an awesome house.

Before our carpet tiles had completely dried, we had begun looking at houses.

And eventually, we were bound to find one we liked.

It happened on a Saturday afternoon.  Sandy, Angie and I were driving around Morris County, looking at homes within our price range, and being disappointed over and over again.  Eventually, we drove into Denville, a town that bordered Boonton (where we lived), and drove into the Lake Arrowhead area.

Lake Arrowhead, I believe, was the lake where the Footstone and American Standard guys lived – so we were, at least, a tiny bit familiar with the area.  It was a quiet, cozy little community with a small lake (obviously) at the center.  The house itself was a split-level, about a block east of the lake.  

The house had no driveway.  At least it didn’t have a conventional driveway – there was a small space to park two cars, inset from the road, parallel to the house.  From the driveway, you walked down a small flight of stairs to the front door.  The house had a small porch in the front, but it wasn’t the front that was appealing about the house.

Inside, the main level had all the traditional stuff – living room, dining room, etc.  Off the living room was a set of sliding doors to a small deck.  Since the house was set on a hill, even though the house was a block off the lake, it had lake views.  The entire backyard was fenced in, perhaps a cozy quarter acre or so of nice, well-maintained landscaping.  Off to the side of the yard, a swinging gate led to a path that you could use to walk right to the lake for boating or swimming.

The bedrooms – I can’t recall if there were two or three – were upstairs from the main level.  And downstairs was a partially-finished basement with a small office area carved into one wall.  The basement was divided into several rooms.

“This would be perfect for Dromedary,” I told Sandy.  “We could set up the office downstairs, away from the rest of the house.  There’s plenty of room down here to store all our inventory and assorted crap.  Hell, there are enough rooms down here that we could make a den, maybe even put a small recording studio down here.”

She had already figured all this out, since she runs circles around me, and had written off the entire basement as mine.  She was already configuring the upstairs areas – what renovations would be required, where our stuff would go, what kind of awesome parties we could have in that backyard, with the lake nearby.

The couple who owned the house had decided to build a new one in a neighboring town.  They purchased a tract of land, hired an architect and a builder, and were getting ready to break ground.  They figured they would be able to close by June, which was perfect for us – it would give us enough time to get our act together, but also enough time to move into the house and get reasonably settled before the baby came.

I don’t think we could have been more thrilled.  It was the perfect house, in a super neighborhood.  It had a fenced-in yard, with easy access, which would be great for kids.  The grocery store was less than a mile away, and the house was just a few minutes from the center of town – and Denville had a great center of town, with all sorts of little shops and restaurants and things to do.  Even stupid things like medical care would be convenient – there was a hospital right in town, which would make it great when the baby came.

We brought my mom to look at the house.  My mom had been a realtor, so she knew the things to look for, and the questions to ask.  She looked around, kicked the tires, and gave the house her seal of approval.

We had found the place – nearby where we already lived, clean, relatively new, in a great neighborhood in a nice town.  The seller accepted our offer and then the contract went into the three-day attorney review period.

And it stayed there.

After a few days I started pestering Angie for status updates.  I wanted this done, so that we could move on to other things, like lamaze classes and shopping for baby stuff and putting out records.  But Angie couldn’t give me any updates because she was being stonewalled by the sellers’ realtor and lawyer.

Eventually, I got frustrated enough to ask Angie to threaten to rescind our offer.

“You can’t,” she said.  “It’s out of attorney review.  They accepted your offer, and now it’s binding.”

“But that’s crazy,” I replied.  “They accepted our offer, but we haven’t come out of attorney review yet.  We have nothing signed from them.  We have no closing date.  Everything is uncertain.  We’re going to have a baby!”

Of course there was nothing she could do to push things along, and a few more days went by and she called me.

“We have a problem, but I don’t think it’s a big deal,” she began.

“What is it?” I asked.

“The seller is having trouble breaking ground on their new place.  They think it’s going to take longer than they anticipated.”

“How much longer?” I asked.

“About a month,” she replied.  “They want to push the closing back until July 1.”

Sandy and I had talked about this already.  It was April, and they were hoping to break ground and get a house built in time to move in on June 1.  That seemed unrealistic to both of us, so we were happy to oblige, if only to get the damn contract out of attorney review.  

Almost immediately, Sandy began packing things.  She was nesting.

~ by Al on August 17, 2009.

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