We finally closed yesterday! Interestingly, the entire process took less than 45 minutes. Even though our lending officer and real estate agent assured us over and over that it rarely takes longer than that, I had read in so many places that closing day can take literally hours, and that you’ll sign more paperwork in that one sitting than you ever have before.
And it’s true, we did sign quite a few papers, but it was actually fairly smooth and straightforward. I think because we had worked so closely with our lending officer, and because she had been so good about preparing us for the actual day, that there were no surprises at all. Our lending officer has 22 years of experience in the business, so there was nothing she was unprepared for. We had spent the previous 4 weeks going over so many documents, from the original contract and schedule to the tax forms they required to the closing disclosure, that we felt pretty confident going into the title company office (where the closing was held).
In our state, just about all the closing documents is fairly standard boilerplate, so it was a matter of just signing where the title agent told us to sign. In the end, we handed over the cashier’s check, and our agent handed us our keys and garage door opener, plus a surprise tote bag stuffed with all kinds of welcome-home goodies (including a couple of tug toys and Frisbees for the pups!), and in no time at all we were standing in the lobby getting our photo taken, and it was over. Our lending officer handed out freshly baked, homemade cakes to everyone, and before we’d even walked out the door she was already in another conference room chatting on the phone with another client. The woman works hard for her money.
(Side note: If I can give one piece of advice to would-be homeowners out there who are just starting out the home buying process, it’s that you should choose both your lending officer and your real estate agent very carefully! If you can, select a lending officer with years of experience with the same bank, and always select an agent who has great references and who is willing to bend over backwards to help you. We had both, and I honestly think they are largely responsible for how relatively smoothly everything has gone. The massive paperwork demands alone can be confusing, and having a lending officer who can walk you through every single line of every single document, plus an agent who will knowledgably answer any question you might have about the process and serve as a sounding board for your concerns and hopes, is invaluable.)
If anything, the morning before the closing was significantly stressful and had nothing to do with the closing itself. Mid-morning, P. and I decided to try out a new coffee shop near downtown and catch up on a bunch of administrative stuff, maybe relax before the closing appointment at noon. We had dropped off the pups at a new daycare that someone had recommended to us, then headed straight to the cafe.
One of the things I had on my to-do list was to call my health insurance company to find out why P. hadn’t received his insurance card yet. His new job has a fairly limited provider network and also requires an employee contribution (albeit a relatively small one), so I had added him on to mine early in May, right after he quit his previous job. My company’s health insurance is very generous and has a much bigger provider network, plus the company pays the premiums for both the employee and the employee’s spouse. Win-win!
Well, when I called the insurer they said that P.’s insurance was terminated on May 31. WTH?! I immediately called my company’s benefits administrator, and after some investigation they found that “someone had accidentally clicked on the termination button” on the account. They chalked it up to “user error” and quickly got on the phone with the insurer to reinstate him, retroactively effective from June 1. It was resolved by the end of the day, but it was pretty annoying to find out P. technically wasn’t insured at all the previous 3 weeks, and I wasn’t even notified. I don’t know who this “user” was who committed the “error”, but I’m going to have to reach out to our HR representative and file a complaint because that was a pretty egregious mistake.
As if that weren’t enough, as we were pulling into the parking lot of the title company, about 10 minutes before our closing appointment, the new daycare called. They said that P-Dog, our little 22-lb terrier, was not doing well and was “snipping” at the other dogs.
We had anticipated this — refer to P-Dog as our “special needs” dog because she is quite picky about her playmates and only likes daycare up to a limit. At her other daycare facilities back in our Major City Hometown, she had been a client for so long (nearly 9 years) that all the staff knew to give her plenty of breaks in her kennel in between playtime periods. At this new daycare, though, it’s a “kennel-free”, all-day playtime facility, and they aren’t really set up for a pup like P-Dog who needs lots of breaks and “me-time.” That, plus the fact that there’s been a lot of change at home — new home, new city, new routine, and this was the 3rd daycare we’d tried out in the past month — probably culminated in P-Dog acting out at this new place. I also noticed when we dropped them off that the staff like to throw all their dogs together upon first greeting, which isn’t usually how I have observed other facilities handle introductions. Usually other daycares slowly introduce new dogs into the play areas one at a time, at specific times of the morning or afternoon, so that should have been my first clue that maybe this wasn’t the best fit for P-Dog.
The staffer was kind and understanding, but she asked if we could pick up P-Dog as she was really concerned about the potential for injury. I said that we were literally about to walk into our closing appointment and couldn’t make it, so I asked if they could put P-Dog into a crate to give her a break, and we would be able to pick her up after our appointment. She was understanding and agreed, but said that the facility closes for lunch until 3pm. (It was almost noon.) We finally settled on our picking up all the dogs at or around 3pm, with P-Dog safely kept in a crate until then. The staffer reiterated that they really preferred that all the dogs have the chance to play in the open areas rather than kept in a kennel, which I totally understand.
Ultimately, we finished the closing and then had a quick celebratory lunch with our real estate agent before heading out to the daycare to pick up all the dogs around 3:30. The other 3 dogs apparently did very well, especially G-Dog and M-Dog, who played and were excited to be exploring their new play areas and meeting new friends, but P and I agreed that for simplicity’s sake, we would stick with the other daycare in town that we’d already tried out several times and where they seemed to be much more suited to P-Dog’s temperament. They have structured playtimes and even offer individual playtime with a staffer, which is perfect for P-Dog. It’s also the most expensive daycare and boarding center in town, which is why we were looking for other facilities, but ultimately my peace of mind and the safety and well-being of our pups are uppermost, so we’ll just eat the cost and try to be more frugal in other ways.
Thankfully, once all the logistics of the move and my upcoming trips are behind us, we won’t need to take them to daycare as often. We just have to get through the next 3-4 more weeks of moving into the new house and settling in, plus a couple of business trips thrown in!
Today the pups are back at their daycare while I prep for my upcoming trip to New York City tomorrow. I have to pack, plus there’s some kind of special event at our real estate agent’s office tonight that I promised our agent we’d attend, and then there’s the logistics of planning for my trip back to our Major City Hometown next week to organize the move. It’ll be a whirlwind, but that’s what ☕️ is for. ❤️ 😃