Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Road Ahead


I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Lou, why am I staring at a picture of an ugly-ass house?” Well, I’ll tell you. That ugly-ass house will (fingers crossed, knock on wood, etc.) eventually be owned and occupied by myself and MM.

MM and I admitted to ourselves a long time ago that buying a house and leaving the city (read: moving to the suburbs) was eventually going to happen. Based on our circumstances—the need for MM to be closer to his job in the suburbs, the desire to buy a single-family home rather than a condo, and the reality of home prices in the city versus out of the city—this was inevitable… eventually. Eventually just always happens a little bit sooner than you are expecting it to.

In February, for some reason, MM decided it was time to start looking. I didn’t necessarily disagree, but I also didn’t think that I would walk into the first house suggested to us and say, “This is it,” without a doubt in my mind—especially considering that the house we walked into was the one pictured above.

And that’s not even the half of it. The house was listed as a short sale, and it’s clear that the owners left in the hurry. Their young daughter’s clothing and toys were left behind as well as bills, paperwork, important documents, etc. There’s even a wedding dress in the basement. But there the refrigerator is gone, along with the dishwasher and the washer and dryer.

I have to assume that abandoning a house and leaving behind a good portion of your belongings is a situation fraught with sadness and drama. I have no idea what caused them to leave or what factors led to them being forced out. I don’t know where they went. And all of that is weird and sad, and I hope whatever the situation was, it’s been resolved and they are in a better place now.

Stranger still is that I’m a person who believes in random quack shit like energy. One would think that leaving your home in the middle of the night (O.K., I don’t know that they left under the cover of darkness, but that’s how I imagine these things might happen), would cause bad energy and contribute to potential buyers feeling uncomfortable in a house filled with someone else’s belongings that have clearly been left behind.

But that’s just me. I should be uncomfortable in this house, but from the moment MM and I walked in the front door, all I could see was our home. That’s weird, right?

We made an offer on the house at the end of February. Then we waited. And we kept waiting. Several months passed, and finally on June 2, we accepted the bank’s counteroffer and now we’re moving forward. We hope to be closing next month.

This is going to be a really interesting/complicated process. Buying a short sale is a bitch, and we’ve chosen an FHA loan that will allow us to include the cost of the renovation (and there will be a lot of renovation) in the loan. Of course, choosing a loan product that is insured by the government requires a shit-ton more paperwork than a normal loan, so I’m hoping I can write a little bit about that process as we go through it. Maybe it will be helpful!? Maybe not. And of course, as we move forward with the renovation, I will keep you updated. And, the next time I go back to the house I plan to do a video tour, which I’d like to post here. So, if you care about these kinds of things, there’s a lot to look forward to!

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