Tuesday, March 25, 2014

...and THIS is why I need you to send bail money

I'm going to share a little secret with you.
 
Something people may not know about me.
 
You know ... because I am so 'discrete'.
 
Here you have it ... I hate realtors.
 
Hate. Them.
 
No ... REALLY. I mean it.
 
So for the back story ...
 
It all started about 6 years ago. Really this has been building since then. It was the decision that has now defined our daughters' childhood... and not so much in the good way.
 
I got it into my stupid little head that we should buy a house with an in-law suite so that my mom could move in with us when she retired.
 
... yadda, yadda, yadda, six years later we are about to be foreclosed upon by not one but two lenders ...
 
Oh ... and I yadda'd a bankruptcy, a trip through social services, two job losses, a business failure and very nearly, the end of my relationship with my mother.
 
It boggles my mind how this has played out. Honestly, I'm sitting in the middle of it and I can NOT reconcile how this went so terribly wrong. Can't do it.
 
I mean ... this is a thing dirt bags do. People who don't know how to run their own lives ... right?

Failures.

In an effort to escape with an ounce of dignity, we are attempting to sell the house at a loss and make settlement with the second lender. It's the best we can hope for at this point. It's been listed for 15 days. It's been shown three times and the first two felt there was just too much work here to be done but the last folks loved the location, the size, the view, the yard ... but because it needs windows and flooring and a little siding, it's too much work for them. My house is listed for twelve and a half grand under the tax assessment and rings in at less than $83 per square foot of house. Plus ... we are very negotiable.

Where in the sweet hell are you going to buy a house for that kind of money that DOESN'T need work? No place ... that's where.

So ... I emailed my realtor to impress upon him the various options that are available in the market place for purchase plus improvement mortgages and cash back mortgages ... Did anybody talk to them about that, I asked him.

Wanna know what he said?

"I told the other realtor we were negotiable ... I have to assume the buyers have a mortgage broker".

Are you freakin' kidding me? Did I or did I not JUST FUCKING HIRE YOU TO BE MY SALES PERSON? Be a mother fucking SALES PERSON and at least PRETEND like you earned your commission!

As a side bar - my sincere apology goes out to any realtor who actually DOES earn their keep ... but I'm here to tell you something - I have met an awful lot of you and not ONE SINGLE TIME has any one of ya'll done anything but enrage me.
                                                     
 I asked this guy for a copy of my CMA ... which is the market analysis ... so I could supply a copy to the lenders involved. That was 18 days ago ... after I was told one had been done to determine the listing price. Hmmm ... an untruth, perhaps?

I wound up completely re-writing the property description. His was two sentences and didn't mention a SINGLE feature of this house. I mean, the old girl needs a little work, but there are a ton of features ... you need to mention this stuff, dude ... if she were gonna sell herself, I could save myself close to fifteen grand.

Here's the thing I feel people in the real estate industry fail to notice: Many people wrap their entire self worth up into their homes. I have. Don't get me wrong, it isn't the house, in particular ... I realize that the best things in my life will come with me from this house ... but when we are talking about everything wrong with it, that translates into everything wrong with me. When they are rejecting my home because it isn't good enough for them, it translates into ME not being good enough. Add that to the cold hard facts at hand, and you've got yourself the recipe for some pretty spectacular self loathing.

It makes me so incredibly defensive ... which leads to a frenzied state of paranoia-fueled rage.

I came home from work today in such a state. It's been close to four hours and I'm still a little ragey.

It's been a pretty crappy go for nearly everyone I know. My dear friend of the past 20 years died a few weeks ago. just in my sphere of people, there is divorce, serious illness, money problems and job issues ... parents, children, pets ... you name it, we got it.

Is it ever gonna end? Is winter ever gonna go? As it sits now, we are expecting 40 - 50 cms of snow overnight tonight with sustained winds of 90kms per hour ... and gusts of 120 plus. With temps at -17 Celsius.

I can hardly wait.

Anyhoo ... as you can see, I am just a raging ray of sunshine and lollipops. This would be why I haven't been writing. I am vile. If you cut me right now, I am fairly certain there would be sticky black tar that would ooze out.

On the up side, I still adore my husband and my girls are healthy ... these really are the most important things. I do know this.

It's so hard to be positive ... but I'll keep trying.
 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

I Give You the "Twenty-Thirteeni"

Dec 31st 2013 ...

I submit for your approval, a new drink proposal: "The Twenty Thirteeni" (or should it be: "Thirtini"?) ... anyway, the drink needs to go down smooth, pack a monster of a punch and leave you with permanent brain damage when it's over ... something like absinthe, vodka, Kahlua and milk ... over crushed ice. Bitch will mess you up.

Just like Twenty Thirteen. 

Mess.
You.
Up.

I'm sitting in my rec room, beside the roaring fire in my wood stove. My children are at ease enough to be tearing each other new assholes every 49 seconds ... my husband is playing with Shorty's new tablet ... we had a decent meal ... the de-Christmas-ing has been completed ... it was good. 

We survived ... and I'm not only referring to the holiday season. *wipes brow*

We had help. Mom really came through with a bunch of extras that we simply could not do. It was good. I feel like crap about it, but it was good. Really, when I lay out the facts in front of myself, we're very fortunate. I know that we are. We even did something that impacted two less fortunate families (with SEVEN kids between them) in a beautiful way. I had a bunch of help ... but it just felt so darned good. I'm just tired of this constant butt-fuckery that is my financial situation. Just so tired.

So on the highlight reel, there are some great things that happened in 2013. We are going to read about them in a little while ... from the jar that has been on our fridge all year. It's gonna be awesome. In the past few months, I have landed a (nearly) full time contract with a highly successful mortgage broker in the city. It is run through my company, so I'm technically self employed ... but he is planning to keep me full time for the foreseeable future. I can still do my organization around it, but I need marketing money and we are still in crisis. 

I like him. He's not a woman hater. I've not experienced that in a boss-type person previously. He REALLY knows his craft ... and I can learn volumes from him. It's been a soft place to land back in the realm of the employed.

We have been playing chicken with both our first and second mortgage holders. The fees alone are off the chart ... and we had a lender call yesterday to force us into payment arrangements for the eleven hundred fucking dollars worth of service charges that have gathered after three bi-weekly payments were missed. That doesn't include the $450 from our bank. We went to our lender and told them our situation - ahead of the arrears ... asked them for assistance to get through the rough spot ... and instead of a life preserver, they threw us an anchor. I could have caught everything all the way up to date ... and then some ... on what we've paid in service charges. It makes me homicidal.      

My hubs had a very large charge back through merchant services 4 days before Christmas. It cleared our chequing account and left his business account overdrawn enough that we are still not caught up to a level playing ground. Just a last little kiss on the lips from 2013.

It's okay. I just need to trust that it is going to be okay. I think that is where I have been going wrong. I've been unsure, of late. I remain amazed at the number of basements I have dug for myself in these past couple of years. I am changing this thought patten. It's not a resolution ... it just makes sense: "Those who believe they can and those who believe they can't are both right." I think that just might be a truth.

The past couple of years have left me in a constant state of introspect. There have been times when I have been so lost in my own head, I couldn't be out in society. I had myself convinced that everyone thinks I am an annoying, neurotic drama queen who needs constant disaster in order to feel alive. Well ... there may well be some who do feel that way ... but I have accepted the fact that most of the world really doesn't give a care. Really. Those who remain and continue to love me (some days seemingly against all odds) do so at their own risk, I guess. I have to trust that I will make it up to them somehow. I think I can get right with that. I have to find a way to try

My goal/wish/desire/resolution for 2014 is a touch of boredom. If I could achieve boredom, it would mean my big issues are under control ... as evidenced by my propensity to bury myself in work in order to avoid dealing with big issues. It has been super amusing to become so aware of my annual Christmas-a-thon. The work that I lay on myself over the holidays is borderline manic behavior. Two and a half straight days of continual work ... and we're talking 16 hour days here ... to de-Christmas this house. I've come to realize it's my coping mechanism for a season that I love and hate equally.

Going forward, we have very simply got to figure our shit out. Like yesterday. I know I cry wolf all the time, but I am seeing new fracture lines in my sanity. I really am starting to question how much more I can take ... and I've started to wantonly shirk responsibility in dealing with the metric crap-load of thorny, ugly, unpleasant mess that I have happily dropped in Hubs' lap. Rather unceremoniously, I might add. There are fracture lines in his sanity, too. I see them more and more.

It isn't as though there has been no progress made. There has been some. I am back in the land of the gainfully employed. We have been chipping away at the various arrears we've amassed. The set back before Christmas has been pretty debilitating, but we survived. We've managed to keep from freezing to death ... or starving. The power hasn't been shut off ... yet. Revenue Canada hasn't lowered the boom ... yet. My HST return isn't due ... yet. It is at the and of January ... and I haven't a clue how I'll pay it ... but that is 30 days from now - right? We'll figure it out. Right?

We have to.

January 1st, 2014 ... Happy New Year!

So ... moving forward, we need to get me some mortgages to write. That would provide a possibility of rescue. Two a month would get a whole pile of fires under a controlled burn scenario. We need to stop this bleed somehow. We have to get to Spring, fix the crap that is absolutely necessary and unload this albatross of a house. It makes me sad because we will not be able to purchase anything else ... my credit is fried for at least two more years and Hubs owes taxes ... we're done for a while ... but if we could find a rental situation and just breathe for a minute. The kids are a concern. I don't really want to make any sudden crazy moves of schools and such ... but I am working in the city again and living this far into the country is not necessarily the best solution. Plus the rental scene out here leaves somewhat to be desired. 

Gawd! Being a grown up SUCKS!!

Enough.

It is a new year. It is a chance to start over. Even if it is an arbitrary holiday and it really doesn't give any more or less credence than any other time of year ... but it's as good a time as any, really. The time for wound licking is over now. It's time for a plan. A real one.   
  
So ... that's where we are. Plan making central. Today, I am writing. Something that makes me feel good. I am about to cook a breakfast for my kids ... one that wouldn't have been possible without my mother's recent help, but I just have to keep looking at the positives. Today is going to be relaxy for "crazy de-Christmas mom". I'm going to watch the snow fall outside and sit by my wood stove. Tonight I will make pork chops for supper and we'll eat a yummy, warm, tummy-pleasing meal ... with lots of carbs and sticky sauce and some veggies and tomorrow we will start with the plan making.

I recently gave a piece of advice to someone I love intensely ... who is experiencing her own trauma of late: Sometimes when you look at the horizon, you can overwhelm yourself with the 'whole' ... when that happens, just look at your feet. Make sure that they are still moving forward ... no matter how slowly ... just keep them pointing forward and keep putting one in front of the other. You'll get there.

I think I need to take my own advice. It was a good one.

I sincerely wish each and every one of the people who have touched my life a happy and prosperous new year. Me too.

D-out.