Saturday, April 5, 2014

Our Foreclosure Journey: Part 4 - Humiliation

I feel like I'm in a fishbowl. Dozens of cars have driven by our home veerrryyy slowly (sometimes stopping and taking pictures, often the same car will drive by multiple times). I've lowered the blinds on the giant living room window, but that just makes the room darker.  I'm a fan of bright rooms. Oh, and 11 showings before 3:00 and breastfeeding an overtired, gymnurstics-addicted toddler do not make a good combo.

So in a day (JUST ONE DAY) I've gone from months of thinking we were simply walking away from our home (giving me time to sort, organize, and pack) to having it on the market. Just like that. A phone call, a few documents signed with an agent, and the next day people are showing up in droves. Yes, it is the BEST case scenario but having people see my chaos is so humiliating.

Despite trying to educate ourselves on this whole foreclosure process, we had some incomplete and conflicting info. In an effort to eradicate the 2nd mortgage and avoid having our wages garnished we are listing the home as an as-is short sale. While I understood this meant people would be traipsing through our home, while we are here (way too difficult to get the pets and kids and PCAs out each showing), I did not know it would begin the very next morning.

I've been up all night working on, among other things, paperwork needed for the short sale -- our city inspection is not even till Monday. I'm attempting to write my hardship letter and gather all documentation needed. I was caught completely off-guard at 7 am, in my PJs, folding laundry and scrubbing the toilet, to get a call regarding a showing at 8 am. (Now I am procrastinating by writing this blog post.)

The type of buyer for our home does not need to see a clean home, staged, without clutter, freshly painted, and free of chaotic children and animals. STILL - it is HUMILIATING at a level I'm not comfortable with to have several strangers see the messy daily life of my home. I am working all the time to keep up with laundry and dishes, to organize the exceptional messes the kids create (there was poop in the bathtub this morning from Dean's bath last night. I had no idea because someone else was in charge during that time.) and make our home nice.

And here are strangers seeing the natural state - where every imperfection is relevant. To have purchased our home for $230,000 (in 2003 - height of the market) and find today it is listed for less than $125,000 is a bit heartbreaking. (I know all the reasons WHY, it is still a bummer.) To be told "it has great potential" is difficult to hear.  I live here. This is my HOME.  It has been for over 10 years. I work my ass off to provide a bright, fun, and as-clean-as-I-can-physically-manage home for my family. Yet the value of this home is shit-cheap. Awesome. That feels great. My self-esteem is at an all time high for sure (insert huge eye roll here).

Up to this point I have been embarrassed over our "situation" but felt in control of my emotions because I know God is in charge and this is His plan for us (we felt peace about that). Today, my pride is taking a hit. Humiliation is at an all time high. There is my home - listed online as a foreclosure. (It also says my roof is really old but we replaced it less than six months ago...) I can't defend myself or tell our story. I must simply accept this truth about our financial situation. I still trust that God is in charge of my life - I AM human, however, and allowed to feel like a loser.

I likely won't see these people ever again. They see homes like this all the time (rehabbers, realtors, etc.). They walk through the home in its entirety in less than 5 minutes. It is for the benefit of the best possible outcome based on where we are now. And yet - each person that comes to the door causes me to throw up in my mouth a little.

My home, which is personal and precious to me, is a slab of wood to gut and recreate to someone else. We are not real people with real struggles, we are losers who could not honor our commitment to the bank to pay a loan. Should I take it personal? NO - and as much as I know that intellectually, my heart hurts. So does my stomach, all this stress is not really helping the pain.

So there is no real purpose to this post, outside of venting. Sometimes the stress of all that I need to do is more than I can cope with. So I'm complaining as a survival mechanism. That is all.