Thursday, October 4, 2007

Running Ahead

The appraiser who's supposed to tell the bank if my house qualifies me for the new and improved home equity line of credit was due sometime between 3:00 and 4:00 this afternoon.

At 2:15, I'm down in the basement bathroom, trying to figure out how to work the tension shower curtain rod my POs left me--I've been using it the past four years, but every time I take it down, I can't get it back up without it and the curtain falling onto the floor at least twice.

Which it was doing now. I could hear my dog barking upstairs, but he sometimes does that, at whatever or whomever passes on the street. So I ignored him, because the appraiser was due at 3:00.

But Llewellyn kept up the racket, and at last, I thought I'd better go look.

It was the appraiser, at the door. "Hi, I'm Ernie*, from XYZ Realty!"

"I wasn't expecting you till 3:00," I replied in my adrenalin-fueled, sleep-deprived, stretched-to-the-limit ungraciousness.

"I know," admitted Ernie cheerfully. "I'm running ahead today!"

He certainly was. He went out front to take his pictures and measurements, while I did a quick sweep through the house picking up dust cloths and stashing the vacuum cleaner. And I swear it was no more than four or five minutes before he appeared back in the house. He got started in the front room, and I dashed down the basement to quickly get the shower curtain up and stayed up, and to move the more egregious obstacles out of the way. Thinking to return and answer questions upstairs.

But in a minute or two, I heard his footsteps on the basement stairs. "I see you're renovating the woodwork upstairs," he commented. (Is this bad because of the current mess, or good in prospect?) Barely glanced in the door at my lovely shower floor painting job. Said, "Nice dry basement." Which I suppose is true if by that he means the floor's not creeping with rivulets and puddles. (Never mind the mold I scrubbed night before last off the brick.)

Escorted him up to the second and third floors. A quick glance here; a floppy-tape measurement there. There were spaces he seemed about to skip till I advanced and opened their doors. Is he such a pro he can take everything in at a glance? Or is basic structure and dimensions all he (and the bank) cares about? Or was he scamping the job? (Oh, surely not!)

At nearly the last minute, Ernie asked me what improvements I've made to the house since I bought it four years ago. And in all the hurry, damned if I could remember everything I should have!

This was not the detailed process I was led to expect. I won't venture to say exactly how many minutes the inspection took, but it wasn't that many and he was out the door. After the past week of cleaning and painting and grouting and hauling, it was very anticlimactic! Did this past week's effort make no difference one way or the other-- or will, for instance, the stair carpet the cat spilled paint on back in 2003, that I didn't have time to rip up, come back to haunt me?

I'll find out in a few days.

Meanwhile, congratulate me: I did not collapse immediately after Ernie the appraiser left. I went back down cellar and finished the job I was doing when he so inconveniently interrupted.

No, I collapsed after an early supper and spent this evening reading other people's houseblogs. I'll get back to the battle tomorrow. Tonight, as my grandmother used to say, I'm too pooped to pop.
*Made-up name

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