TRAVEL THERE: WHAT HAPPENED WHEN I WAS OUT MAKING OTHER PLANS
When we booked our cabin for the Anniversary Cruise, eighteen months yawned between the booking and the going. I was giddy with excitement, but I also knew a whole lot would be happening during that time. Let’s look at some highlights.
Going About My Business
The first thing that captured my attention during the 18 months was my bestie’s move. Deborah was downsizing. I was spending Saturdays at her house, working towards staging the home by packing up the excess. Then we got it on the market and it was quickly sold, but then we had to pack the rest of it and find her a place to live.
Along the way, Bill and I went to Club Med Punta Cana. The blogs on that adventure start here. Then we bought a new car. It hadn’t really been on our radar, but then my car starting acting up, so we got me a new one. In early July, we’d had the car one, maybe two, days. We were enjoying a glass of wine of our patio when a call came in from the tenant at one of our houses. He was just letting us know he’d moved out. MOVED OUT? He’d just renewed the lease.
Life as I knew it ended that day! “We’d better go over there,” I said. I didn’t want to. The house in question had once been my parents’ house. A recent visit to it had made me reluctant to allow that renewal, but Bill said with the way the rental market was, it made the most sense. If it had been bad with them in it, I was scared of what it would be like after they skipped their lease.
Even though it was late in the evening, we hopped in the new car and drove over there. It was every bit as bad as I dreaded and actually quite a bit worse. The picture shows me the next day trying to find the house under the debris the tenants had left. If I told you all the details It would turn your stomach and I would just start crying again, so let’s just say the next few months of our lives were devoted to the disaster of getting the house ready to sell.
An Overabundance of Real Estate
So, in 2018, we had an overabundance of real estate issues in our life. Bill and I are co-owners of a real estate photography company, so we already have a preoccupation with real estate. Then I helped my bestie through the sale of her home, her packing, her search for a new home and her move into it. More Real Estate. And as if that were not enough, now Bill was spending every minute he wasn’t out photographing houses acting as general contractor for the major overhaul we had to do on our investment property. Yeah – we were sort of over the whole thing.
To say the remodel was a great trial would be a massive understatement. I could go on for hours about how tough it was for my husband and by extension me, but I won’t. We moved Deb in August and finally, come October, our investment property was ready to go on the market, but the bottom had completely fallen out of the market. The week before, things were fine, maybe not hot, but fine. The week we went on the market, things came to a screeching halt.
For the next four months, our life was devoted to selling the house. We spent every weekend there holding open houses, bleeding money on staging, utilities and lawn services. During this period we did go on a free trip to Cancun (read about that starting with this blog.) It had to be free, because we were spending our money and time on the money pit that was supposed to be an investment.
Then we got an offer and thought our troubles were over. We joyfully negotiated a contract, but a few weeks later we were back on the market. The buyers were taking that whole Buyers Market thing way too serious and thought we’d do virtually anything to get the house sold. We were desperate, but not that desperate. The house went back on the market, but this time, we were soon back under contract. That deal wasn’t much prettier, but at least they were more polite about it. We lived through the contract and the deal was funded on April 24th.
The house closed just six weeks before the cruise and you would think joy would have sung out through all the land, but my husband and I were so beat up from the whole real estate debacle that we had a hard time celebrating. I’d like to tell you things got better, but we had phones blow up, glasses break and leaks in our own house when it rained – the fates seemed stacked against us.
There were quick moments of excitement, but they didn’t last very long. We were so stressed out, we even argued over the words we were going to use in our vows. This was not the way I had envisioned things. Come back next week and I’ll get back to the cruise.