Sunday, January 26, 2020

A Moving Experience

When we moved to our present house in 2002, I vowed that I would never move again.  This was the first home I had ever owned, and moving was so exhausting, that I just didn't think I could go through that, again.

Added to this was that I love our little home.  Two bathrooms, my own office, and other extras.  Mike has a walk-in closet and en suite in the master bath. Open concept kitchen and living room area.  Great neighbors, short hike up our hill to view Mavericks, beautiful scenery and the harbor nearby. 
The HMB airport is our neighbor - I spent a lot of time at that airport as a child.  The location is not too far from our gallery, a 15- minute drive on a good day. 

Our home is a mobile home, in what used to be called  a "trailer park".  The houses today are by and large called "manufactured homes". To those of us who live here, they are real homes.  We have maintained the property since we bought the house. New washer, screen door, energy-saving refrigerator and overhead lights, paint, redwood fencing, and garbage disposal.  In 2015, we had the house repainted white, with turquoise trim.  

Recently, to make the house compliant with park regulations, we had our front porch stairs replaced, including handrails and awning supports, for almost $9,000.!  Features listed of our house include:

  • 2 Bedrooms, located at opposite ends of the home
  • Walk-in closet (master bedroom)
  • Built-in book case (Master Bedroom)
  • 2 full bathrooms, located at opposite ends of the home
  • En suite  (master bath)
  • Generous open-concept kitchen-living room area
  • Central heating in all rooms
  • Washer and dryer
  • Screen Door in rear of house
  • 14.8 Cu ft. Energy-Saver Frigidare refrigerator
  • Garbage Disposal
  • Energy-Saving light fixtures (kitchen and bedrooms).
  • Gas stove & oven (especially great during electrical outages)
  • Dishwasher (only used twice in 18 years)
  • 40-gallon hot water heater
  • Redwood fence
  • Generous rear deck
  • Reinforced fire-resistant front stairway hand rails, and supports

  • We pay a monthly lot rental fee of around $1200. per month;  we paid off our home when we bought it), which has never been an issue, as long as we are working.  But we now wish to retire, and if we do that, we will no longer be able to live here. 

    My husband Mike had an idea last year, which coincided with a significant uptick in our workload, due to the only other custom picture framer closing shop.  We were both exhausted every night after work, and at times overwhelmed. We are in our late 60s, and only make so much in Social Security payments -  certainly not enough to pay the lot rental here if we retired. What to do? 

    Mike remembered that his mother would be willing a duplex to him, and he thought it would be even better if we moved in before she left us. He approached her with that idea, and she agreed.  That way, we would pay no rent (after helping pay off the property), and could afford any other expenses with our Social Security income. Consider this:  property values have gone through the roof (so to speak), in the Bay Area. When we purchased our home in 2002, we paid $79,000, fully expecting it to depreciate in time.  But because the housing market has changed here, our home will be worth close to $200,000 - and more, if we are lucky enough to have a bidding war when we sell.  Crazy! Long story short - we are in the process of moving. 

    Little things I've learned along the way:

     1.  If it doesn't fit, get rid of it.  I had clothes in my closet that I was waiting to lose weight to fit into again.  After 18 years, I have finally realized that was not going to happen - unless I get really sick, and lose a lot of weight - and even if I do get sick, I won't want to wear those clothes again!   I don't have a huge wardrobe as it is - my closet is only half full - so will be easy to re-locate my threads! 

    2. Pace yourself.   Last time we moved, we had to do it in just a few days.  This time, we bought a shed, and have started moving stuff a little at a time.  We are not youngsters in our early 50s anymore. We have to guard our health.  Anything too large will be handled by professional movers. 

    3. Label those boxes! 
    Last move, I distinctly recall looking around for our kitchen implements and other items in hastily-packed boxes without labels. Very frustrating!  Best to label on both top and side of each box.  

    4.  Have friends help out, when they offer!  We have friends with skills and tools that we do not have. Door hangers, window installers, carpet cleaners, carpenters, etc.  We can trade favors - for instance, our friend Bob modified shelves in our new shed, and we are custom-framing a photo for him.  Bob did a wonderful job making the shelves fit in a way that we could not.

    5. If you don't use it, lose it.  Moving is a great opportunity to dump stuff that you will never need.  Anything that you just store and don't use, in reality, is just a waste of precious real estate.  We are downsizing - our new place will be smaller - which makes this rule even more imperative.  Donate to your favorite local thrift store or have a huge yard sale.  We do plan to "yard sale" some things, after moving.  I'm not saying that I have "all" the answers (as if!) but it is good to plan accordingly.  Looking forward to retiring in our new home! 

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