I took the day off to finalize my sale of 1242 Bagley and my purchase of 24500 Orchard Lake Road. We met the agent at the Farmington Hills house beforehand to do a walk-through to make sure that everything was as we last saw it. She provided contact information of the seller's former partner who still lives in Michigan and has made himself available for gardening advice next spring, which I will definitely need. The agent also conveyed information about leaving food out for the deer--but Sarah, who does have veterinary experience directly related to wildlife, thinks that we probably shouldn't provide the deer with much more than salt licks.
We met Matt and Joe at the title company office and the closing went off almost without a hitch. The wire transfer to the title company from Matt's mortgage company was delayed, but thankfully that delay was not long. Dr. Hynes is now the official owner of the Bumble Bee House!
To sell my house, I deliberately used the same title company that the owner of the Farmington Hills house used so that our closings could be back-to-back, and that worked out perfectly. The agent and the owner's power-of-attorney (the actual owner has moved to India) were already waiting as Joe and Matt were on their way out of the building. That closing also went perfectly and I am now the official owner of that house, which doesn't have a cute nickname yet. Maybe it needs an animal mascot. The ... Opossum Cottage?
The title company cut me a check for the price of 1242 Bagley minus the price of 24500 Orchard Lake Road--a check that will pay off the construction loan for the Bagley house and cover all renovations for the Orchard Lake Road house. I am now debt-free, hopefully forever. Walking into the bank to deposit the check, Sarah and I felt like Abbi and Ilana in this clip from Broad City, which we watched probably five times yesterday:
It's strange how the stress and burden of being screwed over by Juan Carlos and all of the misery associated with the Bagley house has ultimately transformed into a very positive final outcome. I am extremely lucky that it turned out this way. I am very fortunate for the people who helped me work on the house, especially in those early dark days. And of course thanks to all the hipsters who gentrified Corktown! (I'm not kidding!)
Next we went to the Farmington Hills city hall to claim my homestead tax exemption and get information about permits, pet licenses, etc. There were no lines and the people we spoke to were friendly, helpful, and professional. I remember going to the Detroit city-county building to claim the homestead exemption on the Wabash house. While waiting for my number to be called, I overheard a disagreement between a customer and a lady behind the counter over some fees, which the customer insisted he did not have to pay. A different woman behind the counter interrupted them and said something rude and condescending to the customer, then turned to her colleague and told her deliberately loud enough for everyone in the room to hear, "SEE? YOU JUST HAVE TO SLAP THEM AROUND A LITTLE." The folks at the Farmington Hills city hall, on the other hand, actually seemed happy to have customers to help.
Sarah and I commenced our new life as (transitioning) Farmington Hills residents by engaging in what I'm sure will soon be a familiar activity: slogging through Orchard Lake Road traffic while running errands at various strip malls. We were excited by the bounty of Indian restaurants in the area, but oddly they're mostly the kind that close between lunch and dinner, which is when we wanted to eat. One of the few places open was a Pakistani restaurant that wasn't great, but I'm optimistic about our future options.
I also bought my Halloween candy--three hundred pieces of Goldenberg's Peanut Chews. They're not as sweet as Snickers, but they're vegan and they got chocolate in them, so that's what the kids are getting.
It will take a few months to get the new house ready. The asbestos remediation company can remove the old furnace and basement ducts next week, and the roof company can do their job in 3-4 weeks. I want to gut the upstairs, add a second bathroom, and possibly gut the kitchen, although I've been considering just remodeling what's already there. We'll figure it out as we spend more time at the house.