|One of my favorite Billy Joel songs...
I have been holding this in since January. There is one thing that needed to happen this year that will change the course of my life. For far too long I have spoken about leaving Syracuse but in the back of mind, I was always wondering what I was going to do with the house. Even if I left by way of job or school, I would have to worry about paying for the mortgage. The house was the only anchor I have in this city that would prevent me from following my path. I have now removed that anchor from my path.
I wrote about risks and how I needed to take a huge risk to get a huge reward. Well the house was the risk. I knew back in December that my financial situation was bleak. Before the christmas break I made an assessment of my life and where I wanted to be a year from that point. All answered pointed to me not being in the house. At the time, I didn't know what I was going to do because I was beginning to feel the weight, of what seemed like, the world on my back.
No one really talks about how hard it is to survive a divorce a year after the fact. People just assume that once everything is said and done, your life goes back to normal. The problem is win or lose, no matter what side you are on or how happy you are, you will always have to pick up the pieces. More often than not, those pieces are financial in nature. Creditors do not care about divorce, they want their money and if you go into debt together, they will hunt one or both of you down.
So with that being said, I decided that I had to go on the offensive. I was tired of earning money just to pay off people for things I do not own anymore from a relationship I am no longer in. Without getting too much into my own personal financial detail, I think that had the laws not changed for bankruptcy, I would have been eligible. But since I was not, I had to make the decision to stop paying my mortgage and go for a short sale of the property.
Even with my roommates paying me, I was not in a great place. I was barely making it and I was tired of living on scraps. By doing this very risky thing, I started having more money to live and pay off other bills that I was having issues with. Yes, my credit was being effected, but not by much because my credit was already shot. So, the only thing left was to find a buyer…which I already had one in mind.
A took a page from my dad's playbook. When I came back to NYC in 1998, I discovered that I didn't have much time before I had to start looking for my own apt. My dad had sold the house to a buddy of his who had a family. He knew that this guy would be able to carry the mortgage and fix up the place to how he saw fit. I knew that this is what I needed to do. I made a deal with a very close friend of mine whom I knew would be interested. His wife and 2 kids would use this house in better ways than I ever could. Since I have been in this place for about 9 years, I wanted to at least make sure that the next person who owns this place would treat it with respect.
Over the last 5 months, we worked on a deal. A contract was drawn up in which both parties had agreed to. We agreed on having one lawyer look at it to make sure all arrangement we binding and legal. As of a week ago, I made my final payment on the mortgage before they take it over. I am all caught up and free to leave. I still cant believe I did it.
I found a nice place to live in close to the University. It is not the best spot, but it will due because I am not looking to be too comfortable. I know that being comfortable leads to complacency and I have had a little bit too much of that. The best part about this entire thing is that this sets me up for my exit. I know that I have been planning this for so long, but I think that what I was missing in all my talk was that I was not being strategic enough.
I truly meant what I said earlier in the year. I'm done talking, I'm about doing. Now I need to plan my next move.
No More Excuses.