Whenever we tell anyone we are moving to Florida, they comment how great that is because the cost of living is so much less. Compared to where they live! If we lived in New Jersey, this move would afford us a feeling of upward mobility. But moving from central PA to Florida doesn’t have the same effect. We might as well be moving to Brooklyn.
And then at the end of last week I got an email from Bank of America that the house appraised for about 20k less than the contracted price (which was 20k less than the listing price). “Great!” we thought. We could renegotiate the sale price based on the appraisal and not be hurting so much each month when I write out the mortgage check.
Except the seller, who is also a realtor, didn’t think it was great. He was in no way going to budge from the contracted price. This being the case, there was no way Bank of America was going to give us a mortgage. After a few days of scratching our heads wondering how the seller, who is also a realtor, would not renegotiate based on an appraisal backed by one of the biggest banks in the country, we decided to get out of the contract, based on the fact that we couldn’t get financing.
This is when we discovered that the seller, who is also a realtor, may not be the nicest person to deal with business-wise. Instead of giving us back our good faith deposit, he is keeping it tied up in escrow while he contemplates contesting the appraisal (which Bank of America says isn’t going to happen).
In the meantime, we have been having familial stomach cramps about where to live. After some more head scratching, as well as migraine rubbing and tear wiping, we decided to go ahead and put a bid in on a house which is totally us, except for the price, which is totally someone else’s. It is definitely out of our price range and my husband is talking about working lots of overtime and I am not really sure what we are doing except that we have to live somewhere and the cost of living is much higher in Alachua than central PA and we need to m0ve now as opposed to later because my son needs friends and lots of them or he will start running with the local gang of Amish bad boys and then what are we going to do?
That being said, I really like this house that we may in fact move into. I would say “we really like this house” except for the fact that my husband hasn’t seen it and is just going on what I tell him. The house is as close to a New Jersey colonial as there may be in Florida, except, it being Florida, it isn’t really a colonial. It is a total 1970’s job, right down to the kitchen and bathrooms, but for some reason that is more pleasing to me than a new, white thermafoil kitchen. It would have ample room for all of our personalities, eccentricities and my jam, which means it is pretty big. Of course, there are quite a few things which could go wrong still (and all happen to be reltated to financing) so please keep your fingers crossed for us that we can get this house and the pile of debt that comes with it.
We have really tried to minimize our expenses, especially housing. This was part of the allure of moving from the northeast to North Carolina. We then cut our housing expenses in half by moving from North Carolina to central PA. But now we are more than doubling them by moving to Florida. The land, houses and taxes are much more expensive than anywhere we have lived before. My realization from this costly process is that you cannot escape your karma. We have tried to save money by moving to a cheaper area but where we live is not practical for the needs of our family. I was driving too many hours to bring my kids to and from pre-school and my poor husband was driving three hours to work at a hospital that paid good wages and did not mandate that the old man work night shift. And then the price of fuel shot up and all that driving became very expensive. What to speak of the fact that none of my kids’ friends from school could get their folks to drive them out this way to hang out and play.
Anyway, I could go on and on complaining about our money/housing situation but really I am quite lucky. For the interim, my in-laws are going to help out with the mortgage on our PA house until it sells. Although I have daymares of being foreclosed upon, it is not a present reality so I will try to just live in the now. There is a part of me that worries everything will be taken away, but there is a bigger part that knows that this is absolutely true. For everyone. I just want to live –not recklessly, but not too safely, either. We could stay here and our bank account would be a lot healthier, but there are other things of value in this world. Like life’s adventure. And this? This is just another page…