Monday, December 19, 2011

The house situation

Alright, I will try to explain all.  Well, most of it anyhow.  I'm sure I'll forget something.  Okay, before we lived in this home, we lived in a 2100 sq. ft. home on the other side of town w/ Irina and Max.  The house was the model home and quickly became the home you would NOT want to model after.  It was for a better lack of words, the money pit.  Plain and simple.  No one ever lived there but us.  You could take your finger and stick it straight through the siding.  Which, btw, was watered down paint.  Developers told us when we contacted them "we have 8 lawyers on retainer."  Umm, really?  I just wanted you to fix what you screwed up.  Anyhow, after much research, found out this company was not the best in the world.  More than that, it was somewhat of a "shady" developer.  People who tried to sue them previously never won.  None of them.  They told us don't waste our money, just pay to fix it ourselves.  So, we did.  This was not changing things cosmetically.  This was doing major structural fixes.  Major.  I remember when they were coming to put in the new sliding glass door since the other had rotted.  In a new home mind you.  The men said to me "ma'am, this is rotted all the way down to the sub floor."  I said I don't want to know what's rotted, broken, etc.  I know it's not your fault.  Please fix what they did and just don't tell me.  I may cry.  It was thing after thing.

Jump forward.  Long story short, we went into debt $30,000 b/c of that house.  Developer approached us.  Yes, he had the nerve to.  Offered to buy our home.  It was our "out."  Though, we still would be in debt, we would not have that house that was only getting worse by the day.  Since we can't do anything easy, this was the same time we were adopting Yana and Alex.  Originally, we had time to find a home, a few weeks.  However, the home we put money down on, etc. ended up w/ termites...severe infestation and couldn't do it.  So now, in a time crunch.  Oh, did I mention we had TWO days to find a new home & close?!?!  Business days.  Fortunately, we had a weekend in here.  And, an awesome realtor willing to put up w/ this crap.  But, one who knew what had happened.  And, she even had more details to boot and even more happenings w/ this person.  Really, he should have been in jail.  Anyhow, I digress.  2 days.  My friend Mary offered to take Max and Irina at the farm while we frantically looked for a new home.  Did I mention we were due in court that week in Russia?!  Fortunately, that got postponed.  We drove everywhere looking for a home.

Finally, came across a home in this neighborhood.  Walked up, looked in the backyard drop off and said no way.  Drove 3 houses down and saw a sign in this yard.  1900 sq. ft. but upstairs totally unfinished.  Perfect.  Green carpet, purple master, striped wallpaper, funky glass chandelier and all.  We asked how quickly they could close.  ASAP.  Luckily, they banked w/ our bank, bank mgr. knew us and it was probably the fastest close on record.  I kid you not.  I was stunned.  Don't ever let a bank tell you they can't do something quickly.  Now, I will say all of us were pre-approved for everything.  Especially us as we were planning on another home until the termite incident.  Don't ask, you really don't want to know.

Court was delayed.  We moved in.  Boxes everywhere and went to go get Yana and Alex in May of 2004.  We closed I think either April 30th or May 1st.  Course, could be totally off on the date as we were busy.  Can't remember.  Did best we could w/ the two that did not transition well to a new home before we took off for Russia again.  Moved in and started renovating.  Umm, little did we know we were bringing home Bojan just 8 months later.  So, upstairs got finished off.

I will jump forward many years as renovations would probably bore you to death.  With the final three coming home & teens getting older, we knew it was time for a change once again.  So, as if we didn't have enough going on w/ CPS, adoptions, school, etc., we decided to think about adding on to the home.  Actually, we'd been contemplating whether to move or to stay for over 2 years by now.  Had contractors coming to the house. 4.  One guy we eliminated off the bat.  Don't come here as a possible contractor to my house for a huge job & not even take a single measurement and talk retainer fees.  URGHH!!!  1 of the others never even got back to us w/ an estimate after months.  The other two worked really hard & we truly appreciated it.  They were both very interested in the job and I think either would have been fantastic.  But, w/ estimates coming in at over $100 a sq. ft, there was no way.  BTW, we had planned to add around 1700 sq. ft.  So, we can buy a new home cheaper than renovating.  Even w/ a loss on this one.  And now that is the hard part.  We will have to take a loss to sell this home.  And not a small one either.  However, we both feel in the long run, this will truly benefit our family.  The move that is, not the loss.

Why are we moving?  We have wonderful neighbors, community, friends, church family, etc.  This will indeed be the most difficult part of this move.  Leaving here.  The home we've come to love and know.  The only home the majority of our children have ever known.  Only Irina and Max have lived somewhere else.  Don't think this will be easy.  It will not.  It took Max over 6 months to transition to this home when we moved.  I have many kids w/ various disorders where change is hard on them.  Many kids.  This move will be hard on every single person yet we feel the ends justifies the means in this case.  Back to why we're moving.  We have some children that as adults will not be able to leave home.  We did not know this years ago when buying this home.  Some, will not be able to drive either.  We need a place that has more space for us currently.  More yard to play.  We have an acre now but need a minimum of 10 acres we feel.  A huge garden, chickens, and some other things will be part of this new place.  More space in the home itself to live.  Dining room that is acoustically equipped for Nik.  We feel everyone at the table should be part of the conversation.  I sign to him now b/c background noise is too loud.  Not only for him but for Yana.  CAPD(central auditory processing disorder) is what gets her to not understand conversation at the table.  We need to leave for better services.  We need to leave for services for adults when kids get older.  This county is very limited in options from what I hear from other parents.  We need to leave to have a place where my adult kids can build their own home on  the property if need be.  So many more reasons as to why we need to leave.  We know deep down this is the right thing to do.  Not the easy thing but the right thing.  And we all know nothing worth doing in life is ever easy.  Umm, think we've proved that time and time again w/ adoption.

With life here at Chaos Manor, there is no way to fix up a home the way it needs to be to look "show ready."  Hence, why it will have to be sold at a loss.  10 kids and 3 dogs, there is always something left out, always something that needs to be swept up (despite it being swept up 3 minutes ago), something just not right.  Always.  Realtors would cringe if they came here.  LOL.  We're going to sell FSBO.  We've done this before.  We'll give it a shot.  There are no guarantees whatsoever we'll sell this home but we sure as heck are going to try.  We love this home very much and I'm sure someone would take notice too that it is a wonderful place to raise kids.  It's just our situation is a bit unique though I've never really thought of it that way before.

So, the kids and I have been trying to clean up and declutter.  Fix up what we can.  There is no way to make a home w/ 12 people & 3 dogs look like no one ever lived here.  Just not happening.  It is what it is.  Hoping people can see that when they come.  See how great it is to have kids in this home.  This was a brief run down.  If we can not sell for whatever reason, we will then refi.  We are probably some of the only people in America who've not done so yet.  Reason being is we felt if we were moving (trying to decide the past 2 years) then no sense in refi-ing.  So, we have a higher interest rate than most.  Crazy, I know.  Again, it is what it is.

The kids are NOT happy about this move.  NOT ONE BIT!  And that's okay.  That is normal.  I moved a lot as a child.  (military brat).  I understand.  This is more difficult for children such as mine though.  It effects them on multiple levels. However, Warren and I truly feel this is vital for their future and for them to reach their fullest potentials in life.  Hope it all made sense.  I sure some of the older details aren't quite right but I tried to remember what happened so, so long ago.  Especially after trying to 'block out' the "money pit" from my mind.  LOL.  There you have it.  We are putting the house up for sale and trying to move.  All 12 of us.  And the 3 dogs.  And the fish.  And whatever animal may come with us. 

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