Born Under a Bad Sign
I’m here. I’m sorry I haven’t written. Truth is, I’m struggling, and I don’t want to share it with everyone.
There’s an old blues line - “If it wasn’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all” - that fits this year well. This year is The Year, the year we determined would see us homeowners. It’s been over a decade in this apartment, and we’re tired of neighbors, tired of noise, tired of rent raises that seem random - because of course, we’re not studying the rental market to see what fair rents are, every increase seems random.
Last year was a fair blow to our plans - we’d planned to spend last year paying off our credit and saving, so we’d have extra savings to work with. The Mister leaving his job unexpectedly in March put paid to that - although with some help from family, we were able to get some things paid off entirely and work on paying down some other accounts, just a little later than expected. So we got a later start hunting than expected, but still early, before house season really opened.
Everything should have gone roughly according to plan. Except it hasn’t. Again…. “If it wasn’t for bad luck…” We met with financiers, got estimates on our affordability - based on one income, because that’s what we had to work with. Found a buyer’s agent. All the things lined up - optimism from everyone: yes, you have great credit, you can afford this, you should do this while interest rates are low. Sure, buying on one income limits us to a small chunk of the market - but the local economy is volatile enough that waiting until we can buy on two just sets us up for big problems down the line.
Yesterday, we got our 4th rejection in 3 months. We’ve offered for 4 houses - three of them good, strong, competitive offers - and been turned down every time. Yesterday’s rejection was explicitly due to the loan product we’re using - The Mister served his 4 years in the military, which qualifies us to a VA-backed loan. The other buyers had a conventional loan, which is faster and requires less from the seller. It does not miss my notice that we’ve been turned down for The Mister being a veteran at the very start of Memorial Day weekend, when everyone and their dogs are feasting on BBQ in honor of the fighting dead.
It’s been….. Hard. I’m struggling, and the only thing that’s keeping me going is knowing that if we tell our lender and our agent that we give up, we won’t get what we want. Come September, we’ll have to move anyway - so that the landlords can renovate our apartment, we’ll have to move into another unit in the building, and we’ll still be at the mercies of the stupid hand of the market. I feel like I’m losing myself in the stress of the whole thing, and that might be the hardest part of all. I miss the lovely, strong, wise woman I used to be; I hope she comes back when we get through this.
I’ll let Mr. King sing us out: