Upcoming Radio Interview and (Hopefully) House-Buying-Ness

Dwight is letting me crash on his couch again this weekend while his roommates are out of town – thanks, Dwight!  Love sleeping on a warm couch instead of a cold parking lot.  Tomorrow I’m doing a radio interview, which should be kind of cool.  It’s with Jennifer Westaway of the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) – so soon 2 million Canadians should know who I am, even if very few people in America do, haha.  Seriously, though, that’s pretty awesome.  I LOVE Canada.  My grandmother and her seven siblings were all born and raised in Toronto – in fact, I used to spend my summers there as a kid with my great-aunt, who passed away when I was a sophomore in high school.  That was the last time I ever visited, but I still cherish the memories of the time I spent in that cute little old house at 19 Brad Street.  When my great-aunt died, I went to her funeral but didn’t visit the house, which was being slowly picked apart by warring extended family members.  I didn’t want to see it like that, so to this day I remember it exactly as it was – the walls all painted bright pepto-bismol pink (I thought it was sooooo beautiful when I was a little girl) and a huge basement full of old mementos and family history to explore.

Anyway, I’ll link to the radio interview for you guys once I find out when/where it’s going to be broadcast.

Got an e-mail from the seller’s agent on the house today.  He hadn’t heard from me in a bit, so he asked if I was still interested in the house; he thinks that right now I can get it for a REALLY low price (he didn’t go into too much detail, but I get the impression perhaps the family is running out of time to sell it… maybe the bank is thinking of proceeding with foreclosure?)  I’m trying to figure out the most tactful way of asking him just HOW low he thinks I can get it for, haha.  I sent him the contact info for the guy we’re working with to get the loan, and asked him to find out from him exactly what our status is on the prequalifying letter.  I DID find out from the broker we’re working with that Obama is giving all first-time homebuyers this year an $8,000 tax credit (woohoo!!!!!) which I can file an amendment for after purchasing the house.  In addition, there’s some other 6% seller credit I’m apparently entitled to as a first-time homebuyer, to cover closing fees and down payment.  All together, that’s a fair amount, if all goes smoothly I may have to come up with little or no money out of pocket at all  *crosses fingers*

Still quite a process, though.  I can’t wait.  I have grand visions of an exciting new life, should I manage to swing this house.  Of course, I’m sure the enormity of the work still to be done will all sink in once I have to buy the first several gallons of paint, or call the first contractor for bids/estimates on improvements.  However, I’m also looking forward to it all.  To taking something once stunningly beautiful (now a bit run-down) and restoring it to its former glory, stripping away one layer of the house at a time until I get at what it used to be.  I’m even reading a jillion home blogs that chronicle the efforts of homeowners to restore their Victorian houses, revelling in each tale of unexpected mishaps.  I so want that to be me.  I only WISH I could complain about having to decide between paint colors, or the woes of repairing century-old plasterwork.  I’d rather worry about things like that, than about living in a parking lot forever, or wondering when I’ll be able to pull Fezzik out of the kennel, and take him to an actual home again.

Sigh.  When you’re homeless, it’s good to have hopes and dreams.  Now, if I can just somehow make them come true for myself.

Below I’ve posted an aerial shot of “my” house, so you can see how awesome and huge it is.  It’s the house on the corner, that I’ve outlined in the rectangle.  There’s the main house, and then in the back, there’s a large garage that’s been converted to living space as well (I need to decide if I want to leave it that way, I may want somewhere to park my car, haha).  In my head, I’ll paint it kelley green with white trim (it might sound scary, but like those crazy party animal Victorians, I love love love love love LOVE bold colors, especially green!), and everyone will ooh and aah at the big, beautiful green house on the corner.  And once I get it, Aishwarya and I can start looking into getting a nonprofit grant to help renovate and start our own halfway house for homeless women and children.

Yes, it’s good to dream.

house-aerial

In Which ~B~ Finds Herself Alone In A Parking Lot

Oh, simple thing, where have you gone? I’m getting old and I need something to rely on.

* * * * *

My fellow mobile homeless have all taken their RVs and fled… not sure why; Wal-Mart/police haven’t bothered us since talking to the manager; at least not to my knowledge – and no notes or tickets have appeared on my windshield. I knew P. was leaving for Lake Elsinore in the next couple of days – he found a campground out there and it’s much closer to his 13-year-old daughter. But the rest, I fear, left because they thought they might be towed :`( This is so sad to me – there are so few suitable alternatives out there; if these people couldn’t afford a campground and had to stay in a parking lot, where else will they be able to stay?

In any case, I am the sole trailer left in the parking lot (although there are still a few homeless left, all in cars/vans). I feel very naked, vulnerable, and stand-out-ish without a sea of trailers to blend into. Hopefully a few more will show up soon. I need cover. Plus, I got the opportunity to meet several of them over the last few days, and they were super awesome people. One was even a former dentist who spoke four languages!!!

* * * * *

Through newfound work connections (that’s right, 2 days in – I waste absolutely no time), I seem to have possibly sorta maybe found someone who can get me financed for the house. He pointed out loopholes – as a first time homebuyer, I only need to come up with 3.5% down payment, and apparently there’s some FHA program where I am allowed to ask for a seller’s contribution of 6% of the sales price to pay all of the down payment and some or all of the closing costs. He also seems to think that the credit/debt won’t be too much of a problem; thinks he can help me repair it in 35-60 days, especially now that I have a job. Downside of this is that I would have to schedule closing for at least 75 days out (leaving a buffer for any unexpected delays), but since the house is a short sale anyways, it’s likely to take at least that long, if not longer (could even be 6 months), so that doesn’t really make a difference. Please, please cross your fingers for me!!!

My bestest of the best friend, “Aishwarya” (she declined to pick her own pseudonym, so I named her after the most beautiful Bollywood star out there!) has a Human Services degree and is a certified grant writer. She is now the second personal acquaintance to be let in on my current situation. We went and had pina coladas on Monday to celebrate my new job, and just generally shot the breeze. Somehow, we stumbled upon the idea of having her write up a grant proposal to have the government give me some money to restore the house and use some of the rooms to accommodate 2-4 homeless women and children at a time, sort of a halfway house type thing (the home is pretty ginormous, like bed and breakfast big).

We’ll see. I hope I hope I hope.