It’s been one crazy year for my wife and I.
It began last summer when we started looking into apartment or condo living downtown. But after a few months we decided there wasn’t anyplace that met our desires within the prices we wanted to pay.
It actually began before last summer, probably a year before.
Kathy and I were the only ones living in our three bedroom home and we were only using 1/2 the house. I was tired of taking care of the ongoing maintenance issues that come with a 50 year old home and Kathy was getting tired of the ongoing routine stuff that you do to keep a house neat and clean, since we really didn’t need all of our 2500 square foot home.
All the kids were gone and the extra bedrooms were only used by the occasional guest. Actually last summer, we had my brother in law Mike living with us for several weeks after he broke his jaw and needed a place to live while he was recovering.
But once Mike left, we were itching to move. After checking out our downtown living options, we regrouped to focus on what we wanted in a place to live.
We wanted to downsize. We wanted to have less stuff. We wanted to have less responsibilities. And we also wanted to continue the reduction in monthly living expenses that we began awhile ago. See my Monday Money series for some of the steps we took.
Kathy also had some specific things that I didn’t have on my list and the difference is probably because of our genders.
She wanted a parking spot that was not out in the weather. You know, like a garage. Okay, an attached 2 car garage, where you don’t have to go outside to get in your car. Given the winter we just experienced I agreed, I wanted that too.
She also wanted a washer and dryer in our residence.
Now the reason I say these were gender differences is that one place we looked at downtown has an underground secure parking garage and onsite laundry. If it was just me, I could have lived with it and enjoyed it, but I understood her safety concerns as a woman and I do not want my wife to feel unsafe.
A few months ago we decided that 2014 was going to be our year to make the move and right after Christmas, the search began. We found a place half a mile away from our home that seemed to fit the bill. Kathy got the pre-approval process started and we made an offer. He countered and we countered back. We were too far apart on price and decided to keep looking for a new home.
After visiting several other houses, we decided that our favorite was the first one we looked at and made him another offer. After working out a few minor details, our offer was accepted but…
But we had to sell our house first. So we had some work done to our home and it seemed like every week we were doing something new to update our home a bit. We had to call in professionals to take care of a couple of items, but it was mostly Kathy and myself. Mostly Kathy and a little myself, I should say.
And did our house get some interest! There were over 40 showings of our home over 7 weeks until we got an offer. We countered and they accepted and then the mortgage process began.
What a pain that can be. But in the end it all worked out.
Downsizing also meant getting rid of stuff. I guess we got rid of half of our stuff. Furniture was given away. Lots of stuff was tossed. I gave away most of my book and music collections as I have access to those items elsewhere.
At the end of May, we finally had the back to back closings. At 10:30 we sold our house and 11:30 we bought our new home. Someone told me we were homeless for an hour. I suppose but it isn’t funny to the truly homeless.
We had 5 days to get our move on and get out of the old house. We were blessed with excellent weather, wonderful friends and family who pitched in and saved our backs last Saturday.
A few more days of bringing over a few leftover items to the new place and Monday Kathy visited the old home for the last time and I did the same on Tuesday.
We are redesigning our lives in the new place. Instead of having 3 bedrooms we have our bedroom, a retreat room, and my office. The retreat room and my office have sleeping accommodations if needed for an overnight guest, but not for a long term occupant. We downsized our home by more than 40% and are prepared to stay here for the next 20+ years if possible.