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Today is “Scrape Your Heart off the Floor With a Spatchula Day”

I fought myself to write this today. Lately I’ve found myself sharing less and less online. It could be discretion. Or it could be isolation. But I’m here to share because I think I should.

My family is heartbroken right now. We were looking at closing on our house a week or two after the baby will be born. And that seemed to fit just fine. We knew there would be no more showings or last minute frantic cleanings. It was time to break out the baby stuff and let Heather do her best to nest with whatever time remains.

And then it all fell apart.

I’m going through that whole second guessing phase. Did I come on too strong? Was I a fool to share personal information? Was it worth taking a stand to lose this contract? To my surprise, the buyer opted out of the contract with us via text message. We’d just had a discussion the day before about the home inspection report. She wanted us to do a series of things that could cost more than a $1,000. I told her we were taking a loss on the house and she was getting a bargain price on the home, and she should expect to handle any of these minor repairs herself. After all, we signed the contract after stating we were selling AS IS.

She went home to think about it. I expected her to call me back and try to get me to agree to a little more. But she didn’t. Instead, she opted out. And left us hanging. And now the baby’s coming. And the house isn’t sold. And we’re not moving. And we’re stuck in a house that was more than adequate for newlyweds but not so great for a family of five and two cats.

My wife is very generously not blaming me at this point. She says she’s proud of the way I handled it. I appreciate that. Really. I want her trust in me to continue growing. But I can’t get beyond the fact that we could be on schedule right now if I had agreed.

This is the point where you need some clarification. When you find yourself in our situation, there are at least three different approaches you can take to sell your home:

1. Determine how much you want to make off the house, set your asking price and negotiations creatively, and hold out for the buyer who gives what you want.
2. Give the prospective buyer anything it takes to get the deal done. State your final offers, but in the end, if you can bridge the gap of difference, do it to get this over with.
3. Negotiate both buyer and seller into a win/win situation, where nobody takes a hard hit. Insist on a respectful buyer.

What you choose will be based largely on how desperate you are to sell. If you simply cannot imagine living in your home for another three months, you’re more likely to give away the farm. If you’re selling based on financial principle, you’ll look for a respectful buyer. If you’re a tool, you won’t negotiate at all and you’ll hold out until the end of the age.

We fit into the first category. My wife and mother-in-law hand prepare every aspect of every meal we eat. It’s their choice and their insistence. Everything possible is organic and local. Grains are soaked overnight. Kefir is “percolating” on the counter. And sliced fruits or nuts are dehydrating for snacks. It’s the most active home kitchen I’ve ever seen. And this kitchen simply doesn’t meet our needs.

I could go on and on about how there’s no room for a rocking chair / glider unless I put my home office desk in storage… How we have to keep a bed in the spare bedroom for mommy and daddy time… How my daughter has nowhere to pull out her toys without blocking the only walkway through the living room. It’s frustrating. We bought our house in 2003, and it suited our needs just fine for the next four years.

Then our daughter was born. That beautiful, amazing little girl. With new baby furniture slung around the house, we were cramped, but we made it work.

Then my mother-in-law moved in. It was supposed to be for a short time. We were going to look for a bigger house on some land together. She sold her house so we’d be prepared to buy with a down payment when the time came. But the time hasn’t come. We still haven’t found a house. A year later, we don’t have any solid leads.

As soon as this house sells, we are prepared to move into her rent house, which is significantly larger than my home with a much larger kitchen. It’s a move that would allow us to liquify assets so that when the right house does appear, there’s no losing it for lack of selling our home.

That’s where we are. Not sure if you needed this much detail. Nonetheless, here it is.

I’m still in shock. I am now 2 for 2 when it comes to serious life complications occurring right before the birth of a child. Coincidence?

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  1. This blog deserves a comment if only because I love you and you did way better than me at expressing the sadness we both feel. For me, the only silver lining I can see in this mess (right now) is YOU. How can I blame you for anything when at every point I’ve watched you do better than I could have myself?

    I feel safe with you even when everything is up in the air. I am amazed by the effort you have made to understand my need for a “nest,” for progress, for hope. I love you for your willingness to “just be” with me, your desire to comfort me, and your determination to help me see a way out when I can’t seem to find it myself.

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