This is not easy for me as I have always been proud of my ability to make ends meet; however, I honestly feel I have no choice. I purchased my home 17-years ago when the economy was much better, my financial situation was stable, and I was capable of caring for what was mine. It was what I always wanted and it was what I worked for.
My partner of 11-years purchased an independent book shop in 2003 and it was a dream for both of us. At the time, I was working full time in the non-profit sector (I hold a Masters of Human Services degree), and life was good. In 2008, the bottom fell out of the economy and in order to keep the Clinton Book Shop afloat, I left my full-time job thinking it would be just a temporary thing, that all will be well. The economy took longer to recover that I had anticipated (I guess I'm an optimist) Finally, in 2012, the book shop had the best year it had since the economic downfall; however, not without consequences.
Not having the income that I did, I was unable to keep up with maintaining my home. I really did think that I would be able to go back to the way things were, that the economy was only on a slight slant downward and not the complete crash that it was.
The roof, which up until 2009 I had serviced each year (slates replaced, flashing sealed), had started to leak. I patched up what I could when necessary and that held for while. Following hurricane Sandy in Oct. 2012, I noticed more than a few areas in my home that were leaking. As you can see, in one area, I had to cut pieces of drywall out to save the inside of the ceiling (that is my third floor). It was a mess. My insurance company refused to recognize it as storm damage (even though 25 slates were now gone and sitting around my house), they did not cover the cost.
I had to have the most important ones replaced at the cost of $900 for which I was able to secure a grant. I also had to have a dormer covered with tarp as the cost for repair far exceeded my ability to pay. This is holding up well; however, I was told that the roof needs to be replaced. I fell into a deep depression as I don't have the funds to have this done.
Also, during this time I was able to modify my mortgage and reduce interest rate by 3.20% and my my monthly payment reduced by 20%. I applied for a equity loan and in spite of the equity I have in the home I was refused due to my income/debt ratio. My credit rating had also taken a hit over the three year period.
This is what brought me here. I won't need to have my roof replaced with slate and I'm not too concerned about the interior damage; however, If the roof is not replaced/repaired, I fear that my ceilings will fall in and all that I have will be gone.
I'm thinking that for those who contribute and would like, I will make a donation in their name when I sell the home. I have no plans of doing this now as I love my home in spite of the roof problem; however, in the future, should I sell, I can make a donation in your name to an animal rescue group. (both of my cats are rescues) or any cause you like.
If you have any questions about this or would like to see more photos, please let me know.
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