Alison Berkley: A castle fit for … |

Alison Berkley: A castle fit for …

Alison Berkley

I bought a condo in Aspen yesterday.

OK, so maybe it’s not exactly “in Aspen,” it’s in the Airport Business Center. But it’s still 81611, so there.

I traded my five roommates and four dogs (bless their smelly little souls) for 620 square feet of me, me, me. Instead of sharing a neglected old house that’s waiting to be torn down, I will live above a motorcycle shop that on any given day has 10 bikes parked out front with views of the tractors over at Aspen Rent-All. If I walk out my front door to the very edge of the deck, stand on my right foot and lean as far as I can without tipping over, I can see Buttermilk.

I am within walking distance to the airport. Soon, I am told, I will know United’s daily schedule by heart. “Here comes the 7:20 from Denver, right on schedule,” I’ll say. Now that is what I call location, location, location.

And to think some people (like my roommate John) are afraid of the three-mile drive to town. “I didn’t move to Aspen to have to commute,” they’ll say. Whatever, snob. I am so not ashamed about living in an industrial park.

And to think it only took five months of escrow, two mortgage brokers, one Realtor, my boss, and my entire family to make it happen.

We are talking about a girl who can’t even get a credit card. No, wait. I forgot! My secured Visa has a $350 credit line. Pier 1 (the only other plastic in my wallet besides my library card) decreased my limit to $75 last year when I forgot to pay the bill for some fat smelly candle from China. The credit people are like, all mad at me because I wrote a bunch of bad checks or whatever, but hello, I was in college! You would think they would be over it by now, but no.

I had to wait seven years before they would let me open a bloody checking account in Colorado. I felt like my crazy grandma from Queens, hiding my cash under the mattress. What a hassle! You know you’re in bad shape when people don’t want your money – it’s like propositioning a man for sex and having him turn you down. The nerve!

So anyway, the whole mortgage thing started back in March when my boss showed me this “loft” he had for sale out at the Airport Business Center, which I have come to refer to simply as “The Airport.” This always confuses people who don’t understand what the hell I’m talking about when I refer to what “living at the airport” is like. “I had no idea there was so much stuff out at the airport,” I tell them excitedly. “There’s a health food store, and a liquor store and even a decent-sized market.”

My friend Sarah said she pictured me walking down a concourse past all these gates to buy a six-pack of beer. Still, ABC sounds like some stupid nursery school. I like “The Airport” much better, so get used to it.

I applied for a loan back in April even though the condos wouldn’t be ready “until sometime in May,” so I could figure out how to swindle some bank into giving me the money without having to carry a gun or wear pantyhose over my head.

My first broker was an ambitious young guy who wasn’t very experienced, but he was cute so I figured I’d give him a chance. You know, boost his ego a little. He assured me we’d get the deal done, do whatever it took, no worries. Just relax and provide me with a few documents, he said.

The bank will need a certified copy of the day (date and year) you lost your virginity, who you lost it to, where, and please attach photos for proof. Just fax it on over. Then I’ll need all the same information from your dad.

Within a month of working on what became known as “my file,” (an insurmountable assortment of paperwork that I’m convinced will eventually end up with the FBI), my cute little broker got fired.

So we picked up where we left off with some new guy who was a total dork, so of course he got my loan approved. He got me a “no doc loan,” that required more paperwork than a Supreme Court case.

The loan deadline passes at the end of July and the condos still aren’t ready yet (imagine that!), so I have to re-apply for the loan – again. I am so good at the paperwork thing now that I have it dialed. It only takes me three weeks to get Dorkus Bankus a list of everyone I’ve ever slept with (first name and last) so we can get this thing over with.

I become more familiar with useful real estate terms like “amend extend” which sounds to me like some device used for men with small penises. (Want to become a better lover? Buy Amend Extend, now available at sex shops everywhere!)

But yesterday the amend extend came to end (anticlimactically, I might add), and I became a homeowner. I sat in a stuffy room for two hours and signed so many documents that my carpal tunnel flared up. I handed over a check so big I had an anxiety attack right there with no Xanax dispensers in sight (Dad, Help!). You can’t imagine how embarrassing it is to hyperventilate with wrist cramps in front of all these people.

But as they say back in Yid country, Mazel Tov! I now own a piece Aspen, baby. My very own place where I can walk around naked or take baths without worrying about what it is that my roommate does during those hour-long showers. I can say without hesitation that I am now a local, damnit, an Airport Local at that.

The Princess welcomes any house-warming gifts and is registered at Frette Aspen. E-mail your congrats to her at

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