House Letter

Dear J-

If you were writing a letter, as our agent advises we must do, to the seller of a house, what would you put in it? theVet advised spinning essentially a tale of woe, that we were overextended and desperate, this house was a good deal and my god, I thought, would that be all wrong or what. I don’t think you want to come across as arrogant — this house would be perfect for us but you know what, we could take it or leave it — but neither do you want to be desperate: please mister please, we don’t want to have to MOVE again and wrestle with the idea of a Mandarin program. She talked to her sister the other day and gets convinced what we really need is for her to be working full time anywhere, Target or someplace for the holiday shopping season, right?

There is so much bad advice out there. It drives me nuts, honestly. First, the letter: stay upbeat and positive. This is their neighborhood: gush about what a wonderful place it is to live, impressions that you can’t possibly know from a half-hour tour that you’ve spent inside a house, not having walked up and down the neighborhood. Talk about what you can bring to the community, or what good neighbors you’ll be to your neighbors, who are sometimes closer than family and who you feel protective of. Next, the job: I understand the urgency but we’re okay for now and we’ll be okay for the near future. We aren’t hemorrhaging money like we were after we moved (mortgage, rent, moving expenses, school supplies, furniture, clothing) and we’ll be okay for the next year too. Getting a job just to have a job sounds like a good idea, but there’s a reason I’m not a plumber, or a dead animal removal guy, or a rent-a-center agent, or a GameStop employee: something in my head intervened and told me what bad, desperate moves those were.

I understand we aren’t settled yet, and it’s scary not to know how well-off we can be, or will be. No one can predict the future. (“you may say I’m a dreamer … but I’m not the only one”) If they say they can they’re interested in your money, by the way, which will run out before you can find out whether it’s come true or not. It sounds fatalistic but things will get better sooner than you think. Dreaming about the future doesn’t make you less parctical: it gives you a vision and goals to work towards. I love you and support you in whatever we choose to decide do here. Any time you buy a house it’s going to feel like all the money in the world, because it is, but we’ll get through it and around it and most importantly over it because we’ll find a way. Our clear goals for the kids will be matched by discipline on our end to accomplish it.

Mike

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