A chunk of the early part of April was spent waiting and waiting for word on going to closing on the Cooper Square condo we were trying to buy. The unit we were buying had previously been part of a larger unit before being split off on its own. Because the occupancy permit stayed with the rest of the unit – which was in fact occupied by the owner – we had to wait for a new occupancy permit before closing. Wait and wait and wait. Of course, all that waiting saved us plenty of money; she was paying property taxes and condo fees while we were using the time to develop the floor plans that we would submit when we finally owned the unit.
And then, when the occupancy permit finally came through – Hooray!! – the owner wanted to delay the sale even longer. The purchase agreement had said we would close within a week or 10 days of issuing the occupancy permit, but her lawyer thought it would take longer than that and she wasn’t going to be in the city until the end of the month and on and on. And then there were questions about building permits she had taken out that were still open. The purchase agreement said that they would be responsible for ensuring they were closed, but her lawyer basically said “Yeah, we’re not going to do that.”
Frustrating, ugly, nasty … what a process. The night before we were scheduled to close it looked as though the whole thing was going to fall apart, at least for a few weeks and maybe even months. Finally, that night, frustrated and angry, we accepted her lawyer’s position on the work permits, agreed to take responsibility ourselves (since our work was going to be a total gut job renovation anyway) and we went to closing. Frustrated and angry instead of joyous, but we closed. And then held a little champagne lunch party with 10 friends to celebrate.
With that behind us, the next steps would be just as challenging. Our architect had to put the final touches on the plans to submit to the condo board’s architect who has to approve them to ensure we are not doing anything that would affect the building’s structure or that would be too disturbing to current residents. After that we go to the city for permission. In other words, it could still be a while.
Meanwhile, while not spinning our wheels waiting or working with our architect on the plans, we tried to enjoy spring in New York. There’s a lot to like about the city in April, including an early visit to the Botanical Garden out in the Bronx (we’re getting around, even leaving Manhattan!) where they had a stunning orchid exhibit.
And then, the day after closing, it was off to London where we were to spend a few days before meeting my brother and his wife for a two-week tour of Italy. To be honest we weren’t too keen on leaving so soon after getting the keys to the apartment, but, well, it is Italy, so how bad can that be?