Divorced! Single! Bankrupt! Homeless in 3 days! Plus pneumonia!

Redwood City Home Front - 1989

Photo was taken earlier on the day of the Loma Prieta Earthquake: October 17, 1989. Additional damage occurred to the home.

The realtor who had sold my Monte Sereno home asked, “Where are you going to move in 3 days?

It was January 27, 1990 and I needed to be out of the house when it closed escrow on January 31.

I said, “I have no idea! I have 4 cats and so much furniture I need the largest United Van Lines moving truck!”

He said, “Well, I can rent you a 4 bedroom/2 bath house for $200/month if you’ll clean it up.”

Then he said,

“You need to know that the previous owner shot his wife in the house a year ago. He then shot himself, killing himself, in the house.”

I moved in on January 31, 1990.

I paid TOP DOLLAR for the home "AS IS!" This is the ceiling in the eating area of the house when I moved in.

I paid TOP DOLLAR for the home “AS IS!” This is the ceiling in the eating area of the house when I moved in.

On February 2 he asked me, “If you could purchase this home, would you?”  I laughed and said – “Of course!”

Thinking he must be joking because I was flat broke, had gone through bankruptcy, was in the process of an ugly divorce with horrible credit, was on worker’s comp because I had developed pneumonia while working 3 part-time jobs and going to school full time.

There was NO WAY I could get a home loan – at least that is what I thought.

On February 14 he brought papers and said, “Sign here!”

I’d done enough purchasing of homes I knew what these papers were and what they said. I didn’t ask any questions.

On February 16, 1990 – exactly 32 years ago TODAY! – I became the owner of this home – BAD FENG SHUI and all, but…

It was exactly what I was supposed to do and where I was supposed to be.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting bits and pieces of this story and the journey to CLEAN IT UP!


In my next few blogs I’ll share more of the stories about this house.