Wednesday, September 06, 2006

the cookie crumbles

The call came yesterday at 3:20pm. My realtor had just left for the Bahamas, and the call was from the woman filling in for him. I heard it in her voice. I said, " The contract on my house fell through, didn't it?"

"Oooooh, I just can't stand bearing this kind of news......Your buyer backed out because apparently she and her husband freaked out over the inspection report, even though the report was a very typical one.... and the other party who wanted to make an offer after the open house day isn't returning my calls...."

I am disillusioned. It had appeared that the good luck I always used to have, which had seemed to dissipate when my mother died, was back with me. I loved telling the story (over the past week) of how my house had gone into contract the day it went on the market, for a price higher than what I was asking! And this after I had defied my realtor by taking my sweet old time, thus entering the market at a bad time (end of summer). This was how Betty's life used to be, all of the time. Charmed, without a doubt.

I now mourn the loss, not just of my dream of living in a thriving pedestrian neighborhood in a Victorian house, but of what I had thought was the turnabout of my luck.

Saturday, September 02, 2006


A mere few days ago, I was still undecided, changing my mind from one moment to the next. Should I stay in my suburban neighborhood on the park or move to the trendy urban neighborhood which seems to resonate in my bones?

During the month of August I almost put my house on the market several times, only to back out at the last minute, immobilized by the fear of making a mistake. I dreaded the constant pressure of keeping my house in showing condition until it sold. Housekeeping is absurdly challenging for me, especially with a child and a new Chihuahua following me around, eager to undo my handiwork.

Suddenly I seemed to experience a moment of clarity. It followed a conversation with an ex-boyfriend. He finds himself mysteriously entangled with the most unlikely women, then attempts to analyze, plan and predict. I told him to relax, accept that he had some kind of cosmic business with his latest woman (as he had with the others before her), and just go with the flow.

It occurred to me to apply that principle to my own situation. I was inexplicably drawn to the urban neighborhood just as he was drawn to each of these women. Why shouldn't I just relax, accept my urge to move, and go with the flow? Each time I had resisted, I had felt unrest afterwards. This time, then, I'd go for it.

Last Sunday, the day my house went on the market, my realtor held an open house at my residence. As luck would have it, that day the local newspaper featured a front page story on a castle-like home being built around the corner from my house. That newspaper article brought a tremendous number of curious folks into my neighborhood, many of whom stopped in at my open house.

After the open house I was in the kitchen preparing food for the child when I saw a woman in my driveway. I beckoned her inside, and she said she had been at the open house and wanted to buy my house. I told her that another party from the open house was very interested and had already set up a private showing for 7 pm.

The woman showed up again at 7:15, during the scheduled showing to the other party, with an offer which she handed to my realtor. She was offering more than the asking price, just hours after the house had been listed. I accepted, and my house in officially in contract.

To make a long story short, I am also already in contract on the urban house I wanted. When I stop and think that a week ago, I still wasn't sure what to do, I can't believe the lightening speed with which all of this has occurred, and in this buyer's market, no less. Although a few details remain to be ironed out, I can't help but wonder if, just maybe, this was meant to be.