December 27, 2010


I apologize that I haven't posted in awhile.

We closed on our new house and had Christmas, out of town visitors, and the stomach flu....all at the same time. Needless to say, things have been nuts.

The house was in pre-foreclosure (short sale) when we bought it. When the previous owners moved out of the property last winter, they left behind a significant number of personal belongings ranging from the bizarre (a collection of plastic fruit; three huge Roman columns made of styrofoam; a wine rack that had been converted into a bathroom vanity); to the mundane (cans of refried beans, bottles of half-used shampoo); to the sad (the back side of the one of the kids' bedroom doors was decorated with family pictures). This morning, I cleaned out one of the closets and found a shoebox filled with unopened bills.

While we are excited to have the house, of course, the past few days have been a constant reminder that our family is the beneficiary of another family's misfortune. From what we can tell based on the documents left behind, the previous owners had a small business that went belly up when the economy tanked. Maybe there was more to it than that; we don't know. Like us, they have four small kids.

Ugh.

Packing up someone else's life is a completely surreal experience. I don't know how I feel about it all yet.

25 comments

Anna See said...

Wow. That must be a strange experience for you all. Blessings to you in your new home!

Erin @ Sassin' Southern Style said...

That sounds tough. Try not to feel guilty, and keep them in prayer. You are richly blessed. Congrats on the house!

Karen Mortensen said...

I am glad you were able to get the house. Sorry about what happened to those other people. That is just so sad.

Mal said...

It is surreal. Good luck with the house! I'm sure the family will get their feet back under themselves soon.

4handfulls said...
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4handfulls said...

As a mom with 4 young kids whose house is being lost to a short sale I have to say it makes me feel good to know that the new owners of our home may possibly be thinking of our situation as the lost dream that it is. It is hard knowing someone else is getting a "great deal" on our family's dream home. But quoting "Up" -It's just a house.... right???

Karen said...

Wow....that would be so sad....can you box up the pictures from the back of the door and send them to the old owner? Don't know if there is any way to reach them or not, but just a thought. :-(

Kristen @ ladybug-blessings.com said...

wow, that is so sad. Why couldn't they take the pictures? I hope the other family is getting back on their feet.

Morgan Paige said...

that is sad, and surreal im sure. but sweet that you would think of them. great picture of yall!

Elizabeth said...

Buying the short sale from them kept them from going into foreclosure. You have really been a blessing in their lives! The misfortune came before you did, you only helped it from spiraling further downward.

Liz said...

And I'm such a sap about family pictures that I'd try to track the family down via Facebook or something & get the pictures back to them. They might not want their plastic fruit & styrofoam columns, but I wonder if they realize that they left the pictures? How sad. :(

Marie said...
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Jenny said...

I imagine I would feel the same as you. As someone else mentioned, this is probably a blessing in disguise for the previous owners, difficult as it was. And as someone else mentioned, I agree praying for them would be an additional gift. What this proves is that you have compassion, and that is rare these days. Hugs to you and your sweet family.

~October~ said...

Ok...that is probably the most un-sarcastic (is that a word???) post you have ever written. :) My DH and I have been very close to that point...but I still can't imagine leaving pictures behind. How sad...

Mrs. Tuna said...

When we bought our house we too found a bunch of weird things around, knife sharpener, hot plate, dog toys.

A bit sad about the photos........

Vicky said...

Hope you're all better. I'm glad you got the house. Sorry the surrounding circumstances has left you with nightmares. It's just not pretty out there for those of us with small businesses.

Anonymous said...

we lost our house in 2009, and we filed bankruptcy and got a divorce (turns out he was cheating on me and we had been together for 16 years) and I was laid off the week before Thanksgiving that year. It was an epic fail year, but today, at the end of 2010, I am happier than I have been in a long time, I smile more than I cry, I scream less at the kids (ages 2, 3 and 5 - so you know) and although 2009 was impossibly hard and there were days I didn't think I could survive another 24 hours, I did and now I wake up happy. So, don't worry too much about the other family, I am sure they are fine and hopefully smiling more than crying, just like me.

Janee said...

Probably not the appropriate time for this, but I hope you'll email pictures when you are all settled. I love how you decorate and you have the best furniture. Hope you had a great Christmas! Does this house come with red or green carpet?

moochiemomma said...

Bittersweet moments, I am sure. Welcome to your new home!

*A* said...

My husband and I bought a short sale a year and a half ago, and had the same feelings. The day we moved in I found poetry in the closet (in sharpie, blah!) of the teenage girl about how hard it was losing their house and recapping the last night she spent in her room. It broke my heart. And, as we were doing the final walk through, the former owner said to me "I hope you will love the yard as much as I have loved it" :(
While it was sad for them, it was also a relief for them to not be under the burden of the house anymore, so at least there is a silver lining! I hope you get to enjoy YOUR house soon :)

Kathie1213 said...

I always think to myself "if only these walls could talk, they know the answers to my questions". If only...
Congratulations on your new home. I hope health and happiness will reside there with you!

Meagan and John said...

I haven't read other comments, I just have to say, when we were trying to buy a house my dad worked for a credit union an his job was to go out and clean up repoed houses, we went through so much in one house, high school year books, plastic containers, beds, it turns out the family tried so hard not to leave that the bank just changed the locks one day, they supposidly broke back in but then they had someone come and watch it....it made me cry to think about it, it was a nice house and the people were screwed when the contrator took there money and ran but it definitely did change the way I think about things

in other ways though, we once had a run in with a landlord and some very unhealthy living conditions and we took what we could and left the rest, I am sure that the person cleaning out that house had a fun time--we not only left dirty dishes, we were in the middle of remodeling and flat out left the bathroom torn to pieces, but we moved to a much bigger better place (with heat and a/c)--so you never know, they may have moved to bigger better places

Mirinda said...

We walked away from our {fabulous} house a little over a year ago when both of our small businesses went down the toilet. It's a long story but we had actually never missed a payment on that house....but I refused to leave anything there so no one would feel sorry for us!! I did end up leaving a jar of pickles on the counter for the sour taste in my mouth left by the bank that REFUSED to work with us!! LOL The thing is my husband used to buy pre-foreclosures....and it truly is heartbreaking to see what people go through in that situation.

maria said...

We were so very thankful that someone purchased our home (in Florida!) after it was listed as a short sale for two years - we had moved out of state suddenly due to a job transfer & had to sell our house as the market bottomed out.

Laura said...

We manage a property, and had to clean out the possessions of an abandoned house. The girl walked away, left everything, including some fairly valuable woodworking tools. It all felt very sad... then sick, as we discovered things in the closet and under the bed, of the type that you hustle out to the dumpster before your kids get enough of a look that you have to explain to them what it is. She said she worked in a bar... we heard later she wasn't tending bar, and she was working independently there for cash. We found enough evidence to substantiate that, and I went from feeling like I'd violated her privacy, to sort of feeling like I'd been violated.