Thursday, January 03, 2008

So, the news I was hoping to share in a couple of months was that we were buying a house.

Such a house! New bathrooms, wonderful backyard (with a swing-set that came with it), lots of space. Beautiful laundry room, all tile and wood. Big spacious kitchen. Plus, Yaakov and I both liked it!

There are currently tenants there. When we spoke to the seller's agent, he said the owner had given the tenants first rights to buy the home. Fair enough. The owner told the tenants a year ago he wanted to sell, and the tenants weren't interested. "Aha," said cynical I. "What if the tenants suddenly decide to buy, once someone makes an offer?" The agent reassured me that the seller wouldn't play that game. "Once he's in contract with someone, that's the end. The tenants know they have to move."

Alrighty, then. We negotiated a price and were "in contract." We had to go back and forth a little bit to get all the details settled, and finally they were. We started arranging the formalities. Termite check, house inspection, roofer - all coming early next week.

All along I had this feeling that something was going to go wrong. Somehow, the tenants living there were going to usurp the contract. "No way," Yaakov said. "Don't worry about it," Mom said. I dunno - I know plenty of people in contract with houses where the contract fell through. But that wasn't going to happen to us, I was assured.

Today, Yaakov called. "You want the good news or the bad news?" My heart sank. I just knew what was coming. "Bad news first," I answered. "The bad news is, the tenants are refuting the contract." I somehow expected this, but was stunned nonetheless. What could possibly be the good news? "The good news is, we weren't so far into the deal." Well, I guess so - only three weeks. But my heart and soul were already there. That was the only thing keeping me going as I scrubbed poop out of carpets. "Don't worry," sang my heart. "You'll be leaving this all behind."

I feel the way this went down was terrible. The tenants infuriate me. The house was offered to them a year ago. All of a sudden, NOW, they want to pull this crap? After the seller puts a sign up and someone makes an offer? Apparently, they have legal recourse. It says in their lease they have the right to refuse a sale, if they can come up with the financing themselves. But still! Everybody involved is Jewish, but I feel the way this is happening is not.

What makes me even angrier is that I tried to do the right thing. The people living there just had a baby, and I told Yaakov I wasn't going to force a post-partum woman out of her home. I wanted to make sure we negotiated a contract that would give her enough time. I spoke to a mashpia, and made sure the time we arranged would be fair. So there's me, being a mentsch, and there's them, being jerks. I mean, is it just me? Does this situation sound wrong to you?

And I hate feeling so angry towards other Jews. There's a part of me that desperately hopes they don't get a mortgage. I don't want to feel like that, but I feel so betrayed. I feel like they pulled a dirty trick, I really do. Right or wrong, that's how I feel right now.

I started crying tonight. Yaakov was rationalizing it all to me, trying to explain it from the tenants' perspective. I was furious. I felt like he wasn't giving me the space to mourn, that he was taking their side, and invalidating my feelings. We got into a terrible fight. These past few weeks have been so stressful for us...between this house, Yaakov's job, and our insurance changing, it's been awful. And I only told my mother and brother about it, so I didn't have support from my friends.

The bright spot was, we were going to leave this loathsome house. I clung to that with mighty vigor. But now, that's gone too. The lawyer involved said, "I guess it wasn't bashert."

I guess not.


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My Photo Name: Fancy Schmancy Anxiety Maven
Location: Chutz l'aretz - Outside of Brooklyn

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