Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Thankful it's gone

***note: this was originally supposed to be published on thanksgiving day but I got slack and also went out of town for the holiday so it's like a week late. oops. my bad. ***

Tuesday was a pretty big day for us. Back in 2005 we bought a vacation house in Banner Elk, NC. When we couldn't afford to keep it as a vacation house anymore we started renting it out. Part of this time we could have tried to sell it before the market crashed in 2008 but we didn't. Then the renter got to be a real pain, even blowing a sale for us when he was living there (that's when I should have known something was up). So when he got out of there we tried to sell again for over a year. And after paying for some repairs to the place and maintenance plus the mortgage payment for over a year and getting nothing - well actually less than nothing - we finally just stopped. April 2013 was the last time we made a payment. Tuesday Watauga County sold the house at auction. I don't know who bought it or if the bank bought it back into REO. But now we don't own that house anymore, and I am so glad.

What started out as someplace fun to go, and a mountain getaway we'd escape to for a couple of weekends every month had become a drain on the wallet and the emotions. We've been doing the Dave Ramsey thing all year, and I'm glad to have that debt gone. So there's good and bad.

We really did enjoy using this as a vacation house. When Greenville got hot it was always 15* cooler in the mountains. When I still owned my own business I used to let my employees take their families up there for the weekends we weren't using it. We had season tickets in 2006 (one of the national championship seasons) for App State Football and went to all of the games that year except one. It was fantastic. I looked forward to every visit. we'd do things to fix up the place like paint or replace light fixtures. Little projects were fun.

The bad times got really bad. We ended up renting this house out after the real estate market crashed in 2008 and the tenant turned out to be a real pain in the ass, as did the neighbor. We tried to sell it again later and got blocked, literally. realtors unable to get into the property blocked. Everything ended up in a downhill spiral that left the property needing repairs that we couldn't afford, the tenant wanted to lease/option the property and couldn't, then moved out when we couldn't make the repairs. Then the neighbor started shooting at the realtors when they would come show the house, and you know you're going to get a lot of offers when you have to get a sheriff's escort to show a property.

So after a year of fighting that, and having it vacant, and truly believing that I would get shot if I ever tried to go back to the house that I still owned, we decided to stop making the mortgage payments and give it back to the bank. The bank we used was very unorganized and couldn't communicate well between departments, so what we were told was a 5 day process to avoid foreclosure, took 7 months and ended in foreclosure. They would call us to ask why we hadn't faxed in the forms yet, and we told them we faxed them in 14 days ago then again 10 days ago, and then the person who called us found the papers sitting on their own desk. unbelievable. No email communication allowed so nothing got a datetime stamp or proof of delivery.

This also means that our credit report takes a hit. It's not as bad of a hit as it would be if this were our primary residence or if it was a loan that was less than a year old. We paid on this 10 year loan for 7 years so the bank still made money off of us. And now selling this place and dealing with that neighbor and the police is their problem. This thanksgiving, we're thankful that we no longer have to deal with that property. We're glad the debt is off of our backs and the neighbor can kiss my ass.  We're done.

1 comment:

Amber said...

Yikes! That sounds like a huge headache and stress, I'm glad you were able to get rid of it finally!