UPDATE (6/10/19): The home inspection did not go as planned and we canceled the contract on this property. We have decided to pursue alternative ideas toward our financial goal of being mortgage-free and to stay in this home for as long as we can.
Today we started packing. Filling boxes. We’re moving again. This will be our fifth move in five years. Insane, I know. Especially considering how “mature” in years we are. We pray it’s the last… again.
I jokingly, at times, claim to have gypsy blood. Today I have no doubt. Why else would this seem like a normal thing to do? What’s the bottom line? Why would we be willing to do this again in our mid-to-late 60’s?
We – my husband (Mike) and I – want to be mortgage-free. No debts, especially the house loan. The sale of our current home will allow us to achieve the long-held goal for us to NOT “have to” work. It greatly reduces the self-imposed mental and financial stress. We can do other things with our time and money… travel, develop hobbies, build a spiritual community, visit grandkids… the possibilities are unlimited!
The other key reason is this. We’ve had many discussions about what we would do with this large, beautiful home (where we now live) when one of us dies. It’s going to happen. We may as well talk about it. BOTH of us have stated – we’re in agreement – that whoever is the survivor would sell the house and move into something smaller, more manageable. So, we figured, why not do that now? Do it together, get settled, and then when that grieving time comes, the remaining spouse would NOT have to do it or make such decisions during such a sad time. And after running all the numbers, it just makes good financial sense.
For some folks our age, this mortgage-free goal has already been accomplished. Not for us. We attribute the delay to having multiple marriages (both of us) and having to “start over” to some degree after each divorce. Not recommended, but it’s in our pasts. Also, we don’t remember having good financial role models.
It also took us awhile to learn good money management skills. Budgets. Emergency savings. Retirement funds. Sharing. Allowances. And healing the wounds around money issues from childhood into adulthood and through the present. The scabs of those wounds get lifted on occasion, but mostly they’re quickly put back into place where they belong… the past. We’ve looked at our beliefs and (mis)trust issues around money and abundance MANY times and often. There have been arguments, blow-outs, tears, and recovery. Not so much anymore. Thank goodness.
One thing we’ve done correctly over the past five to eight years is make better decisions about what we do with the funds after the sale of a home. Those decisions have brought us to our beautiful resort-like home, which will soon be put on the market. We’ve lived here two years. We could continue to live here. We can afford the payments. We just don’t want to do it anymore. So we’ve decided to downsize, once again, but in a different direction and with more experience behind us. We’re aware of how much of a downsize we can handle.
The previous moves included going from large homes (3,300 to 4,500 square feet) to smaller ones (1,600 square feet) with large lots. The house was either too small or the property too much to take care of. We learned what we could or wanted to maintain. We learned how much space we needed for a home so we could live together and still like each other. This time we’ve selected a manufactured home (think double-wide) of 1,800 square feet on a rented lot that we can maintain or hire out.
We call it #18 (part of the address). We’ve had “919” and “22” and currently we’re in “474.” It’s a thing we do when we remember the different places we’ve lived. In Australia it was simply “Margaret Avenue” or the “Turramurra” house. In childhood (for me) it was “Swan Creek” or “Gratiot Road.” We like the numbers better. And, yes, we read the house numerology descriptions along the journey.
Thankfully, this time, the downsize process won’t require us to get rid of too much of what we’ve accumulated in furniture. We did most of that two moves ago. What we don’t really need will go into a storage unit for now until we get the rest all sorted out and in-place. Whatever is extra can be given away or sold.
We can keep our books for “the library” room. I have room for my sewing machine and craft supplies and keyboard. We’ll both have offices. And we have approval to keep our new hot tub. Whew! However, the covenants, as we discovered, allows for only one dog. We have two.
Our little Zoey will be carefully re-homed to someone who will care for her as well or better than we have. She’s a likeable and sassy miss that is more adoptable than our Casper. It’s taken a long time to get him to trust us and heal from his wounded past. Both dogs were rescues over three years ago, but Casper had a much more dramatic past to overcome. Zoey has been his teacher. He’s come a long way, but has further to go to be the wholly, healed dog I see him to be. Zoey’s got it covered. She knows who she is and lets you know it! She’s already a love-bug (when she allows it). Casper is still overly cautious about who is allowed to come near him (or us). Perhaps being an only dog will give Casper the extra attention and space he needs to discover himself.
There you have it. The “why” and a bit of the “how” of it all.
We’ve selected a comfortable home in a beautiful, treed setting just a few miles from where we are. A small town and all its shops are within walking distance. A bike trail and river are just a few minutes’ walk from our neighborhood. We’ll be surrounded by vineyards, orchards, and parks. We’re still a short drive to friends and restaurants and other activities. We’re planning to do a few upgrades and changes before we move in. Things we’ve done at other homes.
And what helps us KNOW we’ve made the right decision is how quickly and precisely EVERYTHING has “fallen into place” in the time since we made the decision. Even our ego-voices have nothing to say at this point. This has totally been a God-thing.
The process began just a week ago. The price of the next home came down. The initial mortgage was approved; preliminary papers have been signed. The inspection is scheduled. The realtor for our current home is on-board and ready to list it early next month. The packing is underway to stage our home for sale… and there’s not a lot to do in the way of repairs. Just decluttering and cleaning. This house will sell quickly. It only takes one… and what if it’s easy… is our frame of mind (mantra) and our experience.
And it’s all happened easily and effortlessly around the plans and projects we already had scheduled. Everyone involved has been helpful and friendly. We’ve received TONS of support and validation about our decision from friends and family. The timing is perfect!
I’m looking forward to enjoying our new lifestyle after all the boxes have disappeared and the paperwork is filed. We’ve both worked a long time to get to this point, even with all the life detours we made along the way. I like (and love) my husband. I pray we enjoy this new place together for at least 20 years. The last owner of #18 lived to be 102 years old! Maybe we will, too. It’ll be fun to discover who we are in this different mode of living.
Thank you, Spirit! I love this creative Life!!