About 7 years ago, there was a brief period where I was unemployed (I had been working 2 jobs and lost them both within a week of each other- long story). My wife and I had been renting a house at the time and found out that it was being sold and we would no longer be able to live there. In the course of a couple of weeks, our family’s income disappeared as did our home. If we didn’t figure something out, we were literally going to be homeless within 90 days. We had previously been looking for a house (back when I had been employed) as we knew there was a possibility that the house we were renting would go up for sale sometime in the future. We had actually gotten a buy-sell agreement on a foreclosure several months prior, but lost it 4 days before close due to finalization of the foreclosure process! (don’t ask me why this happened, I can’t figure it out to this day!) So here we were with no income, and no house.
The original house we were going to buy ended up coming back on the market (through HUD) for $14,000 less than what we were originally going to pay! (again, this made absolutely no financial sense for the bank- it’s as mystery). We had no money of course, but needed a home. My parents ended up reaching out to us and offering to put it on their home equity line of credit short-term until I got “back on my feet” and could get a mortgage of our own (and remember this was around the time of the housing crash in the U.S, so getting a loan was no small matter!) We moved in and started making payment to my parents
Let me be honest. This story is embarrassing. I almost wasn’t going to post it. Who wants to talk about when they were homeless, jobless and had to go to mommy and daddy for money as a married man with a family?! So why do I share this? Let’s fast-forward a bit:
My “business” was in “hobby stage” at the time. I was buying and selling a few movies on Ebay and trying to figure things out. Soon after losing my employment, I got a pizza delivery job (desperately hoping this one would be short-term!) and started working as hard as I could on the business- obtaining every piece of information I could find and taking action as often as possible! It paid off and the income started to build! We made steady payments to my parents and in 2 years I was able to get a mortgage myself (most banks require at least 2 years of tax returns for self-employment income.) In about 3 years I was able to quit my job and in about 5 years, we were able to pay off the house!
Last Summer my wife and I bought and moved into a new house that we LOVE! (the old house was not bad either, but the new house is exactly what we want! – it was also more than twice the cost.) Since our first house was paid off, we decided to buy first and take some time to get the first house ready for the market. Yesterday, my wife and I (finally) sold our first house! I can’t tell you how thrilled I am!
Our Big Pay Day
Yesterday we were given a check for the full amount of the house (less all commissions and fees of course!) I feel so incredibly fortunate! I went to the bank today and put the entire check toward the principal of our current house. If things continue to go well, we’ll have the new place payed off in less than 2 more months! I’m thrilled!
I have numerous friends who are “upside down” in their mortgages (they owe more than the house is worth) and/or are deep in debt and/or have several other financial setbacks. This leads not only to financial disappointment, but can also be difficult to deal with emotionally- even leading to despair. This post is not in any way to “rub salt into those wounds” for anyone struggling with these things! This post is my way of saying “I get it” , “I’ve been there” and also that there is hope! I’ve spent the majority of my adult life being poor. Did you ever have to go to mom and dad as a grown man or woman and ask for money? No? You’re better off than I was. Have you ever been jobless and and the verge of being homeless? No? Consider yourself fortunate. Ever find yourself in an “after-school-type job” during the “career stage” of your life? No? You’re already on a better path than I was!
The point is, don’t give up and also consider yourself fortunately if you’re already further along than I was when I started! You’re likely to get to where you want to be even quicker than I did! I can tell you that the methods I talk about on this blog WORK. There are also plenty of other models that work. The point is to find something that works for you and make it happen!
One final note I should be clear about- because I’m still feeling awkward about sharing all of this. My parents are very against lending money to family (giving is good, lending creates a weird dynamic) or allowing their married children to be dependent on them in any way. Whether you agree or disagree with this philosophy, this was how I was raised and I want to be very clear and say that I would NEVER recommend tying yourself to family members as an adult in the way that I did. Thankfully, in my situation it worked out great with no scars and no hard feelings (we discussed the ramifications with my parents on the front-end, we had a plan, and we always made our payments in full and on time until we could get our own mortgage.) I actually discourage friends from doing this kind of thing when it comes up, but the truth is, we had very few options at the time (we wouldn’t have even been able to get an apartment in our situation at the time!) The story is what it is, so I told it how it happened, but I did not want to leave the impression that I would recommend it to others!
If you’re in a tough spot, please don’t give up! Learn as much as you can! Write me if you’d like and I’ll be happy to help! Read the blog, read the free ebook- keep going. Find something that works! I’m so happy to be where I am today which is worlds away from where I was… and technically I’m still “unemployed”