We packed everything we owned into a moving truck on Friday and sent it on its way to GA. We loaded ourselves, me the husband and our 5-year-old son, into the Mustang and headed for Virginia. We stopped overnight in New York to sleep and got right back on the road. We arrived at my mother-in-laws place on our second travel day. We stayed with her that night and the next and headed out early on Monday morning for GA.
Hubby had planned ahead and asked about a place to stay before our furniture arrived. His company had a corporate apartment in north Atlanta off Ashford Dunwoody Road. We got there Monday evening, October 5th, and had a nice place to sleep. On Tuesday we drove down to my father’s house on Butner Road. This was a house I had lived in several different times in my life. I had last moved from there in the summer of 1996. Since then, my father had rented it out. The renter’s were supposed to have moved out in August when their lease was up. When we got there on Tuesday and peaked through the windows, the house still had furniture in it. We were worried. We knocked, but no one answered. We went by my grandmother’s to pick up the key. When we went into the house, it was trashed.
There was actual garbage in every room, covering the floor. The furniture we had seen through the window was almost all broken. What wasn’t actually broken, was stained and torn and nasty. There were several cats locked up in the house. They couldn’t have been there too long because they weren’t starved-looking. But the house was coated in cat poo and pee. It reeked in an unbelievable way. The walls were stained and smeared with something that appeared to be feces. The place was extremely gross and unlivable. but we had nowhere else to live, so we thought we would have to clean it.
We talked to my father on the phone, but he was in LA and had nothing helpful to say and couldn’t really do anything. We bought cleaning supplies and went back to the house to try to clean. We cleaned most of one room. It was so horrible and so nasty that we could not do more than that. Through phone calls with my father and a couple of my uncles, arrangements were made to have someone haul away the furniture and many bags of trash. But I could not be responsible for that house. It was so much worse than anything I had ever seen before.
My husband called his company and they said we could stay in the corporate apartment for a month instead of the previously agreed week. We had to contact the moving company and have our stuff moved into a storage unit rather than the house we weren’t going to live in. We had to go to the post office and stop the forwarding mail from MA and have it all held until we found somewhere to live. Throughout this process, my son was not in school. He had been in kindergarten for a month in MA before we left. But now, there was no school for him. We had no permanent address and were transient.
My mother-in-law has a friend who is a real estate agent in FL. She recommended a real estate agent for us in GA. Her name is Kathy O’Connor, and she was amazing. We worked with her starting the Friday after we arrived in Atlanta. She showed us so many houses in such a short time span. She paid close attention to everything we liked or disliked about each house she showed us and used that information to select more houses that were better suited. It was a huge ordeal.
We found that we had a set budget we were willing to live with. We did not get a loan for as much as the banks were willing to give us. We stuck to within 10K of our initial housing budget. We found that we prefered a two-story detached home. We found that we wanted a front porch. We realized that we liked new homes rather than older homes. We learned that we had a desire for a garage. We were willing to go further out of the city to find a house that we could love. Before we met Kathy O”Connor, we had no idea we even wanted a house. We had planned to live in my father’s house for a few years and then make a decision about buying our own. Kathy found us a house.
We signed papers and got a loan and homeowner’s insurance and all kinds of things we knew nothing about. We hired a new moving truck to remove our stuff from storage and deliver it to our brand new first ever home. We moved in on October 29th.
Kathy O”Connor performed a miracle. She found us a home and helped us get a loan and helped us get moved in and settled. All in less than 3 total weeks.
I wish I could link you to her. But right now, I have no idea where she is. With the housing market in Atlanta so bad these days, she may be working in another kind of job. She is not working at the office she was 7 years ago. I hope she is well and doing great.