August 6, 2012 – In less than a month, I will move out of the house I’ve called home for the last 11 years and 2 months. It has been he longest I’ve lived in one place my entire life.
When I purchased my home in June 2001, cable lines had not yet been buried, the subdivision was very diverse, and seeing deer in the yard wasn’t a rare occasion. With the fast paced development between 2001 and 2008, all of that changed. My home sits on nearly a half acre with three bedrooms, two baths, kitchen, dining room, and family room with an unfinished basement and a HUGE garage. It was more house than I needed out in B.F.E., East Bumblefuck, but it was what I could afford at the time.
I took my time and decorated it with warm colors and comfortable furniture. I installed every blind, window treatment and painted the walls. Truthfully, every painting project, with one exception, was done after a painful break-up – there were only two but I managed to cover a lot of walls while working through the sadness.
The first five years I had the best looking yard in the subdivision. I spent a lot of time caring for and nurturing my lawn and garden. I loved every minute of it!
I have hosted a few memorable parties with close friends and family as well as providing a few of them with a place to live during their periods of life transitions.
Several years ago I realized my commute had greatly diminished my quality of life. Driving 100+ miles roundtrip every day meant I spent approximately 15-18 hours a week in my car – that’s a part-time job!! I was tired and frustrated. So I put the house on the market in 2010 – the timing could not have been worse.
The real estate agent I enlisted to sell my home assured me she ad the experience and skills needed to get it sold, even in a soft market. Foolishly, I believed her and here I sit 2 1/2 years later.
Like millions of other homeowners in the US, my home’s value was hit hard when the economy tanked in 2008. My small subdivision of 24 homes has seen its fair share of foreclosures subsequently causing a 45-50% loss in home values. After having my home on the market for 2+ years, in March I made the business decision to walk away – to let it go into foreclosure.
This was not an easy decision and one I came to after the bank refused to agree to a short sale since I wasn’t faced with a financial hardship (i.e. job loss). A loan modification wasn’t a viable option because most come with clauses that you have to remain in the house for at least 5 years.
Now I begin the next chapter of my life. At a time when most my age would be content, I am downsizing and purging. Purging more than just material possessions, but that is another topic for a different day.