One of the decisions that Betty and I have been struggling with over the past year involves moving…not just in the sense that “move” is the word I want to focus on for 2015, but literally moving to another house.
We have lived in the same area for thirty years. Our daughters went from kindergarten through college while living in three different houses, all within a few miles of each other.
We have been in our current home for fourteen years. Just about half the size of the house we occupied when both girls were high school and college age, it has served us well. Betty has done her usual amazing job of taking an older, smaller house and turned it into our home. The backyard has been transformed from a huge space with nothing but grass into an inviting oasis, with outside dining areas, a fire pit, and enough shade and seats to make it everyone’s favorite part of the property.
Our church and friends are close, our doctors within walking distance, and shopping and hospitals are 5-10 minute drives. A tremendous neighborhood park is a 12 minute walk. The highlight of Bailey’s day is chasing gophers that scamper everywhere in the park.
Unfortunately, it is a two story house, which as our knees age will become a problem. At times we creak up and down the stairs now; I don’t want to wait until one of us can’t make the trip without several aspirins. The large yard is a joy, but more work than I am willing to continue to support too much farther into the future. Our daughters and grandkids live between 25 and 45 minutes away. The frequent drives to see them are becoming more of a trek than either Betty or I want.
So, after much agonizing, we have put the house on the market. It has been repainted. The title and grout have been cleaned and sealed. The cabinets have been scrubbed and stained. We generated enough trash and junk to partially fill a rather large junk truck. The insides have been cleaned so thoroughly that the cleaning people have little to do. The timing turned out to be not the best: the same day the house went on the market was the day my father died. But, we pulled ourselves together and told the real estate agent to proceed.
Spare moments, not spent watching our daughter’s new puppy, are spent looking at house listings on the Internet and driving around town with our agent. There are a few areas we like that are much closer to our kids.
Because we don’t have to move right now, we have set an aggressive schedule for this house to sell. If we don’t have a firm contract by the end of next month, we will pull the house off the market until early fall. Our plans to be away this summer are so locked in that cancelling or changing them would become a tremendous nightmare. Having the house sell anytime after April 30th would not allow enough time for all that happens when a house is sold and another bought before we leave for the summer.
The best scenario is we sell quickly, find a new home we like, buy it, and have everything completed before mid June. If that happens our daughters and son-in-law have offered to unpack and set up our new home so when we get back in early September almost everything will be done. Since we have helped each of them move a half dozen times, this is the perfect payback.
If the house doesn’t sell within our time frame, we have a very clean, nicely freshened home ready to re-list when the time is right. We will have no regrets about staying and second-guessing about trying. We will move, when the timing is right.
By Bob Lowry