March 3rd in Japan is usually celebrated with the 雛祭り1 but, for the family and I, it will likely be remembered as the day we signed the last bit of the financial paperwork for our first home mortgage. Back in October of last year, I outlined 19 steps that we would need to follow in order to buy and move into a house of our own. Our experience over the last four months shows that there are many, many more than 19 and that no two mortgage professionals will answer the same question the same way. This has resulted in a lot of confusion and unnecessary double-work but, fortunately, we've passed nearly every major hurdle that has stood between us and a nice, custom-built home in the suburbs of an otherwise unremarkable city in central Japan. Reiko has done the vast majority of the legwork to ensure every 'i' is dotted and every 't' crossed. The last thing we want to discover is that we can't move in because some form was incomplete, resulting in an invalid mortgage.
Fortunately, this last bit of paperwork was completed in roughly 30 minutes, leaving us free to continue our examination of curtains and, more importantly, the house itself.
While it may not be easy to see, the siding is being installed. As the house will have a custom shade of paint, the siding has a greyish primer base coat. Once everything is in place, they'll apply the proper paint and give it a clear finish. This will hopefully turn out to be the exact colour that Reiko has been after.
Inside the house we are starting to see more of what the place will look like when finished. Interior walls have gone up, and insulation has been laid into the exterior walls as well. Wires and cabling are running to their respective outlets, and the walk-in shower room has been installed as well. Over the next ten days, the rest of the walls will be completed, smoothed out, then painted and wallpapered. From there we might just start to see the flooring go down before I leave for a week-long business trip to the US.
For all the trials and tribulations that have come this way over the last decade or so, it's really nice to see the fruits of our efforts take shape right before our eyes. So much of what Reiko and I thought was impossible has been accomplished in the last 30 months, and it's been absolutely amazing to witness. None of these efforts have been easy, but then anything worth doing is without challenge. I do hope that this is the start of a smoother, less stressful lifestyle, though.
ひなまつり — hinamatsuri. Otherwise known as "Girls Day"