Losing Things

My wife, my 10-year-old daughter, 2-year-old son, 1-year-old daughter and I are in very real danger of losing our home. The foreclosure sale is scheduled for December 5 at the county courthouse unless we can come up with $6,000 of the $18,000 in arrearage.

After losing two information technology jobs to department reorganization and another to adjust for its funding source in the course of four years, I fell behind on my mortgage and other bills. Each time I found employment, it was for less money. Recently I found a good paying job with a great future. I can pay my bills. I just cannot pay what has accumulated in arrearage. CitiMortgage will not refinance the mortgage. We out of options at this point.

Where we and our two large dogs will go is impossible to know. There are not too many options available for renters when the renters have two large dogs (50-lb. Barry and 90-lb. Bert). We are not giving them up. I rescued them from a shelter almost five years ago and I will not forsake their friendship, their companionship, their loyalty. We are a family.

If you are the buyer of our home, please be careful walking around the yard. Yes, you could step in an occasional pile of dog poop. But that will wash off. It is the freshly dug hole that is the danger here. As fast as the holes are filled, the dogs will take turns digging and maneuvering to be the possessor of the hole. Sometimes my son will join them in digging. I wish their efforts would find some cash. We need it. Fast.

Upon entering the house, please take note of the newel post and the spindles rising with the open staircase. Notice the teethmarks and gouges in them. Barry used to diligently pass the hours until his owners returned from work, shopping or family outings by taking up woodcarving. He also used a leather sectional for a rawhide chew. Barry was abandoned at an early age. His anxiety has always been that he will be again.

Also take a look at the paint and doorknob-side sidelight. What sidelight, you say? There used to be one until about four years ago when Bert’s excitement of me coming in the door caused him to thrust his front paws through it. After several stitches, he was fine. After the pain of that effort, he settled for simply clawing off the paint around the door when we arrive home. I am sure you will want to fix these. I do. Or, I mean, I did.

The kids have done their share in giving the house a “lived in” feel. A slight tear in the vinyl flooring of the kitchen has been exaggerated every inches. A door frame leading to the porch has recently been charting the growth of family members. A piece of the thermal window has had a plastic piece crack and someone tried to pull it off, leaving it twisted and sticking out.

My wife and I ripped out the unraveling carpet in the living and dining rooms to expose an oak floor that needs some work. Last December a pipe burst while we were out of the house. The wood floor needs a lot of work to it now. A couple of large buckles remain. The wood seems to be splintering in some spots as well. The water also caused the paint on the walls and trim to flake. An extensive stretch of horsehair plaster has lost its veneer coat in the living room beneath where the pipe burst. There are many cracks that have developed in the plaster throughout the house after the pipe burst.

Other problems exist. The upstairs bathroom floor has rotted in a small section. The roof leaks over the downstairs bathroom and enclosed porch. The foundation needs patching. The dishwasher is broken. The detached garage foundation is crumbling, which is fine because a combination of rot and termites have eaten the sill plates from the walls.

Speaking of termites, I would not be surprised if they were in two places on the house. Having crawl spaces makes it a bit difficult to inspect every place on the house. I know I have seen them in a stump near the house.

Other things that give the house less value today are the lack of outlets and most of the outlets are only of the two-prong variety; a fuse box rather a breaker box; bare wires taking power overhead to the garage; lack of parking; leaning chimney stack on an internal wall; small bedrooms; broken, uneven sidewalks; small yard; next to a state highway; leaking gutters; and no basement. There are other things that make a sale hard.

If you are the buyer of the house at Wednesday’s sale, then let this serve as notice of the house’s problems. For I know CitiMortgage will not tell you this information. I will. I have.

You may now be asking yourself why we would want to remain here. Keeping this house, saving it from foreclosure is imperative to providing, maintaining our financial future. My wife and I are expecting another child in April. If we lose the house, we lose our ability to purchase the bigger home that our family will most definitely need in a couple of years. We are also losing our dreams of fixing up, adding on, and improving the house. It is nice, little house.

It is our nice, little home.

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