Widgets Magazine

Apr 17, 2011

Overextended (part 2)

**Editor's Note: This is the continuation of yesterday's post. The events in this story take place in 1991. Part 1 here.**

The next morning dawned bright and beautiful in spite of our pending humility. My sweetie headed off to another long day at work and I set about dropping off the kids. When I got to the babysitter’s house, I was a few minutes early, so I stayed for a second to chat. "You really ought to call about that house," she said. She was well aware that we were planning to move. I shifted uncomfortably. "You know we can’t afford a house," I said. "We have absolutely nothing for a down-payment." She smiled. "But I don’t think you need one for that house," she replied. "The Credit Union had to foreclose on it and I heard they just want to get rid of it. Just call. What are you out?"


I wished her a happy day and got back in my car. She was right. What would I be out? I stopped and wrote the phone number on a scrap of paper, then hustled off to work. I didn’t think about it again until lunchtime. I fished around in my purse while I chewed on my sandwich. It was worth a try. I finally found the paper and punched the numbers into my phone. After 10 minutes, I ended the call and quickly placed another one.

My sweetie picked it up on the first ring. "Let’s buy a house!" I said breathlessly. "We can’t afford a house," he responded practically. I was not letting him burst my bubble. "We can afford this one," I said. He chuckled, "Worse than the one we are going to rent?" he guessed. "No, at least I don’t think so," I said. "It’s the one by the babysitter’s house." He sighed patiently, "There is no way we can afford that house," he said again. "We only need $2000.00!" I said.



"We don’t have $2000.00," was his rather irritating response. "Yeah, but if we don’t pay our bills for one month we can have $2000.00. Then we can get a home equity loan and pay the bills with just a little late fee," I suggested. "We’ve never been late before, so it shouldn’t even impact our credit." He was starting to see the beauty of the plan.

"Have you seen the house?" he asked. "No," I said. "But I will." We talked a little longer and hung up. I made arrangements to meet with a real estate agent right after work. We met at the house and started to walk through. A water pipe had broken and there was water and sheetrock and a muddy mess all over the floor in the upstairs hallway. Undaunted, we inspected the entire house. I knew in my heart it was the right place for us, so I arranged to have the agent come to our home later that evening.



He showed up right on time with the offer letter all drawn up. My sweetie had only been home from work for a few minutes. We gathered around the kitchen table and the agent and I began extolling the virtues of the house. Even with the water damage, the asking price of $67,000 was excellent. We wrote up the offer and my sweetie signed it without ever seeing the inside of the house. We both felt wonderful about the decision and when we hit our knees that night, we offered plenty of prayers of thanks.

As it turned out, we only got the house because we had the best agent in the entire world! The person he had to present the offer to was a state senator and the legislature was in session. So our agent actually ran it up to Capitol Hill and gave him the papers on his lunch break. Both of the other offers he received that day were delivered to his office at the Credit Union and he didn’t get them until after ours had been accepted.


Our plan was flawless. The Credit Union fixed up the house and within less than 30 days we were able to move in. Our home equity loan was approved the following day. I don’t believe we even had to pay any late fees. We were incredibly blessed for our willingness to humble ourselves. It’s a lesson that we have never forgotten. Now if we could just figure out how to stay out of debt…

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