It's a done deal. Ian and I are closing on the new house this Friday. We're moving next weekend. And we're staying in the Cove. (You didn't think I'd really leave New Haven, did you? I mean, I know the Cove isn't quite like living in Wooster Square, but it's still the Hayve.)
Exactly two long months from the day our final bid was accepted, we received the clear to close from the mortgage company. The experience of securing that clear to close was pretty painful: Between my divorce and subsequent warehouse of financial skeletons, to Ian's ownership of a multifamily (which he's holding onto), we had lots and lots of paper to provide. Given the current climate in the mortgage industry, they were seeking more info than usual, because banks are no longer quick to sell mortgages. They are forced to hold on to them for a while as a result of the big "mortgage crisis", so they want to make sure they're not taking on lemons.
So we provided paperwork upon paperwork. Emailing 82-page PDFs to the bank became an almost weekly ritual. And for what? For a simple, little place to call home, for good. A quaint little house on a one block, one-way street within a minute's walk to the water. In a neighborhood with lots sidewalks and LOTS of kids, including the best friend of my youngest son. Less than a block from a playground. A short walk to school. It really doesn't get better than this. We had it all in Westville; we lost it all. And then we gained something better back. Something much, much better. And by the water. (This also means our insurance is higher, but anyway....)
The yard is enormous, by Cove standards. Most houses around here are on .09 acres, being depression-era beach cottages converted into year-round homes. Ours is close to an 1/4 acre. The house is one of the oldest ones on the block, too, so it's got charm and quirkiness (that's sure to translate into expensive, high-maintence repairs, but whatever). It's an arts-and-crafts style cape with a big front porch, a single car garage (okay, okay...it's really a glorified shed), beautiful fireplace, three beds/1.5 baths, french doors, crown moulding, foyer, breezeway, mudroom, big windows (most of them new), new siding and roof, and some truly amazing neighbors, some of whom have lived on the block their entire lives.
Ian, the kids and I are stoked. We will finally be living together, and it's a real blessing. The kids can't stand that Ian doesn't currently live with us; and they are THRILLED that their new home is right next door to one of their best friends and his brother. I'm excited, too, because their mom, Mary, is a good friend of mine. And she has already introduced me to the rest of the moms in the neighborhood. And they're all very similar: down-to-earth, hard-working, sarcastic, and very, very warm. And into everyone's business, which is kind of amusing and will probably make things pretty "interesting". And, as my grandmother was eager to point out, "There isn't a bad lawn on the block. Everyone takes such good care of their property there." Score.
So here we go. I'm ready. Ian's ready. The kids are ready as they'll ever be. And we're all pretty set on staying there for...well...forever. At least for the forseeable decades ahead. One thing is certain: I don't want to go through the mortgage application process again any time soon.
As of Saturday the 23rd, the boys and I will be leaving our sweet apartment that has been so good to us this past year and a half. Ian will be leaving the Westville multifamily he has proudly and slumly lorded over for the past six or so years. (He'll be back to mow/shovel/rake....) Unfortunately, Ian's dog Lopez is staying behind with his brother. She and my dog couldn't get along (read: she is extremely agressive toward my dog, who is extremely submissive toward her). But she'll visit. And Ian's other dog, Sparkplug, and my sweet Cee Cee will trot along behind me, Ian, two kids, Timmy the Turtle, a bonafide pet fish named Dish, and the unnamed fish in Timmy's tank that has yet to become his lunch. Somewhere in the big moving day parade will be several big boxes of Legos.
And away we go.