Posted by: Debbie Abrams Kaplan | June 15, 2010

One Year Ago…

One year ago today we closed on our NJ house. Chase didn’t give us a closing time, when the money would be in the bank.

In the meantime, our realtor said we could do the walk-through with the kids, who saw the house for the first time. They ran excitedly through the house, finding spare change, abandoned Lego pieces, a ripped play tent, a mangled stuffed cat, and an otherwise clean house. They played on the backyard swingset, finding unmatched shoes and socks, broken plastic toys and a frisbee. They were very excited about everything except the basement, which smelled pretty bad. It needed a dehumidifier (a new concept to me, a gal who lived in California and Arizona most of her life), The kids couldn’t over the smell. “We didn’t realize our house would smell so bad.”

We waited at the house for a long time. Our realtor left – telling us to call her when the attorney said he was ready. We waited for Chase to fund our loan. We waited and waited.  The kids went on an impromptu play date with our new neighbors across the street while we sat in the house waiting for the call.

At noon, we went for lunch at Ferraro’s downtown, with the cell phone sitting on the table. The kids loved the New York style pizza. The attorney called at 2:00. No, the loan wasn’t funded, but we should come to the office to sign papers and wait longer.

As we walked back to our rental car, a dead baby bird fell from the tree right in front of us. We took it as an omen. The kids got upset.

At the attorney’s office the kids made it through the first movies on the portable DVD player while we signed papers and waited. Chase and the attorney were still going back and forth about the closing statement. Apparently we were off by $30,000 in money we needed for closing costs. I thought that was a typo. How could we be off by $30,000? I only had $3,000 in my checkbook. We feared that we wouldn’t close that day after all.

The relocation company stepped in and corrected the issue. The kids were now on their second movie. Finally at 4:30, Chase wired the money. The secretaries in the real estate attorney’s office cheered. While we were there, two other parties came in, closed on their property and left. We were getting lapped.

Now that we had the money, the seller’s attorney and realtor arrived. The kids were tucked into the corner with their headphones. We went through the paperwork and the list of items for repair. They produced receipts for all but the roof vent. Where were the papers for the roof vent? They called their clients, on phone standby in North Carolina.

They forgot about the roof vent. Oops! Now we had both realtors calling their contacts to find out what a roof vent would cost to install. After 30 mintues calling roofing contractors and handymen, they got two estimates and we agreed to a price. Their attorney wrote us a check. We signed a few more papers and they handed over the extra keys (we already had our realtor’s set). It was 5:30.

Exhausted, we drove back to the house to leave all the paperwork and headed out to dinner with Mark’s extended family 45 mintues away, and the kids started their triple feature.


  1. One day I hope to get to see Chez Kaplan, East. Hope the house smells better by then!

  2. I can’t belive its been a year!

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