Yes, we’ll be moving about March. I haven’t talked very much about this, just a mention here and there, so here’s the story.
My dad passed away Christmas Eve of last year. Ricky’s parents are both deceased. I’m an only child, both our children have moved away, and my dad was really the only thing keeping us here in the town we have both lived most of our lives in. It’s time to move closer to our daughter and her little family.
Not only were we born in this town, we’ve lived in this house 40 years. We raised our children here. Part of our soul is in this house. We never did everything we wanted to it, and it’s far from perfect, but it’s ours. To move from here is an emotional thing. We want to but will miss it terribly.
(An old picture of the front of our house. It’s actually L shaped and a lot larger than it looks. And has grass. And two 60 year old oak trees.)
Our intention was to find a home with a few acres so we could build a woodworking shop on the property. The house itself needed a room for my online sales, a sewing room and two guest bedrooms, one for the granddaughters and one for our son and his wife when they come up to visit. We also wanted the master bedroom on the ground floor and I realllly wanted two walk-in closets. Of course we understood we were not going to find something with all our needs/wants and would have to pick and choose the sacrifices.
We looked and looked. Walked through house after house. Nothing that was within our price range filled enough of our needs. Actually, houses beyond our price range didn’t fill our needs, either! The housing market where we’re going is nearly double what it is where we’re coming from. Well, maybe not double, but it’s a whole lot more. A LOT.
We’d look at older houses, even just 10 years old that were priced at the top of our price range, but would need another $50-60k just to update! Then there was the problem with almost everything being in an HOA. Did I forget to mention that was one of the main things we did not want? I’ve joked through the years that we are not neighborhood material. We were discouraged with the house hunt.
There was one house that Ricky fell in love with. It seemed to be almost perfect for us. I liked it as well, but my gut told me no. Something about it was not right. Whenever I thought of that house, I thought of darkness. That’s the only way I can think to explain it. Not visibly dark, and nothing evil or anything, but it just didn’t have the light, the good vibes, I felt should be there. It just felt…. well…. dark. But he was determined. He made an offer that was the top of our price range, but it wasn’t even close to their bottom dollar, so it was back to the drawing board. I was sad and relieved at the same time on that one.
After that, the decision was made to buy a house in a tight, planned community with an HOA. Wait. Whaaaattt??!!! Really??? Yes. We realized we needed to get down there so we could look for appropriate land then build what we wanted. We did not want to build long distance and wanted a house that should be easy to sell quickly. Not flip for a profit, mind you. It just needed to be in a neighborhood people were clamoring to get into, so that if we find some land in the next few years, we can, hopefully, get our money back out of this house. These houses, because of bulk buying by the builders, are within our price range and have a good bit of what we need.
The planned community was opening up a new section. This house is not even built yet. It was just an empty lot. So, I get to “build” a house. But not really. Sigh. They gave us a few plans to choose from, none of which would have been my choice if I were building the house I wanted. I mean, they’re all very pretty, but they’re more European in design, and I do love the look, really I do, but I’m more country, old-fashioned, farmhouse. They all have a fairly open floor plan and I prefer defined rooms. It will look basically like this:
Okay. That’s not so bad. Very pretty, right? But I had in mind something more along the lines of this:
Then at least I get to choose the inside details, right? Yes, but not quite. There were four or five countertops to choose from, four or five flooring choices, four or five paint choices, etc., most of which were nothing I would have chosen on my own. I couldn’t say “I found this tub at Lowe’s that I want.” I had to use the tub they chose. That kind of thing.
It has taken me awhile to warm up to the idea, but I’m beginning to feel a tingling of excitement. And I’ve decided to bloom where I’m planted. I’m still terrified of the HOA restrictions, afraid I might sneeze wrong, and it makes me angry for someone to tell me I can’t even have a clothesline!, but at least they worded the “no home businesses” to say none that would bring in extra traffic or be noticeable to the neighbors.
We started cleaning out our house a few months ago, just pecking at it here and there, and Ricky is still working on getting it ready to put on the market. It needed more fixin’ than we realized. And the month “March” gives the false illusion that we have plenty of time to get ready to move. But we know it will be here before we can shake a stick. My time will be spent still trying to list the mass of items to sell on Etsy, cleaning out and packing up. And traveling back and forth the 150-mile round trip once or twice a week.
So, we’re spending our last holidays here. Bittersweet emotions. We’re closing a huge chapter in our lives and beginning another.