NYC Apartment Hunt: The Saga (or Kitchen Sink Drama) Continues

You get to a point in this process where you start to forget what you’re doing or why you’re doing it. Everything acquires a haze of deja vu that alternates with a mental fog. Guy Pierce and Aamir Khan’s drastic tattoo mnemonics start looking perfectly reasonable.



After all, who knows if you sent the bank updated copies of your pay stubs, your bank statements, your unborn, your gall bladder? It’s all pretty interchangeable after a while.

When the lawyer’s office emails you asking for the ID for the bank attorney, you think, “Oh, so the bank attorney has an ID, and I should find out what it is and email it to the lawyer.” When the lawyer’s assistant gently explains that she meant a copy of your ID for the bank attorney, you feel pretty stupid but everyone pretends your IQ hasn’t dropped significantly in the last month.

When the mortgage banker says that you need to address the list of missing documents sent to you by the loan processor weeks ago, you spend hours wading through emails and the pile made up of the last six months’ mail (which you are too afraid to recycle). Surely it’s in there somewhere and you’ve screwed up by not taking care of it right away.


Turns out that that’s not true. The loan processing officer was supposed to email it to the banker and CC you, but she didn’t. Now, if you had a tattoo system, you would not have just wasted so many hours of your (bleak) life looking for something that didn’t exist.

When the list finally arrives by email, along with an attachment titled “Commitment Letter”, you wonder if “commitment” means you’re being sent to the funny farm.


(I submit that this is an understandable assumption since, despite the letter’s claim that the bank is sort of agreeing to give you a loan, it doesn’t commit the bank to anything till you address the list of missing documents.)

You review the list through blurry eyes. There are seven items, two of which are more Kafka-esque than the others: they want you to explain the credit inquiries on your record (which were clearly made by the seller and the bank when you started this process) and the deposit that has appeared on your account (which is clearly the money you paid–out of the same account–for the down payment on the last apartment, and which was returned when that deal fell through). You sign them electronically.

In addition, the list asks for a copy of your rental lease. Your lease has expired and they have the old copy, but you re-send it. Four, they want you to send the cancelled contract on the last apartment you tried to buy. You don’t have any such thing. The lawyer says there is no such thing. It is unclear why they think you would secretly try to buy another apartment. So you send them something sent by the last seller’s attorney when he returned that down payment. The lawyer is supposed to handle the last three items on the list, which have words like “lien” and “aliens have taken over your body”. Just kidding. Mostly.

Then you look for reviews of tattoo artists on Yelp and work on self-care while you wait for the next round:


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