End of chapter

The house in Winston-Salem is no longer my concern. I closed this afternoon and should have the check (such as it is) tomorrow.

I took a beating on the place, selling it for $22,000 less than we paid for it at the top of the market in 2006 and then did a total of $33,000 in repairs prior to the sale, most of that related to an abandoned underground oil tank that we (and our realtor and our lender) somehow believed wouldn’t be a problem when we bought the house. Suffice to say we were mistaken. I’ll get reimbursed for about $20,000 of those expenses through a state rebate program…eventually.

Despite the loss and despite the near-constant stress of the past two months, where things were on and off, perpetually delayed, and always in danger of imploding, I am absolutely ecstatic tonight. It’s finally fucking over. I no longer have to worry about taking care of two houses, one of them thirty miles away. I have given myself the equivalent of a net monthly raise of over a thousand dollars a month. And I’m symbolically closing the door on a chapter in my life that didn’t work out the way it was supposed to, which is something that I’ve really needed.

Deep down, I knew back in 2006 that it was the wrong time to buy and that we were paying too much, but my very excited emotional side convinced my rational side not to say so. I expected a bit more of a reaction from that emotional side to my final walk-through and departure from the house–after all, he place was home and was where my ex and I had once fantasized we might spend the rest of our lives–but in the end, I was (at most) just a little sad when I walked out last night. Then I ran into several of my neighbors outside and I never had time to dwell on it, which is the best thing that could have happened.

I also had no idea how I’d feel after closing today. I figured I’d either be a little sad or outrageously excited. I was neither. About the closest I can come is to say that i was very relieved and very exhausted. I came home and actually fell asleep on the couch in the middle of the afternoon, which is not something I ever do. As I’ve said before, I think all the stress associated with the sale (seriously…it’s been two of the most stressful months of my life) and the fact that I hadn’t really lived in the house for quite some time anyway were a big help in minimizing any emotional reaction.

In a lot of ways, I was at a loss for how to react to a stressful situation that just ended and disappeared so quickly and cleanly with one event–today’s closing. The big stressors in my life are usually not that neat and clean; they tend to hang on like scabs you can’t stop picking at. And this is one of the current biggest two, with my mom being the other. I envision sleeping much more soundly in coming weeks, with far fewer instances of waking up in a panic at 3AM.

I’m actually pretty fucking proud of myself for getting through the process. It reminded me that I can get things done and that I’ve come a long way toward becoming the self-reliant person I used to be. which has been a big goal for me over the past year or two. I lost a lot of that when I was coupled; when you’re with someone who takes care of things very efficiently, it’s very easy to cede that responsibility to them and it’s sometimes kind of hard to get it back. Fortunately, I never lost it at work…only at home.

If there’s a downside, it’s that I have for the first time in my life moved into a place I like less than the one I moved out of. But this place is better for me on lots of levels, and now that I have a higher proportion of my own furniture and “stuff” it’s starting to feel a lot more like home. That whole “no mortgage” thing is pretty sexy too.

Next goals:

  • Getting some kitchen and bathroom repairs and upgrades done at the “new” house.
  • Tenure. Should know something in a month or two.
  • Pondering a trip to the UK in spring. More on that later.