Kevin and I met while we lived in the San Francisco Bay Area. We started dating in 2004 and got serious quickly. We both knew we wanted to get married and have a family. But one big hurdle was purchasing a family home to start out in while living in the expensive California market. The real estate market in the mid 2000s was as it's peak. As the future family man Kevin had always dreamed of being, in 2005 he purchased a San Jose condo with noble intentions believing it would be our foot in the real estate door to move up into a family home eventually. And for anyone who understands the Bay Area real estate market, you'll know how much of an accomplishment the purchase of even a condo can be!
You all know what happened next. The California housing market crashed hard shortly thereafter. The condo that Kevin originally paid $440,000 for had dropped down to a value of under $200k. The condo became less of a hopeful future for us and turned into an expensive ball and chain that made us feel stuck. Kevin and I got engaged in 2009 and we decided to start making some serious decisions about our future. Neither of us could fathom how we'd bridge the gap to sustain our fast paced careers, the expensive Bay Area lifestyle, and especially this 1200 sq foot condo with a family life and future children. We couldn't see how it would work out.
At that time, many homeowners were foreclosing and walking away from their mortgages. But I am proud of Kevin for choosing to keep his commitment to his lender. He didn't want to walk away from that financial commitment. After much discussion and planning and shortly after our engagement in 2009 we decided to take a leap to move to Austin, TX. We felt it offered the lifestyle that was more in line with what we were looking for. But we still couldn't sell the condo. It was massively underwater. We decided we'd rent it out to offset some of the mortgage costs (but definitely wouldn't cover it all) and we'd pray the market would improve to the point we could eventually sell it to at least break even.
We both felt at times that this was never going to happen. We talked about short selling, but Kevin was adamant about keeping his commitment. He is such a man of integrity. Time passed and we eventually bought our current home in Texas in 2010. It's humorous to me that we bought a 4000 sq foot, 6 bed/5ba home here for far less than half of the cost of the 1200 sq foot, 2bed/2bath condo in California! But hey, that's California vs Texas real estate market for ya! Glad we got in here when we did.
Then we waited. And we waited. And we waited some more.
We waited and watched the housing values like hawks.
Renters came and left, $700+ losses continued to be incurred every single month. Even with full rent coming in.
And we waited some more. I honestly didn't think an end was in sight.
With the California market finally going up and with Sammy on the way, Kevin decided to call his California Realtor just to discuss options hoping something creative could happen. We both thought it was a long shot to be able to perfectly time the existing renters lease end with the right time to sell, also while not leaving it uninhabited (with no incoming rent) as it showed. Lots of moving parts which was terrifying considering how much money is at stake! Bottom line is that we had to sell for enough money to cover the current mortgage plus closing costs and commissions. I was skeptical it would happen anytime soon because it still seemed like a long shot.
The Realtor suggested that now was a good time to pull the trigger and to give the tenants the heads up that we were looking to sell. A couple of weeks ago the Realtor approached the current tenants to let them know the plans for showing and selling it.
In an unexpected and mindblowing twist to this story, the current tenants offered to buy it. The wife tenant is in medical school and they have a three year old. They love the place and don't want to move. SAY WHAT?! I didn't see that coming!
They put in an official written offer yesterday that BLOWS MY MIND. Not only will it cover the existing mortgage, fees, and commissions, but it will actually give us a little money to leave the situation with. I could cry, friends. The dream of finally being free of this condo has been going on for nearly a decade. I never saw it coming together like this.
It's beyond comprehension perfect timing and a perfect scenario.
There have been times where I struggled with the "why me?" aspects through all of the bad things that happened to us (ahem, 2011....I'm talking to you!) But I realize all of this had to be timed perfectly to happen NOW. Sammy was meant to be NOW. This ball and chain of a condo could only be sold NOW. This all is a blessing beyond comprehension.
No doubt that God had a plan for us all along despite my kicking and screaming along the way. I'm extremely proud of Kevin for choosing to do the right thing with this condo and for not defaulting on his debts. We are scheduled to close on the condo sale on April 25th and could not be more grateful for this incredibly shocking and unexpected turn of events. I had to share the fantastic news.
You know the saying "Good things come to those who wait"? That appears to be true for us in more ways than one. Grateful. Grateful. Grateful.