So in my last post I talked about "bragging" and Words with Friends and gave you background on what we lovingly refer to as "The MANS." We don't live in that house anymore. The other shoe fell. The housing market started to crash and my husband's company closed his office. He took a job out of Wilmington, NC and we tried to sell our house--no bites. His new company allowed him to work out of the house (on commission only) and we were primarily living off of savings. Luckily, we had a lot of that from when times were good. Only, it's funny (or in fact, not-so-funny) how quickly you burn through savings when there is hardly any money coming in...too quickly. I went back to teaching (you know--that lucrative profession that is so revered...) and we attempted to make it on what we were both bringing in, but we worked through our savings and the teaching salary didn't cut it. My husband looked for work and finally found it--across the country in Kalispell, Montana (or MonFREAKINtana) and we tried a short sale on our house. Only AFTER we decided on the short sale (and had buyers) did people start coming out of the woodwork wanting to buy the house. Almost everyone I knew called to tell me about SOMEONE who wanted to buy our home. Only WE were in Montana and our HOME was in Virginia. We relied on our "realtor" to do right by us and THAT was like the ZILLIONTH mistake we made in what we can refer to as "The Downfall of the Corwin Empire." Okay--THAT may be braggartly (?!), but it makes me laugh--I'm not sure why. I'm not sure why ANYTHING makes me laugh, so give me a break, okay?
So I agree that if you are selling your home it is okay to use a For Sale by Owner, HelpUSell or something along those lines, but after trying to sell our home and failing, we put it on the market a year later, and as I mentioned above, decided to do a short sale (after depleting our savings) and went through HepUSell. The problem with this plan was the fact that realtors for those companies only make a set amount--UNLESS they do a short sale. The guy we worked with told us all about it--and that he primarily does short sales because it's the only way for him to make good money. Red flag? You'd think, but no. He was clearly not inspired to do any WORK for us, he just wanted to collect his fat check. After dragging his feet for eight or nine months (and preventing the fine family who waited patiently to move into "The MANS" from looking to purchase elsewhere), the deal finally fell through. He never passed the paperwork on to the right people...though we cannot solely blame him. WE probably should have tried to sell sooner--instead of trying to make it work when times were tough and even if he HAD done his part...Wells Fargo OWNED our loan and had HSBC servicing it so it was almost impossible to get ANYONE to help us or to answer our questions. After nearly eight months, our loan ended up with Countrywide who rejected the short sale immediately. I don't even remember the whole thing, it was maddening--especially when we already felt like the dregs of society for doing the short sale--NOW we were moving into FORECLOSURE...for shame!
What I DO remember about this time is getting a phone call from HelpUSell guy on a particularly trying day after I had just had surgery. We hadn't heard from him in a while and had begun to lose hope, as we could not afford to keep up payments on a home we were not living in AND pay for a place...well...to ACTUALLY live in with our family.
Just a side note, there was definitely a time when I was afraid that we would not have a place to live--AT ALL. I know that family would have eventually learned of what was going on and insisted that we stay with them rather than be homeless, but this was a definite possibility for our family. I have NEVER been so afraid--what kind of parent WAS I anyway? How could I let it get to the point where my babies could very well not have a place to sleep? I am so glad that I have NEVER been one to judge people who are homeless or needy or...well, I try not to judge ever, but nobody's perfect. I'm not BRAGGING here, I am simply stating a fact. Whenever friends would complain about other "dregs" of society, I would always think of my friend Jen and the three sides to every story. You NEVER know what is going on in a person's life because you have NEVER walked in that person's shoes. Now it seemed I WAS walking in another person;s shoes. I didn't love it...
My husband was at work and I was attempting to get food for the maniacs. Realtor-guy called and was manic on the phone, asking me to quickly send $5,000 so we could finalize the deal.
Here's me: " WHAT?! Five THOUSAND dollars? If I had FIVE THOUSAND dollars, do you REALLY think I would be living in a 600 square foot TOWNHOME across the street from a drug dealer in MonFREAKINtana?! I don't THINK so!" Just a note about this--the townhome was NOT so bad--it was just SO SMALL and there were naked babies running around outside all the time...we were able to move to a larger, nicer home after about six months (where MY babies were the naked babies running around outside). It turns out that the landlord of the townhome was great and the landlord in the NICER home was a creep, but I digress...
The short sale fell through, mostly because our "realtor" was an idiot, though I'm sure the fact that we had to stop paying the mortgage didn't help. The best part was the fact that we would get notices from the HOA demanding that we cut our lawn and fix our mailbox and do things that we did not have the money or time to either fly back to Virginia (about $2000) to fix it ourselves or to hire someone to do it for us--especially on a home we were regrettably losing. Irresponsible, maybe--but we were definitely going through some things. I only felt bad about all of this because of the dear friends we left in Fredericksburg who had to LOOK at our trashed home--the home that was once the subject of MUCH bragging...and think that it was bringing down THEIR property values (which would continue to drop--with or without our help, but who KNEW this would happen?!).
Well, THIS sounds like a big pity party or something and if there is ONE thing I CANNOT STAND (more than a braggart) it's a victim. I played the "victim" once in real life in the late eighties and early nineties (some of you, if I didn't lose you eighteen paragraphs ago, knew her and it was NOT fun for you, I'm CERTAIN!) and decided that I could not STAND to be that annoying for my ENTIRE life! So please do not think that in ANY part of this I wanted to be A. A BRAGGART or 2. A VICTIM. It is just one of my nonsensical rants to inform or entertain.
I am a former teacher/ SAHM of three who needed to do SOMETHING so that we would all come out of this alive and unscathed. I don't really have a blogging philosophy, though I have many THEORIES...for example, "In THEORY, it would be a great idea to get off of the computer and wash a dish..." yet here I sit. I have a THEORY that my musings may help people to see that they are not alone--or maybe they will just make ME realize that I AM alone...nah--I'm sticking with my first one. Better than therapy, I tell you!