This is what I’ve learned:  Mortgage regulations for muli-family properties have changed drastically since the finance debacle/economic explosion.

Any property over 4 units automatically requires a commercial loan—regardless of whether it’s a commercial property.  So, at 7 units, this house is well into that territory.  And?  Commercial loans require 30% down.

Plus?  Banks in our state now require a property’s rental income to cover its expenses.  Which?  If you saw any of the photos?  You can see that any rent would be minimal.  And that actually we would have to pay someone to live there.

But?  If we got a construction loan and jumped through some other hoops, maybe… So we applied for a construction loan.  Which would, theoretically allow us to borrow more money… to fix it up… to get renters… to pay the mortgage…

Compounding my anxiety and dread—at the staggering amount of money we were thinking about oweing.


We would live on the first floor.  We would have fourteen-foot ceilings and a ballroom.  And if there is one thing my life has most been missing?  It’s a ballroom.  And a mansion.  And a hoopskirt.  And Rhett Butler.

However.  You can see.  That it will be a while.  Until there is any romance going on here.  You can see.  That for a very long time there is going to be sweat and misery and this bathroom.

Not to mention my entire life will plummet into a bottomless blackhole where I never see my husband again.

I mean— I will see Paul.  But not my actual husband…  He will be my very least favorite version of himself:  The work-crazed maniac.

And?  How can we leave our house?  And start all over?

AND?  How can we sell our house when we do NOT EVEN HAVE A KITCHEN.  I mean, we have a kitchen in the sense that we have a stove and a refrigerator… but we also have a giant hole in the ceiling.  And a giant hole in the floor.

And we made a makeshift island by ripping off a weird mini-peninsula from the previous owner.  And then raising it up to a custom-height suited for me.  With stacks of two-by-fours. Which is not a look I’ve seen Christopher Peacock using.

How can we try to finish our house?  While starting a new one?  One that’s roughly the scope and intricacy of building a NASA space station? From scratch? Using only paperclips?  How?  How?  How?

I’ll tell you how—we can’t.
Because the realtor called to say the house is under contract.  For the full asking price.

Nearly everyone who loves us said—well, it wasn’t meant to be.  In a chipper and irritating voice.  That made us think they didn’t understand we were trying to rip apart our entire life—so clearly we thought it was meant to be.

So after walking around questioning the universe and gnawing at my fingernails and writing a construction plan and a business plan and checking my email fourteen times an hour… it’s nice to be done with that.

But sad to be done with the part where we moved to the river and drank champagne while floating in our dinghy.


Part One – When we first looked at Biddle Mansion.

Part Two – Where I questioned whether I would survive if we bought it.


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