Monday, May 7, 2012


I packed all the picture frames and decorations in the living room tonight. I know that this may seem early...we have a little over three weeks until we move. But, work is about to get real and I want to make sure that the boy isn't stuck doing it all himself. 

I am...sad? happy? A little bit of both. The walls are empty. I have spent 10 years making those walls look exactly how I want them to look. And slowly...I am tearing down 10 years. 

I don't think the boy totally understands. I am not really making a huge effort to help him understand. This place is me. It is my entire adult life. And I am walking away from it. 

And here is where I tell the story. The story I wasn't sure I would ever tell here. It's ridiculously personal in a way that I am not comfortable with. 

I am, quite literally, walking away. Financially, that is. I am foreclosing on my condo. 

My dad bought the condo a few months before my 21st birthday. So, I have been here for 10 years. (Yes, I have said 11 a lot, but that is just evidence of my math skills.) I paid all of the expenses and then bought it from him about 7 years ago. 

Since then, property values have soared (if I sold in 2008, I would have made about $40k) and plummeted. The neighborhood is getting questionable. The condo association is broke. Our basement leak? They don't have the money to fix it. We are starting to get mold. There are so many condos for sale, I can't even tell you. The walk I take to get to the track I run on has 6 alone. It's a 3 minute walk. 

If I put the condo up for sale today, the most I can hope for is retaining my mortgage for $20k. 

The condo a few doors down has been on the market for a year. 

I can't rent the condo because of the basement. Which the condo association has all but refused to fix. And I could never rent it for the amount of money that we are paying per month. The average rental price is about $200 less a month than our mortgage.

I have consulted a lawyer. The lawyer, after much deliberation, has advised that I take the exact action that I am taking. I am regarding it as a business decision. I say this partly because I want you all to understand that I have done my research. I am not walking into this decision lightly. And because I don't want any of you to worry that legally, or financially, I am at risk. That work has been done.

It is hard to put all of these memories in a box. It is hard to just walk away. I catch the boy wanting to fix holes in the wall and I think to myself, this house is going to be empty for years. YEARS. Nobody will buy it with the basement in the state it is in. Nobody wants to live in this neighborhood. And I can't help the waves of sadness that wash over me as I picture this home, my home, empty and abandoned. 

It breaks my heart. I know that I am talking, for all intents and purposes, about wood and drywall and paint. About an inanimate object. But, it feels real to me. I feel bad leaving my home. Just leaving it to a bank that is going to do nothing to take care of it. To, honestly, the only home I have ever known. 

I am so excited for the next step, for the next home, for making a home with the boy. Our home. 

But, I didn't have that house I grew up in. I had 7. I don't have memories of houses, I have never had a home until here. And it feels...raw. 

We close June 1st and the movers are scheduled for June 2nd. It is happening. Obviously, everything is going in the boys name. And we are selling my car. I am committing to 7 years with him (although I would commit to forever) because I will quite literally be at his mercy. My credit will be shot. I will have no car. I am someone who has been independent my entire life. This is, well, hard.

No. Hard  is the easy road. I am absolutely, bone chillingly, terrified. Not that the boy will leave, or that I will leave. Not that I will get stranded in this life with nothing. About relinquishing control. 

I find myself trying to control everything. And yet, controlling nothing. I feel so out of my element I can't even put words to it. My entire adult life, I was in control of everything. And letting go is not coming that easy. 

Being at someone else's mercy is just not me. It's just not who I am. And, yet, here I stand. I love and trust the boy. I want this life with him. I want that stupid white picket fence we are planning to put up in the front yard. I want the 2.5 kids. I am not holding my breath for the walk in closet.

1 comment:

J o s e y said...

That can be a super hard decision, but it sounds like it's the right one in your case. Also, if you're going to have a foreclosure on your record, this is the time to do it. It's such a widespread phenomenon at this point that it's not being viewed nearly so harshly as it used to be by lending institutions. I get that it's hard to walk away from your home though...