“Money makes the world go around, the world go around…” but can also bring you up or down.
2009, 2010, and part of 2011 were down years for me, moneywise. My monthly income is fixed. During 2008/09 it became very clear that my income was definitely not taking care of my outcome. Two mortgages (Wells Fargo and Citifinancial), credit cards maxed out and bill collectors calling were the three tolls of doom. I called my first mortgage lender, Wells Fargo, to see if I could get a modified loan, but was refused in about five minutes on the phone.
By Christmas 2009 I had decided to put my historic house on the market. I just could not afford to live in it any more. So, Valentine’s Day 2010 the house was listed and I was very optimistic, although I do remember having a daydream about the Valentine Massacre in Chicago. Hmmm….
By the summer of 2010 it became very clear that my house was not selling. We dropped the price…several times. I negotiated with most of my credit card companies for a lower monthly payment and a lower interest rate. (The only one that would not cooperate was Bank of America…Yes, I know we bailed them out…)We had open houses. Everyone loved the house, but no one came forward to buy. In the meantime I was selling vintage jewelry, antique silver, collectibles from my travels and antique furniture just to keep paying the two mortgages. Finally, by Halloween of 2010 I decided to not pay my mortgages and let the house go into foreclosure. What a gut wrenching decision this was. My wonderful real estate agent and I also discussed the possibility of a short sale. We filled out the paper work and sent it in and then started negotiating with the banks, which seemed like it would not happen.
Christmas of 2010 we had two offers! Yeah! I was visiting my daughters in New York City and talking with my agent on the phone. By the time I returned from the holiday trip it was January 2011 and both offers had fallen through. February brought a foreclosure notice for June 17… What a sinking feeling in my stomach. Another very low offer and that died. Another offer came in March which would pay the first mortgage what I owed, but would short the second. Lots of phone calls. Lots of emails. Not all of these were pleasant, by the way.
Every morning I would go on the computer and check Craigslist for rentals. Looked at a few, but couldn’t find the right price and the right place. And I had been packing every day, knowing that one way or the other I was going to be moving. On March 21….Eureka! I found a place that was perfect! The house closing was on April 28. And by May 1 was paying rent on a place I could afford. Whew!!!
The sale of the house did not credit me one dime in profit, but I was out from under the two mortgages, high property taxes, and high utilities.
Now I live in a wonderful neighborhood, can afford to pay all my bills and am paying down my credit cards…
Tomorrow we will talk about the emotional rollercoaster of those three years….