Not that I assume I have anyone still listening here...but I thought a good update might be the best way to both dive back in, and to attempt to bridge a sizable gap in continuity. I suppose, for historical purposes?
When I last wrote, we had put our house in Queens on the market, and the Cap'n had just returned from the city to do his first round of repairs. He stayed with his brother, our upstairs tenant, during the repairs, which went so well that they have yet to speak to each other to this day. Which is honestly not a surprise. After years of tumultuous relations, we decided to put our wing out for him, and he paid us back with violent anger and bitterness. And then he left in April, leaving us with the uncomfortable decision of either leaving the apartment empty (shows better but is expensive) or getting another tenant (who knows the house is on the market...so is probably a pretty transient individual and not someone I want living in my house.) Thus adding one more reason to why I never want to be a fucking landlord again. We left it empty and ate the rent.
We ended up getting a total of six offers on the house, five of which fell through. One survived the summer, eecked through the crash, and then crawled on its toes for a few months more. We had to make a major last minute concession to keep its pulse thumping, but we finally closed the day before Thanksgiving. The only silver lining was that the buyers were really cool people that I can totally see living in the house, and I genuinely liked them. We didn't get anywhere near what we could have gotten a couple of years ago, but whatever, it's done and I'm glad.
So, the next step, and the reason why we sold the house, is to better our living situation up here. Which is ridiculous. I should photograph our bedroom and put it up here...it's a king bed...a crib, a changing table and a toddler bed, all rubik's cubed into the room. There is effectively no floor space visible. Why a king bed you ask? Shouldn't we change that out for a more civilized size that would fit better in our small living quarters? Because, when you sleep in the same room as your two little children, you all end up piled in the same bed by morning, and you best have space for it unless you want to end up in a bruised, battered, angry heap (not the kids...I assure you we are the recipients of the abuse).
Well, you would think that buying a house would be easier than selling one, but then you must not be trying to buy an old defunct restaurant that's been out of use for years. We're planning to live downstairs, which is actually very nice, and then we'll turn the two upstairs apartments into new lodging units, which would also allow us to convert our current living quarters into a new unit. Three new units (we hope) will finance the monthly cost of the mortgage. Although we've agreed on a price, we're not sure it's going to appraise for that, so it's very possible the deal won't survive the month.
ALSO...bare with me here...we reside in the watershed area for NYC drinking water. NYC is the largest municipality that doesn't filter their drinking water, they don't have to because it's so damn lovely and pristine up here. To keep it that way, the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) places strong restrictions on what anyone can do in the watershed, and unfortunately for us, they take a lot of interest when property changes hands. To make a very painfully long, murderously beaurocratic story somewhat shorter, if a property has been out of its original use for more than three years, or if you're changing the use, they can require a septic upgrade. Which is expensive, and which there is no space for. It's all very dreary and doesn't make a good story, I realize. So, we're hoping for a miracle. On two fronts. So, it's probably not going to happen. Which means we need to look for a house that's not on-premisis, which, while it sounds lovely to get a daily reprieve from this place, means more time away from eachother, which we have apparently come to like very much. I'm sure it will drive our kids nuts once they hit 13, but I've grown happily accustomed to always being within 100 feet of my entire family.
Let's see...what else. The kids are great, Poopies is now all-boy, no-baby, and bowls me over daily with his charm and wit. BabyEve is up and about and starting to speak well, she is made of fairy dust and sugar, likes to dance, and thinks that her brother walks on water.
Business is good, we've had a bit of a slow-down from the economy (I'm guessing that's it, anyway), but we're still above water and as long as it doesn't deepen (for us, anyway) we'll be fine I'm assuming. Not the best time to be buying a house and expanding your business, but as long as we can weather the Spring and things recover by the end of 2009, we should be fine, thank goodness.
Ok, that's the wrap-up for now, now I'm clear to get back to posting about curious wonderings, childrearing conundrums and asshole guests just like the good old days.