Thursday, May 21, 2009

Moving Right Along

Well. What started out as one of the darkest days I've had yet during this real estate adventure ended with another one of those unexpected gifts of pure grace that we have also experienced during the same period.

The appraiser did talk to Ron, our agent. He looked at the alternative comparable sales that Ron thought could have raised the value on our house, but refused to amend his work. This was bad news. But meanwhile, the buyer's agent informed her of the new, drastically lower value, and, far from jumping for joy at a the prospect of a smaller mortgage, she was sorry for us, actually saddened, and wanted to do what she could do to help! She said that if she had all the cash to make up the difference, she'd have paid it, but she did put up $4000 of her own money, the liquid cash she has left, to help close the gap. I was floored. It isn't much, but the gesture is beyond valuation and a clear sign that this thing was meant to be. Just like our Delaware neighbor Paul, who talked himself as we stood there, agape, into paying $300,000 for our land there when he knew it was only worth a third that amount in the current market, our asses were saved by people with good hearts. I can only hope to measure up to that kind of generosity if I'm ever given the opportunity.

Both agents attribute the buyer's generosity to the fact that we had a chance to meet and share our aspirations, purely by accident, the day the construction engineer was here to do his inspection. That meeting changed a purely financial transaction to a human one. In the back of my mind was the hope that the relationship created that day, however short, would color the outcome, but I dared not put any faith in it. But sheer grace did its work. With the little extra on the house, plus the efforts of Gary, our builder, to shave more costs, we will probably still have as much left over after construction as we hoped we would to make the needed finishes on the pier and the furniture. (Oh, Steve still cherishes his disappointment at losing so much value since the bubble 4 years ago pushed us into the stratosphere, but he's getting over it. More friends than you can imagine want to talk some sense into him.)

So it's full steam ahead. Today is "admin day." I'm calling all our vendors, here and in North Carolina, to close old accounts and open new ones, report address changes, etc. The list is endless--you don' realize how many of these financial relationships you have until you go through something like this--and I'll no doubt forget at least one. Hope it's not a biggie.

A special thanks to all of you friends who have been following this roller-coaster ride and putting up with my angst. Who knew what we were in for when I started this chronicle over a year ago? You must be tired of all the crises--I certainly am--and in spite of that you offer expressions of courage and sympathy. I'm blessed with you, too. Thank you for your lessons in forbearance and generosity.


Anonymous said...

Like I wrote before, I wouldn't take that house off the market till the equity check cleared your account and the cats are in the car. I mean it. This market is a friggen mess and no one can trust banks, buyers or Brokers. By the way, my appraisal came in higher than the asking price down here. I was floored!

Mim said...

"But sheer grace did it's work."
What a splendid way to phrase this experience.
It will carry me through. Brilliant.
And the news is wonderful.
Thanks to you too for making this adventure for 'us out here.'.
Carry on....
The admin day sounds just perfect to finalize all those details we do when we move.

Ralph said...

Your caution is right on, Z&M, but for the moment I'm tired of waiting for the next bomb to drop and am willing to act at least a bit on faith. We'll pay later if we have to. For now I need a break from fear.

Congrats on that appraisal!!!

Linda - SE PA said...

This has truly been a roller coaster and I admit that I was a bit at a loss for words when I read yesterday's commentary.

Yet... here we are - embraced with a spirit of humaness in a world which often needs this touch, concern and care for one another.

This home is truly special - there is a lot of labor of love - indoors and outdoors and it seems that its new caretaker has insight into this.

With a real estate market such as we are experiencing, I have a sense that when you close - be very glad that even though the market is what it is - I have a sense that we may be on the brink of more new regulations etc.

Even though the paperwork is what it is - hold on to the excitement as each change of address puts you one step closer to life in NC.

nan said...

Ahhhhhhhh! Grace! That is an unusual story in a time when we hear so much about cut throat greed.

Ralph said...

Nan, you are so right. It's completely unexpected when something like this happens. Like it;'s not "supposed" to. It's a lesson in life, really, to learn that it can. It's an inspiration.

auntympaugh said...

Goodness! You can imagine this situation happening once in your life (Paul in DE), but for it to happen back to back is astounding!
I would agree with Zoey&Me that caution is always needed, but...WOW! So, when do you move into your new/temp digs in NC?

Ralph said...

Hey Marilyn! Twice in one day! Check your email. Lotsa details.