Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Losing Game

Anyone notice I haven't blogged in a few days?

That's because I've been one cranky middle-aged lady.

Some of you told me it's fun reading my blog right now, that it's very much like reading a book whose ending you cannot guess. But uh-oh! That's the part which is driving me bonkers. The part in which Tom and I are kinda homeless, what with a deadline to find another house lest our contract with the buyers of this farmhouse, expire--and where we've hardly a clue into which town we'll end up.

(I told Tom this weekend that we were only on day 4 of the 21-day-search we're allowed and he asked, "It's only been four days??") But it seems much longer since I began semi-seriously searching in May--and since it's all so brain-numbing.

Remember how I told you months ago that a favorite pasttime of mine is to search for real estate online? Well, that was then. Now? I hate it. Just hate it. As I told Tom last night, it's like playing a game in which you always, always lose.

Sigh. We thought it would be simple. Just find a cheap house with two bedrooms on the first floor, with or without a garage (depending upon the price: we could build a garage onto a cheap house if we had to) on a small-ish lot. Not a lot to ask, right? There are tons of houses like that in Western New York.

Trust me. I've viewed every single one of them online.

But here's the part where I keep spinning the dial and coming-up with the wrong combination for a win:

I'll find the perfect house at the perfect price, but it's in a "look over your shoulder or you may just get murdered" neighborhood.  --or--

The perfect house is on a gorgeous, scenic lot--but sits in a place where they get tons of snow or is on wayyy too much property or is too expensive. --or--

The taxes are outrageous ($3,700 on a $48,000 place). --or--

The house is adorable and has a garage, but its two (or more) bedrooms are all upstairs, along with the soul bathroom. (Major deal breaker since Tom doesn't do stairs.)  --or--

The house is amazing, with a perfect price, but with just one bedroom downstairs (which is what we have now and it's not working)...*** --or--

A nice, doable house is in a safe city block, but that particular city has always stressed-me-out just thinking about running errands there (but doesn't bother Tom at all).  --or--

The perfect house has no garage and is already at the top price we can afford to pay. --or--

A nearly perfect place will be too far from Tom's specialist whom he sees just 8 or fewer times a year.  --or--

I'll love the house and Tom doesn't (fortunately this one is rare, but it does happen) --or--

(And this happened again yesterday): We come upon the true house of my dreams, the one I've decorated inside my head since childhood, one which totally stole my heart, never to give it back, but it needs $40,000 worth of repairs. Which, if we got it cheap enough we could handle (maybe), except I can't do that to Tom (who says he wouldn't mind at all), because of the polio thing and needing to respect what it's done to him at age 54.

Gah! I hate this game. Hate it, hate it, hate it.

(See why I haven't written here in a few days?)

But still? God is good. He was especially good to allow our house to sell so fast as confirmation that truly, He wants us out of here. Without that, well, Naomi would probably have returned home one night and found Tom and I in choke holds upon the floor. ...heh...

So there is that (the divine confirmation thing). But as we've been driving around through the roads of the real world and the online one, too, I've certainly wished He'd throw down some more confirmation upon us about which house to buy! (Come on, God.... a little visit from Grace would be nice right about now.) She went missing again. Oh dear.

And yes.... perhaps He just wants us to rent, instead. We've thought of that and the actual living in an apartment doesn't bother us one bit. But it makes little sense to our heads to rent something (and start that searching game...gah...) when it would drain, over time, a huge chunk of our house-buying money for another place in a different state someday.

But the scary thing is that often God makes little sense to our limited, emotional, often-plain-wrong brains.

There is that, too.

Eegads. Calgon, anyone?  :)


So.... if you didn't already pick up on this--please pray for us, ok? 


The house of my dreams which we walked through with Cher yesterday? I was going to describe it to you, show you a few pictures, even, but emotionally I just can't go there. My heart made too strong of an emotional attachment to it: it was like the home I always wanted, but never got. Well, minus the huge holes in the ceiling, the bad roof, the 70-year-old windows (some of them, missing), the bowed-out inside walls, the ------------

Nope. Don't ask me to go back there. As it is, I'm now comparing every single house we see online to the design-perfection of that one--and they're all falling short.


The little house in the post below? It's still a possibility. Its 'wrong combination' is that 1.) it's far from Tom's specialist (30 miles), 2.) We'd have to make the Florida room into a bedroom and 3.) The FMC wants to dig up everyone's yards and haul away all the arsenic (as if that's possible), meaning they'd take down every huge front yard tree on the street. They did that already to one street and our potential-neighbor is on a committee to stop them from doing more senseless destruction. But hey, I need a house, not a tree. I still love that house, though, and sometimes Tom does, too. Sometimes.


*** Yesterday's perfect house had just one bedroom downstairs--and since I loved the yard and house so much--I did discover a way to make it work. And since the two-bedroom downstairs thing isn't working in our search, we're now adaptable. Just give us one good-sized bedroom and bathroom downstairs, at least one bedroom upstairs and we'll be good.


Sara spoke of our house-hunting adventure today. It surprises me that some of you often think of our quandary during your days. Surprises and blesses me.


Anonymous said...

It's not easy. I sold my house too and will be flying 1400km away to find myself a house and I have only 7 days to find one. I find you lucky to have 21 days. I have pets (dogs and cats) and need a house. Where I am moving too, there are not many houses I can afford maybe 4 or 5 and I will have to buy one and make the best out of it.
Things are not working out for me here and I have been in this house only 10 months and decided to sell and go back where I was living before. My house too, sold pretty fast, I'm losing money but sometimes losing money is the price to pay in order to gain a better quality of life. I'm alone, no partner and in my late fifties. I don't think renting is wise because it's money lost, you don't get it back as when you own your place.

I want to share this quote with you from Joseph Campbell.
"We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us."

All the best to you,


Storybook Woods said...

Well first looking for a home, is hell. Sooo emotional. So I think you are normal!! Second thank you for trusting us and being real, which is how we want you xoox Clarice

Dolores said...

In my house you are known as "Debra from Buffalo". I am always updating my family about what's going on in your life. Isn't that funny? Your blog is such an inspiration to me.
I am praying that you an Tom find the perfect house soon. Dolores

Miss Sandra said...

Dear Debra,
I do hope and pray that the "right" house is just around the corner waiting for you. I understand how hard this can be....especially when you find the home of your dreams and see it go beyond your grasp. I wish you and Tom all the best..and I'll be eagerly awaiting the good news of you finding your dream home. xo!

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

Praying, praying, praying for you!

For Grace, for patience, for peace, for success!

Perhaps if you extend your search area by about 50 miles you might find more places?

I know, having grown up on the southern shores of Lake Erie, that a whole piece of the 360 degrees we are supposed to be able to move about in is missing when so much of it is water! But I'm sure you will find the right place, a ranch perhaps or a condo all on one floor? Maybe not the condo. But you will be led to the right place.

Hugs from Ohio

Debra said...

Thanks so much, Everyone! I so appreciate your prayers and concerns and stories. Really, more than you know.

Oh, and Kristi--yes, when we expand our searches to within 50 miles we find the most lovely, amazing and affordable houses! *But* Tom has that thing about being as close as possible to his specialist, plus all those perfect houses seem to be in the center of the snowbelt. Gah.

So big sigh....... (Would love to live closer to your vacation cabin, certainly!) :)

Thanks again, Everyone....Debra