Monday, March 06, 2006

The Tosa Move wraps up, almost

Regular readers of this feature (and the five of you know who you are) will recall that the 19 Minutes household departed Flagstaff, Arizona, bound for a new home in the Milwaukee area a couple of weeks ago. Even casual readers (the other 17 of you) will likely remember that the 19 Minutes car broke down less than three hours and 150 miles after leaving, adding an unscheduled three-day, two-day stay in scenic Gallup, New Mexico (a prize that, to my knowledge, hasn't ever been offered on "Wheel of Fortune"), and yielding an enjoyable opportunity to meet two tow truck drivers, the repair staff at University Motors VW in Albuquerque. Concurrently, we (by which I mean "I") came down with an ear infection. Back on the road, we survived our stops in Oklahoma City, Kansas City, and Cedar Rapids, and pulled into Brookfield, Wisconsin on Wednesday afternoon.

Onward.

Thursday, February 23rd, 9:00 a.m. Our credit union's website in Arizona claimed that the credit union was a member of a network of credit unions, meaning any of the members could access our account and cut us a cashier's check. In theory, this was a great concept, since that meant not having to physically carry the downpayment on our house (a gazillion jillion dollars, to be exact) with us across the country. I was a little leery, though, since our credit union tended to be the kind of place where policies differed depending on which teller you saw (there was the teller, for example, who insisted that there was a 7-day waiting period before any deposited check was available for withdrawal. This of course means that in Arizona, it's easier to get a gun than it is to withdraw money from the bank, which I guess is not really a surprise. But I digress.)

Anyhow, still (for some reason) the optimists, we trooped over to the nearby credit union, where we figured out immediately that we were no longer in Arizona. Not only were we the only people in line, but the tellers knew exactly how to accomplish the transaction, and got us our check expediently, which was relatively important, since we were scheduled to close on the house in approximately two hours.

10:45 a.m. Unload the hotel room and repack the roof carrier one more damn time.

11:00 a.m. Arrive at the nondescript, modern office park where the title company, or closing service, or whatever the random financial people call it, plans to situate us in a nondescript, modern conference room with a healthy supply of ballpoint pens and Pepsi products. Fortunately, the conference room looks out on a big atrium with a fountain, which means that 20-month old Sylvi can run around outside the with Grandpa Gary (who's come out for just this occasion) while being able to peer through the window, and possibly see her dad pass out.

11:45 a.m. We'd heard a lot about closings (see, for example Dave Barry's "The Ritual Closing Ceremony" from the book "Homes and Other Black Holes), and were prepared for an inscrutable and never-ending stream of documents to be set in front of us for our signatures. As it turns out, the most complicated form is the one in which we have to provide our signatures for each rendition of our names. This is disconcerting, because I've never signed "Mitchell Teich" without my middle initial, and I've never, ever signed "Mitch C. Teich". I consider asking for a blank sheet of paper to practice, but decide that might sound a little fishy. We survive this form and the others and are done within a half-hour. It takes a little longer to finish because the previous owners of the house, sequestered in an adjacent conference room, have to run out to the bank. We consider suggesting the credit union in Flagstaff.

12:00 noon. We meet the previous owners of the house, who are a little low-key about the whole experience, but seem like nice enough people. We exchange awkward handshakes, and they turn over 32 random keys and the Three Ring Binder of House Information, which includes the newspaper ad from when they bought the house. They head back to their conference room, and my wife chases them to find out what all they keys go to. We call our mover, who has been hanging out with friends in the area, and he reports he can be at our house in 90 minutes. Our mortgage officer gives us a commemorative candle, which is a decent trade for us handing over a check for a gazillion jillion dollars.

Also, I suppose, we get a house.

Be sure to stay tuned for the final installment in "The Tosa Move". Which key appliances will cease working within 8 hours of our moving in? Did the previous owners have decent taste, or are there rooms covered in paint that appears to have been sneezed out of an alien being known as the Great Green Arkleseizure? And will the 19 Minutes staff get to spend an entire weekend at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin within 10 days of moving here?

Be sure to set your Tivos for the ultimate episode of The Tosa Move.

1 comment:

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