We closed on our condo yesterday. The Massachusetts real estate slump is all to real to us. We put it on the market on 3/15/2005. We closed on 3/7/2006. But it's over. My relief is palpable. Our debt will shrink to "normal" levels. By the time we're done, we will have paid our contractor, our equity line and hopefully a parental loan from my very generous in-laws.
I've been reading stories of people who over-extended themselves and lost their houses to foreclosure. We had a ways to go before that happened, but it was really scary for a while. We'd come home to the new house and we'd say. "I LOVE this house... I hope we get to keep it." We kept wanting to rent out the condo, but then kept thinking... Just another month on the market. We'll see what happens. Things really picked up in January and February. Buyers are coming out of their stupor and starting to make decisions. Prices came down, but I don't think they're going to drop much more. And buyers are starting to realize that waiting another year won't save 100k. It just won't. So, a couple weeks back we got the offer, and we closed within 3 weeks. Just like that!
Big Kudos to my realtor, Helen Praysman who never lost her enthusiasm for the property. Once we had the offer in place she would have laid down in front of a train if that's what it would have taken to make the deal go through. She really thought things through and came up with creative solutions for any problems the buyers had. Rich said to me once, a long time ago "Helen is a closer." And she did what we needed her to do. She got terribly sick shortly after we go the offer and kept running around to make sure everything that needed to happen did.
I did a final walk-through of the condo on Monday night. Just to say goodbye. So many good things happened there. Rich and I came home there as newlyweds, we brought our first baby home there, so many of our friends stayed with us for months when they moved to Boston. But it felt so small now. All the rooms felt so much smaller than I remembered. It's still a magical place, with the huge fireplaces and the beautiful cabinetry. But it's a magical place for somebody else now. And that's a good thing.
So, that's done. Somebody tell my new baby she's welcome to be born any time now! I'm 36 weeks. We're ready!