, my mortgage fellow. I met with him two days ago after work. His office is in his house. It was weird.

When I arrived, about ten minutes early, he invited me in and began tidying up his home office. He was a little on the frantic side. Once the office was relatively clean, he let out a big sigh and said, "Ryan, I'll be honest with you. I'm a smoker. Come downstairs and I will have a quick smoke, relax a little and gather my thoughts."

Somewhat stunned, I followed him into his basement, where one of his daughters was watching TV, and into his smoking room. Seriously. He has a small room with two chairs in it, an exhaust fan and what looked like an Ionic Breeze air filter. He closed the door, I sat down and he smoked a cigarette. In this time, I found out that he was taking his family to the middle east soon. I also learned that he is from Sudan and his wife is from Syria. Also, that he was engaged to be married long ago, but his fiance wanted to be a lawyer in New York. He's not a city guy. They decided to take six months off to figure things out and he travelled around the world for those six months. One of his stops? Syria. I'm sure his former fiance was thrilled with that development...

After the weird smoking break where I did my best not to breathe, we went back to the office and got down to business. He took all kinds of info and I'll probably get a loan. Huzzah.

Next up is getting that P&S signed, then getting the home inspected by both a professional home inspector and an agent of the bank (as I have that special 203(k) loan). After that, get the estimate written up, get my contractor to sign off and get my lawyer on the title work. It's going to be busy.