When Voldemort first moved out in the Spring of 2012, the kids and I were determined and frantic to keep the family home. It had been the perfect place for the older two to grow up in and was the only home #3 remembered. I damn near bankrupted myself before coming to the painful conclusion that our family home was too big and much too expensive to keep, given our changed circumstances.
I had also come to the realization that I was going to have to file for divorce because it didn’t seem that Voldemort was ever going to get around to it. I was mentally gearing myself up when I was served with his Petition for Dissolution.
Within a month of being served, I emailed Voldemort and told him I didn’t think either of us could afford to keep the house or buy out the other’s equity share. I asked if he would agree to use a realtor friend of mine to sell the house. Amazingly, he agreed.
I went through weeks of sorting, purging, donating, and having a huge garage sale. Then more weeks of purging and packing. It seemed to take forevah to move out of the family home and into the smaller townhouse. To this day, I still have to go back to the family home weekly to take care of one thing or another.
At the settlement meeting with our lawyers earlier this month, we agreed that Voldemort would go to the family home to take anything he wanted from the garage, that final resting place for everything I hadn’t sold, donated, or recycled. Whatever he didn’t want would be donated. We also agreed to list the house for sale and split the (sizable) proceeds. This was an interesting turn of events as Voldemort had filed paperwork the week before stating that I owed him an enormous sum of money. He dropped that claim in the stark light of my proof he was, ahem, being less than factual.
I contacted my realtor friend and she immediately got the listing paperwork out to us via email. She took a couple dozen photos and got the house listed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) last Monday. Wednesday evening, she called to tell me we had an above asking price offer on the house in just two days.
I burst into tears.
Everything was suddenly very real. The divorce was real. The home sale was real. All of it was just painfully real.
Fortunately, this woman is my friend first, our realtor a distant second and she verbally held my hand while I cried. Eventually I got hold of myself. The next morning, she emailed the offer to both Voldemort and me. Since I haven’t been involved in a real estate sale in decades, I had some questions, which I emailed to her.
Here’s where I made a judgment error: I cc’ed Voldemort.
He then proceeded to ignore the realtor’s entreaties to accept or reject the offer, presumably because I’d asked questions about it. That offer was only valid for three days and the clock was rapidly ticking down. Last night I got an email from him asking my opinion.
I was gobsmacked. What the what does he care about my opinion? I re-sent the realtor’s answers and told him I’d signed the acceptance of the offer. It was over asking price, so why wait I asked.
Oh, and I openly cc’ed both our attorneys.
Still, he waited until after midnight to sign the papers. But sign them he did and the house is now officially under contract. While I’m at peace with the decision and happy not to be saddled with both rent and a mortgage payment, it’s still sad to sell the house. It was everything I dreamed a family home would be and I’m releasing my ideas of what makes a family even as I’m letting go of that perfect home. It’s time to redefine both “family” and “home.”