List: The devil is in the details…

14 Jun

Today is the one week anniversary of my owning my new place. I’ve moved 98% of my stuff in and am pleased to announce it’s all unpacked. Nary a box in sight, aside from those that are broken down and awaiting donation to another member of the sisterhood who is moving. (More on this in a separate post.)

When you’re buying a place, you have a limited amount of time to assess it before pulling the trigger. (At least in DC, that’s how it works.) You arrive at decisions pretty quickly and without examining things too closely. When there’s furniture and rugs in place, everything looks great. When you’re faced with a vacant place, all the flaws suddenly jump out at you and scream.

As I’ve settled into my place and seen the blush come off the rose a bit, I’m reminded that my buyer (who – as fate would have it – is a friend’s sister) will inevitably reach the same conclusions about my old place when she moves in. Minor flaws that I adjusted to over ten years and eventually didn’t give a second thought will probably be all she notices in her first few weeks in the place.

Anyway, in my case, I spent all of ten minutes in this place before I made an offer on it. And at the time, when I was in it, I had no idea I would be making an offer, so I didn’t scrutinize it as closely as I might have, had I known I would buy it. (More on that in a separate post.)

So, while this is all top of mind, here it is…

What would’ve been nice to notice before I bought:

  • The extent to which the caulk needed to be replaced in the tub/shower.
  • The fact that the vanities (marbled grey) absolutely do not match the shower/floor tile (earth tones).
  • That the kitchen cupboards are not deep enough to accommodate dinner plates – the doors must remain cracked when closed.
  • That an elephant lives above me and his floors are horribly squeaky.
  • The measurements of the second bedroom – it will hold my bed or my dresser but not both.
  • Which outlets are triggered by the wall switches by the doors. Hell if I can figure it out. (And yes, I’ve tried plugging in a lit lamp into every outlet known to man.)
  • How to turn on the under-counter dimmer lights. (Finally figured it out, but was on the brink of disassembling them before I stumbled upon the solution.)
  • The slope of the bathtub. I know, shouldn’t be critical, but when one sits in water as much as I do, a gentle slope is a necessity. I’m sure they make bath pillows to help with that.
  • That the icemaker was possessed by satan and would fill my freezer with a solid block of ice during my first few days of occupancy. (I *think* it has solved itself, but since I’m attributing it to gremlins, there’s really no telling.)
  • The missing pop up drain control in the tub. I know, not a big deal, but every one I’ve purchased doesn’t fit, so it is becoming a big deal.

And on the flip side, things that have been pleasant surprises as I settle in:

  • All the window covers can open from the top as well as the bottom. Might seem minor, but when it changes my view from a parking lot to the sky, it’s nothing short of miraculous.
  • Ten foot ceilings. They really make this place feel more spacious.
  • Extra drawers in the kitchen. (Yes, I knew mathematically that was the case, but now that I’ve put my dishes away and still have empty cupboards, I’m floored.)
  • Two words: convection oven. Say no more.
  • Still-working cable television. Odd, since I haven’t plugged my TV in since February, but if it means I can catch the World Cup, bring it.
  • The bookcase they left behind because it was too heavy to move. I almost told them to take it, but it has turned out to be an invaluable storage space.
  • Trash chute. Now if only there were a recycling chute.
  • Awesome light patterns – I thought the place would be dark, but it’s surprisingly bright all day.
  • A programmable thermostat. Finally, I can anticipate my 4am hot flashes and drop the temp a few degrees so I don’t wake up.

All told, the balance is heavily in favor of the place. I’m thrilled I bought it, flaws and all. I’m sure that when I’ve been here for ten years instead of ten days I won’t even remember the first list.

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One Response to “List: The devil is in the details…”

  1. popdialectic June 15, 2010 at 10:00 am #

    I’m so happy for you. Can’t wait until you have the whole thing furbished and can just relax. 🙂

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