Throwbacks: Selling my home.

I haven’t written a ‘throwbacks’ post in awhile, but was prompted to last night when I came across an email from my old real estate agent. I’ll get back to the significance of that email in a minute, but first, the story of selling my (marital) home.


When I went through my divorce, selling our home was one of the biggest stumbling blocks that stalled the process more than anything and was one of the hardest parts to swallow, because not only was my life being turned completely upside down, my home was soon going to be taken away from me too, leaving me with nothing but a blank slate (in hindsight, of course, having a blank slate and starting fresh elsewhere was the best and fastest way for me to heal, but it doesn’t mean it wasn’t an extremely hard decision).

The process itself was completely eye-opening, because navigating the mortgage waters put me in an utter tailspin. I had no idea where to start. I didn’t know if we could even keep the house, if we tried. And tried, we did. Attempted to refinance it so the mortgage might be feasibly affordable for one of us to maintain. Fail. We had an 80/20 mortgage (which mortgage companies now no longer do), which meant 80% on one mortgage and 20% on the other (to avoid PMI), and neither mortgage company was willing to consolidate into the other and neither would refinance since we – surprise, surprise – had little equity in the house since buying it 3 years prior.

Once we realized that there would be no way either of us could afford to keep the house, we shifted towards selling. Another tough pill to swallow, because at the time, I was hell-bent on staying in that house. We’d both put so much time, money and effort into it, and I loved it, from the yard, to the pool, to the home gym I’d created.  Home appraisal came back and when I opened it up, I almost passed out. Since buying in 2005 (now, in 2008), the house had depreciated by almost $100K. $100K. Yup.

What’s next? Short sale. Short sales were, at the time, just becoming more commonplace for all of those people that bought at the height of the market, when prices were high, but interest rates were (relatively) low. It felt like a scarlet letter to me, though, because I always equated short sale homes to beat-up, abandoned homes for some reason. But ours? Was beautiful. Brand new remodeled bathroom to the 9s (for 5 figures, no less. gulp. that would bite us), new roof, floors redone, walls redone, basement floor retiled (it was a finished basement)  and the list goes on. In those 3 years, we’d put about $40,000 into it, upping the loss that would come.  I utterly hated the idea at first, and as I’ve mentioned in prior throwbacks on the end of my marriage, this was one of our biggest fights…to sell, or to try and fight for it. We eventually agreed to sell, no matter how badly it would hurt our credit, no matter how low the price.

And the price…was low. Less than HALF of what we paid, and completely obliterating that $40,000 we’d invested into it, to boot. THAT hurt. THAT was hard to swallow. Especially as the mortgage companies ordered us to pay $12,000 at closing in order for them to wipe the debt clean (where we wouldn’t be taxed on the loss, but our credits would nose-dive). Ouch. And back to the part about the email from my old real estate agent? When we closed on our house, our agent, to his credit, got us a buyer faster than I ever thought possible, but how? He was an investor. Rolled up in his nice shiny Benz, dressed to the 9s. And we were literally handing our home over to him for pennies on the dollar.

That real estate agent is this man…now starring in a show on A&E called ‘Flipping Boston’ (on the left)…he’s profiting from his smarmy ability to short sell homes and flipping them, to boot. I had my reservations that he was tied in to the investor he sold to, and that he would profit, personally, from our short sale, but this confirmed it, to me. Reading that email last night…and my blood boiled. It brought all of those feelings back, the pain, frustration, anger and sadness.

But, then, once I ranted a little bit to M, and to my sisters, I realized something. It wasn’t worth it. Fighting for the house wouldn’t have been worth it for a number of financial reasons, but also? Why would I have wanted to fight for a home that was akin to the shell of my marriage? Why would I want that shell hovering over me day in and out? I wouldn’t. 

And as M hugged me tight, and told me that we will have a bigger, better, and more soundly-invested home in the future…together? All of that anger and frustration melted away…into the most perfect evening together. Everything truly happens for a reason…even if it may not seem like it at the time, it truly does. And this was just another reminder of just that. And I am firmly planted where I am meant to be.

24 thoughts on “Throwbacks: Selling my home.

  1. Aw, I love how M helped you to spin that frustration and anger into new perspective. I can’t blame you for being pissed, I KNOW I would be too, and part of me IS pissed that this smarmy dude is profiting off of others’ misfortunes. Seems so wrong, so gross, really. But truly – that house was the leftovers from your marriage, and would always hold memories that in all honesty, you’d mostly like to forget, wiping that slate clean for what would turn into an amazing new life for you. Looking back on it, it’s “easy” to say it was worth it, but in those moments? I know how hard it was for you to let it go. Another reminder of your strength and poise through all of this.

    1. The leftovers of my marriage – you’re so right, that was all the house was. I am so glad not to be there anymore, I guess I just didn’t love the reminder of what that experience was…it sucked, it was hard, but now, I wouldn’t change a thing!

    2. I’m glad I stumbled across this post. I’m in the midst of all the bad things you describe … still dealing with a house that’s in my name that I can’t afford. Based on bad decisions from my ex-husband and lies he told me/things he hid from me, we were facing foreclosure and I didn’t even know it. Long story, short, even after being divorced for almost a year and a half, I’m still dealing with the house mess. Reading your blog, gives me hope. Thank you.

      1. Oh I am so glad you found my blog and that this gives you hope, though I feel so badly about your situation and that you are still dealing with it. I feel fortunate that we got it done and over with when we actually were still technically married and I wasn’t left to foot it all. Good luck. Truly.

  2. I totally agree with you that everything happens for a reason. Selling the house and a brand new start was the best thing to do. 🙂


  3. Sorry that happened to you, but you’re right, there is no point in holding onto the anger. It is related to your previous marriage and by letting go, you are letting go of parts of the marriage that you won’t have to think about anymore. Being happy is worth it, even if you lost money.

    1. There is no point in hanging on to it, you are so right, thank you for reminding me of that! Being happy is far better than any money ever could be!

    1. It was, and he is skeezy, in hindsight! But he did get the job done and quick and that’s what we needed, so for that, I am glad. It was a bad investment, in hindsight, and there’s always the next 🙂 bigger, better, onward!

  4. it’s a terrible thing to happen, but it sounds like even though it was a major blow financially, it couldn’t have been any other way.

    1. Exactly – it couldn’t have been another, feasible way, and was the right choice. Thanks for stopping in, hope you’ve been well!

  5. How could the mortgage companies order you to pay anything at closing? I don’t get that part. My STBX has filed for bankruptcy and I’m broke. Can you please explain? That part of the post is making my knees knock …. clock, clock, clock

    1. …because we weren’t paying our mortgage (I was living there trying to pay 2500/month on a small salary…and *not* paying expedited the process towards short sale and their approving the short sale, not the best of times for me, I’ll say that! I HATED not paying a bill, never ever would I normally do that)…so they assumed, not paying mortgage, can ‘afford’ a hefty closing cost (which I could not, but found a way to scrounge up my half at least). Email me if you want the down and dirty!

  6. Thanks so much for sharing this. That must have been such a hard time for you. It’s nice to be at the point when you can look back and see why the pain was worth it. I’m experiencing something similar right now. Not the divorce aspect, but a family matter that has taken both a significant emotional and financial toll on my hubs and I. It’s so hard, but really makes you realize what’s truly important & how lucky we are to have such an amazing support system. There are so many people that prey on others in their time of weakness/sorrow. But they will get their due…just have to focus on how you can come out of the situation “whole” person. We have so much to chat about when we finally get together!

    1. YES we really do!! We gotta plan that asap 😉 I am so glad this was helpful for you and you could relate, given your own situation. It is very draining but as you say, if you can come out whole, that is the best outcome!

  7. Ugh. How frustrating. I hate it when you’re going about your merry way and something comes up and reminds you of shit from the past. I had a moment like that today…thinking about The Ex and wondering if it’s me that sucks at relationships because sometimes I just shut down and struggle with being a happy person in a happy relationship with CB. Anyway, I digress, but I totally get you. Sometimes though we have to tell the demons to shut the hell up and move on. We made the right decisions and we are making the right decisions. And even if we aren’t, everything will be okay. I’m glad you have good people in your life who are reminding you of the importance of moving on to bigger and better things!

  8. It is funny how you can look back and see things more clearly…how hard some situations and spots in life were…ended up being the best possible thing for you, even if you didn’t realize it at the time.

    M is right. You’re movin up…in more ways than one!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s