Going with the Flow in New Orleans, Take 2


Seriously, this is important. A lesson I wish I learned *years* ago.

The last time we were in New Orleans, we had to go with the flow to find a house on the quick after the first home we planned to purchase failed inspection.

Take 2 on actually buying the home we want has been it’s own adventure.

After agreeing to buy this house — and after it passed inspection! — we decided to put it on Airbnb until we move down this summer to make some extra coin since New Orleans is such a popular tourist jaunt. To do that we shipped a pod of furniture and belongings south to set up the new house (leaving our current home rather sparse for now). We planned to close on April 8, with the pod scheduled to arrive on April 9.

We booked our trip back for the closing and then more fun started:

  • The first appraisal came back bad. So potentially deal-killing bad, the lender ate the cost of it and ordered a second one (after blacklisting the first appraiser). Our real estate agent has never had a lender do that.
  • The second appraisal was all good, except for the part where the listing agent showed up with the wrong key for the appointment. The resulting delay to reschedule put us at threat for not closing on time.
  • And sure enough, after a scramble to meet last minute document requests from the lender and lock-down insurance for the house (including flood insurance, because it’s New Orleans!), we were set for the financing…but without an exact date for closing.
  • Stephani (my wife), Sophia (our daughter), and I took off on a plane from our Seattle on our previously booked flight on April 6 not knowing when we’d close, Friday the 8th or Monday the 11th. And if we closed later, not knowing where we’d stay over the coming weekend since our Airbnb was booked through April 9. Oh, and we had to do umpteen things once we got on the ground anyway to get the house ready for rental on Airbnb before we’re scheduled to fly back to Seattle.
Eric E

This shot is from a recent ad campaign for my employer, but might as well be us trying to keep our shit together through all this.

The time between our last trip to New Orleans at the end of February and this trip has not been easy. At all. Bad re-acclimation back to a place in Seattle where our hearts  are no longer at rest. Stress for me from work. Just not good.

We’ve also got way too many big-ticket items on the list of huge stressors in life:

  • Buying a house.
  • Moving (out of state!)
  • Changing jobs
  • Changing careers

Each of those by themselves can be a huge challenge. In sum, well, they’re not a hoot.

Along the way we’re raising two teenagers, with all that naturally comes with that, for everyone involved. It’s life, but injected into a stressful situation. That’s been hard on all of us, especially our beautiful, mature, smart-as-hell daughter. She senses my stress and resulting energy, sometimes better than I do. That’s been really hard on her, which torments me.

Meanwhile, our son Joseph injected some fun into the mix  from college. First his car died in Montana (as in, an engine blew — or threw — a rod, so it was toast). We had buy him a replacement, with an eye toward three more winters in Montana, thus a used Subaru Outback. And who doesn’t want to spend several thousand unexpected bucks right before buying and setting up a new house  across the country?

[weeps softly]

Oh, and Joseph let us know recently he has to drop two classes from his maximum class load this semester because he was doing poorly enough they were going to lower his GPA below what he needs to maintain his ROTC scholarship. That means a couple classes over the summer to catch-up.

Smooth, Joseph, smooth.

With all that in mind, we landed in New Orleans and figured out: yep, not closing until Monday. But we were able to book another Airbnb as a back-up, and request that the seller, who had already vacated the house, give us a pre-occupancy agreement to get in the house on the day we originally planned to close.


Today is the day we were supposed to close on the house. We didn’t do that like we planned.

But, we did get the keys to the house. We moved in some sweet used furniture Stephani and Sophia scooped up yesterday. Our new master bed and mattress arrived at our new home today (thanks Amazon!). We bought a new washer and dryer, from a fabulously kind sales manager at Sears, which will be delivered tomorrow morning. We loaded up on household items we need for the new place (I’m here to tell you $450 at WalMart goes a long way!). Our pod of furniture and belongings arrives tomorrow afternoon. Our electric and gas bills are set up. The cable guy is coming on Monday afternoon, after we sign the closing papers in the morning.

Yes, there is still more to do, not all of it is likely to go as planned. It has been incredibly stressful. And hard in different ways on each member of our family. We’ve all had moments we wish we would have shown up better and had a different impact. Me especially.

But, it’s ok.

I’m typing this now on the master bed of a quirky Airbnb in a double shotgun house in New Orleans (look it up, they’re a thing!)with a powerful sense of gratitude.

Yes, this has not been easy. At times, downright painful.

But, we’re able to buy a home before we move so it’s waiting for us in several months. We’re in New Orleans now. Learning our new city. Enjoying being here (including this glorious dining establishment)! And getting things done at a good pace, even if the sequence isn’t what we expected.

Even the twists with Joseph have a silver lining: he’s learning lessons he had to learn on his own. He’s also showing real gratitude to us and other signs of maturity every parent wants to see, even if the path to seeing them isn’t always fun.

And while things often haven’t gone as planned with our home buying in New Orleans, and definitely not perfectly, they’ve been working out. In the past, things like a failed inspection on the first house we tried to buy and a missed closing date plan that threatened to play havoc on our travel and logistical plans would have put us in a total state of mind fuck.

Each in our own ways, Stephani and I had the ability to get wrapped around the axle when things didn’t go the way we hoped, expected, or planned. Living in the moment and going with the flow is a different experience, even if we — and I — still have a lot to learn.

Thank, God for that difference. Letting of what we plan to embrace what the universe is offering is so much better.

Things aren’t perfect, whatever the hell that is but, they are good.

That’ll do.

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