Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I, Homeowner: the first few days

And so, there it is. I’m a homeowner. I can’t quite believe it, but it’s the case. I owe a lot of money, of course, but I’m the registered owner. Imagine that.

It’s strange being on the other side of those three months of planning and doing and long waiting. A sort of through the looking glass feel. In many ways, nothing changed. I’m still living in the same place; will be for almost a month yet. The real difference is there’s now this place in the city I didn’t have the right to go into before that now I do. On the other hand, a place I’ve called home for 11 years is about to vanish from my life. I won’t even be able to see it from the street. Can’t help feeling bad about that.

Well, here’s how it all went. I got the call on Friday just after one in the afternoon. My boss had given me permission to head out once I got the word, so I did. Took the subway to the bus, got off at the lawyer’s place, got handed a little envelope with the keys in it. The deed. Made a joke about expecting the Queen to fly over and tap a kneeling me on the shoulders with it. Then I left. My lawyer had told me that I became the registered owner at 1:14 p.m. I looked at my watch as I waited for the bus; it was 2:12. I hadn’t even owned the place quite an hour yet as I stood there. Bus to a subway to a subway to a bus. I guess I got home about 3:30 or so. I headed right over.

When I got there, I tried to go to the office to give them a void cheque for the condo fees but they were having a managerial meeting so I couldn’t. Never mind; I went up to my new place. Opened the door and stepped in for the first time. I hadn’t ever noticed it myself before, but my mother was right: the previous owner had been a smoker. I sort of wandered around the place for a little over half an hour, just trying to take it in. Tried the office again but no go. Headed home... my “real”, current home.

I’ve been avoiding the busy main streets and taking a residential roads route to and fro, and on my way back I passed a handsome apartment building I’ve admired before. This time it occurred to me to stop and inquire about one bedroom places on Larry’s behalf. It was seconds past five and they stood on ceremony that it was after office hours, but I did at least wring an acknowledgement that they had one bedroom places for rent. I got the contact info and brought it home to my roommate. I looked the place up online and found that they were renting for $850 including utils (but less parking), and that impressed him. As it turns out, he went over on Monday (today’s Tuesday), liked what he saw, and filled out the forms last night. I expect he’ll be dropping off the application today. Last night we decided to synchronize the moves; we’re both now aiming for Sunday, June 26th (was planning for Saturday the 25th but one crucial helper isn’t available for that day... right now, all it means is changing the date I’ve reserved the elevators in the two buildings).

Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself. We decided to make Saturday washing day. For the first time in over a decade, I’d be able to do a wash without having to leave my place, spend money, or put a card in a slot. Larry suddenly remembered he had to help two friends, so he would have to come by later. P-Doug also agreed to come by, mostly for company, but as it turned out he was a big help. We brought over laundry, some dishes, my laptop and flat screen (for videos), laundry, and the patio table and chairs. I washed the chairs in the shower while he put the table back together. The patio stuff, which is currently in the dining room there, is only meant to be temporary. Since my balcony’s enclosed, it’s of little use to me, so it’s going to Larry, assuming he gets the place today, or another with a balcony. But we had to have some place to sit and do things, so that was the solution.

P-Doug and I took a quick excursion on foot to the new mall down the road. On the way we passed a garage sale where I spotted a sort of feline-looking version of a My Little Pony that I called “pink thing” and determined to get as a mascot on our way back. Larry called on my cell just before we got to the mall to ask if he should pick up a twin size mattress and box spring down in East York we’d seen earlier in the week. I asked him to, so he picked it up and headed north to meet us. We did a quick tour of the mall and headed back, picking up a Trailer Park Boys video at Rogers on our way. Alas, the garage sale closed up shop in the meantime so I missed out on “pink thing”.

We juggled cars so Larry could park his truck in my spot and the three of us managed to get the bed up to the spare room in one shot. After that, it was time to get down to business: laundry. I put in a load, added the detergent (I know, I know, backwards), and turned on the washer. It hummed, but I didn’t hear any water. We started fiddling with the in valves; opened them right up. Nothing. P-Doug looked under the sink but only found a cut-off valve for the dishwasher (boy, am I glad he found that). He advised me to call up the Maytag folks, but I figured it couldn’t have gone south in the 36 hours the guy had been out of the place. So, I hauled out the drier a bit and we had a look. Sure enough, P-Doug spotted the cut-off valves and opened them, and we were off to the races. Or the washes. At about this point, Larry, being bushed from all the running around, begged off to nap on the new mattress, still wrapped in plastic. P-Doug stuck around till about 6 watching Fall of Eagles with me, and headed home.

Larry woke up not long afterwards and we drove back to current neighbourhood to transfer money at an ATM and get a couple medium pizzas, and we headed back. While the washer and drier did their thing, we watched the Trailer Park Boys ep, and then more of Fall of Eagles. We ate one of the pizzas; I put the other, less a slice, in the freezer. Needing to go back to work after a month off (!), Larry went home about 8 or so, leaving me alone with my laundry. I did the last drier load and headed home myself between 9 and 10, leaving most of the laundry there (why move it twice?). And that was my first day.

Not long after I got home, Twinkle hopped up on the couch and merrily peed on it.

Sunday I went to Canadian Tire and bought a Bissell carpet cleaner with some upholstery attachments. First of all, I want to get the smell of cigarettes out of the place. Second, I’d like to take care of the carpets. Third, with Twinkle-cum-Tinkle now having far more soft, plush target area in her future, I figure this is probably going to be a sensible investment. I went over to my new place intending to get a start on doing the carpets, but two things stopped me (not counting lethargy): first, they recommended vacuuming beforehand, and my vacuum was at the current apartment; second, you need a Phillips screwdriver to attach the top to the bottom of the thing with four screws. So, I watched a little more of Fall of Eagles, ate a few slices, and took off. I spent the rest of Sunday throwing out videos I’ll never watch again, and packing most of my DVDs into a box.

This evening, I’m taking Shelly over to have a look at the place (and I’m thinking of bringing the vacuum to save myself the trouble tomorrow), and then we’ll have dinner at the local Firkin pub, as we often have before. Tomorrow (I’m working 10-hour days to take Wednesdays off this summer) I’ll bring that box of DVDs, vacuum the place, and get a start on cleaning the carpets. So, for any and all what’s interested, that’s where we’re at.



jim said...

It seems your cat has made its (his? her?) feelings known!

Congratulations on taking possession. Looks like a sweet place.

jim said...

Dang thing ate the original comment I left. Here it is as best as I can recreate it:

Your cat certainly made its (his? her?) feelings known.

Congrats on taking possession!