Monday, 22 October 2012
My loan officer in Tampa just sent me a bunch of paperwork. I got spooked looking at the Good Faith Estimate, and asked him if we could do 5% down instead of 10% as I had originally offered. He said it should be no problem. That is a huge relief. There have been so many big expenses this year that I'm amazed that I've been able to stay afloat.
I spent a panicky 20 minutes just now searching old bank statements for evidence of the earnest money I paid at the beginning of June. I finally found the ATM withdrawal right at a page break, which is why I missed it the first hundred times I looked. Another relief.
The agent is tentatively scheduling the closing for November 15! If he can pull that off, it will be huge, because that's the day before I leave for Colombia. I'd be most grateful to have the house already in my possession when I bring Alicia and her son to the US at the end of November. It also would solve the problem of what to do with my cats while I'm gone: they could stay in the big screened back porch (lanai). I'll have to ask my future brother-in-law or niece to feed them and clean their litter.
Last night Alicia was rather stressed when I called, because she was looking over the bids for decorating our wedding venue. I come from a family of low-budget do-it-yourselfers, so this business of hiring people to decorate and cater feels unnatural to me. I was delighted to find that Alicia shares my outlook; she had been collecting bids on everything, but when it came down to dollars and cents (or pesos and centavos, although at 1,800 pesos per dollar, centavos are irrelevant), she hated to see us spend hundreds of dollars to have someone decorate for an event that only lasts a few hours.
So we went through the proposal and figured out that we can handle more than half of it ourselves, with the help of family. While we were talking, I searched online and purchased many of the items we needed for a fraction of what was in the bids (candles, tulle favor bags, Wish Tree tags). A lot of things are more expensive in Colombia than they are here. Thank God for Dollar Tree!
So the day of our wedding in Colombia, our plan is to have family members spend a little time doing creative things with candles and tulle and flowers to decorate the chapel and the big porch where we'll hold the wedding and reception. We will still farm out a few things like the cake, flower arrangements, and decorative lighting.
And there's going to be music, tons of music! It's going to be so much fun... I wish you could all be there.