No, Just Me

HomeForSaleSign

A couple of weeks ago I was watching Sex in The City and I caught the one where Miranda buys her first place.

Meanwhile, at her mortgage company across town…
…Miranda was having her own troubles closing the deal.
So, it’s just you.
Yeah, just me.
Check the “single woman” box.
Initial.
And the down payment’s coming from your father?
No.
Just me.
Check the “single woman” box.
In the course of one hour…
…Miranda had checked more single women ‘s boxes than her gynecologist.

The conversation she had took me back to the day at the title office and the 10,000 papers I signed to buy my townhouse.  That’s right, I said MY townhouse. My very first home that I bought on my own during my divorce. The process took almost two hours to complete and my signature turned into a scribble but in the end, I was a home owner. This townhouse was mine, all mine.

My previous home with Jake’s dad was transferred over to him so this wasn’t my first home-buying experience. But this was my first home where you looked at the owner’s name and it said me, just me.

For days I walked through the house trailing my fingers across the walls like a lazy woman’s hand dangling in the water from a canoe. My fingers traced invisible lines into the bare walls painted in that glossy generic mixture of eggshell ecru. Each time I entered a room, I whispered the words ‘mine, all mine.’

It took me over a year before the full sting of the shock wore off. I had bought a home and I did this on my own. And along with owning a home came the financial struggles. At my one-year home owner’s anniversary, I realized my adjustable rate mortgage was about to start adjusting.

When I sat down to write this post, I debated with myself just how truthful I was going to be about my home buying experience. If this is going to be a blog about living authentically then it has to be real. Sometimes I don’t want to talk about the ugly stories but when I do, I’m always amazed at the relief I feel for being honest.

See the truth is, I’m one of those people who they talk about in this whole foreclosure mess. I’m one of those people who should never have been approved for a loan. I worked with a mortgage company who did all sorts of tricks and moved numbers around to make a case to the bank for me to buy my home. At the time this was happening, I was knee deep in my divorce proceedings and still living in what my lawyer referred to as the marital home. I was truly not in my right mind and I just needed to get out of that place for the sake of my sanity.

So I signed the papers and believed the guys at the mortgage company when they said it would be easy for me to refinance my home. Except it wasn’t going to be easy since the housing market was in its downward tailspin. The shock had officially wore off and I knew that there was no such thing as a simple fix for my financial mess.

A few months later, a messenger named Mona came to save me. With her help, I filed for a modification of my home loan. She helped me for eight months write letters, make copies of my whole financial life and tell them my story. She taught me how to call my loan officer to keep me on the top of their list. Mona always said, ‘if you’re a name and not a loan number, you have a better chance of getting this approved.’

The day my loan officer called me with my approval, I cried. I started sobbing on the phone and thanked her for all her help with my case. Looking back now, I realize something. That modification did more than just give me a fixed rate mortgage. It gave me my power and my strength back.

As Henry David Thoreau once said, “Things do not change, we change.”

Photo credit: Home for sale

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15 thoughts on “No, Just Me

  1. I share your joy. Your first place on your own, without a husband or parents is theTHE satisfying feeling. Mine was many many years ago, yet it still holds a special place in my heart. All things happend with faith: faith in God and faith in yourself. Merry Christmas, my friend.

    ________________________________

    • The dates may change but the feelings are the same! I think that’s why we always connected in class, we’ve both been through the same experiences. Hope you have a happy holiday too 🙂

  2. Thanks for this post, we have not purchased a home yet and I’m trying desperately to get us approved. Sometimes I feel as though I’m trying too hard. I don’t know but it helps to hear other’s experiences. I’m so happy you were able to make it through that process!

    • The way things are now, if I tried to buy now, I probably wouldn’t get approved either. That was a different time in the housing market when I bought my place 5 years ago. All I can say is keep trying and make sure you have a pretty big down payment. Good luck with buying a house!

  3. SUCKY MORTGAGE COMPNY!!! I am so sorry to hear all of your troubles. We must come up with a plan to make you rich! Jake sounds like a very good little trooper. It’s so refreshing to see someone talking about REAL LIFE! My parents lost there house when i was a child it was not hard because we moved right next door LOL! It just kind of blended in with all the other dysfunction. I wrote a song about foreclosure it’s the title of my album. What will all the neighbors think. I wish more people were addressing this problem. Your so brave!

    • I’m already working on my plan to get rich but thanks for the encouragement!
      You’ll have to send me a link to hear your song about foreclosures.

      I’m doing my best to keep making my payments as foreclosure is not an option for me. If it weren’t for the modification that I worked out, I probably would be near that place since the modification lowered my monthly payment.

      I’m not sure if I’m really brave, I’m just writing about this authentic journey I’m on and it includes all the stuff life throws at me 🙂

      • I hear you. YOU ARE VERY BRAVE. Most people don’t talk about what’s going on with them. I volunteered at a food pantry you would be so surprised to see all the Mercedes and BMW’s. There is nothing to be ashamed of you and MILLIONS of others were lied to. IT’s the bankers that should be ashamed. KUDOS!

    • Thanks for the comments – that means a lot coming from you. I know we get snarky with each other sometimes in our comments but I do value your opinion as you remind me a of a few people in my family.

      That line you said about how this crisis involves real people, funny, I wasn’t even writing this for that point. I started writing one thing and this is what came out. But ya know, if I was able to put a face to those stories you hear about the mortgage mess then I’ve done a good job of blogging today.

  4. Pingback: Or so I thought | My journey to live an authentic life

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