Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Good things come to those who wait

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.

25 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing! Sometimes it's so hard not to get impatient, it's something I've been trying to work on for a while now...so I love hearing stories like this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Patience is generally not a virtue of mine, but I'm so glad we stuck it out too! Thanks for commenting. :)

      Delete
  2. I'm so happy for you that you are getting these happy endings.. I mean beginnings! And good for you and Kevin for sticking things out. That must have been really hard, and involved a lot of sacrifice. Here's to a smooth closing process and pregnancy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much. It has been hard at times, but I just hoped and prayed that by holding on things would someday improve. I just never ever thought that things would come together so perfectly at such a perfect time. Thanks for the well wishes!

      Delete
  3. SO AWESOME. What a weight that will be lifted!

    ReplyDelete
  4. God is AWESOME! :) So happy for you & Kevin to finally be free of this financial burden! Praise God! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Totally! So AWESOME!!! Thank you so much. I just am so grateful!

      Delete
  5. Love this! God is good and His hands were all over this! So happy for you and Kevin!!! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not a single question in my mind either - God did have his hands all over this! Thank you!

      Delete
  6. I am so proud of you for being grateful, rather than being bitter that your husband got you into the "mess" in the first place (not that he could've known). Hooray for you both!
    Kristin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! Although Kevin and I were just dating, I still encouraged and supported him to make the decision to buy the condo. We both had such high hopes for a future because of it. So I take responsibility for it too. I just didn't legally and financially get into it at that time. But it was our decision that we both take full responsibility for. No way could I be bitter about that, just owning our choices, owning the consequences, and now the rewards. YAY So happy it's turned out ok in the end! :) Thanks for commenting!

      Delete
  7. This story made me tear up (silly I know). It's amazing the way God lines things up especially when we don't see it at the beginning. Congratulations on the offer an I hope escrow goes smoothly for you guys!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not silly! I tear up when I just sit and think about how amazing this came together too. It's not just the story itself, it's the obvious hand God had in it that just makes me so emotional. This was designed and I'm so grateful. Thank you for the comment and well wishes!

      Delete
  8. Chills here after reading that! What an amazing God we serve. HIS timing is always the best timing. I only wish we could see it sooner, so we don't have so much heartache. Congrats on the sell!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too! HE knows best and I am just reminded to always trust him Him!

      Delete
  9. Congrats! What a great story. And perfect timing before Sammy is born!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Congrats on selling! I hope some of that good luck rubs off on us; we still own our condo in Virginia. We have good renters in it, but the market just hasn't come up enough to make it worth selling yet. Luckily, we're not losing $700 (losing a little less than $100).

    I'm glad it worked out so well for you two.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh man, I sure hope you are able to sell yours at a good price too. Thanks so much for the comment!

      Delete
  11. Yeah Liz God does have perfect timing.
    What wonderful news for you and your husband and yeah to great credit!

    ReplyDelete
  12. That's amazing! There was a plan in place for sure! So glad it worked out!

    ReplyDelete
  13. That's amazing! Praising God with you!

    ReplyDelete
  14. This is wonderful news!! I know you guys have been upside down on that condo for a long time and I'm SO glad you're finally able to sell it--to the current renters nonetheless! Everybody wins :)

    ReplyDelete