Well, it was bound to happen and it finally did happen. Our New Jersey house is no longer ours.
The process took longer that we initially hoped for, and caused us enough nerves. The house was sitting empty since October, with my parents having to periodically visit and check things out. We had buyers towards the end of the last year, who soon after making an offer decided that they wanted to play the market and did their outmost best to come up with excuses to get out of contract. Neither our lawyer, nor our real estate agents made enough of an effort to protect our interests, and we had little choice but to let those buyers walk away for a minuscule penalty. As we were faithfully – if stupidly – complying with the contract parameters ourselves, our additional expenses (paid for and executed largely by my mother) were barely covered by that pittance.
Almost at the strike of the clock of the expiration of our agreement with the agents, – we were quite ready to try someone different – they came through with another buyer, their own client this time. That was definitely a winner, as we closed literally a month after that. There were still minor problems, such as the agents leaving certificates of occupancy until the last moment, then scrambling with the stupid township inspections, and later lamenting to me how hard they had to work to get things done. They also managed to charge me $85 in expenses for buying and installing a carbon monoxide alarm, even though we had one in the house that only required a fresh AA-size battery.
I cannot say that I would recommend our real estate agents to anybody.
They also managed to lose the keys from the house before final walk-through, so my parents had to lend them the one they had. It would be too good to be true if no problems were found, and lo and behold, there was water dripping from a pipe in the bathroom. My mom was stressing over the potential of closing being postponed, I had to get on the phone with her and my lawyer while in a bar with co-workers, but we quickly agreed on an escrow for repairs, and the deal was done.
And we are officially sad. The house was small and not without problems when we bought it, but we spent money and effort to improve the space and make it nice to live in. But only the last year of us living there was in a state where almost everything was to our liking…
Anyway, it’s gone. Bye, house! We loved you!
One of the happenings of the last few days had us quickly revise our opinion of British medicine.
Kimmy has been complaining a bit about feeling pain in the arm that she broke in mid-January. It looked to be a case of muscles growing stale in a cast and not having yet recovered, but Natasha decided to take her to the emergency room again to have the arm x-rayed. After more than two hours of waiting, they were brought to a doctor, who suggested giving Kimmy painkillers. When Natasha asked how he could know whether the arm healed properly, the doctor explained that simple exercises such as pushing with her palms made Kimmy wince but not enough to suggest that something was still broken. When Natasha insisted on having an x-ray, the doctor responded that she should trust him that Kimmy did not need one. Natasha got up and left.
So here you go. Instead of making sure that the little kid does not have any remaining damage, the doctor chose to protect the public funds against a medical exam. That’s another face of socialized medicine for you.
On the positive side, it probably is nothing, and Kimmy appears to be okay.
She went to the skating rink as usual today, for Becky’s lesson, but actually came onto the ice… and an hour and a half later Natasha was able to get her off only with a considerable effort (Becky, by that time, already packed her skates away and finished drinking her tea). She will start her own lessons with a coach next week.
For those who take interest in my soccer fan career, I must be a bad luck charm. Ever since I announced switching from Tottenham to Arsenal, the latter had nothing but trouble, losing a cup final, having a key player red-carded for another player’s offense and then suspended for several games, plus crashing out of another cup competition… They played a good Champions League game, but that is all they can show for the brief time of having me as a supporter. Tottenham, meanwhile, freed of my undue expectations, demolished its last three opponents, while scoring 10 goals. Go figure! It may explain why the Yankees have not won the World Series in six years…