Getting Settled

Page content

The dust has mostly settled and we’re finally unpacking in the new house. Since it’s Memorial Day, I’m taking some time to rest and gather my thoughts to chronicle this whole affair. There’s still a lot to do, but hopefully the most grueling elements have passed.

In Closing

Our closing date for the house was May 17th, meaning we could take possession later that day. It would be a good opportunity to get a second look to refresh our memories and drop some emergency supplies off to make sure there was room for the cat carriers on Monday.

Due to how taxes, escrow, fees, and everything else lined up, we only paid a few hundred bucks for the closing itself. The primary difficulty was that we never received the final wire estimate before the closing itself. Apparently that was supposed to happen three business days prior to allow for the sluggish wiring process. I had already moved some funds to the intended bank account, but they don’t allow online wires, and their business office wasn’t answering the phone. Thankfully the second bank had an online system and it worked right away. Unfortunately our closing was at 1pm, and anything after 2pm Eastern time wouldn’t occur until the next business day, or Monday in our case.

For crying out loud. How have bank transfers been so technologically backwards for literal decades? A business day? What is this, 1965? Computers don’t sleep, and they process transactions in milliseconds. The only answer is that it’s intended to be this slow, probably due to legislation for various safeguards against money laundering and other kinds of fraud. Why couldn’t I write a check like I did when I bought my first house in 2003? It’s not like it’s possible to get away with bouncing a $50k check when they have your literal address…

Regardless, this didn’t seem to affect anything other than annoying everyone involved. They let us sign all the documents, the funding bank for the loan sent the remaining amount to the title company, and that was that. After we dropped everything off at the house, we noticed that the buttons for the dishwasher were all worn off, and a closer look at the microwave revealed it was over 20 years old. We knew from the inspection that the stove was short one burner.

One important note about the move is that the refrigerator wasn’t working, so we had to order a new one. Perhaps due to sheer luck, Samsung was in the middle of a huge sale on their Bespoke line of products. I ordered the 30 cubic foot model with beverage center for a $1200 discount and scheduled delivery for Tuesday. That was the only appliance that needed replacement, but we figured… why not just finish the job?

We had some time, so we went to one of the recommended home stores in the area and picked out three items to maximize rebates:

  • Dishwasher: LG LDP6810SS - I’m having second thoughts about this one. The reviews regarding its longevity aren’t great, but we’ll see how it goes. If it fails, the next one will be a Bosch.
  • Microwave: LG MVEL2033F
  • Range: LG LRGL5825F - I’ve been wanting to go back to gas for a while now, and there was a gas line behind the old electric stove.

After that, we called it a day before heading home for two final days of packing all the last-minute detritus and getting ready for the moving company.

Three’s Company

We were more than a bit annoyed when the movers arrived. The company sent four guys and a manager the last time we moved in 2019, for a total of five people. This time there were three because “a guy called out”. Rather than a single semi trailer, they sent two standard box trucks. I’m started to see why the estimate was twice what they charged in 2019 despite the shorter distance. The Illinois Commerce Commission decides what movers can charge for various factors, so it wouldn’t surprise me if companies game the system by dragging out hours by short-staffing, doubling miles by using more trucks, and so on. I’m starting to think I should have rented two U-Hauls and hired some dudes.

Despite the shortage of manpower, they made short work of boxes, furniture, and even the chest freezer in the basement. We tipped them, shoved the remaining necessities into our cars along with the cats, and departed our old home for the last time around 5pm. Two hours later and we dropped everything off at the new house and got the kitties settled with food, water, and litter boxes. We went off to dinner and then back to the house to make sure the cats weren’t too freaked out by everything. The last stop was a hotel for the night before starting everything again Tuesday morning. My Fitbit says I chalked up 13,852 steps, and I’m not surprised.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the same three guys showed up the next day to unload the trucks. I was secretly hoping the guy who “called out” on Monday would have shown up, but alas. We’d built some rapport with them by then, and there were a couple jokes about the amount of stairs in the new house. Since Jen’s a teacher, she’s acquired a ponderous volume of books, and it’s lucky for everyone that her office is on the ground floor!

In the end, everything looked accounted for and nothing was obviously broken, so I signed a bunch of papers saying as much, and they headed back to the main office. Hopefully everything would be downhill from here.

Coordinated Chaos

Along with the fridge, I’d arranged for the network fiber installation for Tuesday so we’d have working internet right away. That meant the movers, the fridge delivery, and the network installers would all be there at the same time.

The network guys came while the movers were still busy unloading the truck, but there wasn’t much for them to do. It turns out the house was already wired for fiber and they just had to plug in a small modem and a router. I didn’t realize I could do a self-install with fiber if the house was already wired.

That just left the fridge. As luck would have it, the movers finished about 30 minutes before the fridge delivery, so we didn’t have to do any truck juggling. They actually had to dismantle the fridge to get it inside; that thing is huge! They put it back together, hooked up the water line, tested it, and hurried to their next stop. We probably spent 20 minutes peeling protective plastic off the various shelves and stainless surfaces, and while I think we got all of it, I’m convinced there’s some isolated corner we missed.

I’d scheduled the delivery of the remaining appliances for Wednesday, and they sent two work crews to do everything. The microwave went in effortlessly, while the new dishwasher was deeper than the old one. That meant the existing outflow wouldn’t work, so they had to bore a new hole in the lower cabinet near the sink. I’m definitely glad I didn’t try to install that myself!

The stove… well the stove didn’t go in at all. They hooked it up to the gas line just fine, but it was too wide for the existing spot. Apparently stoves were smaller back in the 90s when the house was built? The spot was supposed to be 30-inches, maybe 30 1/8", but instead it was 29 7/8". There wasn’t anything they could do about it, but I told them I could call a handyman to finish it. That meant the stove was situated awkwardly in front of where it would normally go, but at least it’s a big kitchen and we could still navigate around it.

Our Realtor gave us a couple names and one of them said he could probably come fix it on Friday if it rained on his deck install. Well… we had some pretty intense storms on Friday, so he swung by to sand about 1/8" off both sides of the counters and pushed the stove into place. We’re lucky the previous owners hadn’t upgraded to some kind of stone counter tops!

Working Weekend

And then it was just unpacking, cutting open boxes in search of misplaced contents, and taking numerous breaks. I probably should have taken the week off to make more progress, but it was a 3-day weekend, so we still got a lot done. Jen worked on the kitchen because she was looking forward to putting stuff where she wanted it to go, and I focused on my office. It was, after all, where I spend most of my time.

Thanks to my eye problems, working from a laptop is also extremely difficult. I needed to put up my monitor. I’d previously positioned it so I would look roughly in the center in a standing position, but I’d noticed that my neck would end up sore from looking at the upper portion. This time, I lowered it significantly so the bottom of the monitor was only three inches above the top of my desk. It looks a bit odd if you don’t expect a TV at such a low height, but it’s a huge improvement.

Now witness the power of this fully armed and operational battle station!

Now witness the power of this fully armed and operational battle station!

I’m stuck working with the motherboard’s built in WiFi for now until we can get an electrician to wire in some network drops. I fully intend to set up my home lab in the basement workroom, but that’s just going to have to wait. I’m not quite sure the best way to run the lines since our basement ceiling is finished, but my office, the workroom, and the fiber are all on the same outside wall. It’s probably easiest to run a bunch of outdoor-rated cat6e where it needs to go and drill into the house. We’ll see what the electrician says.

There’s still a lot of work to do before the unpacking is complete. The basement awaits! We still need to find a landscaping service. We need an exterminator to take care of some ants we found swarming the cat food. We’re taking things as they come, and the pace is gradually slowing down as things get settled.

We’ll start taking pictures when everything is closer to being finished. Until then, we’ve got our work cut out for us!

Until Tomorrow