20 October 2008

Not Home, Not Now, No Way.

It’s over guys. After 1 month on the market, we had an employee of Michael’s show interest in renting the house. Good news was he wanted it now, the bad news is that it wouldn’t cover our mortgage by $250 a month and the ugly news was that he needed only a 1 year lease and wanted an escape clause in case he took a job elsewhere.

We were really stuck. The market is horrible, and we took last week to speak with 3 realtors. Not only are houses selling for $30,000 under their value, but the realtor’s in the area are just not showing homes. None. Our favorite realtor, Julie D. with Prudential Ballard told us “my phone doesn’t ring anymore… ever.” It was a nail in the coffin for us. We knew that even if we listed with her, the house wouldn’t show. If we rented – the tenant could back out in a year (or less) and according to Julie it WILL take more than a year for the market to stabilize.

We just couldn’t slit our throats financially. If our house sold for $20,000-30,000 less the price we paid, we would not only loose our down payment, but we’d have to bring 15-20 grand to the table. We don’t have that to throw away.

So, we made a hard decision. We thought about it all weekend. Saturday night, I couldn’t sleep so I got up to talk to Michael.

“What if we don’t leave… is that even possible?”
“I was wondering the same thing,” he said.

And with that, we were sold. The parade of homes was in the neighborhood all weekend, and not one phone call. The house down the street, on the market for 3+ months… not ONE SHOWING.

Michael talked to the comapny he works for this morning and it’s official – moving to Birmingham is a dead duck.

We are actually ok though. I know most of you are upset for us, and we truly “feel the love”. We wanted to live there too, believe me. It’s difficult to justify the schools here – you pay $10,000 a YEAR and get a sub-par education where in Birmingham the boys could go to public school FOR “FREE”. They’d have access to a larger school, more options for academic pursuits and, of course, the athletic opportunities associated with well established 5 and 6A programs (note: this is our opinion, sorry Montgomerians. We both graduated from "public" (I use that term loosely, as Michael did go to Mountain Brook) schools in Jefferson County, and from what I've seen here, it's just not the same)

We hate that the boys won’t be near their grandparents. We desire to be closer to our church family at Mountain Brook. We can’t stand being the “new kids” with no friends.

When we had Chase almost a year ago, Michael and I were flabbergasted with the medical system here in Montgomery. The NICU staff was floored and did not have the knowledge or experience to deal with his condition. After being flown to Children’s, Michael and I talked about how we could be ok with keeping our family so far from what we consider to be excellent healthcare. With that said, we will continue to see the doctor’s at Children’s because their services can not be replaced.

But as far as moving back goes, give us a few years. Once the boys are in elementary school, I will be working and we will begin to look for jobs in Birmingham again.

For now, thank you all for the calls, emails, and messages. We really hate being away from you all, and we know we are loved. But hey, you are always welcome to visit!

Lots of Love,
Amanda & Michael
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