Since my last post here, a lot has happened. The short story is we sold the house, sold (or gave away) nearly everything we owned, and left Broomfield. Here’s the long story.
First, let me apologize that it’s been so long since I wrote an entry here. If you’ve never been through the exercise, you have no idea what it’s like to clear out an entire house full of 15 years of accumulated possessions. It has been the busiest and most stressfull few weeks in our relationship. Ideally, I would have documented the whole process better, but there was just no time for anything except preparing for the move. I sure hope things get better now.
Looking back to the last update, we had just received a 3rd offer on the house. The offer was for $10,000 more than our asking price, which was awesome. Someone offering us MORE than we asked for? What a pleasant surprise in today’s market. Fortunately, a buyer found us who appreciated all the special touches our house has that most in the price range lack – new modern kitchen, good landscaping, awesome views, etc. However, the inspection turned up quite a few things the buyer wanted us to fix. I think in the end we hired 6 different companies to address various items from their list – mudjacker to lift the garage floor, roofer to add better ventilation to the attic, mold remediators to remove mold from the attic, appliance repair to fix the burner on the stove that wouldn’t automatically light, and a foundation specialist to do epoxy injection in some cracks in the basement wall. All that added up to about $8000, and dealing with them all was – on some days – a full time job. But still we came out a couple grand ahead.
Meanwhile, we had the challenge of downsizing fast and severely. Because our house was so big, it had a lot of room for stuff to just accumulate. We had boxes and boxes of books, furniture, the remains of my home recording studio, and so on. We had two moving sales, sold a lot of things on Craigslist, gave away a lot of things to friends and passers-by, and donated the rest. It would have been a lot easier if we weren’t such treehuggers. I think most Americans would just have rented a giant trash bin, filled it up, and sent it to the landfill. But we did things the environmentally sound way, and recycled everything it’s possible to recycle. That took a LOT of extra time (and money). Knowing most of you don’t care about the gory details, I’ll just leave it at that.
Out of everything we owned, we ultimately had to sort it into three groups – stuff to get rid of (by sale, gift, donation, or trash), stuff that has to go in the Prius with us, and stuff that we want to keep in storage. We rented a storage unit out in Brighton for this. Why Brighton? Well, it’s a lot cheaper than the one in Broomfield. And we knew that once we left Broomfield, there’s no point to having a storage unit near where we USED to live.
The storage unit got fuller than I expected, since we were sort of lax on our standard to put only irreplaceable mementos there. We ended up with some furniture, books, kitchen ware, etc. too. I was totally convinced we’d need a luggage rack to go on top of the car to fit everything we had, but someone everything we’re traveling with all fits (with effort) into the hatchback of the Prius.
I do expect that we will jettison a few things along the way, and the car will get easier to pack as time goes on. For example, I need to find a way to squeeze more of my video gear into a smaller number of bags. And we need to find a more compact camping bedroll for Beth. Plus, some of the things we’re taking with us are just going as far as Kansas City, where they will stay at Beth’s sister’s house.
The closing on the house was June 22, 2011. And for some reason we thought the contract said we have to be out of the house immediately so the buyer can take possession. So the last two days leading up to that were frantic and stressful. We expected to have to spend an all-nighter hauling stuff to storage, etc. But then we found that we had the wrong impression and the contract doesn’t have the buyer taking possession until noon on the 25th. A welcome reprieve! So we took an extra day and a half and were able to deal with all the remaining things much more sensibly.
The extra time helped in some other unexpected ways, too. Beth got very sick the day before closing and needed a lot of rest. And I had a couple of medical issues that my doctor really wanted to sort out before I left town, which meant some special tests at the hospital.
But closing happened as planned on the 22nd. The buyer is a nice woman in her (I would guess) late 20s or early 30s, who is a school teacher. The meeting took a couple hours, and then we spent another hour or so on loose ends related to that. It’s an awesome feeling to be debt free AND have a six-digit checking account balance.
The day after closing, we wrapped up all the loose ends (including yet another trip to Boulder to take in some more recycling) and then did a final packing of the car. This time, unlike our dry run, everything did NOT fit in the car. And so our first stop was the UPS Store where we shipping some things ahead of us to KC where we’ll deal with them. But by 4:15 PM, we left Broomfield for parts east.Getting such a late start – and having such an early morning due to my hospital visit – we didn’t want to drive too far. So we stopped in LImon for supper and then in Burlington to stay the night. And that’s where I’m writing this long blog article to catch you all up.
Since I get asked this on Facebook about 6 times a day, our current destination is Kansas City. We’ll stay there about a week, and then head northwest to Missoula. That’s the first of the twelve cities, and we plan to live there from July 10 to August 10. So, even though we’re finally on the road, the “12 Cities, 1 Year” adventure hasn’t really started yet. This is sort of the warm-up for it, I guess.