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The City Was Offering Up to $70,000 at 0% Interest

The City Was Offering Up to $70,000 at 0% Interest

(Originally published in the San Diego Reader March 21, 2012.)

On October 12, 2011, my husband and I signed two hours’ worth of paperwork and forked over a $2450 earnest-money deposit on a four-bedroom, four-bath townhome in Chula Vista.

For years, we’d fantasized about escaping the constraints of our 860-square-foot, $1300-a-month condo rental in City Heights. Now, our three-year-old daughter would be able to move out of our closet (yes, our closet) and into her own room, and our cologne-obsessed 13-year-old would have his own lair, two floors down from the other bedrooms. Along with 1850 glorious square feet and extra bathrooms, we’d have canyon views and a two-car garage that led into the house: no more lugging groceries in the rain. And — oh, yeah — mortgage and property tax combined would add up to $1147 (not including HOA fees), $153 less than our rental.

In the parking lot outside the real-estate agent’s office, I sent a text blast to family and friends: “It’s ours. We’re in escrow!”

My husband sighed. “It’s not ours yet, Lizzie. Anything can happen between now and the time we close.”

I dismissed the comment with a wave of my hand. Despite his previously discouraging experiences with sellers (one deal fell apart the day escrow was due to close), my optimism would remain intact. I’d heard about the hassles of purchasing a home through first-time-homebuyer incentive programs, but this place was meant to be ours, and I believed that everything would go swimmingly.

(To continue reading, click here.)

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