The chronicles of Dferrantino

The last place you'll ever drink away the day...again.
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The chronicles of Dferrantino

Postby dferrantino » 31 Oct 2014, 08:35:18

The adventure was initially hinted at here, and proceeded here, but let's go back a bit further just for some background.

In late July/early August, I received my 90-day renewal notice on my apartment. The details of rent stabilization in NYC are complicated, but the gist was this: the rent my landlord is allowed to charge for my apartment was about 40% higher than what they were charging me, so as long as the increase they give me is under that higher rate (about 1800/mo), they could increase it to whatever the hell they wanted. So they did. After a bit of discussion with my girlfriend (henceforth known as Noel since, you know, that's her name) and my financial adviser (henceforth known as My Dad) we decided it wasn't worth staying in this apartment, nor was it worth the money to find another place to move. Our 5-year plan involved marriage and children and we had scraped up enough savings to purchase a starter home in the suburbs, so that's what we'd do. The renewal got tossed to the side and we went on with that process.

After a few weeks of looking at houses in the South Orange/Maplewood/Springfield area, Noel and I put a bid on, went into contract for, and went through all of the initial motions to procure a mortgage for and purchase a home in Maplewood. Early in the process, we discovered there was an underground oil tank in the property that had leaked and was removed earlier that year. The contaminated soil was remediated a few months ago, and while the seller was able to produce invoices for the work, they not only didn't have a No Further Action letter from the NJ DEP, but they didn't even have the report from the vendor that was to be submitted. After a week or so of our lawyer dealing with theirs, they finally agreed to language in the contract that made the purchase contingent on the latter, so we moved out of the initial review stage.

Jump forward about a week and we had the house inspected and went through the initial steps to get a mortgage. The inspection wasn't perfect, but it wasn't terrible either. The normal type of wear you'd expect in a 90-year-old house, but still incredibly well-kept for its age. We had a GC take a look to give us estimates on the work, and it came back at somewhere between 15 and 22k to do everything, and two or three structural or safety issues that needed to be rectified before we'd close totaling in the neighborhood of ~8k + an indeterminate amount depending on the severity of a plumbing issue. We put together our report, sent it off to the seller, and got in response a sob story detailing how much money was spent remediating the oil tank and offering an overall price reduction of 9k, and no mention of completing the necessary work prior to closing. As this was nowhere near what we needed done, we backed out of the contract on Monday.

Now, as this is going on, we were approaching the end of our current lease. This meant that over the course of October, we needed to move everything out of our apartment and into various storage locations and find a place to live until we closed on this house. With a load of help from Noel's parents, my brother, and a friend of ours (to all of whom I'll be forever grateful) we managed to finish all of that last weekend, and moved into my mom's house. It was deeper in Brooklyn than we were living and would barely fit the four of us (my brother still lives at home) but given the relative ease of commute (compared to moving to Old Bridge or Newton) and temporary nature of the move, we'd make it work.

We're now living out of boxes and suitcases in my mom's house, and while I love her to death and greatly appreciate the fact that she's allowing us to live there while we're in transit, I'm very quickly being reminded of why I moved out. There are a number of minor repairs that needed to be done when I still lived there 8 years ago that still haven't been taken care of. About half the light fixtures need new bulbs. I asked my mother about the bulbs and she complained about how expensive CFLs are. I asked my brother about a lightswitch that needed to be replaced and he said we had to "pick our battles", like there would be a fight with mom if he said he was going to replace the switch (there won't be, I asked!). So now I've spent $60 and will spend an hour of my weekend to take care of shit that either of them could have dealt with years ago.

The room we moved into has been used for storage since my cousin moved out a year ago (understandable), as has the formal dining room (not so much) and basically any available space that isn't "in the way" (infuriating). Mind you, there's a shed in the backyard that was specifically put in to accommodate the stuff that's being stored in the house. Down a flight of stairs and 6 feet away. I had planned on spending this weekend organizing my own shit to get it out of everyone's way, but I think most of that time is going to be spent organizing my mom's shit before I can even start with mine.

I really can't complain all that much though. She's not charging us rent, we're eating for free, and she's been super helpful throughout this whole process. Additionally, my brother's still living there and should have taken care of all of this shit himself.

On top of all of this, I was offered and accepted a new job, starting the 10th. I have to pass my knowledge onto about 6 other people to get the company ready for my departure. I couldn't make the time for a week off in between, either :(

Noel is likewise looking for a new job, either within the bank she works for or with a large consulting firm. The former would be easy and would keep her working with people she knows and enjoys working with. The latter would be far more interesting and would likely grow her career by leaps and bounds, but would require her to travel for 4 days out of every week.

As you can imagine, life has been absolutely insane. Noel and I are working as hard as we can not to tear each others' heads off, and I'm trying to make the house presentable without stepping on anyone's toes or stabbing my brother.

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Re: The chronicles of Dferrantino

Postby Admetus » 31 Oct 2014, 09:54:27

Good luck with it! You actually sound like you're coping pretty well, though the circumstances aren't perfect. It's possible everyone will even be happier for the experience, a little ways down the road.

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Re: The chronicles of Dferrantino

Postby Omega » 31 Oct 2014, 10:51:46

Sounds brutal man.

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Re: The chronicles of Dferrantino

Postby Ryvvn » 31 Oct 2014, 14:20:47

Admetus wrote:Good luck with it! You actually sound like you're coping pretty well, though the circumstances aren't perfect. It's possible everyone will even be happier for the experience, a little ways down the road.

This. I'm sure you and Noel will come out of the experience with a greater appreciation for each other and your own place once you find it.

Also, if there's any way in which I might lend a hand, let me know!

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Re: The chronicles of Dferrantino

Postby Visigoth » 31 Oct 2014, 17:08:17

Ryvvn wrote:
Admetus wrote:Good luck with it! You actually sound like you're coping pretty well, though the circumstances aren't perfect. It's possible everyone will even be happier for the experience, a little ways down the road.

This. I'm sure you and Noel will come out of the experience with a greater appreciation for each other and your own place once you find it.
Or murder/suicide. But lets hope for the best. :D

Oil tanks must be the bane of people buying/selling houses. Your tale of woo isn't the first I've read about and likely won't be the last. Though the best was another Arsian that discovered (I believe) an oil tank on their property that they had no knowledge of when they bought the place. Of course it was leaking so they had to go through the whole remediation deal which isn't cheap. Think they tried to go after the seller for not disclosing it but not sure how that ended.

After owning my place for a number of years there is a certain part of me that kind of misses apartment living. Don't have to deal with a lawn or landscaping and repairs are all on the owners dime. Though depending on the landlord it can also be a serious pain in the ass to get anything done and then you also have to deal with people sharing walls/ceilings/floors with you. So when the fresh out of college kids move in and party every night until 3AM it gets you to thinking about pumping CO2 into their place just for a little peace and quiet. Of course I actually don't mind doing yard work and have done a lot of landscaping since I've moved in not because I had to but because I wanted to. Also unlike an apartment you can make changes to the inside. Recently had a room that I use for general storage demo'd and had cabinets and bookcases put in to add actual storage space instead of using a bunch of wire shelves. A longer term goal is a kitchen and bath remodel (which seems like something that every homeowner does at some point) but that will be buku money so holding off on it since it's not a major issue. Especially with the mantra of every homeowner of "something always need work/repair" taking up time and money in other parts of the house.

Good luck on the house front. It can certainly be an adventure.

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Re: The chronicles of Dferrantino

Postby dferrantino » 11 Nov 2014, 07:17:44

Update!

Last week at the old job was probably the busiest I'd ever been while there, and of course I'm now remembering things that I forgot to pass on. Sucks, and hopefully they handle it well without me, but I guess there's not much I can do about it now.

Adjusting well at the new place, trying to get up to speed as quickly as I can. It'll be fun.

Went house-hunting again this weekend, looked at the house next door to one we put a bid on earlier this year (but fell through when someone outbid us). We loved the first house, but this one is absolutely amazing. 4 bedrooms, 2 full baths, fantastic layout, large yard, and a huge garage that was being used as a workshop that I think we can do a ton with. Put our bid in yesterday, and they countered with a price that was way lower than we expected, so we jumped on it. Moving along quickly, now.

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Re: The chronicles of Dferrantino

Postby Omega » 11 Nov 2014, 09:43:45

Nice. Hope this one goes through. And then you can mess with your jerk neighbors that had outbid you.

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Re: The chronicles of Dferrantino

Postby dferrantino » 11 Nov 2014, 12:35:35

We'll settle for the fact that this house is much nicer.

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Re: The chronicles of Dferrantino

Postby Okaros » 11 Nov 2014, 12:41:35

Invite them over the for the house-warming party, and casually mention having put in a bid on their house.

Just to rub it in a little. ;)
I kind of assume Okaros is out to backstab me until proven otherwise. - DOM

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Re: The chronicles of Dferrantino

Postby dferrantino » 14 Nov 2014, 08:34:31

Holy shit we're in contract.

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Re: The chronicles of Dferrantino

Postby necklessone » 14 Nov 2014, 08:47:25

:flail: :flail: :flail: :flail: :flail: :flail: :flail: :flail: :flail: :flail: :flail: :flail: :flail:

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Re: The chronicles of Dferrantino

Postby Admetus » 14 Nov 2014, 08:51:25

Now the paranoia starts to creep in. Was it too easy?

Just kidding. Congrats!

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Re: The chronicles of Dferrantino

Postby sphenodont » 14 Nov 2014, 09:07:28

Do inspections in New Jersey check for bodies buried in the basement concrete, or is that just assumed as par for the course?

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Re: The chronicles of Dferrantino

Postby rekard » 14 Nov 2014, 09:34:59

Remember to check for ghosts.

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Re: The chronicles of Dferrantino

Postby Snake » 14 Nov 2014, 09:41:36

But you've forgotten about the poison sockets.

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Re: The chronicles of Dferrantino

Postby dferrantino » 14 Nov 2014, 09:48:35

sphenodont wrote:Do inspections in New Jersey check for bodies buried in the basement concrete, or is that just assumed as par for the course?

Everyone knows a house's foundation isn't thick enough to hide a body, and a body buried under the house is structurally irrelevant.

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Re: The chronicles of Dferrantino

Postby Visigoth » 14 Nov 2014, 12:33:47

dferrantino wrote:
sphenodont wrote:Do inspections in New Jersey check for bodies buried in the basement concrete, or is that just assumed as par for the course?

Everyone knows a house's foundation isn't thick enough to hide a body, and a body buried under the house is structurally irrelevant.
Pfft. Right up until it decomposes leaving a void under the slab which could cause it to drop or crack. Same reason you wouldn't want a body in a foundation or footing since at some point there will be a void and bad things can happen.

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Re: The chronicles of Dferrantino

Postby dferrantino » 24 Dec 2014, 05:55:47

We just got all of the title documents :flail:

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Re: The chronicles of Dferrantino

Postby DastardlyOldMan » 24 Dec 2014, 06:13:19

Congrats!! A house is an ongoing project, in perpetua, for sure - actually just paid mine off a couple weeks back (so now all I have to worry about is property tax. And insurance. And maintenance. Maybe a new furnace. Or a new water heater. . . )

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Re: The chronicles of Dferrantino

Postby necklessone » 24 Dec 2014, 08:04:45

dferrantino wrote:We just got all of the title documents :flail:


Welcome to NJ. Someone will be by with some porkroll shortly.

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Re: The chronicles of Dferrantino

Postby Mister E. Meat » 05 Jan 2015, 08:36:52

Congrats dferr! That's really exciting for you two.

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Re: The chronicles of Dferrantino

Postby dferrantino » 09 Jan 2015, 07:38:34

After about 6 months, more money than I've ever spent in my life, and 6 hours in the attorney's office yesterday, Noel and I are now the proud owners of (20% of) a house in Springfield, NJ. I'll post details of the housewarming(s) when we get settled, you're all invited.

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Re: The chronicles of Dferrantino

Postby Omega » 09 Jan 2015, 13:12:49

I look forward to inspecting your lupine detection and protection systems.

Congrats, Dferr.

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Re: The chronicles of Dferrantino

Postby 7-zark-7 » 09 Jan 2015, 15:28:21

Hey Dferr,

How's the carpal tunnel treating you? If you didn't have it before, the stack of paperwork has been known to cause it.

[+] i will just leave this here
Image


but seriously, congrats. We sold in Boston & are in an apartment now, but looking to buy in NJ the next couple of years if life keeps treating us well

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Re: The chronicles of Dferrantino

Postby Ryvvn » 09 Jan 2015, 16:24:28

Congratulations!

...so guess this means tomorrow is officially the move day now? If so, sorry I'm unavailable to help, and I'll miss seeing ya when I'm in the city this weekend!

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Re: The chronicles of Dferrantino

Postby dferrantino » 12 Jan 2015, 10:55:07

Oh, and apparently I'm engaged now, too.

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Re: The chronicles of Dferrantino

Postby Okaros » 12 Jan 2015, 11:44:15

Was that buried in the fine print of the title docs? ;)

Congrats!
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Re: The chronicles of Dferrantino

Postby Omega » 13 Jan 2015, 00:19:11

dferrantino wrote:Oh, and apparently I'm engaged now, too.


Congrats Dan! Awesome news.

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Re: The chronicles of Dferrantino

Postby Ryvvn » 13 Jan 2015, 05:22:56

Was that day 1 vote because I hadn't congratulated you right away?! :oops:

Seriously though, a hearty second congratulations on the great news!

...and a pre-third and fourth congratulations for when you next pop back in here to tell us you've got twins on the way and you've won the lottery!

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Re: The chronicles of Dferrantino

Postby necklessone » 13 Jan 2015, 06:12:12

dferrantino wrote:Oh, and apparently I'm engaged now, too.

:slow_clap: :slow_clap: :slow_clap:

Three slow claps equals a regular clap, right?

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Re: The chronicles of Dferrantino

Postby DastardlyOldMan » 13 Jan 2015, 06:19:49


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Re: The chronicles of Dferrantino

Postby Mister E. Meat » 16 Jan 2015, 12:19:46

dferrantino wrote:Oh, and apparently I'm engaged now, too.

Awesome news Daniel!


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