Whew! What a week that was… one I hope not to repeat anytime soon! I’ll break this down by individual day.
Thursday, June 21, 2018
As you may recall from last week, we flew to Orlando, FL to complete the purchase of a house in that area. We stayed with Matthew and Jordan in the furnished condominium that we had rented for the first few months they have lived there while we sold our Denver house and found one in Florida. M & J did a wonderful job being our hands, feet, and eyes in Florida and working with our realtor, Kelly French, to locate a house that would suit our needs. Just as a reminder, if you don’t remember or haven’t been following the blog, the house there is the house that M & J are planning to eventually purchase from us, but in the meantime they are “renting” it from us while we travel and it will serve as a home base for us for mail, stopovers, etc.
Thursday evening M & J took us to dinner at the Swan Hotel, where Matthew works, for a seafood buffet and Disney character encounter in belated celebration of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
Friday, June 22, 2018
This was closing day (supposedly). We were scheduled to do the final walkthrough of the house at 10:30 and then sign the papers at noon. I got a call from the mortgage representative asking if I’d wired the required funds yet. I had received no instructions form the title company as to where to wire them, so the answer was “no”. So, on our way to the house, I received an email with instructions to wire money to the title company. We got to the house and I dropped Darlene, M & J off to do the walkthrough and I high-tailed it over to a local bank branch to do the transfer. After waiting for a banker for about 30 minutes, I completed the transfer. By then, of course, I had not even seen the house yet, and we were 30 minutes late getting on the road to the closing location, which was an hour drive away. We arrived at the closing 30 minutes late, but were able to successfully sign all the documents.
But wait…. there’s more. The title company is actually located in Jacksonville. After signing everything, scanning it all, and emailing it to the company, they said they would not release the funds to the seller and the keys to us until they received the original documents through the mail (overnighted, of course, but they are closed on the weekend, so no house access until Monday! We asked the seller (a bank) to approve early access but they said no. We had movers scheduled to deliver all our stuff from storage on Saturday!
I called the moving company and told them we had to cancel the Saturday delivery because we didn’t have access to the house. They said all their trucks and people were booked now until July 3.
Saturday and Sunday, June 23-24, 2018
I found another local moving company that could work with us on Monday (using a rented truck), so I scheduled the biggest U-haul truck for Monday and hired 4 men to load it for me. I tried calling the moving company that was storing our stuff, but could not reach anyone to confirm that we could come to their location and get our things on Monday. We also moved our return flights, originally scheduled for Tuesday, to Wednesday, because we still needed to get our driver’s licenses and license plates. We mostly just hung out for the weekend in the Condo.
Monday, June 25, 2018
I got up early and picked up the U-haul. When I arrived at the moving company storage location, they told me that, for liability purposes, they could not let me pull our stuff out of storage… their people would have to do it, but I’d have to wait on a team to get back from a cancelled job to do it. My loaders arrived, but we had to wait about an hour and a half for the moving company workers to arrive and move our stuff out onto a loading dock to be loaded in the U-haul. Only about one-third of our things would fit in the truck, so we left the other two-thirds in storage there. The house was an hour or so away from the storage site, and by the time we drove there and unloaded the truck, there wasn’t time to go back and get another load in the time I had allotted for the hired help. So we ended the day with possession of the house, and a third of our possessions in it, which consisted of mostly boxes and a few odds and ends of furniture. The rest will be delivered on July 3 by the original moving company.
Tuesday, June 26, 2018
We vacated the condo and headed to the house to start unpacking what we could. When we arrived, the city was shutting off the water, because I hadn’t contacted them yet about transferring accounts to us (since we didn’t get possession of it until yesterday!). I immediately drove to city hall and set up water and trash accounts and they graciously called their technician and had him turn the water back on. I had already arranged for electricity to be switched to our name previously.
Now it was time to take care of our driver and vehicle licenses. While in Pennsylvania, I had researched what we needed to get our motorhome and VW tags during our trip Florida. Florida requires VIN verification, but allows out-of-state police to do it. I worked with the local police near our campsite and they verified our VINs for us. Unfortunately, all my research was focused on license plates and I did not research sufficiently enough the requirements for drivers licenses. We drove from our house to the nearest county tax assessor (30 minutes south) to get our driver’s licenses only to find out that our new county of residence requires advance appointments for any license related services (not all counties do). Soooooooo, we drove over an hour to the next county (back into Orlando), only to find out that I had not done my research well. While I had seen the residency requirements (proof of home purchase, vehicle insurance or utility bill, etc.), I had overlooked the proof of citizenship (birth certificate or passport) and proof of social security (card or employer tax form). All of these were still sitting in our motorhome back in Pennsylvania!
Wednesday, June 27, 2018
This began as a semi-normal day. Matthew had a day off work and we were able to have a leisurely breakfast and spend time just unpacking and visiting. Darlene and I headed to the airport without checking flight status. On the way, though, I decided to check and lo and behold, we discovered that our flight was CANCELLED! I immediately pulled off the highway and called our airline, only to find that their were no more flights available back to Baltimore until Thursday. We checked other airlines and could find nothing either (that was reasonable in terms of price or times). So we booked a flight for early Thursday morning, turned around and went back home, and hung out in the pool.