Home Ownership

When I got into my hotel room last week they gave me a handicap accessible room, no big deal, it usually just means that the room is on the first floor, bathroom is a little bit bigger, and they’ve got a second peephole (on the door) at wheelchair level.  I found it amusing that while nearly everything in the room was at a lower level the toilet paper was at head height and even when sitting down I’m not exactly a short person.  I’m halfway surprised they didn’t give me something the help reach up and grab the first square with.

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Well, Wednesday was the day; the day that Leslie and I first became homeowners.  Let me clarify that statement, it was the day we became owners of our first home that didn’t have wheels.  It was somewhat of a harrowing experience.  Our closing was scheduled for noon on Wednesday; our lawyer (the State of NY requires that both parties be represented by an attorney) was supposed to call me on Tuesday to verify the amount I should get a certified check for.  Tuesday afternoon I still hadn’t received any notification of my final balance so I called the law office and I was told that the bank still had not released the final numbers (which involved taxes, meter reads on the utilities, and a few other miscellaneous items) but they would get back to me as soon as they did.  I didn’t get a confirmation until Wednesday morning at 10:15am and unfortunately the confirmation was unnecessarily vague, they told me to get a certified check rounded off to the nearest thousand and that I would just issue a personal check for approximately the remaining balance… Approximately?  More than just a little concerned as I no longer had any personal checks with me, I attempted to call the law office; no luck.  I waited 15 minutes and then sent an email and tried calling them again; still no luck.  Finally, at 10:45am I decided to just drive over to the law office (which is where I were scheduled to close anyway) and talk to someone there before going back out to visit the bank.

I got to the law office and explained to my attorney my situation and was told that a certified check for exactly the amount posted would be fine.  As I pulled out of the parking lot I decided to call my credit union on a whim, turns out that was a good call because I got a phone recording stating that all their branches would be closed until 1pm as most of their employees would be attending the funeral services of one of their executives.  Fortunately, I was able to get on my phone and locate a different credit union that was part of the co-op; on top of that, this particular branch was only a few miles away.  I made it in, got the check and still got back to the law office in time for the closing.  Whew!

Since the house has been unoccupied since before the beginning of the summer it was no surprise to see that the thermostat was actually turned off so when I first walked in on Wednesday it was a comfortable 55F inside the house, granted, it was only comfortable if you were wearing a jacket, pants, and shoes, but it was still comfortable.  It was a bit chilly when I got out of the shower though; fortunately I had ample hot water.  I wonder if Leslie is going to make me turn the thermostat up when she gets here.  As far as I am concerned I have already compromised, I’ve got it turned all the way up to 62F.

Thursday I was in a meeting with the members of my team and one of the comments that came up was the funniest one I have heard in a long time.  One of the customers we have pitched a proposal to is a non-profit hospital which meant that they would not be eligible for the typical tax breaks one receives with a solar installation.  One of the guys started talking about a somewhat complicated scenario in which we utilized an investor to purchase the system and then the investor could recognize the tax benefits and then sell the system back to the hospital (I’ve probably oversimplified the concept), our senior manager spoke up and said, that’s a good idea, but unfortunately it’s considered tax fraud.  The first guy immediately replied, “Aww, why are all my good ideas considered tax fraud?”

Well, it’s far past time for me to get out of the house and go blow the leaves off the lawn… Anyone want to lend me their teenage son?

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