i woke up at 8am, got dressed in my business casuals, and to the new house accompanied by my parents. i was there for the final walk-through before closing, to make sure the current tenants didn't trash the place. i met the sellers for the very first time, the roys, a nice indian family. the place was clean and completely empty, they did a good job of moving out their stuff. immediately afterwards i went to the fleet bank in harvard square where i cashed out almost my entire fleet bank account and put everything into a certified bank check. the woman at the counter, nor, perhaps the prettiest girl working in all of bankdom, took care of my transaction. when i had the check in my hands (made out in my name, so at the time of closing, i'd just have to endorse it to transfer the money), i went with my parents to the bank's lawyer's office in central square, where the roys were already waiting with their lawyer. in the car i called the utilities company (nstar) to transfer the gas and electricity bill to my name. minutes after we arrived, our own lawyer, peter, showed up as well, along with john, the broker. both parties signed a bunch of paperwork, it was really all a blur for me, and then i endorsed that certified check and handed it over to the bank lawyer, and then i signed some more papers. i'm always impressed with how lawyers seem to know each another, like they live in this alternative lawyer world that the rest of the world don't know about. such was the case today, peter chatting it up with the other lawyers as i was signing these important documents. when everything was all done, john handed me a fistful of keys, keys to the new condo. i took them and put them away in jacket pocket. so like that, i became a homeowner. handshakes were exchanged, thanks were said, and we all marched out of the lawyers office.

i didn't feel weird. i wasn't excited. maybe a little relieved that it was all over, and thinking that it really wasn't a big deal, there really wasn't anything to be nervous about. everything went off without a hitch. the roys were in a tighter spot though. having just received the money for the house that they're selling, they had to go to another lawyer's office where they'd turn over the check to the seller of the house they were buying. the hours between the two appointments, they were essentially homeless. we saw them one more time back at the house, where my parents and i were already there surveying the new place, making notes of what needed to be repaired or replaced. the roys came back for their cats which they purposely left in the condo (adjustment anxiety? cats are high maintenance!).

i then spent the rest of the day taking photos of the condo, getting images of the empty apartment before things get fixed and stuff starts arriving. i walked around the house snapping away and thinking, hey, this belongs to me! those are my walls, my floors, my windows! i think i'm still letting it slowly sink in that i own property now.

foyer and living room... the front door has an old fashion manual doorbell that you ring like you would a bicycle bell. two things in the living room i don't like: the textured plaster ceiling and the ceiling fixture light. both will likely be replaced. the kitchen seen from the living room has a nice contrast of red walls (actually dark pink, but looks red from a distance) against the green outside the backdoor. the color of the living room is currently too dark, making the living room appear smaller. i'll have to go with a lighter color. the living room gets the least sun because of its northern exposure, but from the bay window i can see down three different streets. but don't let the photos fool you, the living room really isn't that dark (the windows are overexposing the photos).

kitchen... pink walls? i'd like to go with another color. i'm very much a believer in color theory, how they trigger emotional responses, and i'd like the kitchen to be in food colors - red, orange, yellow, green - south of the border colors! i think the kitchen is the heart of this particular property, and it'd be a dream come true if i can get cable hookup in the kitchen, then i could hang out here all the time.

other rooms... while the rest of the condo has hardwood floors, both bedrooms are carpeted. the previous tenants owned cats, so the carpets sort of smell like animals. my father and i spent some time pulling up the carpet in the master bedroom. linoleum lies below the carpet, new hardwood floors will have to be done for the bedrooms. there isn't much to see about the bedrooms, they're small at the expense of a bigger kitchen and living room. likewise the bathroom. i've seen some spacious bathrooms in my house searches - bathrooms with marble tubs and separate showers, bathrooms with multiple jacuzzi jet heads - and this isn't one of them. at least there's a window in the bathroom (i don't know why, i've always felt that was important). it's got a weird smell too, like some sort of unidentifiable soup or shampoo. hopefully a scented candle can drive away the smell. there's also a walk-in closet opposite the bathroom.

master bedroom

master bedroom

second bedroom





the property has a great southern facing deck, the sort of place you'd want to hang out at. although it's only on the first floor, i like it better because it has a better view of the garden (2nd and 3rd floor, you'd only see the neighbors' gardens). it almost feels like a wildlife sanctuary, the banister keeping you just far enough away from the plants that you can't touch them. the garden is a very nice perennial garden, extremely lush, with a stoned tiled area i guess for barbecuing. the deck would be a nice place to read during the summer and a great place to watch birds visit feeders during the winter.

though the garden is just but a fraction of my belmont backyard, there were enough new and interesting plants to keep me busy photography wise. surprisingly, there weren't a lot of ferns (i thought there was). for the area between the condos, i'd love to grow some ferns since its a shady strip of dirt. that area has a lot of potential for shading love plants. the great thing about the garden is not only do i have my own flowers, but adjacent neighbors also garden, and their flowers sort of creep into my garden as well.

i returned to belmont at 3pm, where i had lunch (i didn't want to eat in the cambridge house because there was a lot of dust from pulling up the carpeting). close to 5pm i went out for a run, having not ran since last thursday, 6 days ago. i probably only ran 1.5 miles, taking a major shortcut along the way, and doing a lot of walking as well in the warm late afternoon weather.

i saw a webworm moth today. i've seen these before, they always look so extravagant, like they're wearing an ermine coat. pretty moths, not so pretty and pesty caterpillars.

and almost like a symbolic gesture, the sequoia seeds i planted about two weeks ago are finally sprouting! there was one little seedling, and i could see signs of another seedling about to break through the dirt. i didn't think they'd germinate, i sort of forgot about them, sitting on the windowsill in the sunroom. or if they did germinate, i figured it'd take 70 days before it happened, not just in 2 weeks. now are sequoia trees pine trees? because that's what the seedling looks like.