April 11, 2011

Pins and Needles

Shortly after BB and I were married, we accepted and invitation to accept a free 1-night, 2-day stay at a resort in a local ski community. It was, of course, bound by the fact that we had to attend a tour of a new resort, and listen to all the reasons of why we should by a time-share with them.

We were appropriately awed and did, in fact, purchase a 2-bedroom, Christmas-week unit to the tune of lots of money. We took on a loan, in addition to our mortgage and credit card debt, thinking that we'd rent it out and use the income to assist in paying a bit extra on the loan.

Well, fast forward 8 years, and we are still paying that loan, the rental income we'd expected was not as much as we'd hoped, we're tired of dumping money into it, and we've only used it one time for a vacation.

2 years ago we listed it with a local agent for sale. We'd had no interest whatsoever until Thursday night last week. The offer is almost half of what we originally paid for it. It means a large financial loss, but, the profit after fees would cover the balance of the loan with a fairly sizeable amount leftover to put toward savings.

In our Financial Peace University Course last year, we learned all about taking Baby Steps toward financial peace, working toward being completely debt free, and having money for retirement and for the kids' college educations. Our first step, you may or may not remember, was to have $1000 in an emergency fund. 2nd was to pay off all consumer debt (credit cards, student loans, etc). Ordinary Sarah and her husband are living the same way. Over the last 12 months, BB and I have paid off all the credit cards, had no student or car loans (blessedly). This loan has been hanging over our heads. We know that to accept the offer would be the wise and best thing to do at this point. It would free up several hundred dollars each month to put towards saving 3-6 months of expenses (Step #3). There's a large part of me that is antsy with desire to be rid of it. There is another part of me that thinks it would be wise to keep it, to enjoy something special, our very own tradition of getting away near Christmas to enjoy skiing, boarding, snowshoeing, sledding, swimming...

I am currently awaiting an email to verify that the offer and amounts we were told are after all fees, and to determine the next steps toward selling it.

It is a bit bittersweet - the end of our spontaneous childless days. Those days when we could and often did decide to pack up on a Friday after work and head out to some adventure, on the motorcycle, riding to some unplanned location for a special dinner and weekend at a hotel - luxurious dinners out at restaurants that don't serve chicken fingers or macaroni and cheese, let alone have a children's menu...the last reminder of that young couple with nothing on the horizon but seemingly unending resources.

Little did I know then, that today, sitting here, I'd be glad to be rid of a status symbol, glad to be thinking of putting aside money so that someday, my 3 amazing children, can go to the college they want to attend, no matter the cost, have the wedding they desire, no matter the cost...so they can have those things and not owe anyone any money as they embark on their own adult lives.

I'll keep you posted as things progress.

In the meantime, if you have a way to work off anxiety and anticipation healthily, let me know, will you?

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