Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Home life

Let's rewind 6 1/2 years.  I was a year out of college, making decent money, loving the idea of owning some real estate.  And so I invested!  What do you know, a mortgage can be just dollars more than rent payments...and everyone says it's such a great idea because you're also gaining equity.  I jumped in, became an honest-to-goodness homeowner, complete with mortgage, worries, and a place to call MINE.

Ok, so you're still with me?

Jump forward in time from there three years.  Salt Lake City called my name...new job, crazy life roller coaster, became a landlord in order to keep paying the bills and remaining a homeowner, gaining equity, building a little nest egg for myself.

Ah, the landlord life.  Not for the faint of heart.  Floods, mold, broken things, getting rent checks, HOA, worrying about a place you don't even call home.  Some of my tenants were GOLDEN.  Others I had to evict and take to small claims court.  ("Flames...on the side of my face...")  Ups, downs, sideways, and across...being in charge of a property is rough business, and I've done so for 3 1/2 years.

Which brings me to 2012.  When the new year was rung, I had ONE goal: sell, sell, sell the condo.  It was becoming too much of a burden and not enough of a goldmine (thanks, burst housing bubble), so I readied the place to sell.  I painted cabinets, fixed up little things, spent a good amount of time and money making the joint look as good as I could.  Then I listed it on the market and waited.

And waited.

More waiting...

I was ready to throw my hands up in despair, when one day I got a text from my Realtor saying he had a possible offer.  Did I dare get my hopes up?  Could there be a light at the end of the endless mortgage tunnel?  I was bleeding cash every month and struggling to stay afloat (hooray for student loans!), so I was keeping my fingers crossed that the deal would go through.

Blah, blah, blah...doing paint touch-ups, dealing with homeowners insurance, moving out appliances, crying my eyes out when the appraisal came back for way less than the offer (which, is bad news...), worrying that somehow the buyer would back out.  And lots of chocolate and Diet Coke along the way, of course.

I bet you're getting antsy to know how this story turns out...and I was, too.  Until today when I got the call (finally!) from the title company that said I could come bring them basically the equivalent of my entire savings and some signatures and take care of the whole thing.

Now I wash my hands of it.

I thought I would feel relief.  And I do!  But as I was driving home, I began thinking about all of the memories, all of the time and energy and money I put into that place.  I try not to get too wrapped up in the money side of it, but when you move from thinking you'll make enough from a place to pay for the rest of grad school, to the thought of hopefully breaking even, to then realizing that you will be in the hole for a long time, it's no picnic.  And the tears started flowing remembering all of the friends I made, all of the amazing times I had at that place, and how that part of me is kind of a closed chapter now.

Sometimes moving on is hard, but after you hit a low low (and let's face it, it wasn't even that bad!), it's nice to just get going on building anew.  I'll still be able to go to school.  I can still lead a normal life.  Things are looking up.


Blogger heidikins said...

Good riddance (on the condo), and I hope things start looking up for you!! (I also hope that you win the lottery, for the record.)


October 31, 2012 at 9:10 AM


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