Thursday, May 20, 2010

Moving House....Yet Again

Not that I think this is a new revelation to anyone, but I must say, moving has a tremendous psychological impact on a couple. Imagine a person in their seventies selling their home of 30 years and moving to a retirement home. I’ll never be that person. We moved 2 ½ years ago, and here we are, completing yet again another move! (That’s where I’ve been instead of blogging since about mid-April.)

Last fall, my husband and I finally had a conversation over a glass of wine, which led to tremendous honesty with each other. We both disliked where we were living!! (Other than my spectacular studio of course). We both would like to downsize and thereby downsize our expenses. We had discovered an amazing concept: the ratio of the house size and the heating bill coordinate with each other!

So, now we are into the discussion “when shall we do this?” (neither one of us is known for patience or waiting easily!). We have to make an effort now to communicate with each other exactly what it is we do not like about where we are, what we don’t want to do again, what we’ve liked best about homes past and what we would like to accomplish with this move. This discussion went on for several weeks actually. We discussed things like stairs/ranchers; being visible by all the neighbors; size of yard; size of house; detached workshop; water source; heat source; on and on and on it went. Much wine was consumed!

It is commonly said that moving from one house to another is one of the most stressful life events, right up there with divorce and bereavement. I’m happy to say that I haven’t had a lot of bereavement in my life, but I have experienced divorce, so I feel qualified to say that statement is very true!

There’s the idea of moving, the indecision of whether it’s the correct thing to do….will it make life better, the same or worse? When the decision is made, there’s the de-cluttering and the de-personalizing, living in that newly de-characterized space, the constant cleaning and the life interruptions created by the viewings! I tell you, half way into this one, I was sorely tempted to give up on the idea. He was too….just at different times….which equaled more stress!

Our plan was to get totally out of debt. Sell the big two storey house in town and get a little one. Thus allowing me to retire from my job and focus on my next career as a textile artist, teacher and writer of books related to that! Well, the big house sold but what a search there was for the little one that would suit both of us! Buying a new house seems like a happy and exciting occasion… at first. But we couldn’t find anything that fit all our pre-requisites in town! Did we have too many expectations? Had we made a mistake? Was it possible to achieve what we hoped for? Panic began to set in.

How do you find your “new dream” home? Not the expensive perfectly located one on the beach with all the amenities, that is paid for by the lottery, and is your dream home, but the one fitting this “new dream” goal of retiring early and having peace and quiet with room for your hobbies? This involved many hours cruising the internet and believe me I surfed for hours and hours. After viewing many unsatisfactory places with the local real estate agent, we were blessed by our daughter-in-law, who was beginning to worry about us. Now why do you think she would worry?   

She is an accomplished real estate agent as well as a very special daughter-in-law. We’ve considered Monica to be a saint with wings and a halo for years, but this time she really scored. She went on-line and came up with several listings that she emailed to me, branching out the search area and checking into foreclosures to get more for our dollar. Lo and behold….she found us the house that fits….and it’s a foreclosure….and it’s not in town! Should we get involved in this even tho it will answer all our requirements with some extra work? Does living out of town again look good because we are panicked about finding a home or do we really like that better? Or should we keep looking for a home that won’t involve a court date and the possibility of being outbid or arriving on possession day to nothing looking the same as it did when viewed. We decided to go for it…..and were successful. Thank heavens for that! And we’ve moved in with no rude surprises and the budget worked out exactly as planned so far. Phew! And yes, we both really do prefer to live out of town. So in the end, after all this up and down emotion, we are settling happily. Exhausted and physically sore, but happy. When I emailed pictures to our son working in Alberta, his reply was “Wow….it just screams ‘DAD’!” And he’s right, it does. But it fits me too and with the renovations that are included in the plans, it’s going to be perfect for these two people! We can walk to the beach, walk to the river, walk to a pub, walk to a little grocery store, walk to the walk-in clinic, and walk to the liquor store. What more would we need as retired people who aren’t in town every day? Ahhhhh, the very thought is soothing!

"PRIVATE SETTING - Warm and cozy 3 bedroom, 1 bath rancher with a large deck that can be accessed from either the master bedroom or the living room. This home also boasts a beautiful river rock gas fireplace. Large workshop/garage at back of property. The property can be accessed from Croydon Road or Wimbledon. For the young family, Oyster River Elementary is within walking distance. "

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