When I got the girls up this morning, I spotted a man messing about in the front garden. I held E1 as we watched him walk around, looking down at the grass, and then he went back to his van and started moving things around in the back. He came back with some tools and bulky piece of wood, and then dug a small hole, sunk the wood in the ground, and hung a colourful sign on it. Our rental of this house has always been on a casual basis — it belongs to a friend of my mother’s who wanted someone living in it over the coldest months, which suited us as a starting point — and was never destined to last long. I knew this day would come: the “For Sale” sign has gone up.
I had planned to have something sorted by now, but it’s been harder than I expected. I had hoped to buy — I’m fed up with renting — but I don’t know this area at all and it’s difficult to househunt in a place you are completely unfamiliar with. As well as that, I am not used to being in such an urban area — everything packed so close together, on street after street after street, no open space in sight — and I’m finding it hard to see these city-houses as possible homes. Everything feels so strange, foreign and unfamiliar.
But those are just a matters of taste, which could all be overcome. The real problem is that my husband had no US credit rating. His excellent British credit score counts for nothing here in the US and, as I am not working, my excellent US score is redundant. We are working with several banks and mortgage specialists, and hope to overcome the problem, but it necessarily causes delay.
But time is not on our side. The realtor rang tonight, friendly in a smarmy way: she’s lined up two viewings for tomorrow, at 5.30 and 6.30 — right in the middle of dinnertime for girls. She’d rather we made ourselves scarce, if we’d be so kind, but that just isn’t practical with a two-year-old and a one-year-old who are expecting to be fed — we will just have to be here, uncomfortable as that will be, while other people tour the house and decide if they want to buy it. That sign and her phone call has caused me to panic afresh. I spent most of the early evening on the phone with the mortgage people going over options, and I’ve spent the rest of the night trawling realty websites. M eats his dinner, get ready for bed, and then sleeps blissfully. This is, as ever, my problem to solve.
I don’t know how I’m going to solve it. I don’t know if we’ll get a mortgage — I’m not even sure if we could rent a place with no credit history. But I’d better think of something… The clock is ticking, and we have got to get out of this house.