Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Bumps and Dips

The foothills of the Superstition Mountains are filled with roads that have bumps and dips, which are right in line with how my circumstances have been unfolding, practically on an hourly basis.

After freaking out about the fabulous timing of our car's electronics going on the fritz, I thought, "Well, at least we should be getting a big fat check at the end of the month when the house sells."

That helped me relax a little.  Then this morning I woke up to find an email from my real estate agent with the news that the buyers decided to back out of the contract for what both of us consider to be pretty minor issues.  I knew as soon as that woman started bitching about the paint color, I was in trouble.

Anyway, they cancelled the contract in part because my painters and flooring installers took too long to do their jobs, which delayed the appraisal for them.  I'm not sure why that was such an issue, because I did sign a contract granting them as much time as needed to get the appraisal and back out of the contract or make a lesser offer if the appraisal doesn't at least match their offer.  They claimed they couldn't afford to stay in a hotel for a month while escrow is processed, so perhaps they decided to rent some home for six months before buying.

I suppose the one encouraging thing about the situation is that I found out that these buyers were making an offer site unseen.  They said they loved the house based upon photographs that I had taken.  Then they saw the house in person and went, "Yuck!"  I guess that says something about my photography.  Maybe I can get a job photographing interiors and exteriors of homes.  I'll write on my resume that with my first job, I got a full price offer the very day that my photographs were posted.

So, now the house is back on the market.  The real estate agent has two more months to sell it before I put it up for rent.  In the meantime, we've got a sick dog who can only eat very expensive prescription food and takes prescription medications and must be monitored in the hospital every few weeks, we have a house with broken pipes we must repair, we have to build a home for our horses in a hurry, and we have a broken down vehicle all at the same time.  I paid the painter via credit card and will have to pay the flooring installer sometime soon.  The flooring installers were ready to go weeks ago, but the painter cut into their time frame and now they are busy with other jobs.

In order to maintain my sanity, I've been telling myself things like, "If the car hadn't broken down, my daughter and her friends would have been in a terrible accident, so it's a good thing it broke down."  And, "If I had sold the house now in this depressed real estate market, I wouldn't have been able to make the profit I can later when the market improves."

It's desperate thinking, but it helps... at least until I start doing laundry only to discover that my brand new washing machine is broken already.  If I have to spend one more minute of my time arranging to fix things that are broken, I'm going to flip out.  When you pay $1,600 for a new washer and dryer, you expect them to work.  Period.  At this rate we may as well go back to the days of Little House on the Prairie and do our laundry in a creek.  But then, with my luck, the creek will run dry.

Oh, and I found the receipt for our vehicle registrations.  1,150 freakin' dollars!  I nearly fainted!  That's not even for all of our vehicles.  Life is getting beyond unaffordable.  Something's gotta give.  Oh yes, and did I tell you that the Motor Vehicle Department got my name mixed up with someone else's address, so now the address on the title of all of my vehicles is wrong?  Awesome.

If I am going to pay the state that much money to register my vehicles, and they are not even going to credit me for what was left from my old state, then I expect them to at least get my address right in their computer system.  I have since then corrected the problem myself on my own personal time, but I'm stuck with the incorrect legal documents unless I want to pay for new ones.  How wrong is that?  I think this world will only improve once people start taking responsibility for their own mistakes instead of skipping off into the sunset while other people experience the pain of their mishaps and mop up their messes. 

Oh yes, and the car?  Well, the diagnosis is that some critter, probably a pack rat, got up inside the engine and chewed up the wiring.  So, we can no longer take our time unpacking, because we have to move all those boxes out of the garage ASAP and get the cars inside to avoid more unwanted bills.  Between the four of us, we have three cars, one truck, one horse trailer, and a three-car garage, so at least two vehicles, more likely three since we need to use one garage bay for other purposes, will always be vulnerable... at least until the kids move out and take their cars with them out of this desert and into their concrete college town.

My daughter graduated Summa Cum Laude, plays about a dozen musical instruments, and speaks four languages, yet she can't get a job in this tough market, so she applied for graduate school and got accepted.  My son still has three more years of undergrad work.  They are both home just for the summer.  It's great spending time with them.  We moved here, in part, to save on their college tuitions by becoming state residents.  That saves us about $20,000 a year.  Unfortunately, these daily fiascoes and unexpected expenses have eaten up this year's savings already.

My message to the universe:  I understand that problems are part of life, but please, could you just spread them out a bit over time so that I don't have to be hammered all at once?


Laughing Orca Ranch said...


I was going to ask you about pack rats, because when we pet-sat for friends who lived in rural Benson, AZ, they had warned us about the dangers of Pack Rats.

They didn't have a garage on their house, but instead had hooked up little solar lights and electric lights that were situated to focus light on the under carriage of each of their vehicles, because apparently night time is when the evil vermin get the hankerin' for chewing on wiring.

They they even set my own vehicle up with lights while we were living in their house each time we were there to care for their pets and home.

They warned us about the damage that pack rats can cause to vehicles after they had it happen to them several times....the worst and most expensive damage being to their RV.


lilyrose said...

Sorry the sale on your old house fell through...but hopefully, the market will pick up in the next few months and you'll get a better offer.
Vehicle registration is ridiculous here. But looking forward, each year the cost will go down. I promise. I almost died the year we bought our new F-250! Also, if you need to keep any cars parked outside, leave the hood open. It helps deter the packrats from nesting in your engine. Oh the joys of desert living! :)
As far as the DMV screwing up-they should be responsible for THEIR mistake.

Dreaming said...

I like that you can still find a silver lining when things look awful! Yay, you! I'm sending good vibes your way!

lilyrose said...

Silly me. Cograts on your daughter's accomplishments! She sounds like a very talented young woman. Hopefully, the job market will turn around soon and she will be able to begin a great career. :)

Paint Girl said...

Sorry to hear about your home sale falling through. Hopefully someone else will come along soon.
I don't know why everything has to happen at once. It just is not what you need right now!! I hope things start to look up and soon!!!

ryde2rope said...

..be lucky you have the things u have ... some of us don't have much at all and live in travel trailers.. so be grateful you have a family that loves you.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

ryde2rope - You're preaching to the choir. I've been homeless before. Why do you think I'm so fearful of losing what I have?

aurora said...

Sounds like you are surrounded by love, and while that doesn't pay the bills - it does/means so much more (I know you know this, just sharin'). Better days are coming, hang in there. I hope you see a light at the end of the tunnel, and soon!

achieve1dream said...

Sheesh!!! I hope things settle soon. I can't imagine how much stress you are under right now. It makes me feel dumb for stressing about the things I do lol. I have you in my thoughts and prayers. Hang in there!