by Kate Torok
Please stop waiting for the $8,000 tax credit to return. It won’t. The government has other concerns and debts to think about and the credit was simply a quick fix/PR lightbulb that helped ease the housing market pain for a short time. The good news is, if you do some quick math, you’ll realize that the interest rates are the lowest they’ve been in DECADES, and you will save far more than $8,000 in interest over a 30-year mortgage. So, really, NOW is the time to buy. And MY house is the one you want.
Thanks so much,
Frustrated and Homeless
It’s funny, really. My husband and I had been thinking about trying to get closer to my family in Syracuse. (His is in Philadelphia, and they are thinking of moving to Charlotte. We like the four seasons too much to do that.) So, we talked about maybe a year from now, or maybe by the time our daughter started school. Then, out of nowhere, my dream job landed in my lap: a public relations position at a college in Rochester, an hour and a half closer to my family. And a free education (in 16 years) for my daughter, to boot. Sweet! So, I applied. That was in February. It was a long process, but I was offered the position in June, gave my notice, and the “For Sale” sign went up.
And it has stayed there ever since.
I started my new job in August, commuting the hour and a half from and back to Buffalo each day. It wore quickly on me. But, we really didn’t want to pay two mortgages, nor could we, and we knew we needed to stick it out until our house sold so we’d have some cash to put down on a new home.
In the meantime, my husband put in for a transfer at his company, and that came MUCH sooner than we thought it would. So, after two months of commuting, and a quick transfer, we decided to pack up and move to a short-term rental in Rochester.
So here we are. We moved Oct. 1, and have paid rent and mortgage for two straight months. Our savings is slowly thawing out, and I’m petrified that we will run out of money. So, where is the funny part that I mentioned above? It’s more ironic, really. We recognize how lucky we are to have such great jobs, our health, and our family together. It’s just interesting that we both took steps forward career-wise but are leaping backwards financially. It’s not as if one of us lost a job and we were forced to relocate. It’s not as if one of us is struggling to find work. We’re struggling to find a good realtor.
I’m a pretty reasonable person. I realize that this is not the opportune time to be selling. And I’ve researched the inventory in our neighborhood, and there is plenty of it. We’ve dropped our asking price three times, and came dangerously close to a sale twice, but our realtor just isn’t sealing the deal. In my opinion, it’s her fault that we are in this predicament.
1. Left the front door unlocked twice after an open house
2. Turned up the furnace
3. Left the front blinds wide open, yelling, “Come on in! It’s a vacant house!” to everyone who walks by—a vacant house with half of our stuff still in it.
“So, fire her!” you’re thinking. We’ve never sold a house before. She was convinced we’d sell easy, and it all happened so fast that by the time we signed the 24 sheets of paper that was the “seller agreement” we didn’t realize we’d signed on for 6 months of real estate hell. We didn’t know we could have questioned that timeframe. So, we’re stuck with her. Unless of course we want to pay them back for the advertising costs. Which, with a rent and a mortgage, we simply cannot do.
We’ve followed the advice of many friends and buried St. Joseph next to the sign. It worked for them, it would have to work for us! Alas, he has been there for weeks. I’m wondering if we bought a defective St. Joseph? Did my husband find him on the clearance rack at the Catholic store? From the looks of all of the inventory, maybe it’s time for St. Joseph to be recalled. Or retire.
Needless to say, we will be hopefully ringing in a great 2011. Out with the old, in with the new. New year, new agent, new real estate company, new “For Sale” sign and, hopefully soon, a new home!
Kate Torok is a pissed-off, married mother of one—pissed off not because she’s married or a mother, but because she can’t sell her house. She works as a communication specialist at a small liberal arts college in upstate New York.