Different States


I guess I am going to have to figure out something new to blog about, because that whole stupid “Master Habitation Plan” comes to an end tonight.  Somewhere between happy hours, I pick-up the keys to the new house in La Crescenta, CA – marking the end of a nearly 8 month journey from being homeless, living in a hotel, to a rental, to a place that has my name on the title once more.  That’s eight months of showings, open houses, applications, offers, signatures, and inspections.  Eight months of ups, downs, lefts, rights.

In all honesty, I hadn’t been convinced this would go through – and looking at my bank account following the down payment, that’s probably more true now than before.  So while I pick-up my keys tonight, I have yet to switch over utilities or figure out movers.

As I am being honest, I can tell you that I was kind of letdown by the ending.  The thing is, this is my seventh housing transaction and I grew to like some parts about it to the point I was looking forward to the ending.

Here’s the thing.  Every state has it’s own laws and means to perform real estate translations … and I get that.  In Kansas and Alaska, I just thought that meant different bits and bops that location specific.  For instance, Alaska doesn’t require a termite study because … let’s face it … termites don’t do so well in Alaska’s winters.  In Kansas, they flourish there … and probably would do better if there was more than three trees in the entire state.

When I got to Massachusetts is when I noticed that things were really different, but I just blamed that on the insanity that is Massachusetts anything.  There are no titles there, so the sale is recorded by the county you live in.  Meaning, closing occurs at the county house (for me, it was Suffolk county, in the basement, in a cold quiet stone room, that was specifically made for closing real estate translations).   In typical Massachusetts fashion, something that seems to make things easier is made harder … you don’t deal with a titling company, which should sound easier, but both buyer and seller must retain a real estate attorney whom goes over the documents and red lines a minimum number of nothing things to make their retainer look like it went to a good use.

So buying a house in California felt like it was going to be back to the old way of doing things.  That was true for the most part, but not the final part.  Whether it be Kansas, Alaska, or Massachusetts … “Closing Day” meant you went somewhere, signed your life away, and the transaction went live while you were waiting.  Not True for California.

I visited the title company to kick out paperwork on Wednesday.  That had to go to someone to do something and something else happened.  As a result – all I have to do today for closing is pick up the keys.  No signing my life away.  No looking across the table at a seller who is relived to get a money pit off their hands.  No buyers remorse.  Just me, a house, a dog, and something to lock things up.

Now, the transition begins.  Not just from house to house, but from state to state.  Leaving behind the renter’s life for the owner’s life.  Finishing up the period where things seemed temporary, to making everything stick.

Which I guess means getting a real hobby.


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