Monday, September 21, 2009

Finding Big Pink

Most of you know that we have been looking for a house for a loooooong time.

We were chasing this turkey around for almost a year. A shack sitting on the perfect piece of property, 10 minutes outside New Paltz. Turned out the house wasn't really "for sale" and after the 10th postponed foreclosure auction we found out the owner was trying to magically clear her $300,000 debt and buy her house back. Goodbye, Weston Road, so long...

We were sold on the area and started a new search. There was big red, the foundation-flawed haunted villa that would only be suited for a brothel. There was the blue civil war hospital, there was cute guy, there was the 1700 mansion with an unintentional ice rink in the basement (read major leakage problems...) there was the victorian monster in the middle of nowhere. There was the one that looked so promising from the outside that James had the checkbook out but the inside looked like the work of Henry Hills's interior decorator. There was the hunting lodge containing 2 deer heads, 2 LZ boys and a case of Schlitz in the fridge, that our 1st realtor thought would be right up our alley. The beginning of the end for her...

And there was Big Pink.

The 1st visit was odd. We didn't know what to think. It left me with a smile on my face because nothing was obvious about this house. Where would we sleep? Where would we watch TV? How would we get in the front door, there not being any stairs and all? Another started-but-never-finished project by the previous owner - a full restoration of the original porch...

James was skeptical but there were too many upsides to the place to just write it off. A sturdy farm house from 1800. 1,987 square feet=184 m2. 2.27 acres=about 1 hektar. A 2 bedroom cottage out back that is a legal rental. Most of the issues seemed to be on the surface AND the price was right.

After a thorough inspection by Barry, the inspection machine of Apple Valley home inspections, much was confirmed. Whereas he had worn a scowl while prodding through Weston Rd, at 19 Maple Ave, Barry smiled. He patted the joists in the basement holding up the dining room with a shrug "these have been here for maybe 100 years, they're not going anywhere". James and I looked at each other. A little paint and this could be a nice place.

So started the most stressful part of our journey. Learning about mortgages, points and ARMS and title searches, insurance, reading contracts, trying and mostly failing at getting the right person on the phone, and once on the phone getting the right information. Following the mortgage rates. 5.25%... 5.5%... 5.3% DO WE LOCK - DO WE LOCK?!?! It's down to 5%! Can we lock? Does everybody have their shit together? Mostly the answer was no.

So we said screw you, figure it out and went to Europe. "Have it all ready to close by August 20th. We'll be back in 2 weeks."

We went to Sandra and Tom's amazing wedding on Arholma in the Stockholm archipelago. Thanks for having us!!!

Mr. and Mrs. Malmros


We spent a great week with my parents. Kroquette, kubb, yummy food and family. Bliss!

Couples tournament this year. The Americans finished dead last...

But everyone gets a prize in this family.

A gorgeous evening by Hjälmaren at Sjökrogen with mom and dad.

We spent the traditional night in my sister's house, which bears a lot of responsibility for us ever even looking for a house. Before tasty homemade pizzas and a few too many Danish schnapses - a hike and a sunset dip in Kalltjärn which brings me back to some of my best days as a kid.

Getingedalen. Kajsa's and Gizmos house in Bergslagen. If we come anywhere near the coze factor [MYS-RYS] they have achieved we'll be winners. Check out my sister's blog while you're at it. It's great!

A tasty evening at the lovely Löfgren residence... tack för senast och hoppas vi kan bjuda igen snart!

Fly to Prague - walk, photos, beer, museum, walk, beer, medieval shit, beer, walk, boat ride, beer, sausage eating, museum, riding a funicular (whoever put the "fun" in funicular was very easily amused...) walk, classical music, beer. For 5 days. Highly recommend it!

Back to Sweden and the archipelago. More beautiful stuff! GOOD friends and food. James' 1st crawfish party. Fishing and relaxing during one of those extraordinary rare August Sweden summer days. Tack Kihlberg-Dixgård gänget!!!

Cover of Bass Master monthly. From the article Fishing with Björn.

And to NYC again...

Back home the snags were endless and James was patience incarnate as he dealt with the seller, lawyers and brokers. August 20th came and went and we were still not homeowners, homos for short.

Finally. September 3rd. If it doesn't happen today somebody is going down!

But our lawyer finally took the gloves off and James went up and signed contracts and she was ours.

Next chapter: MOVE IN DAY...


  1. Hoppas hoppas hoppas det funkar att kommentera nu...

  2. JAAAA! Det gjorde det!!! Jag är så lycklig för din blogg! din och min = fullkomligt! Det du skriver - och dina bilder - får mig att skratta högt, tänka smart, inspireras och må bra. Fortsätt så! Vi ses i cyberrymden... Däj ingen kan höja dig gjåta. Kjam