Our beautiful condo

Remember when I decided that I wanted to explore spending the next three months like I’d spent that magical Saturday in April where I was less rigid about my schedule and more open to the opportunities that the Universe presented to me? I think that was episode 11, if you want to skip back and hear all the details. 

O.K. Everyone back? Now that you’re all caught up to speed, you’re going to love this. So I had an appointment to see a liver specialist at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics September 13th, but the clinic has advised me to call as often as I’d like between now and then to see if I can get an earlier appointment. While the goal was to see if I could be seen sooner the real prize was to see if I could book an appointment during a planned trip to Iowa City which extended from May 1 – May 11th. Or, frankly, any time around that trip, because my schedule is flexible.

Calling and “bothering” their staff seemed like a pretty inefficient use of their time, but you know me: I’m here for it, and so I had been calling every week at least once a week, sometimes twice a week. Since the beginning of March.

When I called Monday, April 22nd, and spoke with Ashley at 8:10 a.m. she told me that she had an appointment available that Thursday, April 25th. Three days away. I said I’d take it. Then I rebooked my departure flight, called my mother-in-law and started canceling the week’s appointments, because I was flying to Iowa on Wednesday, an entire week earlier than my previous flight.

How’s that for being served up an opportunity better than I could have planned for myself? In addition to getting seen by a specialist at the University of Iowa months earlier than expected, I also saved myself a return flight to Iowa in September. 

This episode was supposed to be the one where I talk about that trip. What I learned on the trip–some of it I’m still unpacking–and an update on my liver. But that’s going to have to wait until next week. 

Because last Friday, the night before we returned home from Iowa, I received an email from our landlords that prompted me to ditch the draft of this episode that I started last week and to start over.

Let me explain.

Our landlords emailed us to let us know that they are ready to sell our condo. {Pause for shock.}

Now we knew this was a possibility at some point. A probability in fact. But it was still a surprise, especially considering we’ve spent the past couple of months drafting a retirement plan that only accounted for the status quo, ie us continuing to live in the rented apartment we’ve lived in for the past ten years.

Remember how I said that I was going to be open to the Universe dropping better options than we could imagine and how I was going to practice going with the flow? Well, giddy up, sister!

And remember how I said that every time we went back to our financial planner and asked for something that we thought was big, he said, “Yes,” and I kept saying we needed to think bigger? Wait till you hear this.

Our landlords are offering to sell us our condo. At below market value. Do you need a minute? Yeah, I did, too. 

It’s a pretty amazing offer, right? But it’s not a surprise if you understand that these landlords have never raised our rent in the ten years that we’ve lived here. They’ve accommodated every request and promptly replaced our refrigerator, dishwasher, washer and dryer when they’ve given up the ghost. Without a doubt, “the Coyote Guys” as we call them have been the best landlords we’ve ever had. 

Back to the email. I responded with gratitude, that I didn’t know if we’d be able to swing it, but I’m open to the possibility of being surprised and delighted, just like I was when we got the condo in the first place. Because I never could have imagined we could live here. I accepted their offer to meet for coffee. 

Fast forward to Saturday: we flew home. Sunday we met the landlords at Panera to discuss their offer. I’m going to cut to the chase. I was gobsmacked by the offer. It’s well below market value. They even took the time to sketch out the math and share HOA and insurance information.

Monday I chatted with a mortgage broker, and after that I sent a comprehensive email to our poor TIAA financial advisor who is–I am certain–regretting his decision to work with us. 

Let me pause for a moment to ask, “Can you believe this shit?!” Because it’s taken my breath away. 

I’m going to be honest: the first feeling that hit me when I read the email was fear. And it’s still my biggest challenge. Fear that we won’t be able to buy the condo. Fear that we will! (I know. Rational, right?) All of the “what happens when…?” questions. 

But when I think about it rationally, all of the fear comes from a sense of lack. Of not enough-ness. And that’s not where I live my life, because that feels like shit. And I know that how I feel is a decision. I get to decide how I want to feel. 

So I’m deciding to feel grateful. I’m grateful for the timing of this offer. The timing is perfect. Can you imagine if Cory hadn’t given his notice yet? He might be tempted to keep working. We might not have planned the trip to Iowa. Or upcoming trips to Virginia and Montana. Or next year’s vacation in Mexico. We still have plenty of time to adjust our retirement plan to look at the possibility of buying this condo. I am so very grateful for the timing. 

And I’m grateful for our landlords. For their generous offer. For their flexibility. They’ve given us plenty of time to figure this out, and they have shared resources to help us. No matter what happens, I’m grateful for the ten years we’ve spent in their beautiful condo.

I’m also optimistic. Because I never could have imagined that we’d live downtown in a beautiful condo in the Pearl. But here we are. If that happened for us, imagine what can happen in the future. If we don’t buy this condo, it will be something better. 


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