Friday, July 31, 2009

The Anatomy of a Relocation in a Crappy Economy

Actually, this is a story of two relocations, both of which haven't turned out the way they were envisioned.

Our story: We were living our normal little lives and minding our own business in our quiet little town in East TN. Then in December, all hell broke loose. Bub had applied for and was chosen for a job in Tampa, FL. We were very excited about the possibilities this job held for our family. So many changes were about to happen, so many things we couldn't even imagine. The first thing on our relocation "To Do List" was to sell our house. We listed it in January with hopes that it would sell fairly quickly. We priced it below appraisal and thought it was such a great deal that anyone in their right mind would snatch it up ~ WRONG! Next, in February, Bub left Kaylea and me and the mountains of East Tennessee behind and moved to Florida to begin our new adventure. When he first moved down, his aunt and uncle were gracious enough to offer him a room at their house. We thought it would only be temporary, and gladly accepted. In the meantime, Kaylea and I were staying put in TN until the end of the school year. Bub and I agreed this would be the best thing for Kaylea. This way she wouldn't have to be uprooted in the middle of a school year. We had a plan and we were sticking to it.

Side story: My sister and brother-in-law, Mr. Bob, were living their normal little lives and minding their own business in their quiet little neighborhood in East TN. Then in February, all hell broke loose. Due to poor economic conditions, Mr. Bob, was laid off from his job. Naturally, he immediately started sending out resumes for anything and everything all over the SE. Well, it just so happens that he was offered a job with an insurance agency in Lakeland, FL (where Bub was living with his aunt and uncle). So, in February Mr. Bob left Sis and the mountains of East Tennessee behind and moved to Florida to begin their new adventure. Sis made a few trips down and began looking at real estate and rentals. Then their real estate agent told them about a great rental deal in a very upscale neighborhood in Lakeland. It was a nice 2800 s/f, 3 bed / 2 bath house and the landlord (the real estate agent's nephew) would let them do a month-to-month lease for a RIDICULOUSLY LOW amount (lower than most 2BR apartments in the area). Because they were planning on buying a house soon, the month-to-month lease was the perfect solution. So, they signed on the dotted line. Next, Sis packed their house in Tennessee and moved them (and their stuff) to Florida in May.

Our story (continued): No offers on the house in TN and the school year was coming to an end. What to do? Well, we decided that Kaylea and I should go ahead and move our little selves to Lakeland to be with Bub. Sis and Mr. Bob offered up their upstairs to our family, since it was just be sitting empty. We took them up on the offer, because we really couldn't afford to pay rent and a mortgage AND we were just sure that our house would be selling very soon. So, in June, Kaylea and I loaded up our clothes and headed south.

Side story (continued): July 10th, Sis and I were out looking at houses with our real estate agent and Sis gets a call from Mr. Bob. HE HAD JUST BEEN LAID OFF!

Our story (continued): OH CRAP!

Side story (continued): OH CRAP!

All of our story (continued): OH CRAP! Good news, though, Hubby still has his job ~ YEA! Sis, Mr. Bob and I are looking for work. Our landlord isn't having the best financial luck himself and has listed the house for sale or rent and it had a showing the other day. Needless to say we are a little worried. Remember he is renting to Sis and Mr. Bob for a RIDICULOUSLY LOW AMOUNT. If he could rent the place for more money, why wouldn't he? We really don't know how much longer we have before we will have to move. Because of the month-to-month lease EITHER party can terminate the lease by giving 30 days written notice.

So here we ALL sit - just waiting - just wondering - just hoping!

to be continued.............

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Home is where the heart is????????

As of my last post we were just sitting and waiting and hoping that the right person would come along and fall in love with our house and make us a phenomenal offer. Well, unfortunately we are still sitting and waiting and hoping that the right person will come along and fall in love with our house and at least make us a fair offer. The only thing that has changed is geography. You see, last month Kaylea and Angel and I packed our clothes and headed south to be with Barry.

As of right now, we (Barry, Kaylea, Angel and I) are living with Auntie M and Mr. Bob in Lakeland, FL. And for those of you that are scratching your heads, yes, Auntie M and Mr. Bob were living in Knoxville and they moved to Florida, also. It was quite coincidental, but Mr. Bob was laid-off in February and he was hired in March by a company in Lakeland (which is also our - Missy and my - hometown). So, Auntie M and Mr. Bob offered us their upstairs which was sitting empty. As you can imagine, things are pretty crazy around here at times. But we all are trying to make the best out of a not-so-ideal situation.

There have been several times that I have looked around and asked myself "what are you doing?" It feels like I am on a very long extended vacation. I am living in my sister's house, sleeping in my sister's guest room, eating off of my sister's dishes in her kitchen, washing my clothes in my sister's washer, etc.... you get the picture. All the while I am trying to keep things as normal as possible for Kaylea. The only problem is that this task is next to impossible because things aren't normal.

Kaylea has said that she feels like she is on vacation, also. I guess the finality of the move won't hit her until she starts school. For now all she knows is that she misses her BFF terribly bad and phone calls and emails just aren't the same as sleep overs and play dates. Every chance I get I try to distract her. So far this summer we have worked on Summer Bridge Activities; bought her some books to read; visited with my friend Mary and her children; taken a trip to Daytona to visit our friends from Seymour - Ms. Pam, Gram and Billy; and spent some time at Anna Maria Island at our cousin Debi's beach condo. Currently, she is attending VBS and we are planning on sending her to a summer camp for a couple of weeks.

I almost had myself fooled into thinking that Kaylea was really doing o.k. and this move was going to be a piece of cake. That was until a couple of weeks ago. Kaylea was upset because she didn't want to do a writing assignment for her tutor (that is a whole other post). I wasn't really giving her much sympathy and kept telling her she needed to just do it! Then out of nowhere she broke down into tears and told me, "I want to go home. Please mommy, just let me go home. Call Grammy and she can come and get me and take me home." Well, I tried to be strong and not let her see me crying inside. I explained to her, "This is our home now. Our family is together and your home is where your family is."

I don't think I convinced her; heck, I don't think I convinced myself either. So my question to all of you out there is this, "What makes your house a home? Is it your family being there? Is it ownership? Is it your beloved belongings?"

Any advise and/or words of wisdom are appreciated.