Friday, May 31, 2013

Boxes, Boxes Everywhere

Well, our house has been sold.  We’ll still be here for a few months while the short sale goes through, but at least we have a buyer.  There is a SOLD sign posted on top of the For Sale sign outside our house.   We've been here eleven years and that is longer than anywhere I've ever lived my whole life.  Reality is setting in that we really are going to be moving out of this house.  For even more reality, you should see the boxes, empty and full, piled high in our spare room!  The ones that are packed, are going with us.  The empty boxes are yet to be packed, either for a yard sale or for moving.  The bare bookshelves and certain empty cupboards give further evidence that we really are moving.  Or else getting a really good head start on spring cleaning!

For those who don’t know about a short sale, let me explain according to what we've heard and experienced.  Our house is under water, and probably would continue to be for another year or two before we could sell it for more than the mortgage we owe.  With a short sale, and a hardship reason, we can sell the house while it’s upside down and walk away owing no first or second mortgage.  We won’t make anything on the house, but we won’t owe anything, either.  We also, and here’s a biggie for us, have been advised that we do not have to repair, fix, paint, or do anything to improve the condition of the house.  Since Fred and I are financially and physically unable to make any repairs, this is super good news for us.

So why would a bank offer to do a short sale?

Scenario One: The homeowner can’t make the mortgage payments and lets the house go into foreclosure.  The bank now owns the property and, in order to sell it, has to repair, fix, and paint, the property.  They have to advertise the property for sale and maintain it before a new owner moves in.  In addition to losing the mortgage money, it is now pouring money into the house.

Scenario Two:  The homeowner can’t make the mortgage payments because of a hardship and applies for a short sale.  The bank is no longer getting the mortgage payments, but is also not having to repair or sell the property.  The real estate agent sells the property and the new owner makes the repairs.  It’s almost a win-win situation for the bank.

With a short sale, you cannot buy another house for two years.  That’s fine for us because at this age, we’re not about to be starting a thirty-year mortgage.

To add a cherry on top, to keep the homeowner from foreclosing, the government and the bank offer a “Relocation Incentive.”  That means we will get our moving expenses paid!  We couldn't have asked for a better ending to our story as we get ready to close the book on this chapter of our lives and prepare for a new chapter in North Carolina.

Today’s Quote:  Everything happens for a reason, people change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so you can appreciate them when they're right, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can come together. Marilyn Monroe

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Dogs Don't Wear Sneakers

While working in the elementary school library the other day, I took note of some of the book titles for beginning readers.  Long gone are the Dick, Jane and Spot books that were around when I was a beginning reader. After all, you can watch Spot run just so long.  Now, the beginning readers have an amazing array of fun books to choose from.  For instance:

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
Never Ride Your Elephant to School by Doug Johnson
Never Mail an Elephant by Mike Thaler
Dogs Don’t Wear Sneakers by Laura Numerof
The Flea’s Sneeze by Lynn Downey
Never Give a Fish an Umbrella by Mike Thaler.

These book titles would tempt anyone to pick them up and start reading.  And the kids do read.  You can see how much they love books by the way they groan when told the library will be closing for the summer.  Every class period, kids are lined up waiting to check out the book(s) they’re taking home to read. I see this and am encouraged about our country’s future.  Dick, Jane and Spot have left the building.

Speaking of books, I’ve started sorting and packing for our upcoming move.  So far, all I’ve done is one bookcase.  Every book I pick up has to go in one of two boxes--take it with us or put it in a yard sale. It has taken me hours just to go through those few shelves, looking at all my “friends” and deciding their fate. Autographed books by Buddy Ebsen, Mike Huckabee, and local authors, should command a higher price at a yard sale.  And there is yet another bookcase to sort through. A third bookcase contains just photo albums.  Nothing to sort, they’re all going with us.

Today’s Quote:  How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these. George Washington Carver