Yesterday was our walk through. We were very concerned, as there was a large amount of debris, material and items left in the yard and garage and the closing was less than 24 hours away. We gathered all the items scattered about the property and placed it in two piles: one in the garage, one in the yard, took pictures and fired off an e-mail to our attorney and made it clear we expected the property to be completely cleared of all items prior to the closing or we wouldn’t go forward with the purchase. (We had stated in our contract that the house must be completely empty of all items and materials…”broom swept”) The sellers responded and assured us it was all going and that it would have been gone prior to our walk-through but the truck they planned to use was unavailable until last night. We were concerned that it was a lot of stuff and very little time, but we took their word that it would be gone.
Since our closing was happening at our attorney’s office in Saratoga, NY, about 40 minutes north of Albany, we rented a room in a hotel walkable distance from the office, packed a bag and headed to Saratoga last night. It was not an auspicious start to our night that we got rear ended by another car as we were trying to turn onto the highway but, since there was no noticeable or detectable damage to our car or ourselves, we decided to poo-poo it and continue on with our evening. [The driver got out of her car, apologized profusely over and over and gave us here insurance info and contact number.] We made it to Saratoga without further incident, checked into our hotel, freshened up, then headed out to the main drag for dinner and drinks. After that, we walked to the office to be certain where it was, then headed back to the hotel and called it a night so we’d be well rested for the closing and next day’s events.
This morning, we got up, showered, shaved, went downstairs and had a fabulous complimentary breakfast in the hotel dining room. In the meantime, our Realtor went to the house and verified the piles of items were all gone, texting us pics of the empty spots and assuring us the house was now completely empty. I could feel the concern physically lift from my shoulders. We made it to our attorney’s office by 9:25 am and 45 minutes later, we were handed the keys to our new house.
As exciting as that was, believe it or not, the big moment was yet to come: surprising Mom.
I had managed to avoid telling my Mom about the house: that we looked at it, liked it, put an offer on it or had a closing date. I just thought it would be fun to surprise her. Mom thought I was at a doctor’s appointment this morning and was picking her up afterward to take her to lunch, since we had not seen each other in a while. (i HAD to avoid her since December…that woman is more perceptive than Superman and Professor X combined.) When I arrived with Jeffrey in tow, I explained (lied) that our Realtor had just texted me, on my way to get Mom, about a property that had sold but the deal had fallen through, so he wanted us to see it quickly before anyone else knew it was on the market. (We had to say that because we knew the “sold” sign was still up on the property.) Hence, I had scooped Jeffrey up on my way to get her and, if she didn’t mind, we’d all swing by and have a look-see of the property . She totally bought it. Jeffrey and I played it to the hilt, acting as though we had no idea where it was and basically saying it was not something we would seriously consider given how close it was to the area I grew up in and have avoided moving back to for the past 22 years. When we pulled up, Mom started “oohing” and “aaahing” immediately. I told her no one lived there so it was OK to walk around the property and peek in the windows. As she stood, face against the window, saying “Seany, you have to see this. The living room has a fireplace. You always wanted a fireplace. It’s be-yoo-tiful.” I asked her if she really liked what she saw and she said yes. I asked her if it was too close to where she lived and she just gave me a goofy smile.
Then I said “Well, I’m glad you like it. We just closed on it this morning. Welcome to Breen Acres, our new home.” That’s when the tears flowed and the hugs started as she kept saying “I can’t believe it.” Seriously, you’d have thought we bought the house for HER. We brought her in and showed her around and she just kept gasping and crying and smiling. I have to say, it was one of the sweetest moments I have ever had with my Mom. Her son and son-in-law were moving “home” and there was no greater gift we could give her.
After that, we scooped up two of my cousins (whom my Mom had invited to have lunch with us before knowing the real reason for our visit) and we spent the afternoon talking about the house and our plans.
It has been an incredibly emotional and exhausting day and we are both very tired and relieved to be past the purchase phase. Tonight, we will bowl with our league and have some more fun with surprises: the man we bought the house from is the son of (and works for) the man who owns the company that sponsors our bowling league. His parents, brother and four aunts bowl on the league, and one of his aunts is on my team. We have kept this all hush hush to avoid any awkwardness, but now we can let the cat out of the bag. Oddly enough, the seller and his wife usually bowl on the league but took this year off. They will rejoin next season. so we may even be bowling with them. All coincidence. All fun. All serendipity.
Tomorrow, we will begin Operation: Breen Acres and the cleaning, painting, planning and decorating will begin all so we can be ready for a move the first weekend in March.