Just when this year’s spring began, I noticed new neighbors loading their stuff into the house that’s been unoccupied for a year. It was a good sign that the property was finally out from the house listings which advertised homes for sale in Oxford, Alabama. It has been in the ads for quite some time. The house was sold to a young couple who decided to move in to the South to create a fresh start in life.
Seeing the dark brown skin and black hair of the couple, I thought they were Asians. But after I came to their lot and warmly welcomed them, I learned that they were Americans from the fairly small tropical island in the Pacific. The couple decided to move out from Guam as they were both offered with better jobs in the mainland.
It has been easy to make a connection with the couple as they grew up in a culture where communities are tight-knit and locals take care of one another. I wanted to learn quite a bit about their home island. It has been known for its great beaches and sunsets. But I wanted to learn more about their food and culture. It happened through regular conversations over good Chamorro food and wine. I also took the time to orient them with the necessary information that they might need for their adjustment period.
What made their life a bit difficult was they had no families, relatives or friends living close to them. But they easily made friends with the people in the neighborhood, allowing them to feel comfortable with the new place and their new life in the city. Their parents who were from Chamorro and American descents were left in Guam and that gave them enough reasons to fly back to the island during the holidays.
For two weeks, I had seen them being happy with the newly purchased house. But they discovered some problems that started to bug them each day. There was a leaky pipe underneath the kitchen sink, the toilet flush had stopped functioning, there was termite infestation underneath the floor carpets and the ceiling was dripping with water when there’s heavy rain.
When they bought the house, the home inspection was being skipped. They were able to visit the house once and got an assurance from the seller that everything in the house was still good in shape. The seller made to rush the process while the couple felt the need to hurriedly move into a new home.
The couple wanted to contact the seller but it was on the contract document that once a closing has been done, it’s the buyer’s financial responsibility to fix any problems in the house. There would be no use to call a lawyer and sue the seller.
The bad experience did not discourage them from creating a good home in the neighborhood they started to love. They were just grateful that they have a decent house to live with and a place to be properly maintained for the coming years.