The Crushing Feeling of Saying Goodbye to My First Home


For three years now my ex boyfriend and I have shared ownership of a 2-bedroom condo that we bought a month before breaking up. It was bad timing purchasing a place right before a split, but especially as my ex boyfriend bounced upon our breakup, no longer wanting anything to do with the place. He thought we ought to sell the place, despite the fact that purchasing this home was like a dream come true for someone like me that spent most of my life living in a rental. So I decided to slug through and found inventive ways to take on the mortgage by myself  working as a nanny/tutor.

The first step came in having a friend of his build a wall to split the large living room into a second bedroom that I could rent out to a friend.

It’s hard to tell, but the depth of the living room was incredible.

And even in doing this, as I gave him a good price on his room, I still ultimately was inclined to picking up some dog walking gigs to make ends meet. Ultimately, if you know me, you know it was a good thing as it this led me to my current hobby, love, and partial occupation petsitting. However, I’ve found myself wanting to be more removed from a property I never visit and from an odd shared ownership that forces my ex and I to continue to touch base, despite his obvious discomfort in having to maintain a dialogue with me.

The natural light of the kitchen

Since this time my husband and I have purchased two rental houses in Jersey City together, and it has made property ownership more exciting and manageable being able to share the experience with someone who supports and love me. So I’ve started to step away from Hoboken and began with selling back half of the apartment to him two years ago to purchase with that $ the first house my husband and I purchased – the Bnb. And now in selling my remaining half of the condo, he will gain full ownership of the property.

The largest kitchen

So almost exactly three years later after we broke up, there we sat yesterday, in his law office, more mature, a good deal wiser, exchanging polite civilities as we signed the paperwork for him to take over ownership of the condo. Fortunately, without any headache, we agreed on a sale price reflective of how much $ I’ve put into the place and the $100K+ it has gone up in three years when we purchased it for $360K.

He is now the owner of a nearly half million dollar Hoboken condo, partial owner of a successful Astoria bar, and running a successful immigration law firm. I’m 1.5 years into my happy marriage with Mr. Sandy Patch, a shared owner of our two properties in Jersey City, and busy working on projects like Woof Woof Nyc, the work exchange, Equality.Education, and this here blog, in addition to working my dream job.

Loved the brightness of the bedroom

Yet there was something eerie about sitting with the very nice real estate banker this afternoon. Closing the chapter on something I’ve long been awaiting I didn’t feel any of the excitement or satisfaction I think should occur with such a transaction. I made money on the sale and was releasing myself of another draw of my attention. It should have felt great, and when I saw my husband afterwards and he took his shirt off and whipped around his head to celebrate, I felt… nothing.

Having sat there with my ex, who I haven’t seen in a year or two, as he nervously asked me mundane questions as to how Sandy and I were doing, whether I was traveling soon, while only looking up from his phone for brief snatches of eye contact, I felt pretty uncomfortable. How you can go from being someone’s best friend to such an awkward situation? And how do you go from feeling that a place was your dream home to wanting to sell it?

Goodbye bedroom

I’m grateful for all of the things that have happened in the last three years.

I’m grateful for no longer having to maintain contact with my ex.

I’m grateful to be in a position to have saved enough to purchase a home.

I’m grateful for having been able to make lemonade out of lemons.

But I still have a lot to experience and to learn to deal with – the sad, the sour as much as all the wonders of discovery and love.