Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Moving Updates (with pictures!!)

So my last post regarding our move had us finally being accepted by our new landlord.  We're still dealing with her through each of our realtors which is kind of a pain and yet really good.  We'll have the honor of dealing with Carme soon enough...

In the meantime things are starting to happen and happen fast.  It's been a weird few weeks where I'm feeling "American" again with so much on my plate that what would have felt like no big deal in the States is suddenly feeling way overwhelming.  Between both kids birthdays, this move and my leaving for the States this week, not to mention trying to fit in work... it's just a lot at once.  But like anything else, I'll deal with it and make it happen. 

I spoke to movers on May 7th and they came to do an estimate on the 8th.  Of course Josh contacted HR at work and they have a preferred mover so I called them as well and they came out yesterday and will have our estimate in the next day or two. 

Speaking of the list of things to do... it's growing.  Thankfully I have our realtor, Mele, who helped us with our move to Barcelona back in 2009.  She's been an amazing liasion as well as a wealth of information when it comes to referrals and the process of setting up things like our aval account or timing of our closing date with the new landlord.  Not to mention she'll help us to transfer our utilities.  When you think about dealing with utilities, especially at home, Comcast... it's not a pretty picture.  So take that same customer service and do it in Spanish... yeah if that doesn't do you in, I don't know what will.  Thank god Mele will help us with that piece.  And you know me, I'm not usually one to give in just because I have to do something in Spanish...but Telefonica is one I will gladly hand over!!

Yesterday a friend of mine and I met with the electrician/painter/handyman to discuss changing out light fixtures and updating the paint in some of the rooms.  The great news is that he can do it all in a matter of days.  And the playroom, guest room and the kids rooms all need to be painted.  The lighting hasn't been updated since the 80s.  Is the name "octopus" and "light" really intriguing for you?  If so, check out the picture below - thankfully the light was removed while we were there and we'll replace it with something a little more aesthetically pleasing...oh and the landlord loves this light and thinks it's magnificent...
The "octopus" light was removed yesterday...whew!

While we were in the apartment taking measurements, we took some pictures as well that I have for you.  Keep in mind these are all the "before" pics - I'll post new ones once we are moved in, have our own furniture and personal touches. 
View of the back of the apartment (left) and the front (garage is being repainted by the owner for us)

Entryway.. lots of mirrors and marble, pretty nice

Neither Cristy nor I got much of a shot of the guest room which is also on the first main floor, but I assure you, it's there.  This is the "library" which will actually be the playroom.  The glass doors on these built ins are coming off (I can see the kids putting holes in the glass otherwise).  Room is going to be painted a light yellow since there are no windows for natural light.

The other side of the playrom - yes, it's huge.  We'll paint the bricks outside the window blue to make like the sky ;) 

Hallway on the first floor between the playroom and guest room - there is a full bath in the guest room.  Tacky stuff on the table will be removed... lights aren't my fave but they are doable.

Heading on up to the 2nd floor we have the kitchen - all new appliances are on their way...

Another view of the kitchen

Next to the kitchen is the living room - this is obviously the far side of the living room since it has the doors.  We'll be replacing the coffee table and the tv/tv stand in here and adding a couch!

Balcony off the kitchen

Ohhh another funky light... also now gone.  This in the living room as well...

Removing the ugly light from above the table - we will be holding on to the dining table.  Again, coffee table and ugly side table and accessories will be gone.  

Moving up to the third floor we have Liam's room which is tiny but he loves all the built ins.  He's getting a Lego Ninjago room so he's pretty excited.  We'll paint it light green and sticker accordingly :) 

Our room with (OMG) closets!  Though I've realized that my closet here is actually bigger but I have more storage space in the new place and the kids won't notice if I take one of their closets (they each have 3)... right? 

Ugly makeup mirror type space that the landlord won't remove so we'll have to store it in the garage. 

View of our bed... which will not have these mattresses.  And the fabric panel is being replaced since that one is stained... wall color staying...We also have a balcony!

Aidan's room - removing the lower shelf and the oddly placed light.  We're painting the room light blue and putting up Super Mario stickers!

Aidan gets his own balcony!!  Lucky kid!!

View of the other side of Aidan's room

Hallway going up again!

Stairs going up to the rooftop!  With skylights!

Rooftop... yeah, we'll be able to have parties now!

View from the roof down to our patio - ours is the one on the right

Before you get up to the rooftop you see this weird/awkward space... not really sure of the purpose of the ladder either as at 5'4" I can reach the top shelf just fine without it!

Another view of the roof top - tons of space! 

We're also setting up our banking stuff for the aval (the reserve I told you about in my last post).  It's a process where we have to actually set up a new bank account and the bank needs to see a copy of the contract (which we don't have yet).  There is a fee for the account, of course, that we also have to build in along with our realtor fees which here are 10% of the annual rent plus 18% VAT (that's the tax here) - not sure how that compares to the fees in the States but it's not pretty!! 

Our hopeful close date is either May 24th or 25th depending on when we can get the aval done and what the schedule is for our new landlord, though we won't be able to move in until after the 1st which is fine by us.  The owner may still be doing work on the house and we will be able to start our work at the same time.  Our electrician / painter said he believes he can get everything done by June 1 so I think we are targeting June 4th or 5th for our moving date.  I leave for the States tomorrow (Thursday), return on Tuesday, sign on Thursday or Friday and then move just a little over a week later - it's insanity!!! 

The kids are getting excited about the move finally.  My friend Cristy sent me an idea about a Super Mario room that I showed to Aidan and he is now finally on board. I also can't wait for this as it's going to be amazingly cool.   Liam is a go with the flow kind of kid and has been totally on board with this move from day 1.  Liam is going for Lego Ninjago which will be cool but I have to say, I think the Mario is going to win this battle.  There will definitely be pictures to come on those when they are done.

In the meantime, as we work with getting contracts started, I'm sitting here trying to figure out next steps on my list.  When we moved here I know the movers would do all the work but I couldn't sit still that long and so I had moved everything into our garage in order to keep things simple and easy when they came - I wouldn't have to be right up their asses about what was moving and what wasn't.  You take what's in the garage plus the toy storage in the living room and that's it.  It won't be that simple here since we have no garage (but soon will!!) and we are essentially taking just about everything with us. 

But that being said, I went down to Servei Estacio (like a smaller version of Home Depot) with my little granny cart last week to pick up some boxes.  I know I didn't need to do this but like I said, I need to feel like things are happening on the home front too - crazy I know.  But it did actually make me feel a little better to pack up a box or two over the last week. 

Hauling my granny cart that I rigged with a bungee cord thru the metro station - not a pretty sight and I probably would have been better off with a cab but damn if I wasn't going to do it the hard way!!!

We still need to do things like order a couch, get new beds/mattresses and a few other small things.  Those will happen as we get closer to the move in date since in the event that we order them from IKEA (sadly very likely) they will be delivered the same day or the next day.  But we will still need to do a decent sized IKEA run for general accessory items that we may not already have here - I can't wait (insert a LOT of sarcasm here) for that trip with Josh and if I'm lucky, with the kids too...
That's it for now on the move - I'm sure there will be more as we get closer including more pictures but in the meantime, we've got just over 2 weeks and counting!


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