Crime, Police and Little League

I debated long and hard with myself and my greatest critic/business partner/business manager/husband over doing this post. I was emphatically against the post he wanted me to do, but he did have a point that ignoring anything that could help people or inspire change and a call to action would be a disservice to my readers. I waited a few days to really stew on this and decide the best way to approach it. I ultimately decided that I did need to bring this up because there are a few issues that occurred that I really could not ignore.

I’m an avid goer to my oldest son’s baseball games. I get into it, which surprises me because I hate watching the sport and find it boring. But sure enough, when my son is out on short stop I jump high and clap hard with pride. Maybe it’s just because it’s my son and it’s my job to be entirely enthralled and supportive. The coach is fantastic with the kids and that’s hard to find in this overly competitive world. He’s not afraid to stand up for his kids if he feels like they were wronged, which is a great comfort to us parents to leave our children in our care. He shows a passion for the game that rubs off on the kids.

Last Saturday, we arrived at the field in Holyoke (which is the next town over) and found watched the 4 coaches playing with the team. To our eventual shock, we discovered two of them weren’t coaches; they were our umpires hanging out with the other team. Our coach greeted them and received a “we’re not going to have a problem with Chicopee today, are we?” We shrugged it off until pitches proceeded to go over our teams head and calling them strikes, to which we all thought and the coached expressed this thought, that if you are going to be so blatant in handing the game to the other team that it’s completely disrespectful to the game and our kids. In response to this, the ump exchanged some unkind words and then go ahead to toss our coach. Our coach stayed at the parking lot to watch the game and his son. To which he received a greeting from the police which the ump had called on him for “physical threats” which never happened.

Throughout this whole ordeal, even as we expressed that it was a fabrication, we kept getting the same answer: “We take whoever called first word”. This was where I immediately became enraged. If I wasn’t solely responsible for staying home with the kids, I had a list of questions to ask these police officers. “So, you’re a cop in #88 of the 100 most dangerous cities in America and you’re wasting your time on a little league coach who drove his wife and kid to the game and can’t just abandon them?” “So gang bangers and wife beaters are okay to walk the street, but calling bs when he sees it is an arrestable offense?” My final question and probably the most important one: “a man beats his partner bloodied and near death but she gives him a black eye. He calls the cops saying his partner hit him. The cops arrive and see his black eye and her unconscious and bleeding. Will she be hauled off in hand cuffs because he called first?” The cops looked angry that their donut run was interrupted and seemed arrest happy, threatening to haul in the coach and another mom for trying to reason with them. It was a ridiculously embarrassing debacle for them. By them, I mean “the City of Holyoke”. It showed me that the police in that city is useless, which is apparent because it is #88 of 100 dangerous cities in “all” of America. It also showed that those umpires are paid by the Parks and Recreation department to hand games to their teams, not saying that they intend it but they certainly don’t seem to care to stop it.

Our coach being punished would be a joke. If he does, on the grounds of “zero tolerance”, then shouldn’t that umpire be punished for his much longer list off offenses? I knew the city was crooked, which is why I avoid it at all costs. But if you’re going to be so consumed by apathetic corruption, could you at least pretend that you’re not watching drug deals go down without caring or not threatening a coach for informing an umpire of rules he should already know before taking the field? And the “whoever called first” rule is just an excuse for laziness and probably the number one reason your city is so dangerous. Just sayin’.

Mr. Newsman, I Don’t Believe You

It’s a shame that the state of media and politicians are so sad that they have created an equal amount of brainwashed citizens as they have completely apathetic and mistrustful ones. The journalists are supposed to hold all politicians equally accountable for their terribleness, not vary accountability based on whatever channel you watch. Who’s being held accountable for anything if everyone only cares about their own bottom lines? The pundits, the politicians and the so-called journalists are all guilty parties to this.
I constantly talk about this here because it’s true. We should not have to read 6 different articles to figure out one news story. One channel calls Obama the greatest, another says he’s the devil and should be in jail. How about he’s just an incredibly misguided guy that surrounds himself with corrupt fools who then corrupted him. He’s not a devil. He might be a crappy president, but he’s not a terrible human being. And I’m not naïve enough to believe a politician is going to be honest with us. They just want to get elected and sell their beliefs to the highest bidder. Unfortunately for us, we’re not the highest bidder. We’re just the idiots that put them there. Except me, none of the people I’ve ever elected was put in office so I guess I have a clear conscience. Though I usually vote for people based on my agreement on their views, rather than party and my green party candidate didn’t stand a chance. And no, it wasn’t a wasted vote because since this isn’t a true democracy and I live in Massachusetts, the vote would’ve gone to the Democratic party anyways since no Republican president has ever won Massachusetts.
My case in point: Politicians, ignoring the constitution and lying to the American people since 1788. You shouldn’t be shocked by their lying, you should be appalled that no one cares and they get reelected. You should care that the news organizations fight for their own agendas and pockets instead of us, the ones responsible for a portion of their paychecks. Our bosses would fire us for not doing our jobs, why should they get overpaid for theirs?
And for the record, do not confuse this Bergdahl trade as being the biggest controversy with it being the most recent. The NSA thing is more important. The Benghazi thing is more important. This Bergdahl thing is probably the least of my worries in the grand scheme of royal screws ups in recent times. This was just something that was supposed to make people forget the whole VA screw up that blew up in their faces or worked exactly as intended.
Let’s close by admitting our own fault in this. Sitting back and watching awful thing happen is just as guilty as those doing it. Everyone thinks that their political party will be the next coming of Christ to save us and fix all our problems. I’ll let you in on a secret: they’re not. We should vote for people that we believe can do it, even if that means crossing party lines. They are, in general, all the same. Even as a registered Democrat, I cannot think of one Democrat I would want as president. Then again, I can only also think of one Republican I would consider a good candidate and he’s probably too smart to run. The other parties often have decent candidates, but they’d never stand a chance in the general elections. So I plead with you, be the change. Let’s take out putting letters next to the candidate’s name on the ballot box so you force people to make educated decisions. Let’s make sure we are able to pick the right candidate, not the party. We can start our own revolution and fixing our country if the politicians don’t want to.

The Saga Continues

I just have to keep saying to myself that things will work as intended. In a month, we’ll be living in our well deserved and hard-earned home that we worked hard to get. I don’t just mean “hard work” as in the work put in to provide a paycheck to provide a better life for our family.  I also mean the hard work to get to the point we are now, after the grueling process of finding a home we love. Getting married wasn’t half the stress this is.
After the fiascos of last week, things seem to be taking a more positive turn this week since Friday. On Friday, we received more paperwork from the loan officer to sign our lives away. We’re hoping this is a positive sign that the cash gift wasn’t going to screw us over. On Saturday we handed over our deposit and signed the Purchase agreement for the house. The inspection has been rescheduled until tomorrow with hopefully better results than last week. And the house is no longer on, so maybe things are starting to turn around for us.
We probably won’t hear whether or not we’ll be approved for the loan until the appraisal, so we get to wait nervously for that. But first, we have to pass this inspection before we can even worry about how picky our loan underwriter is. After that, we can pace around hoping everything just works out. People do less and get more, so this should work out for us. At least, I hope so…
Until then, my body seems to be caving into this stress. The feeling of heart attacks and the pain of muscle knots in my back have sidelined my work out routine at a time I find myself stress eating. Luckily my metabolism seems to have kicked itself up so this hasn’t hindered anything too much. Just a month. I just need to last this month. Then I can start stressing about staying in the house without living off ramen for the rest of our lives. I’m hopeful that we will be okay. It’s exciting to get close to the end of this journey.

From Here We Can Only Go Up?

This is becoming such a roller coaster of emotions. First, we bid and lost the house. Then we and won the house. Then there was everything in between of conflicts and arguments. We thought it was going to be a smooth road after winning the bid but as Wednesday’s post showed, we hit a bump in the road with the down payment gift.

We have documentation that makes everyone but my husband and I more confident that our loan will be approved. We are very cautious about getting as confident as they are because it has been our experience that whatever can go wrong probably will. We’ll wait patiently but nervously until we hear back. Whatever will happen, will happen. Until then, we can at least make sure that the inspection can go well.

Wrong. We arrived to the inspection about 5 minutes late but we figured that the inspector would start outside. When we got to the house, we discovered that only the realtor was there with a look of anger. She was making phone calls, and informed us the inspector had yet to show up. After the realtor made several phone calls, she called the seller’s agent to get us the contracts to sign so maybe it wasn’t a waste. After 2 tried to email it, our realtor decided the inspector stood us up. We all agreed to go back to the office to sign our contracts. Easy enough, right?

Again, you would be wrong. The seller’s agent, who was apparently too inept to email the contracts to begin with, sent the contract in such a way that even my computer technician husband couldn’t figure out how to print it out. After nearly an hour of attempting this contract thing, we decided to call this waste of a day. My realtor looked as frustrated as we did and felt terrible that nothing worked out and offered to buy us dinner.

All these things are compiling into either a huge list of bad omens or making us go crazy to really appreciate the house when we get it. I suppose I do always say that anything worthwhile never comes easy. Maybe things will work out. Maybe not. But until we find out, we can cross our fingers and hope for the best. What’s meant to be, will be.

Just When Things Were Going So Well

I told my husband that things were going too well for us. We’re not the world’s luckiest people, and we’ve decided long ago that fate wasn’t exactly on our side. Whenever good things happened to us, it was like driving a car with failing brakes. For a while you’re happy and things go well, and then suddenly everything gives out and crashes and all you can hope for is to survive it. We are survivors, and more importantly, we are fighters. We fight to get what we want in life and we’re willing to put whatever effort in that we need to do so. For us, nothing good comes easy. The weird thing is that we’re entirely okay with this. Nothing is worth it if you just have it handed to you. What’s the fun in not being able to put up a fight for yourself?

And so it happened with this house. It will be a sign if we come out of this ahead but a bad omen for the inspection this afternoon. We were given a gift of $5000 for the down payment of the house. We were told we were going to get this and informed everyone we spoke to that this was happening. You would they would mention something like “don’t accept cash”, right? Or in that first time home buyers class maybe? Or in any of the information that was given to us? Maybe we’re not as intelligent as we thought we were. For anyone else out there who might get a gift to help with your down payment: get a check or you might get your loan denied on account you might be a drug dealer or terrorist. It’s too late to fix this so we just have to hope for the best when the underwriter gets his or her hand on our application. It was going so well with everything coming in under budget and all…

There’s still the inspection hurdle to also get over. I’m not afraid of the appraisal because I can’t imagine the city assessing the house that much higher than it’s worth. The inspection is a little worrisome, as the section we’re moving to has very sandy dirt which is ideal for termites. This worries me because if there is damage, it might be a deal breaker. Everything that was in the eyesight of my very capable “handyman” brother, was seen to be in excellent condition. That makes me feel confident things will be okay today, just the ideal of spending $1000 on termite repairs and spray isn’t something that makes me very hopeful this will work out.

I’ve taken a stance on this: if it was meant to happen, it will. It worked out for when I said it about my husband, so we’ll see how it works out now. The house already came back to us once, so that has to be a sign. If not, it’s a cosmic joke and we’ll see it’s a sign that there is something better out there. At least, I hope that this is what it means, otherwise it means that whatever entity that is out there that controls whatever hates me. We will see how this works out, and cross our fingers to hope for the best.

When One Door Closes, It Eventually Reopens?

Our options had dwindled, and we became hopeless. We first considered that we should revisit some our “nos” and see if we could convince ourselves that maybe they weren’t so bad. We quickly talked ourselves out of that, because we didn’t want to settle for something just because it was in the price range we were looking at. We begrudgingly decided to up our price range and live off ramen until January hits and the car is paid off.

We kept seeing the house we loved and were outbid on still up for sale. We laughed it off, saying if they came back to us after their condescending attitude that we would mimic them and tell them where to go. Sure the house might not have been much to others, but we loved it and it felt like home the minute we walked in. I suppose that’s how you know it’s the one. When my husband called the realtor to suggest going higher, our realtor informed us that there was one more house in our original range to see.

We were shocked to hear which one it was. It was the one we had wanted. Apparently the ones who outbid us never got the inspection or financing in the contracted time and they were re-addressing our offer. Except our new realtor didn’t know we had put an offer for the house so when she reshowed us the house, they thought there were 2 different interested parties when it was just us. Our new realtor was thorough when we went back to the house. My husband and I still loved it when we saw it again. We felt good about the offer, as we stuck to our guns to see if they were desperate enough to bite.

Our realtor pointed out the inexperience of the sellers realtor and said she was going to take advantage of that. She gave this impression of confidence and made us feel that we had the right person in our corner. It also helps that she had this look in her eye that she was going to devour him and that she had the tools and experience to do so. We walked away feeling good about this, but not so overconfident that we think it’s in the bag. But this time we have a fighting chance. I think so.

edit: I waited to post the blog because we would hear back today. And we did, and the news is good. They accepted our original offer of $140,000 plus closing. Take in account our down payment, our mortgage will only be for $135,000. We did it! Now they are passing things off to the attorneys, setting up our inspection, and passing it along to our loan officer. Things are looking up for us.

The Search Continues Anew

There’s this idea that home buying is a dream. You get to look at all these houses and find the place where you are going to lay down your roots for several years, if not forever. Then you have this magical musical montage of your future upon entering the dream home, and you start planning your future around this dream home. Now you’re in your house, you have the children you dreamt of and raised them into this building you have made into your home. It’s a beautiful dream. However, unless my experience has been more miserable than most, this dream has no basis in fact.

This dream has become more of a nightmare for me than I had expected. I had no misconceptions about this; I knew it was going to be a testing journey. What I didn’t expect was this nightmare unfolding before me. I should be grateful that we’re in a position where we can buy a house. I am, I really am. However, this has been awful on my sanity and emotions. We found two nice houses, and we acknowledged that this is a market that the sellers control so we put bids up that ended up unsuccessful. We went through houses that made me miserable being in. And to finish the trifecta of terrible, our realtor ended up leaving us because of a family emergency. Now we have to start fresh with someone we haven’t established a relationship with.

Maybe we need this fresh start. Maybe this will bring us luck we desperately need right now. Already she seems more prepared and enthusiastic, with a list of houses and getting a rush on showings. She understands the urgency  we have placed on this situation, and seems confident that she can deliver our dream in our time line. I want to be hopeful, but I’m anxiously cautious. We’ll find out today how we should approach this. I hope on Friday’s post I can report something positive about this experience.

When You Find It, You’ll Know

They kept saying, “when you find the house, you’ll know”. We put a bid on a house and immediately questioned ourselves after we did it. We found a house that should have been the one, and easily would have been if it weren’t for the requirements for a rehab loan. Though later on we forgot about it as we realized the elementary school was less than desirable. We were being naïve home buyers that were desperate for the one to hurry up and fall in our laps. We are watching our choices dwindling down in our ideal city.

Then we saw a picture of a shabby looking home. The kitchen looked like a closet and the only real other pictures were of the yard. With choices becoming more limited, we wanted to see the options. We went in with little hope. As we were heading to the house,  we were re-evaluating what we were ideally trying to find in a house: a nice yard for the children and dogs; a picturesque neighborhood; in a district with great schools. Everything else was negotiable: a nice kitchen, finished basement, decent sized bedrooms.

As we pulled up to the house, we were immediately impressed. The neighborhood was very picturesque, with flowering and other large trees and seeing children playing. We noticed that along the chain link fence on the side was a gate and walking path. As we followed the path on the property line, we noticed it was a path up to my oldest son’s current elementary school. Already a huge plus. The back and side yards were a decent size.

We walked into the house and the kitchen was larger than the pictures, though it was small, and had an opening to see into the dining area. The rooms were all nicely sized and it had a large finished basement. It was an awesome feeling. For the first time, I felt like I was home walking around. We didn’t want to rush into it this time. We wanted to sleep on it and re-assess  everything on Monday and have other family members see what we might have missed. Only when we went to reschedule, another bid had been placed. We rushed to get our advisors in to get a bid in. They loved it as much as we did.

So a bidding war has begun. We’re waiting to see if we were the top bidder. This time I’m anxious to see if we get it, unlike past time when I was anxious if I made the right call. Maybe we should have jumped on the house right away. We were trying to do the right thing and it may have backfired. The house was perfect in every way. The schools were top-notch, the neighborhood is amazing.  The house was a quaint perfect starter home. We’ll see how this goes and I should hope for the best.

It Was So Close and I Lost

It’s another day in this continuing saga of the house hunt. Each day that passes, I feel the pressure of finding “the one” in the given deadline of the start of next school year. I find that I’m getting hopeless as each day passes. It would be easier if we settled for less than ideal locations, they have an abundance of houses in our price range. However, both suffer from failing school systems and land in the Top 100 most dangerous cities in America. This makes them automatic no go’s for our family. Ideally, we’d like to remain in our current city but the choices are dwindling.

We saw a house on Wednesday that was, in our estimates, the perfect starter home. The yard was huge, so it was perfect for the ability to expand the house as we grew if the need arose. The house was perfectly move in ready and required nothing but some paint. We did end up putting an offer on it for $10 grand less than the asking. Needless to say we were outbid, and back at square one. What are we going to do now? I’m lost and angry and feeling completely depressed and hopeless.

Now we only have a few places in our current city left before we start looking elsewhere. I was hoping that if I couldn’t  get a place in the same middle school district, that I could at least keep my oldest son in the city so he could play on his same baseball team with his friends and not completely uproot him to a strange place. What’s the point in moving for his best interest if I can’t keep him where he’s happy with his friends? I think that’s the worst part of this.

I’m trying to hold out hope that this will work out, but I don’t share my husband’s optimism. I’m a realist and I’m accepting that we will have to uproot our family and take them to a different city that we’re not used to and completely lost in. I’m trying my best to be hopeful. This process is infinitely more stressful than anticipated. With all the factors that are combined, I want to crawl in a hole and have someone just pick it and I can get on with my life. I’m done. It’s only really been a week and I’m so completely done and over this.

It’s a Roller Coaster

And it’s just as fun, at least just to me as someone who hates roller coasters. I don’t think I was fully ready for this process. When I normally shop for something, I make a quick work of everything. I know what I want when I walk into a store, I know how much I want to pay for it and move on very quickly to the next place to find it. I’m very decisive and come to answers pretty quickly. I was warned that home shopping was going to be the most stressful thing in your adult life. I’m a mother of 2 boys and if that doesn’t break me, nothing can. I thought so anyways. It’s only stressful if your spouse and you are on different pages. Right?

Wrong. So so very wrong. And I’m fairly certain that this process is going to break me, and that break might just come very soon. It’s not my house shopping partner that has made this process as emotionally strenuous as it has been. It has been the houses and the process that has failed me. The house that needed the renovation needed a special rehab loan that would take forever to get. Plus, the elementary school was one of the worst in the city. We quickly moved on and raised our price point.

This lead us to this house that had pictures that made it look gorgeous. When we went to it, the area was easily ignored when I walked around the inside. I was ready to put an offer on it right away. Then we saw the basement and this feeling vanished. Suddenly, with this spot of broken open foundation where dirt was pulled open this curtain. What happens if it rains, and mud oozes through this hole. And why is the washer/dryer hook ups in the one spot there is no lighting in the far end of the basement? Then we saw money that needed to fix these stairs to make it safe for our family and guests. I wasn’t sad because my husband was worried about these things and I disagreed, I was sad because I’m slowly realizing that my deadline of having at least a new address by September might not happen. Hell, I’m starting to think living in the city we want to isn’t going to happen.

I keep trying to be hopeful, but I think I’m just going to try to convince myself that everything will work out and every day is a new day. Maybe we’ll see this new house today that might be it. I won’t keep looking at the pictures and dreaming anymore. I’ll look once and see if it has potential and forget about it until we get a showing. I’ve been turned from a doe-eyed house hunter to a hardened soul that just wants a place to lay down the roots of my growing family, where they can have a place of our own to run and scream and play. One year ago, I didn’t even consider that this would ever even be a possibility and yet here we are. Maybe I can look at that for hope of success. Until then, I’m  just going to have to go with the flow of things.