I've lost count of the days and months since we first placed out Cherry Avenue home on the market. It's now been 7 days since we closed, 7 days since we stopped owning our home and 7 days since we lost our originally invested $90,000. Okay so that kind of hurts but it's time to say goodbye to our home and to our money.
The first emotions that we had were relief that this extra financial burden has disappeared. Every month our renter paid us $1600 and every month we gave the bank $2600. Then there were the unexpected plumbing issues which cost us money. We never had planned for the house to be a rental. Shortly after we moved to California in 2009, it was set to close. 10 days before closing the buyers simply changed their minds.
The one shining star in all of this was our realtor Sarah Sydor who works with Windemere on Bainbridge Island. We found her after I sent a "help us find a realtor" post on a local Island Moms email group. We felt so helpless down here. I had asked for a realtor that was internet savvy, someone that would actually communicate with us and someone who would help us sell our house. So many moms referred Sarah to us.
She not only became our realtor but she became a close friend. She went above and beyond for us with selling the house and closing the deal. Her fabulous husband was even helping out right before closing by mowing our lawn (in the rain) as per the buyer's request. Without Sarah I don't know if we could have managed through this somewhat painful and emotional real estate transaction. There were times when she gave us the advice that we needed to hear. We had absolute trust in her and she really came through to the very end.
Since we lost all of our investment we aren't sure if we can buy another house again. When I am feeling positive I think that money is just an energy and that it can come as easily as it disappears. When I am feeling depressed I find the situation heart breaking and it leaves me grieving.
Thankfully we are content in our current rental. Yet that self-sufficient upbringing that my parents gave me leaves me wishing for land to grow our own vegetables and plant our fruit trees. I long to drink from well water instead of city water. I wish to hear the sounds of nature rather than the sounds of leaf blowers in our neighborhood. I look forward to driving through countryside to a Waldorf school rather than on the freeway every morning at 65 mph.
I'm praying that the difficulties of the last four months will slowly shift gears into positives. Our house has sold, we are now once again a 2 car family, I'm bringing in money with ReSelling and Dave has lots of possible job opportunities in the works. How will we make up for the $90,000 lost? I'm not sure. It would be somewhat doable if we didn't have school fees to contend with but for our family, Waldorf education is our top priority, next is our organic wholefoods diet and third is our home. Our main reason for Frugality is that we can have those three items in our lives. Where we spend money is actually the future. We spend money on the children's education because I want them to graduate feeling confident in who they are and knowing that they can do anything they want. I feed them a nutrient rich, organic diet to hopefully keep them healthy when they are older.
Many houses in Sonoma County in the area where we want to live are $400,000 and up. We are prepared in our minds to invest in a home that needs work as long as it has good bones. We don't actually enjoy turn-key homes because we want an older home (now 50's or 60's rather than the 20's like our Cherry Ave home) that has some vintage character in it. Nothing breaks my heart more than walking into a vintage home where it has been modernized. We'd actually love our 1950's rental house if we could only pick it up and drop it in the country somewhere.
I wish that thrifting was predictable and that I could plan to buy a $5 painting that was worth $100,000. We've all read the stories where someone picks up something for nothing and sells it for a large amount.
I'm going to start dreaming and planning how I could earn or bring in money for our down payment of our next home. I'm so ready to set down roots and have space for the children to build forts and tree houses. My first task will be to write up a list of ways to find increments of money. Some will be silly and crazy but how else do amazing dreams come true? It was only through dreaming that we came to live in Sonoma County. I dreamed about living here when Cerys was just a year old.
I love this quote by Wayne Dyer: "In order to float an idea into your reality, you must be willing to do a somersault into the inconceivable and land on your feet, contemplating what you want instead of what you don’t have."
I'm going to contemplate finding the money for us to make a down payment on our next house. I'm starting tomorrow by opening a Dream Home savings account at my bank. I'm also going to write down ways to earn and make money. I'm especially going to find even more ways to save money. We spent more than normal during the last week between my birthday and our little vacation. Now it's time to tighten our belts and watch our savings account grow. We may be starting over but it will be our hard work, dedication to our dream and our strong power of wishing that helps make our dream of once again owning a house a reality.