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When all your dreams come crashing down

 

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I am beyond devastated right now. I dare not let my husband or children know how I feel. I’m afraid if I start to talk about it I’m going to start balling my eyes out. I hate crying in front of my kids. :-(

Ever since I was a little girl I have always dreamed of having a house. I have always envisioned what my dream house would look like.

When my husband and I eloped we didn’t even have a placed to live. For five months after we married my husband lived with his mom and I lived with my parents. We were an hour’s drive away from one another. We were young and didn’t give it much thought when we jumped into getting married. Having a place to live afterwards should have been our top priority.

We didn’t have much money and we were desperate to find a place. When my husband found our condo, at a price we could afford, we jumped on the opportunity without much thought of the future. By the time we found this place I was already pregnant. Even thought it’s a one bedroom condo we knew we could turn the dining room into a bedroom for our daughter.

We never gave much thought to having another child. A little over two years later our son was born. Having the kids share the converted dining room worked out great for an infant and a toddler. After a couple of years we realized the kids outgrew the small room. We eventually ended up giving the kids the master bedroom (only bedroom) and my husband and I moved into the living room. We started off with a sofa bed, then moved on to air mattresses, a daybed/trundle combo and now we’re back to a sofa bed.

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We have always wanted to move but the market has never played in our favor. FINALLY the cost of houses has dropped and we are finding houses that we can afford. For what we are playing for our shoebox sized one bedroom condo (no yard) we can get a lovely three bedroom house with a yard, and even extras (garage, basement storage, an extra bathroom…). Plus I could move closer to my family and friends.

Last year we finally took the plunge and put our place on the market. For what we had it listed for we would have had enough to pay for the agent’s commission, lawyers fees, other fees AND extra to cover moving expenses and inspection on a new place. Most likely we would have to borrow money to cover the down payment on a new place.

Aside from the fact we had the real estate agent from hell representing us, we had no interest on our place. We finally had the price dropped to where we’d have enough to cover the seller’s expenses and $2,000 left over if we were lucky,

After eight months on the market we had a grand total of five people come and see our place. Since we couldn’t stand our agent either we decided to take our place off the market.

With this being a great time to buy/sell a home (people are looking to buy/sell before school starts in the fall) we thought we’d try again. Maybe we’d have better luck this time.

I’ve been getting excited about the possibility of selling our place and FINALLY owning a home. I’ve been watching shows like House Hunters and all those DIY home repair shows. I’ve even been eyeing some great garden products that were shown on QVC just recently. My husband even found an adorable house for sale in the area we want to move to which happens to be one road over from where one of my childhood friend’s live (she’s practically in the backyard!).

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I have even been purging our home of stuff we don’t truly need and cleaning like a crazy person in preparation of people coming to look at our place again.

Then it all came crashing down…

We just met with the new real estate agent. Based on what condos are selling for in our complex if we were to list we would have to list at, or below, what we owe. In fact, most of the recently sold condos have sold for $20,00 LESS than what we owe. If we were to list, and sell, most likely we would OWE $$$$$$$$$ in our mortgage and we’d still have to pay the agent’s commission, lawyers fees and other fees. We also wouldn’t have a dime to cover moving expenses, inspection and down payment on a new place. Another words, if we listed and sold for what most of the condos are selling for we would probably be in the hole AT LEAST $20,000.00 (twenty thousand dollars), if not more.

The agent said we could go as a short sale. We might be forgiven of some of our mortgage if we could prove “hardship”. Even so our credit rating would take a ding. My husband has excellent credit (not sure about mine). We also wouldn’t qualify as a hardship because technically we have no debt except money we owe my father and payments for one of our cars.

I know we could borrow the money from my father, but we already owe him thousands and it would literally take us FOREVER to pay him back upwards of $30K.

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So that’s it. We’re stuck here. There is nothing we can do.

Now we have to deal with our taxes that keep going up, our common charges (HOA fees) that keep having increases, our teenage son and daughter have to share a bedroom and my husband and I will having to endure all the back and shoulder pain associated with sleeping on a sofa bed. Not to mention not able to have many people over, not able to take in overnight guests, no yard for our pets to run around in and having to deal with not-so-nice neighbor’s below us, across from us, next to us and diagonal to us.

We’re trapped. There is nothing we can do. My life long dream of owning a house is shattered. It’s not like we can try again next year because our daughter will be a junior in the fall and I’d feel guilty about doing that to her (making her graduate from another school). Not only that, my husband and I are in our mid-40′s. With a 30 year mortgage we’ll be in our mid-70′s and still making mortgage payments. How would we afford that?

Do you know who is the blame for my family never having a house? MINE!

Eight years ago I messed up our finances. I was paying the bills. We were struggling financially and I had no choice but to use our credit card to do things like buy gas or pay for groceries. Soon it became impossible to keep up with the minimum payments so I opened up another credit card. Soon I was “robbing from Peter to pay Paul” (meaning I would take one credit card to pay off what was due on another one). I even had to take out some cash advances. As you know the interest rate is astronomical. Before you knew it we were $60K in debt. I was terrified to let my husband know the truth. He had no clue.

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To prevent him from finding out the truth I would intercept the mail so he didn’t see the past due notices. I also used to unplug the phone when he was home so that he didn’t pick up the phone when a phone solicitor called.

I am grateful that he was understanding when he found out. I thought for sure he would divorce me or something. He was really good about it.

We had no choice but to refinance and put the amount that we owed into it. We got rid of the $60K in debt, but our mortgage went up $60K (a couple of hundred dollars more each month).

Had we not refinanced we would ow about $50K on our condo right now. Since they are selling for $110K – $125K we could have sold for $100K and walked away with a $40,000 or so profit.

It’s 100% MY FAULT that we are stuck here. Now every time I hear my daughter say that she wishes should could have friends over, our our dog wanting us to throw the ball for him, I’m going to be reminded of the fact that it’s my fault we are stuck living in a shoebox.

Even if the market improves and we could sell our place for a bit more it won’t make much of a difference. If the prices go up that means the price of houses goes up too. Right now the prices are just right where we can buy a decent house that we can afford. If prices go up we won’t be able to afford anything.

Needless to say I’m not going to have a very good Mother’s Day tomorrow. A good mother wouldn’t have ruined things for her family and make them deal with these living arrangements. :-(

I need chocolate. I really, really, REALLY need chocolate. And a gallon if ice cream.

Sorry to ramble.

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Kimberly

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About Kimberly

Kimberly Vetrano resides in the suburbs of New York City with her family, five cats, dog, a tank full of fish and snails. She is also a freelance writer and photographer.

Comments

  1. Karen Glatt says:

    I hear you about wanting your own home! I know what it is like to mess up on finances and having to put the money on the house and remortgage. I have dug out of this mess, and watch every penny I spend. I am sorry that you will not be able to get your own home. But, I am glad that you have a nice husband who was understanding about the money situation. I wish for you to get a house someday!

  2. First of all, CHEER UP! You have a home. You obviously are taking on the stress for the entire family, and that is what a great mom does.

    Have you ever considered just renting out your home so you can move into a bigger one? Sure, it will take a bit more sacrifice at the beginning, but you have your home as an asset.

    My friend’s parents did this when we were in high school. They had to move into an apartment for a while, but it was a bigger apartment with quite a bit amenities. We would go over often to use their pool!

    After about two years, they were able to buy a bigger home.

    This was about 16 years ago. They now own the first house, paid off, and they still rent it out. They had a 15 year mortgage, so their house now is only about a year or so of being paid off.

    And don’t worry about your house. I grew up in a one bedroom APARTMENT with 6 people! My life is very fulfilled! My parents made sure I was able to join the drill team in high school and helped with college and all that. I had great memories of being in that cozy apartment.

    HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! Everything will be ok!

  3. Oh honey, I hurt for you. My husband and I have a two bedroom, one bathroom apartment for ourselves and three children. I know we’re renting and therefore should be able to just walk away from our lease without any worries about a mortgage, but all the same, we haven’t been able to afford moving in the past 3 years. We’ve looked at renting elsewhere, buying elsewhere, and the only places we could afford either are places I don’t want to raise my kids. So as it is, we converted the apartment into a studio apartment with a sort of kids’ annex. My teenage daughter has one room, my sons share the other room. It’s tough living in a small space with a tight budget, I understand. At the same time, there are still blessings that come of it. Your kids will have more patience and gratitude through their lives, I promise. So much of the world’s population lives in close quarters, like you and I, and you know what? They are happy. They love their families. They are productive members of society. I know it stings right now to see a dream fade, but please don’t let it ruin your Mother’s Day. You are still an amazing mother, a wonderful person, a kind spirit and a giving wife. Your children and husband love you. You are blessed in so many countless ways! Celebrate those blessings! My sincerest understanding and heartfelt sympathy for you, though, as I too have felt the pain of having to give up on that moving dream. Don’t give up entirely, though, there are so many other dreams that you can achieve in this one’s place!

  4. Ellen Lopes says:

    I feel your pain but as they say, count your blessings even as you feel your pain and depression. I know it’s hard, I am where you are in some ways. But I know it will pass, and either you will have a new and better home, or you will find contentment where you are. I hope you have a wonderful Mothers Day because it sounds to me like you are a wonderful wife and mother. Seriously.

  5. Sorry you feel the way you do, we went through bankruptcy are facing foreclosure because my wife messed up our finances, and didn’t tell me until it was too late. Things will work out. For you and eventually for me. I always have believed home is where the heart is, we have our health , and 3 daughters (my mother in law lives with us too) None of them know of the impending foreclosure and move that we will be making, as my wife didn’t want to tell them yet. But wherever we go, we will be together.Don’t be so hard on yourself, you have it bad, I may have it worse, but there is somebody out there that has it even worse than I. God has blessed me with what I do have, and I intend to make the best of it. You should too.
    wish you the best
    Dave

  6. I am going to give you a good talking to, LOL. You feel your mother’s day is ruined. I am trying to find out how to deal with mine because my mother passed away a few months ago. Please be happy with what you have. Most people don’t have a loving family, house, food and clothes for yourself and kids. Thank God for what you do have. Snap out of your funk and enjoy the beautiful children you have. None of us know what tomorrow will bring. Mind you I also gave myself the same talk. So get up hug your family & tell them how much you love them. Have a beautiful day—

  7. Don’t beat yourself up. Things happen, and there are so many people that are struggling just like you. I never thought we’d be able to afford a house. I had to stop watching HGTV because it just depressed me. Honestly if we hadn’t borrowed from the family bank and trust (aka my grandparents) we never would have been able to make it happen either (the inheritance from DH’s grandfather was a major player too). We also got lucky with a repo, but it wasn’t my dream house. This place is old (built 1876), but we’re making it our own. I’m sorry things aren’t working out. Get some chocolate, a glass of wine, take a bath, and have a good cry. We’ve all been in tough situations like that and sometimes you just need to express your emotions. Don’t give up hope that it can’t still happen in a few years. I know our area still has a lot of repos on the market, so you might get a good deal, and I don’t think any of us will be able to retire until we’re 70 anyways ;-). Big hugs!

  8. Sorry that you feel down and out. The housing market is really bad in recent years. Something will come along at the right time. Just be glad you do have a home even if its to small. I been in your situation, to many people in one home. But we survived . Enjoy yourself with your family . Wok on your finances and do what you can to budget and save. Talk to someone to help you make a plan what to do . Have a happy Mothers Day , your family wants to see you smile on this day.

  9. Olivia Rubin says:

    I just want to say I hear you and your pain and your guilt and our disappoint me. You are honest and with that better times will come. When? Who knows, but you have your family and sheltar. It is not where you want to live or how. It sounds amazingly cramped and somehow your family does it. You are a survivor and you are teaching your children how to persevere.
    It will come in time if you put in the foot work and continue to be honest. How lucky that you have a place to call home, even if it is not what you want or expected. It is home.

  10. June M. says:

    So sorry about all your troubles. Even though things are not as you would like for them to be, they could be much worse. There are people being evicted every day from their homes, people who are homeless, etc. Even though you all are crowded and not in what you would like to be, at least your family has a roof over their heads and are healthy & together :)

  11. Robin Wilson says:

    Sweetie ~ I want you to go look at your kids while they are sleeping and if you feel like you aren’t going to have a Happy Mother’s Day I will be surprised. I totally know where you are coming from. I have Lupus and my illness has caused us financial ruin. My son has only been able to go to college part-time because of it. It makes me so sad, he deserves so much more. We are in the same boat as far as selling our home. We just could not get enough to buy another place. We want out of the house and INTO a condo! We have a little over an acre and this house and yard are just more than we can take care of now. Why don’t you move to NC and buy our house! Things will get better for both of our families, it will just be in God’s time, not ours. Have a great day with your kids and worry about this the next day.

  12. MelodyJ says:

    I know we live in a society that values things and money above all else. Home ownership is one of the valued treasures in the US. If you don’t have these things you feel bad like you have failed. But, you haven’t. Your family has made the best of this situation. Even though you don’t have what you want you still have more than a lot of people.

    In my area there are adults in their 40s, 30′s and 20′s still living with their parents. Many jobs don’t pay a living wage. Living at home is the best option. I overheard a cashier say that she has three jobs because it pays better than one job as a manager would pay. So, just be glad to have a place to stay and that your husband is understanding and has good credit. You have great kids. Your parents are supportive. You have cute, sweet pets. You have a fun blog.

    You know what some of the craziest stories on the local news are about people who live in big pretty houses. It blows my mind. They have so much but they don’t have it altogether either. Remember that!

    Happy Mother’s Day!

  13. Sarah L says:

    Home is where the heart is and you have so much heart.

  14. stephanie hodges says:

    If I win the lotto, I would buy you a house. Happy Mother’s day.

  15. Melissa P. says:

    Have you thought about renting a home or looking for a home that you can rent with the option to buy. You could also rent out your condo. I know it’s hard but try to focus on the positives and other options. Something will come up. : )

  16. Colleen Turner says:

    I’m so sorry for what you are going through! I think you are being way too hard on yourself! It isn’t like you put your family in debt going on mindless shopping sprees or buying stuff just for yourself…you were taking care of your family the best way you could. You should be praising yourself for keeping your family floating. Not everyone would be so diligent and lots of families go through this. So take a deep breath, pat yourself on the back for keeping your family together and hug your kids! And eat some of that chocolate, you deserve it

  17. Jayden H. says:

    I understand how heart breaking this must be for you, but do not let this take away from the recognition you deserve for being a mother. I want to tell you something that I hope gives you some comfort. My parents had me when they were young and I grew up in a very small condo, where my parents also slept in the living room. I can tell you honestly that my living arrangements as a child has never been something I think about. I think about the times my dad would take me sledding, the times my mom would give me advice when I came home crying, the neighbor kids, driving around looking at Christmas lights, etc. Now I want to tell you that when I was older (teens) my dad started making good money at his job at UPS and my parents were able to build a nice house in a nice neighborhood….it is a nice house, there are some good memories there, but it made my parents’ obviously unloving relationship even more obvious than it was before. My parents ended up divorced and my mom and sister and I were stuck in this large house together…too much space haha. I want to tell you this to let you know that looking back at my childhood, teen years, etc. I do not think about the house I was in. I think about how i felt in the houses I was in. In the end, it’s the love and family and memories that matter, not the size of the house, your kids will grow up happy and thankful. I bet when they are all grown up and you tell them about this struggle, they will say they remember going to the park with you, not the size of the back yard. Their favorite meal you made, not the size of the kitchen. The bed time stories, not the size of the bed room. :)
    Happy mothers day and God bless!

  18. I’m so sorry that you’re hurting this way. I’ve made many mistakes with money, too. I don’t have any answers for your financial problems, but just take one day at a time. You need to remember that a good mother will make plenty of mistakes, but the things that matter to your kids don’t have anything to do with money. Try to enjoy the love of your family on Mother’s Day.

  19. eugenia says:

    that’s rough!

  20. Karen R says:

    I’m sorry that you don’t have the home you want. Don’t blame yourself. We all make mistakes. I hope things work out in the end. You are a good Mother. Happy Mother’s Day1