That’s a question that we’ve been struggling with for a little over a year now, since our landlord first admitted to wanting to sell the house that we’d rented for the last seven years. Even though he assured us that, in renting his family home, which he had no intention of selling, we had stability.
This was a big deal for us, as we had been forced to move shortly after our second son, Charlie, had passed away. You see, three days after he had passed away, the day of his service, we were visited by the property management who informed us that the owner of the property that we had been renting, had had his assets frozen by the government, and was eager to liquidate the property (Surprise!). We have kids and pets, so moving tends to be a challenge; and we didn’t want to move somewhere just to have the place sold out from under us in a year and move again.
So last summer, when our landlord told us that he had wanted to sell the property, he offered it to us first, offered to credit us 5k in rent as down payment assistance, as long as we bought the property as is. So we financed the repairs for the inspection, and were set to provide the rest of the down payment/back taxes/whatever, even after the landlord and his brothers moved the closing date up two weeks to coincide with their high school reunion.
And then the bottom fell out. Because apparently, my husband went to college too long to be working for 13.00/hr. Too bad no one told his company that. So we looked into alternatives, and leasing to own was suggested, we agreed to a 50% rental increase, thinking that at least, in a year or two, we would own the house. At least until the owner changed his mind a few weeks later.
Immediately my mind went to the worst case scenario, the house would be sold to a new owner, they would agree to the lease for about three days, and then we would be out on the street. But our landlord agreed to find an owner that wanted to keep us on as renters, and after hearing my concerns, agreed to enact another year long lease, that way, if the new owners decided to terminate our agreement, they would have to buy out our lease, and we could use that money to move. Satisfied with that answer, life went on.
We didn’t hear from the landlord on the subject again until spring, his plan moved forward, and we prepped for another inspection, not so expensive this time, but still financed by us, all in for someone else to profit off of, and boy, did my husband dwell on that. But I held on to hope that this whole thing would work itself out. Even when three slick looking realtors toured the house and told the landlord that they would get him $200,000 if he could get us out by the end of the month. He made a show like he was the good guy, that he was looking out for us on account of our history as his tenants. I mentioned the new lease again, and the realtors went pale, one of them actually said “don’t do that.” he cowardly agreed that we would stay on a month to month lease with him until the new owners came in, and any further arrangements would be up to them.
My heart sank.
But I freak out for a day or so, then I put on my big girl pants and work on a solution.
This one, however was a bit more challenging, where would we move to? how would we pay to get there? How much would we even need, and to top it off, being stuck in the middle of slow business meant we didn’t even have the money to stay in operation once we ran out of product. But then, running a home based business is even more difficult when you don’t have a home.
At least, in this, we weren’t alone. The not having a home part anyway. Asking around, that appeared to be a growing trend in our city. Why pay for a $400,000 dollar home in California when you can sell it and buy two houses in Idaho? Who cares if you raise the rent on a two bedroom apartment from $750.00 to $1200.00? If somebody really wants to live there, they’ll pay for it. There were so many people asking for places they could shower for free, because they were living out of their cars and going to work, or looking for places that would take their kids and their five support chickens (yeah, that’s a thing in Idaho) for less than $800.00/month, we even had someone come across our neighborhood facebook group begging for groceries because they were living out of a Motel 6, and even working full time, it was costing them pretty much everything. and the response to this kind of thing was pretty negative, apart from thoughts and prayers. It was heartbreaking.
Luckily for us, my husband knows some amazing people who helped us get away from there, even though we worked up until our last week in Idaho, we managed to secure a U-Haul, put a deposit down on a place, and make our way north. This whole last month has been a never ending trial…but we’re slowly getting back on our feet.
I can’t lie though, I do miss WinCo.