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Monday, April 16, 2012

Getting Closer To The Beginning

I say this to my husband when ever we look at
a real estate portal. 

I promised I would share with you the journey to be a home owner again. A bit of back ground for those that are new here. Nearly 3 years ago my husband and myself walked away from our dream home. After loosing his job that paid the mortgage,being put into a job at less than half the pay, we had managed to survive for awhile, supplementing with our savings and cashing out our investments. Then came the loosing of the second job as well. We still did our best to hang on, but a couple jobs after that, not being enough money to survive, we walked away. We said if we did not pay, we would not stay. It was something morally we felt we could not do, even if it meant banking some money again by defaulting on the mortgage, and waiting out the eight months it eventually took till the closing date of the short sale of our home. We sold off most of what we owned, and secured an apartment. We have not driven down our street again. We pretty much thought at that time we would never be home owners again.

Our former home.

The next two years in our apartment were some of the worst we had ever lived through. To make rent, to have food, to pay bills, we borrowed from friends, family and took donations. A very humbling experience. A painful one, and one that has on top of loosing our home left some very deep scars. In a good turn of events, my husband secured a job that paid enough to get by, put a bit away into savings each pay day and even at times allow us to live some  kind of life outside the four walls. It is not a lavish life. It is still a frugal existence and we still do not have health insurance. Our youngest moved back in with us to help out to make it so we could save money towards a small down payment. That brings us to the here and now. June 23rd is the 2 year anniversary of the closing of the short sale of our home. 

We started exploring the idea of seeing if we might be able to be  home owners again many months ago. All we kept hearing is that we had to wait three years. Not two. Spirits fell. Then we found out that if you wrote a letter of hardship, such as unemployment, that in this market, that might just get you approved for a FHA loan. Well that we could do and document. A small ray of hope. Very small, but it is there none the less. It would not be easy, in fact it seems it would be like jumping through hoops of fire, we could just end up burned and no better off. It remains to be seen what will happen. 

At first it seemed a life time away for that time in June to arrive, but now it is a little over two months away. In the mean time we had connected with a real estate agent, even became friends and socialized, and who also connected us with a loan officer that specializes in FHA's. God's way of showing us a path perhaps? We had tried initially to reach our agent that had sold our house, wishing to stay loyal and that agent being my husbands first choice. Long story short there was missed connections, so while just in this waiting period of time before we could get closer to the beginning of it all possibly becoming reality, we had this other agent. I building a new loyalty. My family, my husband, our youngest daughter who will be going in on the home with us, well they still wished to go back to our former agent. Long talks, much worry about possibly hurt feelings and damaging a new friendship ( which has happened) it was decided with my heart aching that it was business, not personal and it was best to not blend the two. I know my husband was right. I do. To have our former agent, who held our hand, was a crusader on our behalf and even helped us move into our apartment be the one that helps us possibly get into our next home, well it was the right thing too do. I will re state that it was not an easy decision and many may say it was personal in both directions, but it is done and so  we must move forward. I shall always have guilt over hurting the agent and eventual friend. I hope one day she will forgive me/us. 

The next step is to re-establish a connection and a game plan with the original agent that helped us when this journey began nearly three years ago. Set up a game plan, and listen to his many, many years of experience, both in real estate, but also in dealing with beating the odds in finding a home and becoming once again our crusader. We also will be speaking to the loan officer once again to re-confirm we should even truly begin this. The market is turning around. What was once only a few months ago, a buyers market, is now a sellers market again. Sales are out numbering homes on the market, bidding wars are happening. The type of home, older and in the same area we were once living is a dwindling market....getting smaller daily. Finding a home will be hard, and even if we do, may be lost while battling people who have cash, or conventional loans. Lost while we wait through inspections to tell us what is expected for the home to be funded...FHA being extremely tricky to get older homes funded with, often needing a re-furbishing loan attached...something known as a 203k...apparently VERY hard to get.  We already feel as if this will be a fight of David against Goliath, and just as in that famous, and epic tale, there is a lot of doubt of success, but also the drive to make it happen. 

Why am I writing about this you ask? Especially if you are new here and have been enjoying the less serious posts. It is simple. To not only help myself stay sane through it all, but also perhaps reach out to those that have gone through this. Perhaps even right this very moment. Maybe, even to inspire someone that is to fearful to even try to come back from loosing it all, to realize there is nothing to be gained if you do not at least try.  So as we go through this journey, I will be sharing from time to time the raw truths of what we experience. I hope you will stick with me and cheer us on, pray for us and maybe even virtually hold our hands.


  1. Thank you so much for sharing Ruby, I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers! I had a manufactured home several years ago (I filed bankruptcy and had to walk away from it) so I understand. Just keep the type of house you want constantly in your prayers and visions.

    Also thank you so much for recommending The Scapbook of Frankie Pratt, oh my goodness that looks like a good book, I will go soon to see if it is at the library!

  2. Thank you for sharing your journey with us! While I never have purchased a home, my ex and I did start the process twice and had to walk away in 2005 when brokers and agents INSISTED we could afford what in reality we could not. I think of the mess we would be in today had we not listened to our heads instead of our hearts in these instances and went with out guts. Between loosing jobs and the marriage, it would have been a sticky situation, both emotionally and financially to say the least. So thank you!!!

  3. Hi Ruby, You are always in my thoughts and prayers. Me and my hubby are not homeowners we have rented our home for the last 10 yrs. It is small, nice yard, quiet street, country setting, and it feels like our home. Maybe someday we will own our home also. Stay on track sounds like you are taking every step in the right direction. I applaud you for moving forward and not giving up on your dream. As always you are a great inspiration to others. Keeping you in my prayers.

    Dee xoxo


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