Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Last hurdles

I did a ton of cleaning at the apartment this weekend. I thought I'd be done on Sunday. One of my buckets sprang a leak halfway through Sunday, though, so I only had the one container with which to clean the floors and catch water from a defrosting fridge. The refrigerator took a lot longer than I expected, so I only got the bathroom floor washed by Sunday evening. I had a few things left to do in the kitchen, and I had Monday off (reinspection that morning, thought I might as well take the whole day in case I needed to clean some more. Hurray for planning ahead!) so I knocked off about six Sunday evening, went home, and collapsed.

Monday morning I got reinspected, so that the lenders would have proof that the electrical and water heater issues have been fixed. Took about ten minutes, got a thumbs-up from the inspector. Second-to-last hurdle cleared. I headed back to the apartment to finish up and hand in my keys.

Upon arriving at my place, I found the door and window open, all the lights on, and the place reeking of fresh paint. There was a paint roller in the kitchen sink, junk all over the living room floor (3 ten-gallon paint containers, the bits and pieces of what used to be the brackets for the Venetian blind, curtain rod...), and all of my things dumped unceremoniously into a corner "out of the way." Needless to say I was highly miffed. The complex handyman was nowhere in sight (of course), so I took all the stuff that was in my way and deposited them on the sidewalk. Put some paper towels under the paint roller before I put it outside, more to make a point regarding courtesy and care of other people's things than because I cared if the roller got dirty. I'm sure the message flew right over their heads. I finished what I had to do (taking frequent trips outside for gulps of fresh air) and was vacuuming the living room floor when the handyman came back.

I told him I'd asked Jim to wait until I'd finished. I told him it was partly because of my asthma, and that I never knew what would trigger it. He apologized, said he had no idea. He just went where he was told to go. I figured as much.

Why did I expect that man to honor my request, when he's shown me all along the only agenda he's interested in is his own? Isn't the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result?

Because I just wanted to get out of there, I didn't make a fuss with the manager about the paint when I handed back the keys. I told him the place wasn't as clean as I would have liked it to be, but that I was done. The oven, for example. I did that twice and still wasn't happy with it. He said not to worry, a lot of that stuff was going to be replaced anyway -- the vinyl flooring, the toilet, and probably the stove. Wish I'd known that before I spent most of Sunday scrubbing and swearing at marks I couldn't get out and wasn't sure I'd made to begin with. He made it sound like I'd get my deposit back. I'll believe it when I see it. My experience with landlords has been that once they have your money, they don't give it back. I'm treating that money as long-gone. If I get anything back, I'll use it to buy curtains, I guess.

So that's it. Last hurdle to home-ownership cleared, all loose ends tied. Now all I have to do is figure out where I'm putting everything.

Three last little things I want to mention:
  1. The sellers made absolutely no attempt to forward their mail. For a few weeks there until my change of address paperwork went through, I was getting tons of mail for them. Credit card offers, bills, packages even. I gave that all to my agent yesterday, for her to give to their agent.
  2. Another thing I passed on? An envelope containing four cards I found in one of the master bedroom's closets: a Barnes & Noble membership card, a Turkish driver's license, an employee ID (also Turkish), and Target credit card with an expiration date of next month--unsigned on the back. These people are really lucky I'm honest.
  3. While I was gathering my stuff together prior to quitting the apartment for good yesterday, the handyman asked me how long I'd lived there. I told him 16 years. "Wow," he said. "This place looks really good, considering how long you've been in it. I've worked on some where they've only been in 2 years and the place looked like hell. This one only needed one coat of paint." That made me feel a little better. I've always been a little insecure about my abilities in the cleaning-and-maintenance department.


Just Me said...

After sixteen years and glowing comments from the maintenance guy, you'd better get your security deposit back!

I'd have been tempted (only tempted!) to use the Target card for new window dressings!

--V said...

I finally spoke to my real estate agent about the curtain rods. She said things like leaving the window treatments need to be specified in the contract, otherwise they still belong to the seller.

[Shrug] Okay. Whatever.

Reckless Sarcasm said...

Well, that's not true- well specific curtain rods (if they want to take them) need to be specified, but anything that is secured into walls, etc is considered a fixture and part of the construction... If they want to take them, they have to leave something there in their place. I just know this because my manager made a big deal out of this to us in our training classes. That's a state thing.
Anyway, no harm no foul. I know Noreen wouldn't go to settlement because they didn't have them there (but they were having problems with them anyway so that's why she made it a point.)
Anyway... no biggie :)

Just Me said...

Friends of ours bought a fantastic house that they later discovered was owned by some guy who was heavily into S&M. They even found magazine articles about their house.

Anyway, when they first looked at the place, the dining room had these really sconces on the walls.

After settlement (and after the guy's last big hurrah in the place, the party that made the magazine), they find ugly Halloween sconces on the walls instead.

Friend's wife was so skeeved she didn't go in the pool for the first two years they lived there.