Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Closure on Closing

It's done. And it went pretty well, I think! I went into the closing feeling a little bit down. I felt like the seller had been dishonest about the taxes and I was worried about the higher costs. I was ready for there to be an argument over escrowing money to insure the remaining small details are completed. But it all worked out-- the seller's attorneys were actually very flexible and very nice, and the higher tax amount turned out to have been a huge mistake, and the seller's attorney even got on the phone with my bank's attorney asking them to refund me the extra amount they were holding in escrow. (The problem was that they were charging me the taxes for the whole building, not just my unit.)

Weird stuff-- there were two very young attorneys there-- the one from the bank seemed kind of clueless, and knowing how much more money than me she probably makes was kind of irritating. The guy who was there from the title company was also young, and an attorney. My lawyer had told me it was customary to tip the title closer $75 in cash. At first I didn't realize he would actually be a lawyer, and once I knew this the tip seemed odd. Why does he get tipped and not the other lawyers?

Meanwhile, I signed a gazillion papers, wrote two small additional personal checks, received a small check for a year's worth of interest on my deposit, shook a lot of hands, got a set of keys and a bottle of champagne and the place is MINE! Or as mine as it can be when the bank owns 80% of it.

As I write this, I'm in my office, and planning to take the subway back to Brooklyn and visit my new home as its owner for the very first time... pretty cool!

To all of you who have been patiently following this saga for the past year, and leaving so many helpful, inspiring, and comforting comments, thank you so much! It was great having you along for the ride. Now you can follow my adventures as I decorate! I'm already fearing that it will take me about a year to buy a couch...

33 comments:

LuckyLily said...

Congratulations!!! Just had a closing yesterday myself (rental property), so can relate.

Looking forward to decorating updates and more. Best wishes!

IRA said...

Congratulations! Time to kick back and enjoy that bottle of champagne :-) Also, on my two condo closings, the title company reps were definitely NOT lawyers. So, maybe your guy was just moonlighting?

Boston Gal said...

Congratulations! I remember the feeling well of siting at the closing table and signing things, exchanging checks, and feeling surrounded by lawyers. Kudos to you for surviving the experience with little discomfort and walking out with that shiny new key!

SMB said...

C-O-N-G-R-A-T-U-L-A-T-I-O-N-S!

HomeImprovementNinja said...

Congratulations! Enjoy the new condo. And don't worry, the nervousness and "buyer's remorse" is very common.

By the way, I've never heard of tipping the guy at a closing. I'm an attorney (but not a real estate one) and I don't think I'd take kindly to someone tipping me--although I did used to put a "tip jar" on my desk as a joke (it was funny because I worked there for 2 years and never met an actual client.

Flexo said...

Congratulations! When's the housewarming party? :-)

Him said...

Congrats! Just remember to aim the champagne bottle away from windows when opening.

AMLOO & BALAJI said...

Congratulations!!! :)

wendy said...

WooHoo!! Congratualtions! And just think, every month you make a payment, you'll own a little more of that 80% that the bank now owns.

I'm really looking forward to hearing about your decorating adventures. What fun!

Bitty said...

First, CONGRATULATIONS!

Second, I worked for a real estate attorney for 12 years, in Florida. In many parts of the country, closings are conducted by title company professionals rather than attorneys, and it was one of the obstacles we faced in the last years the former boss was a practicing attorney. (Competition, that is.) Sometimes I (most definitely NOT an attorney) conducted the closings, and it would have been really, really nice if someone had tipped me! I never heard of such behavior, but maybe it's a New York Thing.

Finally, congratulations! I am almost as excited as I would be if this were MY new home.

(Only from a recent post did I learn that you hadn't owned a home ALONE before. It's quite a thrill,yes? All the pains are yours, but more importantly, all the fun decisions are yours.)

Bitty said...

Oh, and that's pretty funny about your being charged the taxes for the whole unit, but also not so surprising, since probably the last time the taxes were assessed, it was one property, not 10 or 20 or whatever, so the closer went with the info provided by the tax collector and didn't take into consideration the subdivision of the property.

In Recovery said...

congrats on getting your own place, yay!!! Pride of ownership and all that:-).

I have never heard of tipping anyone at closing...that seems a little 'off' to me...

2million said...

Congrats! Now the fun part begins....so much to buy, so many ideas to weave in - pace yourself!

Single Ma said...

CONGRATS!! Now we can decorate together. Yay!!

I'm surprised at the number of attorneys involved in your transaction.

chica said...

Congratulations indeed!

Money Turtle said...

Congrats... I learned a lot from your experience. I'll definitely use your tips when I close on my condo a year from now. Thanks for sharing.

Save Sheila said...

Congratulations!!!!! Enjoy your new home!

Binary Dollar said...

Congrats on the house love!

mara said...

congratulations and great job on scoring a piece of Brooklyn! resting and relaxing in your own home is a great feeling.

SF Money Musings said...

congratulations! that's a huge accomplishment! best of luck!

The Moose said...

Congratulations! Very interesting following your blog.

Only one year to buy a couch? Took me four...

:D

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on owning your own place. I am also working for this goal but it will take a bit of a while before I have enough for the downpayment.

Cheers

Anonymous said...

Yeah!

It is finally all over and you can enjoy being a homeowner. Enjoy the champagne and your new home!

Tired of being broke said...

Congratulations on your new home. It must be exciting. Don't worrry about the decorating it will all come together.

T'Pol said...

Congratulations!I had a hard time believing that I then owned the place when I bought my apartment in 2004.

Now the best is to decorate. Take your time, it is a lot of fun.

Dan said...

Congratulations! I can't wait till I buy my first home. It's good to own land. Haha.

bc said...

Congrats! I hope the next set of steps to settle in are not as nerve racking.

Jonathan said...

Just want to express congratulations and also my extreme jealousy ;) Although not about all the stressful bits!

Anonymous said...

Congrads from Canada. I too just bought a cottage with three cabins this month so i know too well all your anxiety that you are feeling. I only hope that the real estate market will continue to grow long term. Blessings!

tropicsaver said...

Congratulations.

Hazzard said...

Congrats on the final closing. You certainly can't say you weren't patient for it!!
Hazzard

Jack said...

It would be very nice, if you can summerize all the expenses other than the down payment in one single post. i am planning to buy a home next year. I am a new reader, sorry if i missed your previous posts. I am trying to save enough to deal with all the costs that are involved to the time i get the keys in my had. what to assume and what not to assume about the expenses and costs. thanks

Kate said...

I'm so glad to finally hear a story where someone else had to tip the title guy. I bought my first apartment in 2004 and was clueless to the process. My lawyer had me bring $150 cash to closing for the tip. I ask all my NYC and Brooklyn home-owning friends and none had done this. Thanks for letting me know that I'm not the only one.