Wednesday my husband and I got the check for the sale of our old rental, and we spent the morning paying down various bills. My husband was gleeful as he phoned in a payoff of the credit card he’d taken out just for the repairs and other expenses for the house. It’s one of those cards that carries zero interest for six months, so we actually got a good deal out of it.
Just in time to pay our son’s college tuition., woo-eeeee, that was a close one. We were down to putting every day expenses on the card, we were so cash poor.
Yesterday we went shopping for purchases we’d been putting off – for example, we needed to replace a toilet that’s been broken since about March. We’ve been flushing it with a bucket of water so long I had got into the habit of setting the bucket in the shower to keep it full.
We owed our son some money for work he’d done when we hadn’t any money to pay him. His girlfriend has a birthday coming up, aside from their household bills, he was getting anxious about having some money to spend. He’s feeling pretty good about his new job, but won’t get paid for two more weeks.
And yeah, the other boy was working away at his part-time job, worried about being laid off when school started – his boss announced he would be kept on, no longer a “student” worker, but now a “permanent part-time” worker. Out of a crew of three or four kids, he’s the only one they kept.
You can’t see me right now, but I’m doing my Snoopy dance.
Yeah, life is a bumpy road. You better dance when you get a chance.
So we went out and stocked up on groceries. Our chest freezer was sitting dark and empty in the garage, long enough for us to notice, it hadn’t affected the PG&E bill very much, just sitting down there frozen. We turned it back on and packed it full of meat.
I’ve spent the summer having a giant anxiety attack. Even after the house sold, we had to wait for the money because we’d done a “tax exchange”. We bought a house for our older son with some of the proceeds of the sale, which saved us paying taxes on that amount. So the money had to go through a “stakeholder”, and that whole process seemed sketchy. For one thing, our title officer, who we are supposed to trust, was very confused, didn’t know anything about exchanges, and we and our realtor (who didn’t know much either) had to walk her through it.
And even while they treated us like a pest every time we contacted the exchange company, toward the end, we found out there were forms we were supposed to submit to get the money, and nobody had told us. We had to stay on top of the exchange company, e-mail them about once a week, ask if there was anything else we needed to do. “Oh, yeah, you guys again…” We felt like we were in a “Repo Man Grab” situation, but we finally got our money.
I’ll say, buying and selling real estate these days is like a trip to the old carnival! Step right up! We’ve bought and sold before, so we were somewhat ready, and we studied up about other stuff before we even talked to the realtors. We took our time choosing a realtor – I was shocked when the guy we chose immediately offered us a 5 percent commission instead of the standard 6.
He turned out to be worth the money – we had a buyer at the Open House, it just took a while for them to work through the sale of their own house, get all the inspections, make needed repairs, etc. He stuck with us through all the ups and downs, he urged us to be tough, and we got the money we wanted, and was happy with his share.
I will still feel anxious – I don’t ever not feel anxious about the future. My husband and I are moving out of our little apartment the next few months so we can rent it, pay off the mortgage on this property. We’re downsizing into a smaller house, with fewer conveniences, and I’m looking forward to simplifying my life.