We sold our house in Port Jervis, New York in September, 2007, weeks before the bottom dropped out of the real estate market.
We even made $2,000!
We sold it to the very last person to come look at it, on an unannounced visit with the house dirty and laundry hung everywhere.
The house is now worth maybe $30,000 less than we sold it for.
It was the crappy house on the nicest street in a gritty little river town on the edge of the NYC train line at the gateway to the Catskills and Poconos. It was an 1891 Victorian with the most beautiful curves in the attic and the remnants of a barber shop in the basement. Sitting on the front porch in the spring or autumn and watching the wind in the tall trees was glorious. We bought it thinking we would stay for years and renovate it to glory. It had bats and rats and lead paint, which, at the end, was seeping into our daughter’s blood. It was freezing, with no driveway until we massaged a plan through the zoning board two weeks after NK was born.
The house had been a rental for decades. Then it sat on the market for years. A single teacher bought it. She moved to Florida. The house sat o the market for another year. Then we bought it. And sold it almost two years later after “only” six months on the market.
To this day, I get reverse panic attacks about selling that house, filled with terror that we would still be stuck in Port Jervis, not tucked away safely in our tiny corner apartment facing rocks and trees in Sweden.
How did we sell that house?!?!
How did we get so lucky? How did we find this safety?