Ifs, Ands, Buts, and Ors…
Yesterday after work, I got my hair cut. Short, like I do every year when bike-riding season arrives (sans bike, so far, this year). My hairdresser noticed my ring and I ended up telling her the entire saga of my life since she’d seen me last fall, just before I left for Detroit. She asked if I was sure that the guy that gave me the ring wasn’t the one, and suggested that maybe I shouldn’t be so hasty to leave.
Then this morning when I got to work, my boss informed me that one of our regular customers had voiced their opinion that he should chain me to my desk and not allow me to leave. Later in the day I went to the bank and, as usual, the tellers asked me for a regular update. One of the girls suggested that I simply stay here and find a place outside of town where I could still have my animals and my freedom, sans City Ordinances.
Later still, my boss asked me if I had any idea when I might actually be leaving, since he’s planning a vacation – and therefore an office shutdown – in July. That necessitated a lengthy, mind-numbing explanation of all the ifs, ands, buts, and ors that I intend to be the subject of this blog.
If I can get my head around all of it.
Some pertinent details:
· Sunday, Melissa showed up again with her new boyfriend, Nick. (I told ya’ so.) This could be the subject of an entire other blog, but for now the point is I cannot safely leave my house/property vacant or unattended for any extended period of time.
· As I drove out the driveway this morning, it occurred to me that the lawn will need mowing in about 2 weeks. Yes, of course, I sold my lawnmower.
This coming Monday (maybe I should wait to do all this until after that…?), I have a phone appointment with my mortgage company regarding the status of my deed-lieu-of-foreclosure application. There are several possible outcomes.
· In order to qualify, my property needs to be appraised at more than $20,000. Sounds like a paltry amount, BUT I couldn’t even get a buyer/flipper to consider it for what I owe, which is less than $18,000. Property values around here are absolutely in the tank.
· AND, I wonder, who does the appraisal? I’ve been down this road before, and it really is up to the bank and their desired outcome.
· BUT, I’m not dealing with a bank. I’m dealing with a mortgage broker. Big difference. Been down that road, too.
· So, they could approve it, and simply call it even: I just give them the keys in exchange for the title and leave.
· OR, they could approve it AND qualify me for “relocation assistance” a/k/a “cash-for-keys.” The relocation assistance would be a cash payment, typically $3,000. It could be less, it could be more. (This is a legitimate government program. Ask President Obama, thank you very much.)
· No matter the outcome, IF they take back the property, I need to leave it clean (there is some specific definition which escapes me right now, but whatever it is, it will be a challenge). For sure, “move-in ready” will be impossible, but that’s part of the reason this program was implemented in the first place, so who knows.
· IF the bank takes back the property, I will need to have another moving sale. OMG.
IF the deed-in-lieu falls through, there are several possible options. (I’m not sure my brain can take much more of this. How are you doing?)
· Stay until the house sells. Really? And buy a lawn mower and a bike and a swimming pool and plant a garden? OR continue to live like a hermit in a pretend land, living a pretend life?
· Leave the house on the market, vacant. And leave. With that particular option – or any sale option, actually, including a flipper purchase – I could leave my “extra stuff” behind for them to deal with (make money off of) and save me another major headache.
· BUT, leaving the property vacant would necessitate a caretaker, someone to keep an eye on the property. My realtor doesn’t seem to think that would be an issue, other than lawn care, but I disagree. (See Melissa reference above, as well as previous references to neighbor kid, Austin, as other various ne’er-do-wells.)
· OR, I could ask Scott to stay on as my caretaker. REALLY? I trust Scott. I love Scott. But I am leaving Scott behind. Can I really ask him to do this? And, fully expect to sever our connection completely, if and when the house actually sells? That is so far beyond my comprehension, really. It would be just-not-quite-as-insane as asking Damien to come down and do it. Besides, with a tenant, I would have to keep paying utilities, not a small hit on my finances, given my current and future cash flow situations.
· BUT, I could be totally selfish. Scott would probably actually enjoy it. He’s not in a position to buy the place himself, (that would be perfect, except he wants to get out of here, too), but he would enjoy continuing to work on the house and it would put him closer to school and work. He could take care of the house, the cats, the lawn… There is no way I can even entertain this option. Right?
· There is an insurance consideration that I have not yet investigated that may make a tenant option null and void. OR I could just pretend that nothing's changed, AND not even suggest it to Scott or my insurance company, which I haven’t.
· OR, I could take my flipper’s option, and walk away with probably less than $1,000. BUT I’d be done. AND, I’d have nearly nothing with which to start over.
· OR, I could pretend I’m twenty again. I feel like I am; that's the point. (Don't judge me!) I started with nothing then. (Look how well that turned out.) My sense of adventure is strong enough to get me through. I think.
Okay, I officially have a headache. And a toothache. I’ve been grinding my teeth at night, my version of coping, better than crying every day.
IF AND BUT OR NOT.