Earlier this year I wrote about doing yard work at the rental house, that I wanted to leave it nicer than we found it, that I wanted us to be out by the end of the year but didn't have a concrete plan. Well, the wheels are now in motion, and, while we won't make it out by the end of the year, we will come pretty darn close.
Part one: We are selling the old abandoned apartment. That part feels like the snuffing of a dream. As long as we still had the old abandoned apartment there could exist a remote glimmer of hope of living in Ocean City again. It was a fantasy. An expensive fantasy. We've been living backwards owning a place we don't live in and renting the place we do live in. It could not go on forever. With my cousin and his wife as the buyers it's not as much like lemon juice in the eye as it could be. It's staying in the family--I think that makes it easier on my mom, too. It's just the end of a chapter, not the closing of a book. We can go back for a visit. We can stay there again sometime for a vacation. All mitigating circumstances considered I'll probably blubber at the settlement table anyway.
Part two: Our landlord is selling the rental house, the house I call Fig Point. Although it needs a lot, A LOT of work, Robb and I kept revisiting the idea of taking on the challenges and expense and making it officially our home. What's the worst she can say--no--right? We made our landlord an offer factoring in four years of rental and all the repairs. She liked our number. Yay! And said she would have to get her lender to approve the short sale. Boo! Our landlord has zero equity in the house. And no matter what sales price she likes, the decision to accept or reject an offer is out of her hands once her bank is involved. The bank won't be sentimental about our time here or consider all the rent money we've thrown away. The bank will lowball the cost of repairs to minimize their losses. Very disappointing. Our landlord's realtor comes this afternoon to take photographs and put a lock box on the front door just in time for Christmas. This part to me feels like the end of the world. So the Mayans were right after all.
Part three: We are buying a house nearby. We should be fully moved by the end of January. It has a detached two car garage for Robb's workshop. It has a fenced yard for Mo and Sukey to play in. It has a fourth bedroom for my studio. It has two closets in the master bedroom which will breed domestic tranquility. It has a terrible kitchen but not worse than the Fig Point kitchen, but we can fix it in a few years. It has several of Mo's tot friends right around the corner. And without the expenses of the old abandoned apartment, without our rent, and without a car payment, it has a lot less financial stress. It has vacations without me having panic attacks about money. This part feels like the sun breaking through clouds after a hurricane. Now we'll have to think of something to call our new home. We'll have to plant a fig tree. We'll have to paint the deck and hang curtains and gather our family and friends around the fireplace. I can't wait!
(*Post title refers to, of course, The Smiths.)