Real estate

The decision to walk away proved easier than finding another place to live where this foreclosure would not be an issue.

It all started with me firing my real estate agent, Mona B, of 2 1/2 years. I should have cut ties with her last winter when she pushed me off on her “assistant” so she could cater to one of her investment clients. To call the assistant inept is a compliment. We will call her “Kay” simply because I can’t remember her real name.

Kay was tasked with removing the lockbox from my front door because the heat between the glass storm door and the metal front door caused it to malfunction. We agreed on a day and time that she was to come to the house. I made it perfectly clear that I would not be available until after noon so we settled on 12:30 pm. So why did she call me at 10:00 am to inform me she was on her way to my house?

Kay: This is Kay. I’m on my way to your house to remove the lockbox.
Me: Uhm, No. You’re not on you way to my house. I’m not at home. Didn’t we agree on 12:30?
Kay: Well I got out of church early. How long do you thin you’ll be because I’m just 20 minutes away.
Me: I won’t be back until 12:30.
Kay: Oh.
*Long pause. Deafening silence*
Me: Okay. See you then.
*I hang up*

There were several other “incidents” with Kay that left my blood boiling. I could never reach her boss, Mona B, on the phone. I would leave messages and she would have Kay call me back. Frustrating and infuriating to say the least.

When I finally spoke to Mona B she admitted putting, not only me but other clients also, on the back burner to attend to her investment client who was spending a crap load of money. Even though she apologized, I should have fired her then, but I didn’t.

It took for this to happen again that I cut all ties with her. The second incident is just as bizarre and left me feeling like I was in an episode of the Twilight Zone.

I met an agent on one of my previous visits to see a rental property. Kristy gave me her card and said if there was anything I needed to call and she would help. Well, I called and explained my situation. (House in foreclosure, employed, need a rental.) She basically called me a “disgruntled” homeowner, let it be known that agents make little to no money on rentals, and she could send me a few listings but that was about it.

Well, alrighty then. Her honesty hit me between the eyes like a brick. Ol’ bitch.

But as fate, or luck, would have it, I met another R/E agent who was more than happy to help me find a new place to call home. We met when I called to inquire about a property listed by the broker who employed him. It took me and Jimmy B about 2 1/2 weeks to find the perfect spot in Midtown. But not before I was turned down and turned away by two other prospective landlords.

I was upfront abut my situation, the impending foreclosure, because I thought it better they knew going in and before pulling my credit. After providing all of my personal and financial information, which included pay stubs, one landlord wanted to know why I take “married” deductions but stated I was “single” on the rental application. How did he think that was any of his business or how it related to me paying rent was beyond my understanding. My application was denied.

The other property management company for another property would not even take my rental application after I disclosed the foreclosure. As common as foreclosures are these days and the staggering number of people in similar situation to mine, this left me stupefied…not to mention discouraged.

However, all was not lost. The listing agent of my new place welcomed my application knowing the situation. Her words to me, “Their loss is my gain.”

Midtown, here I come!! My commute will be cut in half! HALF EDDIE!! From 50 miles and 1 hour 15 minutes (on a good day, which is rare in Atlanta traffic) to 26 miles and 40 minutes!!!

I am beyond excited nor can I wait to move!!!

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.

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