Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

Moving (again)

We are moving again.  This will be the sixth time I move in five years.  But, as I said last time, this will be the last time I move for a long time.

Let me first preface this by saying I am not moving back to New York.  I work in New York, but I AM NOT moving back to New York.  For some reason, everyone thinks I am moving back to New York. I AM NOT.  I have a feeling I will repeat that eight thousand times in the next six months.  I am actually moving four doors down in the same building, which is possibly even more absurd.

Here’s the deal: we are out of space in our ~800 square foot loft, and I work from home, and I have no office, and I don’t even really have a desk.  And all of our stuff is crammed together.  And as much as I dreamed about finding a bunch of dual-purpose, European-crafted high-end boathouse furniture that would magically transform my TV center into a kitchen island or whatever the hell would give me a few extra feet, we needed more space.

First we looked into buying the place next to ours, which was in contract for a long time but then went back on the market.  It’s a near-clone of our current layout, and we thought we could just buy it, knock a hole in the wall, and double our square footage.  But this plane was full of huge issues.  One problem is that the left wall of our place can’t be cut open because it goes into the stairs and closet of the next unit, meaning you’d have to do some major surgery in moving a set of stairs or something, which would probably involve tens of thousands of dollars in engineering studies and permits and grief.  There’s also the issue that we’d just barely be able to afford two mortgages, and two HOA payments would total us.  And getting a second mortgage effectively removes all of that first time/primary residence goodness; a second mortgage would not be an FHA home loan, but would be some crazy investment property thing that would involve putting down a third of the money up front.  So no place next door.

Then the possibility came up of buying the place four doors down and selling our current place.  I thought this plan would be fraught with disaster, of me trying to work from home and getting kicked out of the house four hours at a time to show the place, having to put half of our crap in storage indefinitely, all of that.  But the new place is new, never lived in and unoccupied.  So we swung a deal where we’d move into the new place, lease it for six months, and then completely patch/paint the old place and put it on the market, and our close of the new place would be contingent on the sale of the old place.

So we’re in escrow on the new place, we’ve entered a sales agreement on the old place, and life has been a huge ball of stress ever since.  We don’t know when we will move, because we’re waiting on them to install the floors on the new place.  When that happens, I’m not sure how we will move.  Moving companies are really big on weeks of advance warning, so calling them up and saying “get over here tomorrow” is not good.  And we don’t need a truck and a fire brigade chain of people from the street to the elevator, it’s literally a few dozen feet over.  But we also can’t just grab three dishes from the sink, walk next door, repeat 32,734 times.  And I’ll be damned if I try to move that stupid mattress myself.  So we need to get some illegal immigrants or something.

Other crap I need to do, in no particular order:

  • Pack everything, but don’t pack anything I might need in the foreseeable future, which is everything, because the second I box up the, say, printer, I will need to print some documents.
  • Buy a shit-ton of new furniture at Ikea and assemble it.
  • Figure out how the hell to switch over Comcast without ending up internet-less for seventeen days.  And I am almost certain they will make me return all of my boxes and modems to some center in Death Valley that’s only open two hours a month and charge me a $79 return fee so they can then show up and give me the same exact equipment.
  • Get drapes installed.
  • Get a sliding glass door installed.  More on that in a second.
  • Fill out roughly 742 pages of documentation for the loan company, including a seventeen-page HUD document asserting that in the event of alien invasion, we are still responsible for timely mortgage payments.
  • Write another thousand dollar check every single day for another fee or deposit I was not aware of.

So the new place: it is about 1400 square feet, or almost double our current space, at about 30% more cost.  It’s the same rough layout as our current place, with the same front windows and the same loft and pillars and all of that.  But it is HUGE compared to our current place, completely cavernous.  Other big changes include a full walk-in closet; a full bath downstairs instead of a half-bath; a more open-concept kitchen; a second bedroom downstairs (office!), and the stairs are metal instead of wood.  Minuses are there’s no closet under the stairs, and we lose our glorious skylight.  But it’s huge, and I get a god damned office.  Oh, the office area is more like a 9×12 alcove by the front entrance, three walls and open, so the first order of business is to install a set of sliding glass room divider doors, which will happen soon.

So I need to move.  And I need to sell this place.  The move could happen in a matter of weeks, depending on how soon that floor goes in.  Like I said, lots and lots of stress until then.

My desk showed up yesterday.  I can’t assemble it until we get into the new place, though.  It’s a 60″ wide Anthro Fit, with the light grey (“fog”) top, and I added one six-inch drawer.  I may add more shelves after we get situated.  If you’re in the mood for a new desk, Anthro is having a deal in September on the Fit line, 30% off.  Their desks are insanely expensive, but are built like goddamn tanks, and over-engineered in a way an engineer would love.  The one I got even came with tools, and I’m not talking those tiny l-shaped Ikea wrenches the size of a car key; I’m talking about an actual full-sized mallet and screwdriver.

Work at the new/old place is going good, too.  I am surprised at how fast the stuff is coming back to me.  Working on the kitchen table can be a bear, and I don’t have a work computer yet.  But finishing work at 3 and being done versus finishing at six and then facing an hour or two of traffic is huge.

Speaking of, gotta get to it.