Sunday, May 13, 2012

Waning

Well, I suppose it's high time that I poke my head in over here and explain myself.

Yes, my blog has fallen off my radar pretty completely. There's been a lot I have had to let go of, in the past year and more, and while it's all for a greater vision and a dream we hold, I admit it's wearing thin.

Am I being cryptic? I'm sorry. . . let me back up a bit.

You may recall that we lost both of Billy's parents in 2010. His Father's passing was sad but expected, but his Mother's death was a tragic shock that we still haven't fully come to terms with. They left to their children the beautiful family property here in Georgia, which Billy's siblings do not wish to purchase or live at. Billy and I desperately want this place to remain in the family, and if at all possible we would like to purchase it and raise our boys there. Unfortunately with lending regulations being very strict right now, we cannot possibly pull that off unless we sell (or, less desirably, rent) our current house. To help our house compete in this real estate market, we moved out of it, so it would remain show-ready at all times. Billy's siblings were not willing to let us live in the family property unless we bought it, so instead our fantastic and very dear friends opened their home to us, and we moved in there. We hoped this would be a brief and delightful experiment in communal living, just until we found buyers for our home and could then move on. That was in April 2011.

Fast forward more than one year. We tried everything we could think of to sell our house without ruining our credit, and though we are only borderline underwater, we simply could not compete with the cheap foreclosures flooding the market. We gave up on selling our house and are now marketing it as a rental. There's been a lot of traffic, but no takers. The rental market is strong but is flooded with inventory right now. And while our communal living situation remains improbably amicable and our friends embrace us still, Billy and I are beginning to break under the endless weight of an uncertain future and the helpless drift of just. . . waiting. . .

We want to move ahead. Billy absolutely must feel again like he is at the helm, able to steer his own ship and move his life forward with purpose. He and I both are in need of our own home again, a personal cocoon, our own little kingdom. I realize that much of our strife stems directly from feeling a complete loss of control over everything. . . but I do think that our need for some control here is healthy and necessary. We have our own grown-up lives to live, and we'd like to get ON with it, thankyouverymuch. We are tired of being held back and tripped up at every attempt to make our dream a reality. We need to move on.

We are feeling very discouraged, right now. There seems to be no way forward.

I have to remind myself that it is our stamina that wanes, not our chances. But how long can we keep this up? It's a battle every day.

So, there's my downer of an update. Yes, the pictures are from the family property. Isn't it beautiful? Billy and his Father built most of the buildings with their own hands. Billy and I were married there. The cabin on the property is a work of Art, designed and crafted by hand. A portion of Billy's Father's ashes are buried there. My children are in love with the place, and ask me why we aren't living there- why no one is living there at all. They ask when we will be able to buy it. All I can say is, "I don't know".

4 comments:

Pat said...

This is heartbreaking. I am so, so sorry that this is happening to you and to the home you should be living in. You are having to raise money to buy the rest of the family out of their share, is that right? I guess you've thought of and tried everything you can so forgive me if this is just being naive. Can't you live there as official caretakers until you've raised the funds you need to buy the family out - surely there must be some kind of legal agreement you could come to for managing the property in that way? I know you'd be vulnerable if the family could somehow decide to sell over your heads before you were ready but I'm guessing that's kind of where you are anyway. The housing co-op I belong to manages the house we live in, making us legal caretakers of our home even though it isn't ours and could still be sold. We do pay rent, but it's low partly because of our caretaker role. Our landlady is protected legally and we have a home so it's good for everyone. Basically we take on the role of estate agent and look after all the physical upkeep. There must be some equivalent in US law that would allow you to do the same.

Kit said...

@Pat: Thank you. What we plan to do is mortgage the property in order to buy out the other owners. 5 or 6 years ago, we could have done this easily. With the devastating housing crash across the country in the past few years, it's now MUCH more difficult to be approved for a mortgage. Hence, we don't even have a prayer unless we can sell or rent our current house.

There are loads of other ways that we could be able to move into the property, but they all require the cooperation and goodwill of Billy's siblings. We could have moved in right away if they'd only said, "Sure, that's OK with us". However they instead said (very indignantly), "NObody gets to live somewhere for free! That would be completely unfair! You would be getting more benefit from the estate than the rest of us!" Therefore, the property has sat empty all this time while we live with our friends and try to sell our house.

We offered to take over all maintenance duties and to pay all utilities (which have been paid for all this time from their inheritance instead), and to generally take care of things. . . but they refused. They said it still wouldn't be "fair". Strictly speaking, there's a case for that, but you'd think they'd want to help us out, especially since it would save them some money and ensure the property is well-maintained. The only solution they are interested in is having someone buy the property outright and therefore pay them their share of the inheritance.

So, until we can do that, we are stuck. . . and if we can't do it, we will be forced to put the property on the market.

Butterfly said...

I just read your story via a link from Five Bears ...really feeling for you, it must hurt a lot. I know I don't know you, but wanted to let you know I'll be praying for you and hope your situation changes for the better very soon.

God bless, Vanessa

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