The chronicles and ramblings of a stay-at-home father raising his three beautiful girls, Anya Rose, Caitlin Rose and Reegan Rose.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Good times 'round the bend

It's been a whirlwind couple days at the Schmidt house.

Last week, in an effort to avoid having a landlord sell a house on us again, Alicia and I decided we were going to try to buy a place.  I got in touch with a great Realtor and lender combination (Jesse Paulson and Julie Jones) and they were able to give us some options.  The housing market is so hot right now, that houses in our neighborhood are going at 100k over what they were a year ago.  Basically that meant for us to buy, we'd have to move about 20 miles from where we are now.  New schools, new friends, new everything. With only a month before we had to move out, we needed to act fast.  We scheduled some showings for last Tuesday evening.  On Monday night we had 5 potential houses that we felt comfortable with.  By Tuesday at  noon, they had all sold.

Tuesday we had a change in plan.  With the market so hot right now, we figured it would be best to just rent a place for 6 months to a year and reconsider our options at that time.  We applied for a few homes with no luck.  The rental market too is surging and bidding wars are driving up rent prices by upwards of 30%. My dreams of keeping the girls in their current schools was slipping away.

Finally last Sunday, a home in our same neighborhood went on the rental market.  The landlords live a few miles away and have an investment property they plan on keeping for a number of years.  It is significantly smaller than the house we have now, but it was in our price range and we decided to go for it.  After a couple days of waiting we heard we were the top candidates.  Finally!  All we had to do was pass the background check and we were good to go.

That's when we received this message:

 Hi Alicia and James,
I am sorry to inform you that Mr. James Schmidt did not qualify the background check criteria. We won't be able to go ahead with your rental application. Once again, we are very sorry.

At first I was dumbfounded.  What could they possibly have found on me?  I had that murder conviction expunged years ago! I asked what exactly they found and it turns out there is a James Schmidt in Minnesota with several civil judgments against him and they turned up on my check.  It was a long sleepless night. In the morning I contacted the company that ran the background check to see what I had to do to clear up my name.  After talking with them for a few minutes, they agreed that the James Schmidt they reported was not me.  They agreed to contact the landlord and explain the mistake.  Hopefully it wasn't too late.

Yesterday afternoon, the landlords agreed to rent to us and we sign the lease today.  We can move in on June 1st and we have until the 15th to be out of our house.  The Roses will all go to the same schools they did last year and we will be only a mile from our old house.  Relief doesn't begin to describe how I am feeling.  I know we have a couple weeks of hard work ahead of us, but knowing that we have a decent place to live makes it easier for me to get through it.

I want to sincerely thank all my friends and family who reached out to me last week.  I wasn't in a good place.  I was upset that we had to move and I was overwhelmed with what we needed to do.  Over the past few days I have been in constant communication with realtors, landlords, leasing companies, and mortgage lenders, and nothing was working with our timing.  I was fried.  What got me through was the tremendous support I received.  I felt like George Bailey standing at the bridge in It's a Wonderful Life, and I had a whole slew of Clarence's (the angel guy) to put things in perspective for me.  To all my family and friends whole listened to me babble about my challenges, fears, and insecurities, thank you!  Even though some of you may be 1000's of miles away, you were with me last week.

Tip of the Day - James Schmidt, pay your damn bills and quit getting sued!


Thursday, May 9, 2013

The uncertainty of life...

Well it's been a tough week in Issaquah, Washington, my current town...

After spending a week reminding ourselves of how annoying the weather in Minnesota can be, we're back to the beautiful weather of spring!  We spend half our week up at the farm and the other half with Papa and Nana in Minnetonka.

Life on the farm is always so peaceful.  Each time we visit, it seems like a hundred things in our lives change, but life on the farm remains the same.  It's very enduring to have a place where you know exactly what to expect; the kids will have a blast playing with their grandparents and cousins, Windsor diets will flow in the shop, and there will be a constant chatter of how much better the Viking's will be next season.

Down in Minnetonka, the Roses had a blast playing with their Papa and Nana.  Unlike the farm, where you always know what to expect, life with my parents is like living in Pandora's Box. What project will they be working on next?  What new place are they dying to take the kids?  What did Wally eat this week to make himself vomit for days on end?  So exciting!  We're so blessed to have such unique and different grandparents!  I couldn't imagine a better way to expose my kids to all the different ways people can happily live their lives.

It's been a bit stressful up here in Issaquah.  It's always hard coming back to Washington after seeing all our family and friends in Minnesota, but we recently learned that our landlords would like to sell the house.  Our lease is up in a month and we're scrambling to figure out what our next move is.  Do we buy the house from them?  Do we find another rental?  Maybe we should live in an apartment until the real estate market cools down around here?  Maybe we should just buy something smaller a little more in the country?

To the casual reader, all those things sound like perfectly viable options, but in my head none of them sound very appealing.  It's a scary proposition.  I don't know what the future holds and I would really like to know how this is going to play out.  I know in the great scheme of things this is just a tiny speed bump, but I can't see anything but a huge bolder right in my path.  I have a tendency to take a stressful situation and allow it to impact all areas of my life.  I haven't been this depressed and anxious in years.  I haven't been able to eat or sleep and I've been breaking down several times a day. I'm trying to keep a positive attitude with my family but inside I'm a wreck.  Keep me in your prayers, I'm needing them...

Tip of the Day - Life seems to give you all the answers you need, but all in their own time.