so last month I lost half a million dollars (twice!) and found out I was related to my husband ... part 1 of a 2 part cliffhanger

A couple things happened during the holiday rush while I wasn't blogging that I need to report - yes, this is the mayhem I have been referring to every chance I get so often in a half-baked attempt to create a little viral buzz.

(and I know you might be thinking, after reading my headline, "Cat, how can you lose half a million dollars? Do you even have half a million dollars to lose Cat? well, keep reading ....)

A little background to this: we are planning to move. I have been affirming the right property finds us and the right buyers for our current house find us at exactly the right time and we all live happily ever after (not together of course, but you get the idea).

We have no idea where we at moving to (yes, I will be dangling participles here, if this kind of poor grammar is going to drive you crazy, I apologize in advance). We only know that it is time to go (I will make up for my poor grammar by channeling Dr. Seuss).

OK, here is my story:

A few weeks ago, hubs comes home and announces there is a house he wants me to see and we have an appointment the next day at noon. I tell him I have a doctor's appointment at two, so we have to be quick.

The home's owner has died and the house is about to go on the market for about $200,000 less than the market value

(although market value is pretty much anybody's guess these days) - it was a good deal.

George tells me the house has 20 acres (!) and is "a beautiful and well maintained 70's ranch."

A customer of hubs (everyone within 20 miles of us is a customer of hubs or a customer of a customer of hubs), who happens to have a real estate license (and is an accountant and owns 1/3 of a golf course) can show it to us and get us this amazing deal, but we have to act fast.

There are two little drawbacks - this house is around the corner from where we live now and is a lot of money (much more than we were planning to spend).

So, if we bought this house we would be broke and packing up and moving around the corner. No new town to explore, no better weather, no NEW LIFE IN A NEW PLACE ... you get the idea.

So anyhoo, hubs comes home at noon and we drive around the corner. The house has very good bones, a very solid grounded footprint, a beautiful view from a large kitchen window, a nice fireplace, a gorgeous sunroom and the kind of open ranch feel we want. It is much larger (or at least feels much larger, maybe because everything is on the same floor) than our house.

The house also has horrific wallpaper everywhere, bathrooms and a kitchen in desperate need of an update, no clear space for me to work, a Sears catalog from 1986 with Cheryl Tiegs on the cover lying on the kitchen counter next to the phone as if someone had just placed an order for a Betamax.

Hubs walked the property line with the real estate agent/accountant/golf course owner. I wandered around the back yard with Chris trying to avoid the dozens of piles of deer poop littered across that beautiful view I had seen from the kitchen window and thought about Lymes disease and bullseye rashes.

We had to make an offer by Monday because there was another offer on the table (this was a Friday), so we knew exactly what we had to offer to get the house.

I was just not feeling it (it was a lot of money and I once gave myself a serious carpal tunnel injury removing wallpaper plus did I say it was AROUND THE CORNER). Hubs was salivating (the way some men lust after Cheryl Tiegs or did in 1986, hubs lusts after land).

I ask the universe that if we are supposed to buy this house I get a sign I cannot miss (and yes, I realize there is no 'supposed to' - there is really only what we do, but I get lost sometimes and think like this anyway). I head for my doctor's appointment.

The girl in the office shows me to the exam room and asks me, "so what did you do today?". I tell her we looked at a house, but the problem is the house is right around the corner from our current house. She tells me that she once moved right around the corner and that she did it to get off a busy street. I tell her that this move would get us off a busy street. She says the only regret she has is that she misses her ranch. I told her this new house is a ranch and we are currently in a two story and we would like a ranch. She says to me "well, I say go for it."

Long story short - we don't go for it. The house is just too much money for us with the remodeling it would need and even with a farm assessment on the land, the taxes on the house are double our current property taxes. And we are kind of looking for a bigger change than moving around the corner. It is a very cool house for someone though.

Flash ahead two weeks -

(something else happens within those two weeks, but I will report on that in part II because I need to go to bed now - since I am putting myself to sleep blogging, there is not much chance I can hope to keep you awake much longer, dear reader)

hubs comes home and tells me the real estate agent/accountant/golf course owner stopped by and told him the original offer (the one we had to beat with our offer) got the house.

He also told George that our town, fearing the only large land plot left would be developed into McMansions and needing a park, got some green acre money from the state and is buying 15 of the 20 acres from the new owner for $500,000 ... so the buyer got the "beautiful and well-maintained 70's ranch" with 5 acres for $125,000.00!

(with real estate prices in New Jersey this is kind of exactly like winning the lottery - for days I felt like I had thrown away a winning ticket)

In my defense I should say this was during the hectic holiday season, few people would buy a house so quickly that was so far out of their price range and I had some distracting health stuff going on.

I try to tell myself that this would not have worked out the same way for us because getting hubs to part with 15 acres, even with an offer of $500,000 and a wife threatening divorce and possible decapitation if he wouldn't sign on the dotted line, would have been very difficult. Also the town knows us and maybe would not be fearing McMansions from us (but something more in line with fields of dandelions, which they might hate more actually).

They might not have decided they needed a park ....

but of course, I did ask for a sign and I did get a sign (beginning with the woman asking me "what did you do today?" which is a very peculiar question to ask someone in the middle of the afternoon and ending with the synchronicity of her story and "go for it") and now life has to line something else up for us .... something that may or may not include a $500,000 bonus (I'm affirming that it does).

Next post I will tell you about the second $500,000 (and how all this connects together) - and hubs and my "semi-illegal" marriage .....


lynn bowes said...

Remind me to tell you the story sometime about a couple who built a house on 20 acres that they LOVED only to find a BETTER 8 acres THREE YEARS LATER with a more gorgeous view and an existing house that had to be burned down so they could build a NEW HOME and that it was only THREE MILES AWAY which they bought and built their second home in three years. You'll die laughing, I swear.

Catherine Ivins said...

I will keep them in mind Lynn or is this your story!? :) - I have been so determined not to attract what I think I want only to find out I don't really want it or to have bad timing with it because I am pushing things (like I tend to do) but then we attract this and I don't trust it ... the truth is it was almost entirely a financial decision and if I had just trusted my gut the finances would have been taken care of ... been a bit depressed ever since ... I know there isn't just one ship for us, but I have definitely missed a few departures lately ...

DancingMooney said...

A move to the West coast maybe?


lynn bowes said...

Oh yes. Our story. We trusted that the first house would sell just in time for the bridge loan to come due and it nearly put poor Ed in the crazyhouse. For you, if it was the real deal, you'd be packing up for a move so quit fretting. Too, I'm not a fan of those deals that involve selling off sections of your purchase to investors and builders of tract houses. You never know what seemingly innocuous city/county surprises will involve you to make the deal work. I think you did just fine. Trust.

Catherine Ivins said...

I do have a sister in Oregon Janelle plus you, of course :)

Ugh Lynn- we had a bridge loan once and I worked for the bank at the time and it still gave us ulcers. It's all good and you are right - if we were buying that house I would be going absolutely crazy right now ... and I'm sure second guessing myself ...

Catherine Ivins said...

that should have read - and I'm sure I would be second guessing myself (if we'd bought it) - it's all good

DancingMooney said...

Yep, sounds like it wasn't meant to be. Good thing you didn't jump on it!

KJ said...

You will find what is right for you. If this had been the right choice you would have read the message from the universe differently.

By the way, when you move in and there is old wallpaper to remove I know the right trick. Water + fabric softner + soap or wall paper paste remover. One of those all paper claws to punch holes through the wall paper. Run the hole punch over the wall, mix the concoction into a spray bottle and spray. THEN, use cheap, thin flat plastic and stick it to the wet paper so the concoction seeps in and relax. After about 1/2 hour the paper should peel away easier.

Okay, I did my good deed for the day. It will work out Cat.

Catherine Ivins said...

I am tagging this post wall paper so I can find your tip again Kathy - I was literally scraping it off with a scraper and my thumbnail!