As I sit in our home full of boxes, empty walls and four and a half years of wonderful memories, my heart feels full. I am very blessed, and I know that what we are going through, or went through to get us to this point of making the decision to sale our home, is so little compared to what so many people have gone through, or are going through, but to me it has been a challenge. This experience has reminded me that material things aren't what matters. It doesn't matter the size of your home or what car you drive... what matters is what you can take with you. It is my kids last night sleeping in their beds at our home. Tomorrow they have a sleepover with their friends while Matt and I finish packing up. Tonight I find my mind won't stop thinking. I am grateful that this move we only have to move seven miles away, but I know even if we had to move 700 miles, or 7,000 miles we would still be okay, because I would have my family with me.... That said... on with the ramblings of my crazy mind this night.
Four and a half years ago we bought our home. We loved our home. I don't remember ever being happier to wake up each morning. Just knowing that I wasn't in an apartment, but was in OUR home. A home that we could plant flowers at, wash our car in the driveway, park in the garage (heck-HAVE a garage) paint the walls... It was a beautiful feeling. And the feeling didn't go away quickly... it stayed for quite some time. Of course I eventually began the very human way of thinking- that I wanted bigger and better.... but for the most part, I was very content with our home.
I remember my Dad asking what the worse case scenario would be when purchasing our home. We discussed that worst case scenario Matt would lose his job and the house market would plummet. We thought that was very unlikely, and we felt right about buying the home so we went ahead. Then, less than a year later the housing market plummeted, and because Matt worked for a home builder, he lost his job. Worse case scenario housing wise- brought to life. Matt found another job and things kept working out... however, that five year mark of the interest rate jumping, was looming over our heads.
We have watched our home decrease in value by 60% over the past four years (along with everyone else who bought at that time). It has been hard to see other people buying bigger and nicer homes now for less than what we paid for ours and its hard to be happy for people when you feel like the situation was so unfair, but such is life.
When we went to Redding for Matt's CHP Academy we decided it was a good time to try to sale our home as we didn't know where we were going to end up. Thus began the short sale process. We tried to work with the bank several times to do a loan modification, but they weren't willing to work with us. The thought of doing a short sale on our homes was very hard on my pride, but I knew that we are not alone by any means in going through this, as we have had several other friends in the same situation. While we were in Redding there were three or four different offers on our home and each one ended up falling through. I think the timing wasn't right for us and feel so blessed that we were being looked out for. If our home had sold while in Redding I would have had to find a rental and pack the house completely on my own while Matt was in the academy. Once we got back to Lake Elsinore there were two more offers on our home and the last offer actually got approved by the bank. It is now scheduled to close on the 12th of this month.
I have spent the last month looking at rental homes. I thought I could be okay with leaving behind our home if I found a really nice home to rent, or at least as nice as ours. I spent every spare moment driving around looking for rentals and on craigslist viewing postings. I was not having the best of luck. Two homes that I really liked got rented out before we even filled out an application, even though we looked within the first day they were posted, and the rest I liked were too far out of our price range.
The criteria I had when looking for a home was- it had to fit our budget, be at least four rooms, have a backyard, be in the ward, and closer to Matt's work, not the opposite direction on the freeway. I found I couldn't be as picky as I had hoped. We finally settled on a 3 bedroom home just across the street from our ward boundaries. (2 criteria shot to heck) The plus sides of this home was that it has a nice backyard, it has a very clean feel, it fits our budget, and might be 2 minutes closer to Matts work. :) Ashton will have to switch schools next year, which he is heartbroken over, but the school is right by Teras current school so they will both be attending there next year.
As I've been packing this last week I have tried to be excited about this change... as excited as I can be at least. And while it is sad to see these empty walls and empty closest starting to appear, it is also nice to de-junk my life and get rid of things as we downsize. I am glad we will be able to put money away each month as we choose the more affordable option and we will still be able to do fun things. I am trying to really focus on budgeting. Last month was the first month I have ever stayed at all on a budget. I didn't buy a single thing for me or the kids (clothes, toys etc.) and it felt so great. So, wish me luck in the future!! I know it will be hard to stay that good this month as we move. But I need to remember how good it felt!
But, truth be told, it is sad losing our home. While we feel grateful to be able to get out from under it and that it didn't foreclose, there's nothing happy about losing your home. So when people ask if I am excited about moving, it is hard for me to not look at them like they are stupid... because seriously.. who would be excited about something like this? I look at the walls we painted, the grass we planted and the retaining wall Matt laid and it makes me sad.. because this is OUR home... our FIRST home. The home where our kids started school, where Mazzi joined the family, it is full of a lot of memories. And not only are we losing it, but someone else is getting it for such a ridiculously low price that we could easily afford it if the bank would work with us at all. I know thats not the right attitude, but its just how I feel. And if you can't tell.... I'm not holding anything back in this post. So wish me luck in the move this weekend, and wish me luck in having a better attitude and adjusting adjusting adjusting! Life is all about change- I am just glad this is a "7 mile change" And I know there will be more happy memories in our new home.