I am shattered.
We were pre-approved for a mortgage with the understanding that we would rent our home. We were told it would be easy.
We found a home. Fell in love. Put an offer and an earnest money deposit.
The offer was accepted.
We paid for a home inspection. That came back not good.
We searched our sole and decided to go forward with the deal when the sellers wouldn't budge on their requests. We had enough money readily available to cover the down payment and closing costs.
We learned that the problems our inspector found with the house were not what was expected and things could be remedied fairly easily. We were elated, ready to move forward.
We learned that the closing costs were much higher than we had planned. But that was okay. We were willing to pull money out of our 401(k), pay the huge penalty and taxes, because this would allow us time together as a family. This home would allow me to come home at night BEFORE the kids go to bed. I could tuck them in. I could be a mom. Then, I could retire to my office and work a couple more hours each night. Having time with my family was worth possibly having to work years longer. We know there are no guarantees in life. My daughter will probably not be around when I'm 59.5. I want to be with her now. I want to know my son and help him become a good man. I want to see him grow, not just hear about it over the phone. Being with my family while they are here was more important than the money that would be lost in the retirement account.
We decided to move forward with the sale yesterday. We've incurred all kinds of costs for the house.
Today, I learned that I didn't read enough of the information on the 401(k). While there is plenty of money in the account (well more than we need) and it is 100% vested, completely mine, I can't touch it. That money is so well hidden that should the Mad Scientist die tomorrow, leaving me alone with two children, I couldn't pull any of that money out to support us.
All of the money we have paid toward this new house is now gone. Lost to my stupidity. And because of that, we will not be able to get another house. We cannot expand our current house. We are stuck.
Our dream has died. We will stay in this tiny house (another HUGE mistake of mine) for the foreseeable future. My son and my daughter will share a bedroom for who knows how long. I will continue to stay at work past bedtime, only hearing about their day over the phone. We will live amongst piles for want of room to put things away. And the only way to buy a new house? I have to stop investing in my retirement account to save "quickly" for a down payment for a future house and make up for the losses I caused now (a result of student loans--another big mistake).
So, in the end, my retirement account will be smaller anyway. We will lose the money we've put toward the lost house. And I will lose several more years of good nights with my children.
Lesson learned: Never let me deal with money.
Caveat: I do know that many people would be happy to still be able to own their own home and would be grateful to have all of the opportunities we have, but it doesn't change the fact that this hurts me and has left me an emotional wreck.