This is a blog that I decided to start so people can benefit from the wisdom of my experience.....ENJOY!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Through sickness and in health, good times and bad.....packing and moving!

I think the test to any relationship/marriage is moving and packing.  I honestly think that when it comes to your wedding vows, there has to be something in there about packing and moving.  Yes, it is important to be there for your spouse through the good times and the bad, sickness and health...blah blah blah! But that's nothing compared to what the couple goes through while moving an entire apartment! I would hate to see what happens when we have to move an entire house!  

There is so MUCH to do.  You pack, you argue about what to take, how to pack it, how the damn boxes are labeled (yes, I'm still on this "all four sides" business).  It's not just your stuff anymore, it's our stuff.  Now, in a relationship there is always one person that has more stuff than the other.  You have to compromise on which things go and which things have to meet their untimely end with the Department of Sanitation. I am that person.  I like things and I have a hard time throwing things out.  When I first made the move from my mother's house to our apartment, charity was loving me! I gave them about 10 garbage bags full of clothes and stuff! And now, I have to relive that horrid moment all over again!  Just so my readers know, I got rid of a lot of SHOES this week.  It was sad! And I think there has to be more to be thrown away! (A moment of silence please!)

This past week, or at least the last few days it has been like this.  We are both really tired, and we are at a point where we are at each other's nerves.  On top of the moving, we are both dealing with Dan going away to another state, I think that it's adding to all the stress! The only thing we have to look forward to is our honeymoon, which we leave for on Friday! Hopefully, by that time we are still talking to each other. :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The One Thing That I Despise...........


It seems to me that Dan and I are bad planners and we love to live in a world full of chaos.....it's all subconscious because neither of us want to admit this aloud.

Let me give you a breakdown of how the next few days/weeks are going to go....

August 16th- moving day. Putting everything into storage and some of my stuff is going back to my mother's house.  We have been packing for the last 3 weeks and it seems never ending. Even now as I sit here and type and watch Dan circle the living room like a vulture searching for his next prey. We will also, start living with my mother until Dan gets an apartment in Philly, which will be sometime in October.

August 17th- Teacher's Shopping. It has to be done! School starts in September. This day has been planned since June.  This will also be the day that we move the rest of the small boxes to my mother's house.

August 18th- The one day we get to socialize.  Colleen is coming in the afternoon to see and off-broadway play.  I planned this as part of her bridal shower gift and made this with her over a month ago, obviously not thinking about the dates and what's going on in our lives.

August 19th- Driving to Long Island to drop off the car.  We leave for our honeymoon on the 20th. We won't be back until the 31st. During the last week, I thought about maybe cancelling or shortening the trip to try to find Dan an apartment.

September 1-3- Decorating the classroom for the lovelies. I can't believe that the summer is almost over. It really went by so fast!

September 4-6- Col and Matt's wedding weekend.  We start work on the 7th.  Dan will still be here until the 15th when he starts orientation.

So you can see, things are really crazy and insane.  We've been driving around Brooklyn like crazy people trying to pack, buy boxes and bubble wrap (I HATE STAPLES!).  Everything has to be labeled (and I quote Dan, "on all four sides") and think about where its is going.

Today we started the day very optimistic.  We were determined to start everything nice and early and have the majority of things done by 1pm.  My dad and my brother were coming to help us bring some of the boxes to the storage unit.  We drove to my mother's to bring some of my clothes.  When we get there, Dan realizes that we have a flat tire.  Needless to say the hubby was NOT happy!!!  It seemed that our day was going to be wasted on getting a new tire for a 10 year old car.  Fortunately, I found a place near my mother's house that would fix the tire.  And when it was all done we only spend $10!! Now that's a bargain!!!!!!! :)

Back home by 12ish.  We were packing machines.  My father and brother were due to arrive in an hour.  I get a call at 1:15, they will be at the apartment at 1:30.  At 1:28, another call, they are just getting into the car!! Damn Puerto Ricans and their lateness! LOL! They finally arrive and then my dad has the bright idea that he could bring the hand truck.  So we went off to get it, the man didn't arrive until 2:35! How slow was he going? I thought he took mass transit instead of his car.

As of right now, the packing is 97% done! Now we're off to eat and drink some wine!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Beware the Trojan Horse

Ahhh the Trojan Horse.....

History is full of "Trojan Horse" references.  Just to keep some people up to date if they are unaware this reference refers to the Trojan War, when the Greeks were fighting the people in the city of Troy.  Legend has it that the Greeks were trying to seize the city for 10 years without any success (they were very determined apparently).  They decided that the best way to get into the city was to create this huge horse with their army hiding inside.  They staged a retreat, leaving the horse as a gift at the city gates.  The Trojans took the horse within the city walls.  Late at the night, the Greeks emerged from the horse and took over the city of Troy, thus winning the Trojan War. Yes, I know I'm a geek, but history is my thing.

Anyway, this was the reference that came to me after we read  the inspector's report. Last week, I went with my mother to meet with the inspector.  When you are in the process of buying a house, you have to have an inspector come in and make sure that the house is up to code and that there aren't any underlying problems with the house.

I went through all 4 floors with the inspector, including the roof.  We started at the top and made are way down. At the beginning of the inspection, things didn't start off too well.  Certain water fixtures were extremely loose, the siding of the house wasn't complete, and there was a small sign of possible water damage within the house.  I started to panic because we really loved this house.  Everything was brand new and we didn't think that anything major could be possibly be wrong with it.  WELL......as we descended down the the next few floors, things were popping up everywhere.  Some things were small, some things were major, like loose concrete on the second floor ledge.  I started to text Dan that things were looking bad.

At the end of the 2 hour inspection, things looked bleak. I felt defeated.  We saw many houses and this was the first one we saw that had the potential to be called "home." I decided to wait for the entire report, which was promised by the end of the day.  On the train ride home, I kept thinking about Dan living in a cardboard box or worse living with me and my mom in that tiny apartment commuting to Philly.

When I got home I anxiously waited for the inspector's report. I felt like one of those women waiting for a man to call.  I checked the internet connection and I was constantly looking to make sure I was signed on to the proper account. Around 11pm, we received the report. ALL 23 PAGES OF IT!! We began reading and as we started going through the pages, our little dream home started sounding like that horrible home in "The Money Pit" (I highly recommend that movie if you want to laugh).

As the scene of electrical fires and bathtubs falling through the ceiling slowly ran through my head...we both looked at each other and realized, we have to keep looking.  Dan emailed the report to this father and when he called the next day he said, "What a report!" So it wasn't just us!

I called Stephanie and told her we wanted to pull out and to get our money that we had in escrow.  Note to people: when you put your money in escrow please put in that you have the option to retract it when you have the inspection done, that way you can get your money back.  We did!! :)

Enjoy a scene from the movie!

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Paper Trail

I have always known that when you apply for a mortgage there was some paperwork involved. However, I didn't realize that the paperwork could clear a small forest. I warn all my friends who read this and have never been through the mortgage process.....SAVE EVERY SINGLE PIECE OF PAPER!!! 

The mortgage broker wanted taxes, pay stubs, bank statements from every single bank you have money in, and retirement account statements! It seemed that every day I was printing, scanning, or emailing the mortgage broker some piece of my financial information.  I gave him everything was current.....then he wanted everything from the past....the past 2 years taxes, the last 2 months of bank statements, and the last few months of pay stubs. Now, like most people, I NEVER keep my pay stubs. AND now since the Dept. of Ed stopped giving us copies of them, I definitely didn't have them saved. Well, luckily, the Dept was smart enough to have all of our pay stubs saved online (I LOVE THE INTERNET), it was just a matter of printing them up.

What about those people who don't have access to their pay stubs? Well...I would run to your HR department and demand copies of them. YOU ARE GOING TO NEED THEM! 

To top things off, my mother-in-law was giving us a down payment as a wedding present (YAY FOR THE MOTHER-IN-LAW!).  Seems like a nice way to say congratulations? WELL YOU ARE WRONG!  Ever since 9/11 money has to be tracked and all the original money sources need to be known.  Here's a little mortgage tidbit that I recently learned: if  you receive a gift from a relative/friend, person giving the gift is taxed on it, not to mention the person receiving the money.  AND if the money has been in your account for less than 2 months, technically it's not yours yet. Sounds fun right?

My mother-in-law gave some money to my husband about 3 months ago.  The money in his account was officially his.  Since we didn't think that we were going to buy a place, we all agreed that she would give me the money later.  Once we started looking for a house, she gave me my portion of the money. When we went through all the paperwork with the mortgage broker, he said that we needed to get a gift letter from my mother-in-law. We gave them the gift letter and a copy of the check to show that it was signed by me and already in the process of being in my account. Was this good enough for them? NO! We needed her bank statements as well showing that she had the money in her account and showing the money left her account.  I have to show the money was deposited into my account (which prints on the 12th).

I feel like a common criminal.  I can understand with terrorism and all, that everything needs to be accounted for.  But I can't understand that with all the paperwork and constant paper trail maneuvering how do we hear about people and their "potentially terrorist related out-sourced money." Meanwhile, everyday hard-working Americans, with NO criminal background or suspicious activity are made to feel like they have to justify themselves because they had a generous family member.  Something is wrong with that picture! I will stop here, that ranting is for some other political blog lol!

Needless to say, this experience has taught me that I need to save everything, account for everything, and make sure that nothing looks "suspicious."

Thursday, August 12, 2010

And it begins

I have never done something like this before.  I have written before but just small snippets of thoughts on paper never to be seen by anyone, probably rotting somewhere in a city dump.

So a little about why I decided to write this.....Dan (my husband) and I are newlyweds, married on January 10, 2010.  We live in Brooklyn and are both teachers.  Recently, Dan has been accepted to a PhD program at Drexel University (Philadelphia).  We decided that the best thing right now would be for him to move to Philadelphia and I would stay in Brooklyn (having to move back in with my mother-that's another blog altogether).

Originally, the plan was for Dan to stay in Drexel housing.  As with all things in life, never count your chickens before they hatch. Due to some technical problems on Drexel's end, we weren't able to confirm the housing assignment.  As I begin to panic that my husband will be living in a cardboard box on the streets of Philadelphia, we decided that the best thing for us to do it buy something or rent cheaply.  Well....you can't rent cheaply in Philadelphia. So we went with the buying. Through the wonders of the Internet, we met Stephanie, our realtor.  She is great! Answers questions, and there were a lot and held our hand through the process. In late July, we met with Stephanie to see some properties, some were good, some were too tiny even for one person.  But eventually we found something that we both can call home.....and that's where all the insanities began!