Walking up to the dilapidated house on the dirt path, shingles falling off, the red painted sidingpeeling, I saw a vision of what it could be. Opening the door, the smell of cat pee and cigarette smoke that would typically overpower anyone was ignored and I continued to walk in further. I envisioned the wood paneling sheet rocked and painted, the disgustingly stained carpet ripped out and beautiful terracotta tiles laid. Mental images ran through my mind of moving the railroad kitchen over to what was the indoor porch/mudroom with granite counter topsand cherry wood cabinets. An addition in the back of the house for a master bedroom and bath of course was a must.
We (my ex-husband and I) decided yes, we will buy and we will do it. The vision became a reality and after close to a year of closing procedures and construction we moved into therenovated house. After all of the construction was completed we were able to refinancebecause the “value” of our home far exceeded “the amount owed”. The mortgage payments including construction costs and taxes were more than doable. We both made above averagesalaries.
Less than two years later, job loss. What can you say? It happens. This was paired with a housing market that had most people that bought at the same time as we did in tears. Talk about putting a strain on a far from perfect marriage. I had to pick up extra hours at work to try to compensate for the difference between a previous salary check and unemployment. By the time I came home from work, the last thing I wanted to do was look at a mortgage statement and write out that damn check. A little over 2,000 bucks, for what??? A house that was underwater by approximately $80,000. Not to mention I was hardly ever able to enjoy “the luxuries” of the house because I was always working.
Similar to the car payment and the resentment I had felt every time I started the engine, the disdain in the air each time I turned the key to open the door to the house was far worse than the smell of cat urine before it’s remodel. What I loathed most about the house, was that as silly as it sounds now, it kept me in my dysfunctional marriage. I was scared that if I left I wouldn’t be able to pay for the mortgage without his supplemental unemployment. How much more could I work? Again, what was it that I was working for….an underwater mortgage and a dysfunctional marriage??? Deep down inside, I knew something was going to have to change and then the time came that I was “actually pushed” physically to my breaking point… To be continued.