Emotional SeeSaw Part II

I didn’t think it was possible, but this week was absolutely worse than last week. The ol’ insomnia has kicked in. I’ve been averaging five to six hours sleep a night, generally eyes popping open around four or five am, unable to calm the mind back into a peaceful slumber. We are in the vortex, emotions swirling at fantastic speeds, feeling nothing and yet everything all at once. “WHAT ARE WE DOING?”, I want to scream out. We’re in a time warp, days passing so quickly, no time to ‘process’, only go-go-go, getting as many things done as possible. I still can’t believe we’re going to pop out in New Zealand in just ten days time. I now understand the glazed look on Anne & Scott’s faces (the Seattle folks who are just a few weeks ahead of us with their migration) when we met them a few weeks back – they had said that their last few weeks were grueling – we had no idea. My eyes are now glazed over, I’m short on sleep and long on stress. Here’s what went down this week (Feb 11 – 17):

Partay! Yes, the week started off really well last Saturday. We held an open house ‘sidewalk sale’ and invited all of our friends to come over, peruse the box-filled lined hallways of stuff we weren’t taking, have a cocktail, and toast to good friends and good fun. We’ve had many, many, many parties here over the years and this was the grand finale. About 40 people came through over the course of a twelve hour day. It kind of felt like a Burning Man/wedding reunion of sorts as not all of the folks run in the same social circles – so to have mostly everyone here at the same time was very cool and very touching. I issued an edict that no one could leave without taking something home with them. And it was a total success! About 90% of our crap left in the hands of good friends. It really is true: one’s man junk is another man’s treasure! (good day!)

Bruce’s hard drive was fully recovered (Yay!). However, upon returning home and installing it, he couldn’t get it to work in his computer, so he had to go back across town and have it looked at again. He only brought the hard drive and not the whole box, so when he got home the second time, he had trouble again (can you tell we’re not thinking clearly these days?). So, for the third time, he trekked across the city, this time with the whole box and we got the problem resolved. (frustrating!)

We drove over to the East Bay one afternoon to Nigels. Nigels is a wonderful store full of hand crafted rosewood furniture. It’s where we bought our platform bed and dresser years ago. Well, the platform bed came in pieces and was installed by the nice folks at Nigels. I wasn’t home to witness the installation but Bruce had watched and written notes about how it was to be done. And now that we have to un-do the bed six years later, the notes are kind of undecipherable. Soooooooooooo, we went off to Nigels to get a demonstration on how to disassemble the bed. This time we took better notes AND took a movie! (neutral)

Met with another stager early in the week. Stagers are interesting people. They are very perky and chipper, and walk around with paint swatches and like to tell you how to ‘neutralize’ your house so that it will appeal to a large audience. This time I was emotionally ready to ‘hear’ about how lovely she would make our home. I just smiled a lot and jotted down notes. By the end of the week, I had received both bids: One for $5800 and the other for $6200! This was for a two-month stage. Guess which one we’re going with? (neutral)

We spent a lot of time with our agents this week. They are not just our agents; they are good friends. One lovely day we drove out to the Beach Chalet for lunch and beers – mainly to celebrate our friendship and our impending move, but also to discuss all that needed to be done to get the unit ready for market (good). We had them come through the house another day with another friend who is going to do the work on the flat, and we went from room to room and made quite a long list of repairs and renovations to be performed. The work will consist mainly of repainting rooms (the ‘IN’ color is Tropical Straw), patching cracks in the walls, fixing some electrical outlets, and just generally sprucing up the place. We’re estimating a budget of $10,000 and a three-week time frame to get all work done! (sad – yup, I got a little sad again thinking how ‘perfect’ the place is going to look). On yet another evening, after an already long un fun-filled packing day, we went over to our agent’s office to talk about a listing price and work on the disclosures. We thought this would be a ‘short’ meeting. She had ordered a preliminary title report and when she started reviewing it she noticed that we’re all on title as ‘joint tenants’ — problem! This was wrong – joint tenants assumes that we all equally & jointly own the building and if anything happened to one of us (ie, passed on), the others would automatically take over our interest in the property. Wrong, wrong, wrong. We have refinanced the property three times in the last five years and somewhere along the way the title company recorded our interests incorrectly and we never noticed it. So, bottom line, we get to add this to our task list for next week. We need to go over to the title company, have them redraw up our deed, all six of us have to go over and sign, and then we have to file it with the city so that in a few weeks when a title report is ordered again, it will show up correctly! Close to four hours later, we finally finished our discussions, came up with more tasks to tackle, and came up with a listing price – $789,000! (emotionally & physically exhausted!)

I had dinner with my good friend Pam one evening. Pam’s been one of my best friends for close to 18 years – we’ve been through so much together and now that we’ve got significant others and she’s got a wonderful little one, we don’t often get to have any one-on-one time. So it was all the more meaningful that she made an effort from her busy schedule to come hang out and have some ‘girl time’ with me. (excellent)

I had to cancel dinner plans with some of my other girlie friends (sad), but I had seen all of them earlier in the week at the party and will see most of them next week at other social events so it wasn’t that bad.

We spent a lot of time with the building partners researching financing options for the building. I mean hours were spent calling various banks to understand what kind of financing can be had for a partial-TIC sale. We had three scenarios we were researching; 1) Whether our existing loan could be ‘assumed’ by new buyers. When we refinanced last year, we had specifically asked the broker for an assumable loan; turns out after many, many phone calls to the bank and to the mortgage broker, that it’s not. This was disappointing as we have a very good 7 year ARM at 5.375% and it would have been great to been able to offer this to new buyers; 2) Find potential lenders who would do a ‘group’ refinance and find out what their rates are; 3) Find potential lenders who would do ‘individual’ TIC refinances and find out what their rates are. The reason we need to know this information is because of the one partner who is not selling. Those of us selling are going to cause a refinance of the mortgage and we are now in a higher interest rate environment than we were last year; per our lawyer, the non-selling partner should not have to participate in paying higher interest payments, so we need to compensate her for the ‘difference’ that the new mortgage will have over the old mortgage. Emails were flying between the partners and the lenders and sad to say, some of our partner emails got a little ‘ugly’ – tensions are running high, we’re trying to figure out this ‘compensation’, and we’re stressed beyond belief. So, it got a little out of hand. This happened a few days ago and I’ve been really, really sad that we’ve come to this. I don’t want to feed the TIC meme where every TIC ends up resulting with fighting partners and lost friendships. We were all friends going into our TIC in 1997 and we’ve generally had a really, really, great partnership (not without some bumps and hiccups, but always resolvable) and it’s killing me to think that it may destroy a 16 year friendship. I need to see if I can rise above and fix it. (really sad)

Oh, again, in between all of the above, was the packing, organizing, packing, and organizing. Hour after hour. Boring, boring, boring. But by the end of the week, I felt like we were in excellent shape for the movers who are coming on Monday. There’s just a handful of things that still need to be tackled over the weekend. We are moving to New Zealand! (happy)

Oh, and one more thing. Bruce bought a still this week from the brew making store. Apparently having a still is legal in NZ, so the mad-scientist will be in his lab distilling away! (crazy)