As I am going through this process, of pretty much changing my life, it occurs to me of how much of my life has been spent just letting life happen to me, rather than being in control it it. That's not a good thing! Other than making the move from my previous job to my job I've now had almost 11 years, everything else was pretty much going along with whatever DH wanted to do or (in most cases) just a reaction to what didn't go as planned...just a way to survive and make do, as I went through life. It's all been mostly just trying to get through one issue after another.
Pretty much up until we filed bankruptcy, I was just "getting by". Gradually these past several years, as things have gotten a little easier financially, it has allowed me to at least be a little proactive in my life's decisions. I remember when Pinterest first got popular and checking it out and my DD's boards. I really had no interest in it. Not because I thought it was a waste of time, but because I didn't want to spend my time looking at and dreaming about stuff I would never have! I felt like it was depressing to look at things I liked. Why have hopes for something I'll never have? Somewhere along the way, I gradually started using it and filling up some boards. A lot of it started with garden and yard ideas and things I liked. I found we were actually able to implement some of the ideas, or variations of them, into our yard and our landscaping improved so much. It made both DH and I happy. Then I'd find an occasional recipe that I liked and would try or at least pin something to try someday. I actually found myself getting inspired and that was a good thing! It helped when we remodeled our bathrooms, to give me ideas.
If we weren't dealing with drug dealers these past 2 1/2 years ,we probably would not be making the decision to move, at all. We'd just stay here, feeling scared to move forward with anything, because neither of us really like change. So, in some ways this all might turn out to be a big ol' blessing in disguise. DH has always, deep down, wanted to move back to his home state, where he grew up. The whole dang state has 1/3 of the population as the metropolitan area we live in. It will definitely be a breath of fresh air - literally and figuratively - to move there.
And now we are taking the steps to get us there. It's been quite scary so far - especially talking to my boss about keeping my job! We started this process last October, when I decided to call a realtor and at least get a starting point to see where we were at equity wise. To give me an idea of how many more years we'd be stuck here. I honestly did not think we did have much equity, so it was a happy surprise to find out we were in a much better position than I thought. Now 6 months later, we are even in a better position - adding another $6500 to our equity (through our payments) and hopefully will find out the market has increased some more.
That led to the realization that we probably would be able to move within the next year. The decision to move out of state was actually kind of an easy one, especially for DH -since he doesn't work. But it was also a pretty easy decision for me. I am so sick of all the traffic and the overcrowding. Yesterday it took me an hour and a half to get home from work. 36 miles. And this was leaving the office at 3pm - supposedly before rush hour (there is no such thing as rush hour around here anymore, it's always rush hour). I know I could find an accounting job somewhere - it's a pretty universal type of job that every industry needs, right? That's always been the beauty of accounting, pretty much can move from industry to industry and it's all the same. I won't say it wasn't a scary thought to have to go through interviews and actually find something that paid decent, but at least now I do not have to worry about that.
Now we have enough equity to pull out of our home to move and now the decisions are along the lines of do we find a house we like and can live with or do we build our own home (nothing too fancy, of course)? We are still in that decision making stage.
We are almost through the financing/mortgage pre-approval process, so that feels really good too. I am hoping to hear soon. She had mentioned early this week, but no word from her yet. So, then of course that has me worried. I have even been buying some big heavy duty plastic storage bins at Costco, and DH has started the process of packing up some of the things in his shop. His friend, who he has been helping get packed up to move to Texas, has used these bins for all his stuff. They work well for tools and all that stuff, rather than cardboard boxes. So far I have bought 10 bins and he's packed them all up. Plus, with his OCD'ness, he likes that they are all the same size and stackable. LOL I will probably pick him up another 10 this week. They are only $8.99 at Costco. Super cheap and maybe when we are all moved, we can sell most of them (I'm sure he will want to keep some just to keep stuff stored in) on Craigslist and make some of the money back.
In about 2 weeks we will be making a short trip to look around the area we want to live. I am really excited about it. We have some friends, who have offered us a place to stay, as well as they just built a house, so we can pick their brains with all our questions about the process. There is one house we have been watching for a couple of months, hoping it was still on the market when we finally got to the point to put our place up for sale. But, it got pulled off the market (hey - at least it wasn't sold) recently. I am hoping we will at least go take a drive by it and see if we like the surrounding area. Then, if we do really like what we see from the outside, we can approach a realtor to have them see if they are still interested in selling and then take a look inside.
I had saved a picture of the place when it was listed for sale
Good news over the weekend. Slumlandord's son (who is like 40 yrs old now) got arrested - for 3 counts of drug dealing, drug paraphernalia, and even bigger - he had a gun on him. He's already a felon, so big no no. He wasn't arrested in our neighborhood, but in a nearby town (in same county). DH talked to the prosecutor and she said they are very happy to get him. She said he is looking at like 4 years in prison. Bail was not set as high as she asked for. She asked for $40k but judge set at $20k. She said that the judges are now keeping bails low, trying to keep people out of jail (gee...thanks judges). But, it doesn't appear old dad is bailing him out. If anyone does, he will definitely be skipping out, of course. This guy has been a huge thorn in our sides for years, even before all this heavy drug dealing started up, because he has pretty much always had to live at his dads, because he never got a job. We will definitely be following this case to see where it ends up. While the prosecutor talks tough to DH, I doubt he will get the sentence she says he'll get.