Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Movin' On Up

The long awaited day of moving has finally arrived. We have one closing at 10am, the other at noon, and then we're clear to move into our new home. And begin the months and months of unpacking.

After having our house on the market for close to nine months, it's a great feeling to be moving forward again. It felt as if our life was on hold and the showings, open houses, and raised and dashed hopes made for a time of anxious drudgery. To finally be moving is liberating.

The worst part of the move is not the big things, although we did have some aggravations during various negotiations. It's the little things, the thousands of details that need to be worked out to make it happen. The forms that need to be signed. The data that needs to be supplied. The services that have to be scheduled. If you only had to do each once, it wouldn't be that bad. But it's usually the case where you provide A, they ask for B. You provide B, then they need C and on and on. The devil is in the details and during a move, he is always lurking nearby.

Instead of renting a truck and Shanghaiing friends and family to help us move, we elected to go with a couple of PODS portable storage containers. That way we avoided the panicked rush to try to get everything loaded and unloaded in one day. And with a couple of young kids, it's definitely a better way to go. Our PODS experience so far has been good, the only caveat I would provide to potential PODS users is that prices do change and change rapidly.

One eye-opening revelation from the process of packing up is how much we spend on diapers. When we decided that we were going to put our house on the market, my wife stated saving diaper boxes. As I brought diaper box after diaper box after diaper box out to the POD, I saw the dollar signs flashing before my eyes. Frankly, I don't even want to know much the total damage has been. All I know is that potty training has taken on an added sense of urgency.

We lived in our house for almost nine years and one of my first acts upon moving in was to find a bar for the basement. I ended up locating one for sale in a community newspaper. It was built by a shop teacher in Bloomington and while it wasn't the most stylish set up it was extremely solid and although not of immense stature, it was substantially built. Over the years, I enjoyed many a drink behind it and for the price I paid, it was perhaps the best investment I ever made.

It's still in excellent condition, but it will no longer be needed in the new home. I've decided that I really don't need a basement bar anymore.

Yeah, right.

This is why it will not be accompanying us on the move. My dreams of a built-in basement bar are going to be realized. We looked at a lot of homes during the last nine months and since we were looking at a lot of ramblers built in the Fifties and Sixties, a number had such a feature. There's actually a fascinating sociological story waiting to be told on the history, customs, artifacts, and traditions of the post-World War II basement bar phenomenon. I've kicked around the idea of putting something together on that subject for years and I think I will finally post some great pics I have of my uncle's bar soon.

Anyway, I can't wait until later today when the breaking in of the new bar begins. The hassles and headaches of moving will have been a small price to pay.

By the way, if you're interested in making your own move (it's a great time to buy), let me refer you to a couple of guys:

I met Tom Torkelson playing hockey years ago and he's helped us purchase two homes and sell one. He's got a low-key, straight-shooting approach to real estate that helps keep you sane and balanced even in the most unstable of markets.

A couple of years ago, when I initially told my wife that the "Crazy Uke" was going to help us with a refi/home equity deal, the idea was met with a greater than usual degree of skepticism. Now, after Andriy has once again helped us get the right mortgage for our new home (as he did for Saint Paul and his wife as well), there isn't much doubt in our minds that he is one of the finest predatory lenders (just ignore the dorsal fin) in the Twin Cities.


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