November 10-18, 1990: A Trip to Fort Lauderdale
August 11-19, 1990: Finding a Condo in Fort Lauderdale
Return to the Index for 1990

September 19-30, 1990
Moving into the Condo in Fort Lauderdale


Working on the condo purchase from home in late August and early September, there were some hassles, mostly due to the Riverview Gardens Board of Directors. Most of the residents of Riverview Gardens are fairly old, and the Board still has a committee that has to approve new residents; they want to keep the complex stable and quiet, and almost anyone who buys a unit now is going to be a good deal younger than the average resident.

Even though I was buying the condo in my name, they started wanting a lot of information about both of us- about our finances, who would be owning the unit and who would be living there. There is a prohibition on owners renting their units to non-owners, and I suspect that they might have thought that I was going to buy the unit and rent it to Grant. We did not think it advisable to be too open about our relationship- just in case. They had lots of little rules that they liked to follow, but it seemed to me that they were asking for too much information. They wanted an application fee from me and another one from Grant, $100 in all, but I couldn't see why they should require $50 for him too, since his name was not to be on the deed at all.

There were a number of letters back and forth, and it took some time to get things straightened out, but in the end we did, and we scheduled our formal appearance before the Board for Monday, September 24th, at which time we hoped to get final approval to purchase the unit.

We thought we had all the kinks worked out, and so Grant and I piled the Datsun as full as we could with things that we would need for the condo, and left Dallas on September 19th, planning to arrive in Ft. Lauderdale on the 21st. When we got there, after stays in Gulfport (where I picked up my new laptop computer) and Tallahassee, we once again stayed with Ty and Scott on their boat- for the last time, we hoped. As it turned out, Jim had not done his homework, and the meeting we were supposed to have with the Board for final approval had not been scheduled, but in the end we were able to meet with the Board on the 24th.

I have to admit that the reason approval was granted to us so swiftly that day was entirely due to the instant rapport that Grant had with the three ladies on the committee. I don't know what it was, but they took an instant, almost motherly liking to him (and he to them), and they appreciated his plans to update the condo and been a good neighbor. We'd been approved by noontime and by mid-afternoon had signed all the papers at the Realtor's office. I had the mortgage in place already, so we were good to go.

We began moving stuff into the unit that very afternoon. We couldn't stay in the unit, though, because so much clean-up still had to be done, and because we still had to buy some furniture, so we stayed with Ty and Scott again on their boat for the week I was there. On Tuesday, while we were at the condo, we walked around and took some pictures of the outside.

The swimming pool is located in the interior courtyard, which has lots of plants and tall palm trees. it is a wonderful, shady oasis. There is also a laundry room off to the right. The maintenance here seems to be quite good, as everything is usually clean and neat.

This picture of the river frontage was taken from the extreme southeast corner of the property- right where the west building meets the river. Being on the river is the complex's nicest feature.

To take my next picture, I walked just a few feet west along the river where the complex has a nice sidewalk. I passed another opening into the central courtyard and same to the southeast end of the boat dock.

Here is the boat dock area. The arched rods are to keep the boats from banging against the dock when boats passing on the river throw up small waves as they go by.

I walked all the way to the covered sitting area at the southwest corner of the main parking lot and looked back east along the river frontage.

I was not at all surprised when we found out that there were a couple of open dock spaces and Grant asked if we might get a very small runabout to keep there. I knew that was probably coming, and I had already talked with Ty about it. After spending only half as much as we'd originally contemplated for the condo, I thought that perhaps a $1500-2000 boat would be doable. There is a dedicated parking space where you can wash your car, and there are plenty of tables and chairs by the dock. It looks as if we will spend a lot of time there.

One of the first priorities was to get the floor fixed so that we could begin to get some furniture. We immediately went with Ty and Scott to a flooring place that they knew about, and picked out some sixteen-inch white tile for most of the flooring, and then some muted blue-green Berber carpeting for the bedroom. We also talked about plans for the electrical work that would be done, and how we could deal with the extra door into the bedroom, as well as the shelves where the old window was. We bought a bunch of cleaning supplies, and I helped Grant get as much of the mess cleaned up as we could.

The condominium is centrally-located, and if Grant didn't have a car here it wouldn't matter, as he can walk to just about any place he might want. But I thought it would be better for me to leave the Datsun here and fly home. Grant and I could use it when we are here, and we would have Grant's car to use in Dallas. Grant, incidentally, has sold the Pontiac Grand Am that he had and has bought a Honda Civic, a very nice little car.

I left at the end of the week, but not without first complimenting Grant on the unit. I think it looks terrible now, but I know that Grant can see what it will look like once it is fixed up. We have already talked about investing a couple of thousand dollars into new flooring and track lighting, and then buying some inexpensive furniture for the unit and bringing a lot of stuff from home. I am already working with Grant on a list of the things we have duplicates of in Dallas that we could bring down here. It shouldn't take a great deal of money to turn the unit into something nice, but Grant is the one who can see that.

You can use the links below to continue to another photo album page.

November 10-18, 1990: A Trip to Fort Lauderdale
August 11-19, 1990: Finding a Condo in Fort Lauderdale
Return to the Index for 1990