Jim's Polka

The life of a former software engineer, now a law student

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

It Seemed Like a Good Idea At the Time

It always seems like a good idea at the time.

Bear with me, this is a slightly complex story. Hopefully, it has a happy ending.

I had the clever idea that D should go to Seattle this past weekend to look for a home for us. I didn't want to take all that time off work, so I figured it would make sense for her to go by herself. She left on Thursday morning and had a ticket to return on Tuesday.

At the same time, my mom decided to buy my car. This saved me a lot of trouble, because we only want to have one car in Seattle, so I was going to have to get rid of it somehow. All she asked was that I drive the car down to her new place in North Carolina, near Asheville. I planned to drive down on Friday and bought a plane ticket back to DC for Sunday morning.

I did, in fact, make the drive to North Carolina. 500 miles in about 8 hours, including one stop for lunch. My mom's new house is in a new development near a small village south of Asheville. The town is charming and the house is great. Lots of exposed pine construction, if you're into that sort of thing. Anyway, we went out for dinner and then went to see Fahrenheit 9/11. (I'll talk about that in a later post.)

Meanwhile, D and her parents (who drove to Seattle to help her look around) spent Friday looking at properties for sale, condos and townhouses. She doesn't know how many places they saw, but I think it was more than 20.

She called me just after the movie. She described some of the places she had seen, but quickly got to the point. She thought I should be there with her to make the decision. In retrospect, this should have been obvious. I mean, we're talking about a place we're going to live in for at least the next 3 years, to say nothing about the amount of money we're talking about. So, I say, "OK, but how will I get there? Can we afford to get the ticket?"

So, we come up with a plan. D's parents use their frequent flyer miles to get me a ticket from Dulles to Seattle for Saturday afternoon. I change my ticket back to Dulles from Sunday morning to Saturday morning. So, I was left with 5 hours between flights, a ton of loose ends to deal with at work and hardly any clothes to get me through the trip. I called JT, a former coworker and one of the nicest guys I know, and asked him if he wanted to get together for lunch. And then drop me off at the office for a while. And then drop me back off at the airport. Luckily, he's pretty nice (see previous description), so he didn't mind. We had a nice lunch, I spent my hour at the office sending e-mail to prepare people for me being gone, and then he dropped me off again. The rest of the day was pretty uneventful. I arrived on time, D and I had dinner at the IHOP by the hotel and then went to bed early.

On Sunday, we only had 8 places to look at. (Only!) As expected, many of them were nice, but none of them were a slam dunk. At the end of the day, we had managed to narrow down to 4 options. One was priced $20,000 more than it was worth. One was a little smaller than we wanted. One had tenants living in it until the end of August. And one was just pretty nice. I liked that pretty nice one. D thought it was decent, but she wasn't sure she's ready to live in a house (rather than a condo). We slept on it for a day and decided to put in an offer on Monday.
That's basically where things are now. We're currently going through the usual back-and-forth to get the contract signed. The inspection is scheduled for Friday. And we're going on vacation.