The tests of life

In a book I am reading the person says lifetimes are for learning and entertainment, that we bring problems to ourselves to test our powers on them.  If we didn’t have the problems we are presented with, there would be others that are equally challenging.  No one gets through school without tests, and that tests often have unexpected answers.  This person says four years have been wasted, time to get their life back.

This is certainly not the first test life has thrown my way.  My mother passed away when I was 22.  I was married twice, both verbally and emotionally abusive alcoholics. My oldest daughter was born 10 weeks early, weighing only 2 lbs. 10 oz.   I left everything behind in New York State in 1994, and with four children ranging in age from 18 months old to 16, moved to Virginia and started all over again.  And then in 2000, late at night in the midst of a deluge, the police came while I gathered a few clothes and $600 I had saved in an envelope. I left the second abusive spouse and our home to begin again by myself  with the two youngest.   I put in floors, walls, finished a deck and with much struggle secured a loan to  purchase the little vacation home I had been renting.  Then sold that to move with my youngest daughter (then 13) to our beautiful farm in southern Virginia in December of 2006.  Where 3 months after we moved in, my editor from Dell Puzzles in New York City called to tell me my career, my much loved work, after 24 years was  done.  We managed to hang on there for about 2 1/2 years while I desperately searched for work, but at my age (56 – 58) no one replied to my applications. My life’s toil, losses, moving, hurt and determination over the years had all led to my “forever” home, my 5 1/2 acres and much loved residence and I could do nothing to stop it from disappearing before my eyes.

Over five years without a place to call home has been a most trying and difficult test.  And yes, I have learned much.  For the first years I could do nothing as I only made $480 to $520 a month working for the National Council on Aging.  Then in January of 2013 I began to get social security, and although it is a bit under $800 a month, there was a small chance a bank might actually give me a small loan to once again have a home.

I learned that many false things can appear on your credit report, and although it was mistakes companies and banks made, YOU need to find all the paperwork, you need to make ten or twenty or more calls in an attempt to reach the correct departments, the right people, then you need to drive the miles to their locations.  Finally after months of searching, calling, headache and heartache, my credit report was updated and I managed at the second bank I went to, to procure a small loan for $29,000.   I was ecstatic! There were many foreclosures for sale for that price, although I would most likely have to move at least 3 hours away from my children.  But I could have a home!  A bedroom of my own once again!  A closet! A kitchen!

I shortly learned that all is not always what it appears to be.  Some of these properties were quite nice with a minimum of work that would need to be done (replacing a carpet, painting a porch, fixing a few boards on a deck, or putting in a couple new cupboard doors).  But none of them were available to me, as banks now require a home to be nearly “perfect” to be financed.  No work can be done on any of these properties before sale as they are not insured for anyone to go in and do anything to them. 

With the FHA  homes, there is an “escrow account” on some of them that can be added to the mortgage for the work to be done after the sale.  But the home has to be “stick built” and there were few in my price range.  And many that were were listed as “uninsurable” which means the FHA will not back the loan, so of course the bank will not allow me to buy it.  Most with any work to be done are sold to investors.  They pay much less, often one listed at $30,000 will go to an investor for $20,000 or less.  The banks lose money, but it appears they do not care.  The houses are off the books and no mortgage. Cash. Done.

I have talked to many realtors, asked if there is any way I can get one of these houses, and they say “Sure, cash!  You offer, say $20,000 and if an investor doesn’t offer more, it’s yours!”  There is one major problem with this logic…I do not have $20,000 cash.  Or $10,000 cash.  Some realtors have told me they would call if anything came up, but never call back.  Some won’t even talk to me.  I am “small change”, their commission would be so small they won’t even bother.

I have learned the banks do not care, the realtors do not care, it seems no one in a position to help cares if I ever get a home.

If ANYONE who reads this has ANY ideas, please, please let me know.  I am in need of a bit of tutoring to pass this life’s test.  I so need a home.



4 thoughts on “The tests of life

  1. I so wish the government would have bailed out the bank CUSTOMERS instead of the banks themselves…. If they had done that, people would live in their homes instead of in the streets, and the bank directors wouldn’t have been able to cash out giant bonuses to themselves…..

    I am looking forward to the day when the heading here says: I got a house!!! Best of luck Debi! Warm hugs, Mona 🙂


  2. Thank you so much for your thoughts and good wishes. The US is big business, and I am just a tiny amoeba in the pond. But hopefully there is a way to turn this situation around and that one day in the not-too-far distant future, you will indeed read here, “I got a house!” big hug


  3. Keep the faith and the work up…and it is work! Best of luck in finding your next home and making a life for yourself and your daughter. You can do it…and a man…especially an abusive one…is not required!


  4. Thank you for stopping by to read and comment, facetfully. And thank you for the good wishes. It is way past time to get out of my oldest daughter’s living room, her family needs their space. Hopefully someone will stop here and read that has a suggestion or two of things to try that I have not thought of. And I agree, a man is not required. Been on my own since 2000, and it is so much more peaceful. I know, I know, it’s just the men I was with, but seems I don’t pick too well, lol. big hug


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