Eleven years ago we bought our first home. At that time I was pregnant with our oldest son and suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Go ahead say it! Hyperemesis Gravidarum??? What's that? In short, Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) is a debilitating and potentially life-threatening pregnancy disease marked by rapid weight loss, malnutrition, and dehydration due to unrelenting nausea and/or vomiting with potential adverse consequences for the newborn(s). Luckily I am a 3x survivor of HG. Unfortunately, some haven't been as lucky as I am. They have either lost their unborn child either through miscarriage or abortion or they, themselves lost their lives battling HG.
Needless to say buying our first home and being pregnant for the first time and battling HG, on bedrest with IV 24 hours a day was NOT the greatest experience to begin with. To make matters worse, we had the real estate agent from hell!! Back then I was not an agent so we did what most buyers do - call the name on the sign. That's when we met "Betty". Betty was a live one let me tell you. The things she said to us, I couldn't even imagine saying to anyone never mind one of my buyer clients. She was rude, crude and we were young and naive. For example some things she said to us:
- When we made our first offer (which was $20,000 less than list price) Betty said, "full price take it or leave it - he's a doctor and doesn't need your charity money"! Needless to say we paid full price;
- At the bottom of the basement stairs (outside entry to basement) there was a drain which apparently was clogged and the water was backing up. My husband told her about it and she said, "its your problem now. You are buying the house and can take care of it after you close." Needless to say, we bought the house and we fixed the drain after we moved in.
I can go on and on but this post isn't meant to be written about Betty. It was written to share what I've learned in the past and how I've taken these experiences and paid it forward. Just today, I was talking to the listing agent on one of my sales wherein the sellers need to extend the closing date because the wife is pregnant with twins and on bedrest. My response to him was I've been there before. I'm a mother of three and have been on bedrest when buying a home and that it was a nightmare for me not being able to pack up my apartment or unpack in my new home. Been there, done that -- let's work together on extending the closing date. Although I've paid it forward, not the expense of my buyer. I requested that should the buyer incur additional costs to extend her mortgage rate, the seller pay for those additional costs incurred.
Not every first-time homebuyer I've worked with has been pregnant, suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum or on bedrest but my bad experience with Betty as a first-time homebuyer has stuck with me forever. I hold the hands of my first-time homebuyers and walking them through every step of the transaction. I work that way with every buyer but there's just something special about first-time homebuyers. I took my bad Betty experience and pay it forward so no first-time homebuyer gets treated the way we did.
Finally, since I am a 3 time survivor of Hyperemesis Gravidarum, I am a volunteer for the Her Foundation. Through my volunteer work I visit with and/or offer support via telephone and/or email to another family in my area who is battling Hyperemesis Gravidarum. I wish when I was first diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum I knew about the Her Foundation because sometimes you need to speak to someone who has gone through or is going through this debilitating pregnancy disease. Now that I've found the Her Foundation -- I pay it forward to other HG sufferers.
This post was written to share with you how one personal bad experience 11 years ago has taught me to pay it forward everyday.