Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Five Stages of Grief

Unbearable sadness

We have now started the process of putting our house on the market and are coming to grips with the fact that we are likely going to lose money on the whole transaction. I have had quite a number of different reactions to such a prospect. “Surely not,” I think. This was practically the least expensive house we saw when we were looking and we did quite a bit of fixing up; how is it possible that we will lose money? Then I may swing toward feeling angry at the housing market. How dare it climb so high and then turn down with such inconvenient timing for us? And then I start to think something like, “Maybe we can sell for what we paid and then just lose the realtor fees...” Or in some moments, I feel very down about the whole thing, sad and lethargic and unable to gather the motivation to touch up more paint or clean out another closet. I have had a few moments of acceptance but I’m still working it. Cliche, anyone?

There is good reason to keep moving toward acceptance, of course. We’ve had two realtors over and from what they are saying, it is unlikely we are going to lose vast quantities of money. Losing a bit of money now is not going to have a long-term negative effect on our financial life. And we are moving to Texas where houses are so much cheaper that (if we decide to buy again) we would still be able to buy a house, even with losing a chunk of our down payment on this house. And really, there’s nothing we can do about it now, is there? Beating ourselves up about our decision to buy doesn’t make anything better or solve any problems. We didn’t have brilliant predictive powers that allowed us to see what the market would do, so buying a house seemed like a good idea at the time. And the biggest reason to move toward acceptance is what I believe about a steadfast, faithful God. That doesn’t mean God is going to keep us from losing money, but it does mean God is the reason I can say, with increasing sincerity, “It’s going to be OK.”

Today, in further spruce-things-up endeavors, we’re having a new screen (well, glass, actually) door put up, as well as having the house power washed. That sounds very exciting, I think. “POWER WASHING!” Too bad I can’t use some kind of power washer to clean the inside of the house; I have a feeling it would involve a lot more adrenaline and excitement than my actual cleaning procedures. My next cleaning tasks are our glass-shelved, glass-doored cabinets in the kitchen (which are a bit dusty after 2.5 years) and the stove’s drip pans. I hate cleaning those and never seem to be able to get them clean. In my single-girl renting days, I would always buy new ones before moving out of an apartment at the end of a lease and throw away my blackened old ones. Shockingly unenvironmental... Maybe I will try Oxiclean on them this time around?

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