So the email came today, wire transfer complete and title recorded. The house is 100 percent officially ours.
And even though it's pretty much screwed up the industry by which I make my living, can I just say, "Thank God for Craigslist?" Because thanks to Craig and his list, we are buying about $15k worth of appliances for about $2k -- 36-inch Thermador five-burner cooktop for $275; Thermador double ovens, only used twice and in pristine condition, victim of a kitchen remodel, $475; new in box range hood, victim of a client that changed her mind, $500; brand new JennAir refrigerator, from a new homeowner who changed his mind, $750. The frige alone goes for $2200 new, so considering our appliance budget is $3k, I think we're in good shape.
We need to buy a stackable washer and dryer set for the upstairs apartment, but I think we can find those used and in good condition as well. The upstairs apartment will get our current stove, refrigerator and dishwasher, and then we need to find appliances for the basement apartment.
Decorator Grady and the architect are meeting tomorrow to go over the kitchen design and talk about a few other things, including adding closets and a doorway in the master bedroom. Every room is overlit--since it was going to be an office building, they went nuts adding can lighting fixtures in every room, so they're going to talk about dialing that back a notch or two as well.
On Sunday, we choose exterior paint colors. I thought the contractor only included a single color in his budget, but it turns out he planned for three, which is great news because Chuck is afraid of heights, and I don't want to overtax the one friend who offered to break out his mountain climbing gear and scale the building. Grady is thinking cream, bright white trim and black accents, but I'm not sure. It's a big crazy house, and I want to make sure the colors are right.
So we're happy. There were so many times when I thought this thing was going to fall apart, and we finally made it to the finish line. The financial finish line, anyway--now comes the fun part.
My friend Jay keeps referring to the place as "the compound" and he's not too far off. It's big, but there are reasons for it. We want to be able to grow a lot of our own food, and there's room for that here. I have a sister 20 years older than me who for reasons I won't go into here is going to need to be taken care of after our mother dies. There's room for that here too. With the state of California's economy and the higher education system, I envision kids who are going to be living with me for awhile even after college. (Or maybe that's just wishful thinking. I left home when I was 17 to go to college, and except for vacations, I never moved back. I will miss my frustrating little hoseheads when they go.)
And if the zombie apocalypse ever happens, we're going to put our friend Kyle the Marine on the widow's walk with a .50-cal, and our friend Sean the Ex-marine on the perimeter.