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April 18, 2011


Ithilien Fields

To find the shortest path to any dream, work with the ideas, not facts. Dwell upon the end results, now how's. And rely upon The Universe, not yourself.

Laura Lewis

Hey don't despair. It will happen. We sold our house about 6 years ago to fund therapy for our autistic son. After spending a fortune and living with my parents also for three years we have been able to buy a rental property using our super fund. We can not live in this until we retire but it is a start. I know the property market in the US has crashed but like all things this will improve. We are probably about 12 months off being debt free and then are setting ourselves a 4 year goal to save a deposit for a home for us.

I don't work due to our son's needs and the chronic depression I battle but we are also thrifty. It is great. I love your posts. I know you are down and sad today but please remember we all overcome adversity to become stronger and learn from them.
Thanks for being courageous and sharing


Selena- You articulated your current feelings regarding your home not being your home any longer, and all that went with it, in such a painstakingly honest way. Some of us who keep up w/ your blog are going through similar scenarios (I know I am). Coincidentally, my husband and I took a very frugal trip through your county and neighboring areas during the past week. We'd never been to your part of California before (though we live in the southern San Joaquin Valley). EASY to see why you love it so much. We saw beauty and a simpler, friendlier way of life, everywhere we looked. You sound as if you have your priorities mapped out to a 't'. With that, the inspiration of Sonoma County, and your hard work, the rest (your dreams/ goals) are sure to follow....maybe not in an instant gratification sort of way, but in due time. We're pulling for you. Thank you for your blog. We are also wrangling the unemployment beast in my family right now, and trying to make the most of what we have. Being ardent vintage lovers, we recently took a whack at hunting and selling found treasures locally to supplement our income. Your blog has been an inspiration, informative and a daily must-read. Thank You. Remember, we're pulling for you :). Becky


I'm glad for you the house got sold even though you guys lost money. Now it's really goodbye with the old and in with the new! I don't really see how renting a house is a problem if that's what's right for your family right now. I know people who rent all their lives and think nothing of it. Of course buying is investing in the future but it also hold you down in a way. For us right now, our house is bought and it's getting too small. But a bigger one is too expensive, selling is impossibly difficult in this market and the banks are giving people a really hard time getting a mortgage. So we're stuck, whereas if we would be renting, it's "just" a little more money in rent each month for a bigger place and nothing else. Perhaps looking at it in a more positive way is better, instead of dreaming "if I had a dream house like this..." and putting things in storage for the dream house. I don't mean to sound snarky or anything because I do it too so I understand, but I've decided to limit it because we are HERE in this house now and I should be happy with that. There's nothing wrong in dreaming but it shouldn't prevent me from doing things, or postponing for the dream house, you know? Right now, you're totally free and that's awesome too in a way, don't you think?



I have so much empathy for you! We too finally sold a home for much less than we invested. We worked hard (like you), paid our mortgage on time, and then sold it this past fall for half what we bought in for in 2004 (and I did my research before buying-it was the right market price at that time). It is hard to stomach the loss because we were taught to think of reality as an investment and not loss.

The brightside is that when you are ready to buy again, the market price of your new house will be much, much lower than what you would have paid if you would have bought in CA instead of WA at the same time (I hope that makes sense-it's early!) In other words, your 90,000 will be saved in the new property and even out over time as you find somewhere you want to put roots.

Meanwhile, I have to agree with Christine-I believe it would be awesome to be totally free of property! We are facing something similiar in that I took a job transfer (for the better) in a city four hours away from out rural home. My husband and kids are still there and this has been the hardest nine months of my life (I miss them terribly during the work week). I am living in the heart of the city and miss the country when I am here. When I am there, I miss the social aspects and convenience of the city. We, too, have decided to rent for awhile once the family moves in a couple of months just to see which life we prefer.

It will all work out and you have time. You are living your dream. It just feels cloudy because the grief of the loss right now is huge. I wish you the best!

Leah - MoxieThrift on Etsy

i only wish i had the courage to share my story. fear not, my inspiration, you are not alone. there are others out here with similar situations and similar belt tighteners. your post itself shows that what you dream will come true.


I have been scraping the bottom of the barrel for years - a bankruptcy in the mid '90's and two auto repossessions less than 5 years ago. After ridding myself of the toxic men in my life (although I share the blame for my situation, these events wouldn't have occurred without my two ex-husbands "contributions") I fought like hell to improve my situation and I closed on my first house last year. In three years you can apply as a first time homebuyer again and you should definitely look into FHA and/or USDA home loans. I couldn't have done it without my FHA loan.


This post made me sad.. it's tough to financially maintain a house. I think I'm also afraid of what could happen to myself. Sometimes I think I'll be ok if I ever did have to let go of our house. Other times I feel like I'm going to miss it. I think everyone has a different 'time' in their life when they are ready to own a house.. maybe for some it's just not the right time. Plus when you're not a homeowner, it allows you to use your money for other things like travel and entertainment. Don't give up though. I like that quote you put up about somersaults. I will take that and thanks for being so transparent about your life.


I can certainly empathize with you and will send prayers out into the universe for your peace. My father just passed away, my husband's father is in failing health and we just purchased a home two years ago when the market was high. We now need to sell out home in order to take both of our mothers into our house to live with us. Add a horrible market, a mandatory retirement, and two children to the mix and you get out life. If it helps, every morning and every night I look into the face of my children and know that it is all worth it. The love erases all.


Congratulations Selena, You should be dancing a jig for getting out from under that- what a huge gift to be free from the home owning burden. When we were moving to the Island, we had to rent a little house in Poulsbo while we waited for our new house to be completed. Jofrey and I always look back at that 6 months as some of the best times we had with our children because we experienced a prolonged sense of freedom from responsibilities. A simple monthly rent, call the landlord if something big goes wrong, and most importantly, no real emotional connection to the material. Seriously, go out dancing to celebrate!!!!(or just turn the radio up loud and dance in your living room- at least once a day-Doctors orders!!!


Selena, you've been finding that additional $1000 each month to pay your mortgage. Even though it's tough, if you could continue to consider that a necessary house expense, and put it in the bank, it would go quite a ways towards your goal. Many best wishes!


I am so happy for you! You have a great rental, but maybe finding one closer to the kids school would be nice as I know how you hate driving that connector everyday. I didn't realize Dave has been out of work--you have been dealing with that well.

It seems you have turned the corner--take a break & enjoy being free of a "mortgage anchor". You may have lost $90,000, but you gained a ton of knowledge. Go with it!

Moriah B.

Sigh...I know some of your thoughts/feelings. We just closed in February on our home's sale in Oregon which was on the market for nearly a year and sold for nearly half of what we bought it for. Not only did we lose all of our investment, but we also had to bring money to closing (all of our savings). We are now living in a teensy rental - me a WAHM with three littles, homeschooling, and some days I feel like I'm going to pull my hair out because we're so cramped.

But....I have started reselling in February (thanks to the challenge) and am slowly working at making some money to replenish our savings so we can get into our own home again in the future. You can do it!

Amy Zimmer

“If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it” Albert Einstein

I feel a bit of lose too...that house represents so many wonderful wonderfuls in our was a magicland that stirs creativity and mindfulness, peace and beauty...and it is only a thing...and the most glorious wonderful of all is a friendship and a family tie that has no limitations and memories that are forever. xo Amy


wow Selena, look what you've inspired! so many people are able to share their journey through difficulties because you are willing to be vulnerable and share your burden - sharing it should make it a lighter load. i don't want to minimize your grief; that is totally valid and you should take the time to grieve your loss and the move on. it sounds like you have a good plan in place for your future and from what i've seen on your blog in the short time i've followed you, i am confident that if anyone can achieve their goals it's you. if there is a way that us followers can help to encourage you on that journey, let us know!


Can you think of the $90K in the same spending category as your organic wholefood diet? I'm not being facetious. We had a similar situation a few years ago. Once our house sold, I could *literally* see how much healthier my husband was - physically and mentally. I was worried he was going to have a heart attack. The money is gone, the sale is over and done. But now you don't have it hanging over your head.
Take care!


I love how honest you are about your house situation. My husband and I are currently saving for our first home and it seems like its taking forever. Its refreshing to hear you gearing up to save save save. Reading this entry has reminded me steel my resolve to keep working towards our goals. Thank you.


We have always rented and I am now having the yearnings for a house and roots.

The houses in the peninsula are impossible Over $900k. We hardly have anything saved up. Maybe I will start a house downpayment fund as well.


im really sorry.

when our home finally sold a month or so ago, i was feeling the same feelings you are. relief to be done with it, but sadness and grief knowing full well all that we lost. five years ago we bought our home for $160,000. it was a fixer upper in a good neighborhood and we thought for sure it would be a great investment and a great home for our family. over the following years we put over $10,000 into it. we finally sold it for $125,000, $11,000 less than what we owed on it. there are times i get really down about all that we lost financially and how we're going to have to start all over. and the prospect of starting over seems so overwhelming.

through all of this i just keep telling myself that sometimes the worst that you think can happen, ends up not being the worst thing at all. i have my family, we're healthy and our immediate needs are met.

hang in there.

Cathy Lane

It's only right to feel sad - it's part of life as much as all the joy.

I love your positive attitude. Two of my children have been in a similar situation in the last couple of years and another child is $100,000 under water. None of them bought overly expensive homes or had funky mortgages but housing has not been a good investment for our younger generation. As my son-in-law said about losing the money they saved so hard to put down on their house when they had to short sale, "it's only money". Keep on putting what's important first like you are and things have a way of working out.


I feel your pain, and longing of owning your own home. Since my divorce almost 7 years ago I have lived with my mom (with my two kids). I didn't think I would be with her longer than a few months, but things don't always turn out the way you want them too (at least not immediately).

I was a stay home mom, but got a job and was doing well...even started looking for a house, but then got laid off. Got another job (very bad pay, to start off), and 5 years later I'm finally making what I was almost 6 years ago. So now it's time to pay off the credit cards I lived on when my pay was poor and start looking forward to possibly getting a place of my own.

The path I've been on wasn't the one I wanted to be on, but it might get me to where I want to be. All I could do is just wait and see.


Selena, I've been reading your blog for a while. You really are very clever and I'm sure your new home will come soon enough (due to your business savvy). Congrats on finally closing!!


Just like the car things will work out...You are so good with thrifting, it can definately apply to a home. Maybe you'll find a great fixer upper, one of those dirt cheap houses no one wants because they all want ready to go. You will be able to have things the way you want and send your time doing it..Good things will happen have your priorities in the right places and that is what truely matters.Much love to you and your fam.


I am so sorry you are hurting right now but you have inspired me so much with your determination and success that I am sure your home dreams will happen.... let yourself have a day of sadness and get back on your can do it! hugs...karen...


oh sweet mama! what mixed emotions in letting this house go. it seems a necessary step in the right direction so for that i am happy for you. you are so strong and such an incredible inspiration. i love that our top priorities are the same. i often feel judged that we are so financially challenged yet i refuse to compromise my values when it comes to education or food. you are doing amazing things for your family and i believe we will both continue to manifest abundance in the years to come. big hugs, rae

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