Poo Happens….then what?

We moved to FL a year ago. In anticipation of our move,

For Sale sign

we listed our home right away,

smiling sun

took an exploratory trip to FL,

found a home we loved,

Piggy Bank

put down a sizeable escrow deposit,

and figured our PA home would sell quickly….certainly within a year….I mean, what house stays on the market more than a year, right?

We did all the inspections. We paid all the inspectors. We did all the stuff you do in anticipation of buying the home.

But, to cover our bases (and because we could not afford to own two houses at the same time), we entered into a lease-purchase agreement with the seller.  The lease ran through the end of July….but hey, we just knew our home would sell waaay before July 2009, right?  I mean, come on….14 months to sell a beautiful home?  Never gonna happen!

Florida graphic

We moved to FL.

We did some serious financial damage in Target the first few weeks buying cleaning supplies, decorative bathroom accessories, new matchy-matchy towels, etc. to make our new forever home look just the way we wanted.

Our PA home had some showings. Some. Not many.

We lowered the price. We lowered it again.

Then we lowered it again.  And again.


Four buyers in the entire city, half a million homes on the market.

We paid the hefty PA mortgage. We paid the hefty FL rent.


Then April came, then May, then June…no buyers.  Lots of people wanting our home, all needing to sell their homes first.

The end of July drew closer. We needed a place to live. 

We have to rent our PA home….we can’t leave it empty any longer hoping to find a buyer….we need to lease it out to stem the financial hemorrhaging.

And if we need to lease it out, we can’t move forward with a promise to purchase in FL.

Sellers are understandably pissed, thinking this was a done deal.  Agents are pissed, seeing a commission check evaporate before their eyes.  We’re a wreck, so upset we’ve let so many people down.

But we’ve got to stay out of bankruptcy. So, no.  We can’t renew a lease-purchase. We can only lease.  Surely we can work something out.

We’ve barely got our heads above water, and we’ve got two kids we still have to get through college.

So we’re sorry. We really are. But there’s nothing we can do.

And although I’ve only been in this business a couple of years, I know firsthand that deals blow up. S**t happens.

And in those moments you sometimes find allies willing to stand shoulder to shoulder with you so that you can get through the rough patch together.  And sometimes, the worst times, you find yourself all alone.

Let’s just say as a family we just went through one of those worst times.

There were attorneys.  There were attorney bills.  There were moving trucks.

And on August 1st there was 3500 square feet of stuff to move in 96 hours…..right around the corner….into a house we are just renting for a year.


Because accusations and bad feelings got in the middle of a bad situation, making it a thousand times worse.

So here’s my takeaway:  S**t happens. To all of us. At one time or another.

That’s just the way it is.

And when s**t happens, you’ve got two choices:

  • make the pile bigger,


  • make the pile smaller.

And in the end, the choice that you make defines who you are.

And that’s all that I’m going to say about that.

About Coleen DeGroff