When setting the tone for 2012, I decided that my word for the year would be leap. Abandon comfort zones. Propel myself into new terrain. Be nervous. All in an effort to prepare for the big changes I expected to set into motion.
Well, one of those adventures is officially on hold. Luke and I won't be putting our house on the market this spring.
It shouldn't have taken a preliminary analysis from our real estate agent to figure this out, but apparently I am that stupid. For instance: Did you know that homes these days are...selling less than what you paid for? By like, thousands of dollars? And there are no fairy godmothers to neatly make up the difference? Also, that you will possibly STILL be expected to do things like repair the roof and pony up closing costs? May I also inform you that the earth is round and revolves around the sun?
It's been an enlightening week for the Frema-Useless Clutter household.
Oh, Momma, but you are a fool! Let us join in a round of laughter at your expense.
All kidding aside, I am surprised I thought the concept of getting the house to market by April was more within our grasp than it actually was. We've known since tax time last year that our 2011 refund would be applied fully toward our credit card debt, our short-term savings is nil, and the dial on our mortgage (understandably) hasn't moved much since we bought this place a little more than three years ago. Of course we'll need to bring money to the table. I just never quantified the amount until Saturday.
Screw books and puzzles! No time like the present to learn DIY shingle.
Before leaving us yesterday, our agent promised to be in touch with more concrete numbers on what we can reasonably expect the house to sell for and how much we might be asked to pay out of pocket, but after comparing last year's list prices to sale prices for homes in our neighborhood, Luke and I already know that we can't afford to sell right now - maybe not even in this calendar year.
At first this was more than a little discouraging. We are so ready to move forward in other areas of our lives, but everything is contingent upon being free of this property (or at least will be made a million times easier). Renting is not an option, and we aren't interested in jumping through hoops for a short sale. Instead, we're choosing to view this setback as an opportunity.
Really, we should have been planning to go into this process with as little debt as possible, so now we can make that happen. Our tax refund will be used to pay off our credit card balance, and that better equips us to take care of our remaining medical bills (still looking at you, Liam, while also waiting to receive the invoice for my follow-up ERCP). Once that's done, we can make updates to paint, fixtures, and other random eyesores a little at a time instead of all at once. We can investigate other ways to save money (refinancing, budget cuts, etc.). Meanwhile, our mortgage will only get lower, and there is still plenty we can do to get ready for the changes that lie ahead. We are deep in the tunnel, but we can still see the light.
And what if, in the middle of all these preparations, the adventure of a lifetime falls into my (our) lap? I (we) may chase after it, anyway, easy be damned. This year, when pitted against leap, easy is going to lose, every time.