It’s been a surprisingly tough couple of weeks. When the contract came in on the house, I felt relieved. And I very well should have been. See, the builder who constructed my Vinyl Village went belly up just as the last houses were finished. Six houses (including the two to the right of mine) have sat vacant for almost three years now. Yards neatly tended by the Homeowner’s Association, but empty, at times without utilities connected. It was a mystery to all of us in the neighborhood why six perfectly sellable homes would collect dust so long, particularly when the builder’s other unfinished homes in other developments were disposed of rather quickly. And two days after I went under contract, those six houses hit the market. At fire sale prices–at least 20 percent below what they had been previously listed at. (And a good 15 percent less than my house went for.) They were sold within days, but fortunately for me, none of them closed before the financing and appraisals were done on my house. Having those as the most recent comps would have killed the value of my house. So, I continue to tell myself how lucky I am to have found the buyers I did, when I did.
I haven’t lived in my house in over five months. I’ve spent a weekend there a few times when the former Honey was out of town. Gone by to make it show-ready when it hit the market, stopped by frequently to get mail, clothes, etc. But while it hasn’t been home in the truest sense of the word in a while now, I didn’t realize how much it still felt like home until I started boxing it up. The little house we thought we would keep for two years ended up being home for almost five. That’s the longest I have lived anywhere since I was a child.
And it’s been tough. Every emotion that can be felt, I’ve felt in the past weeks. Sadness…for big things, that what was the overrall happiest time of my life is over, and for small things like never getting to curl up on the sofa in my study for a nap again. Doubt. Anger. What-ifs? Could haves. Should haves. And just an overwhelming sense of loss that doesn’t exactly even make sense to me. Maybe it’s just the finality.In a week, the movers will come for the last of the things and never again will the little blue house with the white picket fence be home. Another family will be raking up the leaves left by the trees we planted back when there was a “we”, they’ll curse the crappy dishwasher, they’ll freeze their feet next winter on the stone floor we spent a month putting in.
And I’ll be asking myself what the next chapter is…