After getting married to an Auburn girl last year, I tried to sell my house in Opelika, but it just wasn’t meant to be. Lucy put her house in Auburn up for sale and had an offer within thirty minutes. That’s no exaggeration, and it sold to that person who made that initial offer. Several months later, through a local rental agency, I was able to find a renter for mine.
We were married for almost two months before we were all under one roof in a house in Auburn. Due to my house not having sold and other financial constraints, I was unable to obtain a loan for our new home. I had no doubt that I’d soon be able to become eligible for that loan, so I signed a six-month lease-to-purchase contract.
We were very excited about our new home. It was only 40 years old but had an old southern charm to it. I think the large white columns across the front porch had something to do with that. The house was dwarfed by the massive oak and poplar trees. To top it off, there was a creek flowing through our back yard. Early on, we had a lot of good times in that creek.
On just our second day in the house, a creek was seemingly flowing through our living room. Water had backed up from the water heater. There were major plumbing issues that we were unaware of before signing the lease. The drains in the kitchen and bathroom sinks were always stopped up. We had our plumber over every other day for the first couple of weeks. Whenever we turned on the garbage disposal, the waste bubbled up into the bathroom sink on the other side of the wall. We were not off to a good start.
The dishwasher was in bad shape, too. It was and is downright pathetic. The water would back up in it, too. I did partially remedy that situation with baking soda and vinegar. The water no longer backed up but our dogs cleaned our plates better than that thing.
Speaking of our dogs, we had Animal Control come to our house on two separate occasions in response to complaints from neighbors about their barking. I get that. I get tired of hearing constant barking, too, but it was just another kick to the gut with respect to this home.
Due to the trees, the house was always dark and damp accompanied by a musty odor. It creaked like there was no tomorrow. All four bedrooms were upstairs. The only thing missing were the bleeding walls. It was just not a good place for us to be and even caused strain on our marriage.
There’s a deeper story here, but I’ll just say that we were unable to obtain the loan for the home. We were scared and not sure what our next step would be. Our landlords were wonderful people and gave us an additional two months in the home in hopes that it would give us enough time to find a home.
Ultimately, we decided to move back to my house in Opelika. It was being rented, but I’d find a way to get us back in there. It was much smaller, but we’d adapt and overcome to make it happen. It would be a tight fit, but we’d be okay.
We had to be out of the house on January 31. About a week or so prior to that date, I saw a friend’s post on Facebook about a home he wanted to rent. I immediately contacted him, and we met that next morning at eight o’clock. I immediately fell in love with the house. I was ready to move in, but there was one person ahead of me. She initially stated that she couldn’t move in until March 1. If she could have started paying rent on February 1, I’d be writing a different article.
That afternoon, I convinced a reluctant Lucy to take a look at the house. It didn’t take her long to realize that this was exactly where we needed to be. The house was bigger, better, and brighter. There were no large, dangerous tree limbs hanging over the house. In our lives, the trees at the old house symbolized burdens. The trees were no more, thus allowing the sun to shine in through each window bringing much needed light into our home.
We chalk this up to great landlords and God’s perfect timing. We are grateful to our previous landlords to have given us extra time. If they had given us a one month or a three month extension, this article would’ve had a different tone.
We love being back in Opelika, and I love having a dishwasher that works. Now, I just have to go purchase a few bark collars for the dogs. We don’t want animal control knocking on our door again. It’s good to be home.
Jody Fuller is a comic, speaker, writer and soldier. He can be reached at For more information, please visit