What happens when you have it all, then lose everything?
This is a concept I write about often for the AP.
Recently, I spoke with a Florida woman who bought her dream home during the real estate boom. Then she had to sell it in a short sale.
Tears still spring into Debbie Cooley-Guy’s eyes when she thinks about her dream home, with its wide, sweeping porch. It overlooked a bayou filled with wading birds, a glittering blue pool and the space for not only a 12-foot Christmas tree, but a grand piano as well.
She bought the home in a suburb west of Tampa for $637,000 in 2002. Seven years later, after the economy tanked, she sold it for less than she owed on her mortgage to avoid foreclosure. She recalls the black moment when she was still caring for the lawn but not living there. A falling branch knocked down an outdoor staircase railing.
“It made the house look so sad. I was so sad,” said Cooley-Guy, 60. “I drove away crying. I just didn’t think it was how the story would end with this house.”