As of today around 10:45 AM I officially became a homeowner! Yay! I signed about a bazillion documents, but it was a very smooth process. I got to meet the previous owners, who were very nice. They handed over a bag full of all the manuals and warrantees and such for everything in the house, told me where the extra paint was, and thanked me for letting them stay in the house a couple extra days. I got one of the keys, which was very satisfying! Afterwards my realtor gave me a weeping willow tree as a closing gift. It's like 9 feet tall already! It will be fun to plant it on moving day and watch it grow.
One thing that was funny--my realtor and I did a very quick walk through before meeting with the attorney to sign the papers, and I noticed that the owners had just purchased a new LCD television, still in the box. And it was the exact same model I was going to buy...before Circuit City sold out of them!
One of the concerns I expressed to my realtor as we were walking up the stairs was the tight squeeze rounding the corner of the stairs, and how it will pose an obstacle to getting the bigger furniture up to the second floor. I have visions of the heavy entertainment center being dropped and crashing into the wall. She said, "But you're hiring movers, right? Just don't get them off of Craigslist!" I said I'd had luck through Craigslist before, but she related a horror story of two guys showing up with a tiny pickup to move her very large and heavy armoir from her house to her office, and how they broke the door off and gouged the side quite badly. Yikes! I asked her who the movers were, and she didn't know their names, but she remembered their email address...and, naturally, it was the same mover I had hired! Double yikes!
I called around to see if I could book someone else, but since I'm moving in three days, I wasn't having much luck. I was telling this whole story to my mom on the phone when lo and behold, the guy I'd hired called me to confirm. I was honest. I said look, my realtor used you and said you were awful, and now I'm really concerned. He explained what happened with that job, how he wasn't able to be there himself, and how she had not prepared them by letting them know what the piece being moved was like. My realtor insists she repeated many times that it was very large and very heavy, and I believe her. But the bottom line is, I'm pretty much stuck using these guys, and so I figure I will just need to make the best of it and keep an eye on them. The guy promised me he himself would be there on Saturday, and I told him I am willing to give a big tip for a job well done. So we'll have to keep our fingers crossed!