Closing went smoothly. We met the sellers, a lovely young couple, and I was able to ask them questions:
- Smoke detectors – Are they hard wired? I did not think so, given the age of the building, but you never know. Being battery operated only and not connected to the electrical system tells me that if the battery dies, the damn thing won’t drive us out of our minds with incessant chirping, I hope. I was also able to ask if the smoke detectors went off every time someone burned the toast or overcooked something even just a little. Our Portland smoke detectors went off for ridiculous reasons and sometimes no reason at all. We had three linked together in that tiny place and when they went off, it was deafening and rattled me to my core. Consequently I now have a major fear of the life-saving device.
- The fuse box – Since the seller is an electrician, why didn’t he swap out the fuse box for circuit breakers? He explained that in six years, one fuse blew one time and having a fuse box was no big deal. He did not think anyone in the building had made that change and explained that the change itself would be an inconvenience not worth the time or money, in his opinion.
- Funky things – Yes, I actually asked if there was anything they would care to share about funky things in the apartment. I was hoping for information that would help us figure out quirky things, like faucets that were mislabeled in reverse for hot and cold or an electrical switch that operated this instead of that. That sort of thing. To be fair, the question came out of left field and they were not prepared. On the spot they could not think of anything. I wish they had told us about the funky toilet.
After closing, we walked over to our new home and fiddled around a bit. Naturally we used the toilet (not at the same time, if you must know) before we walked back to the “old” apartment. Well, I could not get that toilet to flush. I pushed and pulled on that flush lever and could not get it to budge. I had two nagging thoughts:
- I will forevermore need assistance for flushing.
- Guests who use our bathroom might go in but might never come out (due to the embarrassment of not knowing what to do).
With that, funky or not, we are homeowners once again.