Monday, June 07, 2004

A Disney-Style Ending

Since Disney is so closely associated with Celebration, I suppose it's only fitting that our story had a Disney-style happy ending. When we returned home to the Midwest, I started doing some research into Florida real estate contracts. In Florida, there is a very strict waiting period until a condominium purchase becomes final. Technically we were already past that period.

But the law also requires that the purchaser be able to review all the documents and restrictions during that period to help them make their decision. Oops! In our case, we had not been able to review all of the required material because of the missing binder.

They say there is a reason for everything, and now I finally saw the cosmic purpose as to why the covenants were never sent. By law, our waiting period had not started ticking until we picked up the binder, so we were still within the cancellation period. Somebody Upstairs was watching out for us!

Needless to say, we pointed this fact out to the condo builder. They really didn't have much choice; under the law, they had to allow us to cancel the contract and to refund our down payment.

We immediately signed a contract for the triplex unit in East Village. We knew that we wanted an end unit, and we had our choice of either side since none of the units in the building were sold yet. It was a hard choice, but we ended up choosing the right hand unit because it had a single garage (the other end would share its garage building with the middle unit, although each would have its own driveway and the individual garages would be separated by a wall).

The only sad thing was that the units had already been designated as "inventory homes," meaning that the options, colors, etc. had already been chosen. Thankfully, our unit was going to be done in all neutral colors (beige tile and carpet, white walls and cabinets), so that wasn't a problem. The unit we chose would also be the only one to have French doors in the front room, a feature that appealed to me. That room is normally left totally open, but I liked being able to close it off. If we had a lot of out of town visitors, it could double as an extra bedroom.

This was quite a change! In the space of three months we'd gone from not even being in the market for a new home to putting a contract on a condo long distance, and then to switching mid-stream and suddenly buying a house in the two-hour lapse of waiting for our flight. Whew!

Of course, at that point, our "home" was only a sand lot with a wooden marker and lots of deer tracks. But it was fun to imagine what it would be someday. The slated completion time was August, which was fine with us since we still had our home back north and no firm plans on what we were going to do.

Since the triplex model was identical to our future home, we were able to take plenty of photos and measurements to help us with our decorating plans. Now we would begin seven months of dreaming and planning for our Celebration home-to-be. With all the odd circumstances leading up to its purchase, we just knew that it was meant to be ours.

Next time...FL Culture Shock

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