So this technically might be putting the cart before the horse because I have not received word that the papers have been signed yet…. but they are supposed to be signed by the end of day today. The papers have been signed. It’s official!}
I know, I know — you’re confused. You thought we moved from Michigan a long time ago. In fact, we did, two years ago next month. But our building had not sold so we went through a series of renters (up and downstairs) and through a row of potential buyers. Everything kept falling through, until this past May. Michigan has this fancy thing called a Land Contract and it’s really more like a “rent-to-own” deal. So although we signed the papers back in May for the new owner to take possession, technically we still held the deed. Typically land contracts are anywhere from 2 – 5 years, but our fantastic renter/owners decided to pay us off now — rather than in another year and a half! Hallelujah.
This day has been a long time coming…
Technically we put our building on the market in 2008. That seems like a lifetime ago. We have been forever changed by this experience. Interestingly, we both regret ever purchasing it. Ok, let me qualify. We both totally get that we (more than likely) wouldn’t be where we are today without it; but looking back at where we were in 2005 when we purchased it, we both wish we had walked away. But I guess who really saw the housing collapse coming? Real estate was supposed to be that sure thing. A smart, “easy” investment that was sure to grow and allow us to then go do just whatever in the world we wanted — with a really nice nest egg. Six years later — no eggs in the basket, but we’re wiser, stronger, and more focused. We learned some BIG life lessons; our marriage survived remodeling it ourselves and the agony of not being able to sell. I would also go so far as to say that we not only survived, but we thrived. Financial stress has broken many people and relationships, but I’m glad we just grew closer. I know we can’t play the “what if” card, especially since we are both so happy with our current life. BUT, I’m glad it’s not just one of us wondering what our life would have been like. (It’s so great to be on the same page with something so big.)
That’s not to say we’re ending on a sour note, we just feel like we’ve been through a battle. But we survived. And it makes you grateful for so many things: past and present. We’ve re-prioritized (when we didn’t think we were that far off the first time) and feel totally at peace … now. Just because we “regret” it, doesn’t mean that we’re not grateful for so much good that did happened because we decided to plant ourselves in the mitten state — even if it was 3 years longer than we planned. I made a life-long friend, Brad solidified and old relationship, we got to spend lots of time with his side of the family, we plugged into a church community that I think saved our emotional life, and we got to experience wonderful, unique Michigan things.
So here’s to perseverance, gratefulness, goodness, experiences (of all kinds), adventures, and MERCY!!!