You see, in the last several years I went from being a shoestring budget entrepreneur with a small business and a small condo I owned in an up and coming neighborhood to a bankrupt entrepreneur with a failed business and condo in foreclosure. The recession and housing burst sucked, I won’t lie. It has been a rough couple of years watching my housing value disintegrate to nearly 60% less than what I paid for it, while the neighborhood became even more unstable than it was when I moved it. Back then, 4.5 years ago, there wasn’t violent crime, there was only a huge immigrant population and no Starbucks. But, a Starbucks was planned, less than a mile from my condo, so the purchase made sense.
Only, 6 months later, the recession kicked in and that mixed used hotel development with the Starbucks, well, it pulled out and went elsewhere, and so did my equity. A couple of schwag bean joints opened up, all with the potential to have good coffee, but without the dedication to actually doing so, so I gave up on finding real coffee in my neighborhood. Then began the graffiti, and the random men following me on the streets,my dog getting attacked my strays, the stolen plants from outside my door and finally, the drive by shootings. I’m done. I never would have been able to sell for what I paid and by the point I needed to get out for sanities sake, my business was in the state of being dissolved.
I had been holding on by a string, wading through the recession and the competition from Amazon (any retail business these days hears, “but Amazon has it for this much”. Sure they do, because they buy 100x more than I do and get the distributer pricing and sell to you at wholesale. I get wholesale pricing… I can’t sell to you for less than I pay!) So, eventually the string began to disentegrate. Perhaps where I am today is an inevitable, however, having my mother proclaim herself emancipated from my father, and moving in with me (no asking, just proclaiming), I was forced to use my entire savings, take out personal loans from friends and barter for the remaining needed in order to build out a second bedroom in my condo. The promise was that she would contribute once here. I told her I was not in the financial state to do this, but that I would, if she could help once she arrived. She stayed 3 weeks. She complained the entire time and then left, without apology. I saw not one dime to replace or help pay towards the loans I now had over my head.
Within months I was defaulted on my condo. I eventually gave up wanting to renegotiate my loan because frankly, I wanted out of the neighborhood anyway. Short Sell? The unit above me has been trying to short sell for a year. It isn’t happening. No one is buying in this neighborhood. So, I began seriously looking at apartments a few months ago. The dog has presented a hurdle that 4.5 years ago wasn’t an issue. Now it is a renters market though. Things are harder, more expensive.
Type Geek told me that I might need to bite the bullet and accept that living with someone might be a viable and potentially attractive alternative to a tiny studio, which at this point was becoming all I could afford. I found a loft I loved. The owner said no to the dog. I made appointments to see various places, only to have the potential roommates flake several times. So, on this morning, since I was close by the apartment I was to view this weekend, I decided to see if I could check it out early, since I was around. Hardwood floors, dining room, back deck, fenced in back yard, dog friendly, flat-mate rooms on different floors so built-in privacy, laundry on site, quiet residential, close to good coffee, good food and… Type Geek. Dog will have company. I will have a room with sunlight again. I will have a kitchen I can cook in. I will have a yard to spend time in and grow my tomatoes. I knew immediatly that I would be able to live there. We shook hands and agreed to finish the paperwork in 15 days. Sigh. Now, I call the mortgage company and see if they will pay towards my move. There is this great thing that Obama’s legislation helped create, a relocation reimbursement for deed in leiu properties. Even if it is only $1,000, that is incredible. I am so happy and so relieved. It is truly the beginning of a shiny new era in Student Driver’s life.