I was neither thrilled nor scared when the offer was accepted by the bank. The house needed a lot of work. The refrigerator was missing and the toilets didn’t work, among a long list of other things.
People tend to yank things they can haul away or break the ones they can’t when the bank tells them, shockingly, they have to go because they haven’t been paying the mortgage.
It was the thing we had to do, for the stairs will be impossible for mom to negotiate in the years to come, and all the half-way decent houses were out of our price range. I, on the other hand, had to suppress my tears whenever I thought about leaving the house and the city that have been my home for the past thirteen years.
I realized just now that I had lived like a gypsy until I moved to this city near the bay, and soon found out it was less expensive to buy this little house than to rent an apartment.
Things changed much downwardly after I read the inspection report. I called the agent and said I didn’t think I wanted the house anymore. It wasn’t painful to say it, because I didn’t fall in love.
Adding to the long list of repairs, the foundation was uneven from the moisture in the soil. The inspector said the problem was common--every house in that area had this problem and it was not anything serious.
Foundation lifting? Not serious?? I wasn’t going to buy into that. I wanted my deposit back.
He immediately came up with a great idea, which made me wonder why he didn’t say so earlier. I had my theory, or course. Anyway, his idea was to get repair quotes from two companies and submit an addendum to the bank. They might agree to credit the repair fee after the sale.
The bank was more than generous--they agreed to lower the selling price in the amount comparable to the foundation repair. That squashed my hope for skipping the deal and staying put for now.
With the same price I could buy two houses in Sacramento area. I can rent one out and, combined with the rent from the house I’m in right now, the income could be a big help for us. Mom said she could live in a townhouse with stairs, so we could afford one in this low-crime high-class area nearby and preserve my back from not having to maintain a house. Numerous scenarios ran through my mind during the ten-day “weasel” period I almost went mad. In the end though, I had to nip these ideas one by one.
Mom was thinking only the present. Her health will make climbing the stairs feel like conquerring Mt. Everest soon. The suburb of Sacramento is not suited for someone like her at all. The whole town probably has one Chinese restaurant. If you don’t like it, well, you just have to learn to love it. I’m not sure if I’m ready to listen to her constant complaint, giving that she likes to eat out so much.
So, with much dread and a trembling hand, I signed and released the contingency on the tenth day. Reluctantly, I will be moving to a strange city and living among strangers soon. The only relief is the tiring process of house hunting, that includes driving all over the places, the letdown after looking at the houses and their prices, the realtor who didn’t show up at the property because he simply forgot (and was promptly fired by me), or we couldn’t get in because the key didn’t work, or the renter changed the locks and refused to open the door so all the time and effort were wasted, or the strange remodeling work done to the house that made me think "WTH were they thinking," or the previous owner’s wife died in the house so I walked through the house with a repeated silent prayer, is behind me.
Now the new chapter begins--remodeling. I’ve heard that dealing with contractors is a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to it.