My enduring image from our closing day will be of Joe standing naked in our living room, phone to his ear, grimacing while he tries to sort out a misunderstanding over our down payment, as I go through breathing exercises to calm myself down from a mini panic attack.

Which all makes our closing day sound way more dramatic than it actually was.

An hour before we were supposed to be at our attorney’s office, I received an email confirming the final payment amount that would be on our check. In the mix of emails and messages about how the final payment would go down, we thought we would be wiring the money. I would have had to go into the city to get a certified check, which would have meant being very late to our closing.

I called our attorney’s office, just a little upset. At first, we couldn’t get our attorney on the phone, then he sent us a sheet with information about where to wire the money to. Joe called back immediately, because we weren’t about to wire anything based on an email (especially since the scam attempt last week).

So that’s where we were as we approached our Monday morning closing.

I’m not sure if it was the well decorated office, the townhouse charm or the fact that our attorney was wearing blue jeans, but I calmed down quickly after arriving and sitting down at the table along with the representative from the title agency.

Then it began. We signed paper after paper, most of which we had already seen, while making small talk, getting explanations of the numbers and how we would be paying our mortgage. At some point Yuan, our real estate agent, showed up with a bottle of champagne for us. Then the seller’s attorney showed up with keys. Everyone was calm and smiling. We took bathroom breaks and I called my bank to confirm the wire transfer.

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Housing docs

And just like that, we were homeowners. I almost can’t believe it was that easy to check one more box off the Adult Milestone List.

✓ Homeowner

We still had half the day left once we left our attorney’s office, so we went to City Paint & Ace Hardware in Hoboken and got paint samples. The champagne Yuan had given us was warm, so we stopped next door at the wine shop and got a small bottle of cold prosecco and a bag of plastic trumpet champagne flutes. We were a bit flustered – on a new homeowner high while going through the mundane steps of trying to find the perfect gray (more on that later). After stuffing everything in my backpack we rode up to our new home.

The rest of the day was spent drinking champagne, putting paint samples on walls, grabbing a quick bite at Taphaus, making another trip back to City Paint for more samples, literally tearing down the hideous window treatments (who uses a metal anchor screw when you have access to a stud?) and going through the items left in the closets and cupboards.

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A few samples on the north wall

It was a long day. As the sky got darker, we hauled the trash to the curb and a few items to the storage unit and returned to our current apartment to eat pizza and watch TV. Since we are renting through June we have the luxury of taking our time to move, which means a few more nights of relaxing on the couch before the real work begins.

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Mario’s Classic Cheese Pizza
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