Monday, February 16, 2009

I want to go home!

Once upon a time I owned my own home. I bought it on my own before I even met my husband. We met, we fell in love, we married and then the company we worked for was taken over in a hostile takeover. It was ugly. We lost our jobs.

The job market in Portland wasn't good. We made the spontaneous decision to move to Georgia. Lizard King (LK) has family there, my family is in Florida and we both have some family in Pennsylvania. We thought it would be nice to be closer.

At the time LK was traveling for a living to manufacturing facilities, installing software, etc. He had contacts who wanted him to consult/contract for them and most of the facilities were in the southeast.

We put my little townhouse up for sale, moved to Georgia where houses were so affordable and had a 2500 sq. ft. house built on a half acre for the bargain price of $156,000. I had gotten a huge severance which covered our move and allowed us to put down 25% on the house and we took a 15 year mortgage. Everything was great!

But then, the consulting gig fell apart. Then we couldn't find jobs. Finally, LK found work. Unfortunately he was making 25% of what he made before. Yes, that's a 75% cut in pay. I was making nothing. Then with my 1% chance the "experts" gave me of getting pregnant, I was pregnant. We were shocked and ecstatic. I continued to look for work until it was obvious that I was pregnant, then I stopped.

Oh, here's a key piece of information. LK had hired "the best attorney in Jacksonville" (his ex-wife -Needy Evie - lives there) who was recommended by two different people, to represent him in his divorce. That turned out to be a BIG FAT LIE. He got totally screwed in the divorce agreement.

His attorney allowed him to sign a non-modifiable agreement. That means that when he went from making six figures down to thirty something thousand dollars, he was still responsible for paying thousands of dollars a month in ALIMONY to his ex-wife. The kids are all grown, in their twenties. It's NOT child support.

Okay, so where was I. Ah yes, living in Georgia making crap money and oh, by the way, we hated living there. There are a lot of people who love it, but it just wasn't for us. We realized how much we missed Portland. LK tried to find a job before we moved back, but people were hiring only within the Portland area. We decided to sell the house and move back without a job.

We used the proceeds from the sale of the house to pay for our move, to continue to pay the alimony and to live on until LK found work. It wasn't long before the money was gone. Since the move back we have been renting.

LK works two jobs. One job that requires more brain power and one that requires less brain power, but is very physical. He has been working two jobs for more than 5 years now. He is exhausted. Completely.

I work part time to supplement our income. We do live pretty well, everything considered. I wonder sometimes if I should just get a full time job, and we have discussed this. But we are agreed that isn't really an option. And after all, we are finally getting down to the wire.

We have only 17 more months of alimony left. Once it is done, we need to get our credit cards paid off. They have come in handy when things have gotten really tight. We also need to save a down payment in order to buy a house.

We really want a home of our own, not just a house to live in, but a home. I am ready to have a place that Princess can grow up. I'm tired of moving from rental to rental. I finally realized that no matter how many rentals we move to, it never feels like home.

Well, thanks for listening to my pity party. Who knows, maybe something will happen and we'll find a way to pay Needy Evie off sooner. As Princess says all the never know!


Aliceson said...

Well first off that Needy Edie sounds like a real pain in the ass. Oh, how that would irritate me. Thank goodness the alimony will be over soon. I understand your want to have a place you can call home. We are on our fifth house and finally this feels like the place we'll be for the duration. Just like having children; when the time is right, it will happen, and who knows you might find a great deal in this market. Three of our houses were forclosures and were a great alternative to standard homebuying.

skyewriter said...

I cannot imagine the pressure your family has been under, but it seems like you have a good attitude about it and a wonderful family.

Needy Evie-- sounds more like Needy Evil.

Hang in there, Shady Lady.

In the meantime, you have your blogging buddies to lean on :).


Momma Bear said...

Wow you just really don't know how difficult others have it until they start talkin! I'm really sorry! I appreciate you sharing your story cause well I'm sure it's rough for you and your hubby and I would hope that writing about it helps you feel better to some degree. Just know that although we don't know eachother that you have a blogger friend that supports you! Hang in there!
And personally I love the south but I've been to Oregon and it's beautiful-I want to live in the NW.
Take Care!

Kelly said...

Whew! Any time my husband and I hear about nasty divorce circumstances, we look at each other and say, "Don't ever leave me."

I complain sometimes about all the work it takes to keep a house from falling down, but at the end of the day it's MINE. I hope you can get back to your own home soon. There's nothing like living someplace where you can feel free to nail things where ever you want!

Shady Lady said...

Thank you all for your kindness and support! You guys are awesome! It helps to whine a little sometimes, but I'm doing just fine. :) Have a beautiful day!

Such Lovely Freckles said...

Needy Evie will be gone soon, dearest friend. And your life will be just wonderful. :)