Monday, October 11, 2010

The Part they do not write about: Whole Lotta Shakin Going On

Holly Cow.

After the hundreds of articles I have read about couples who sold everything and moved aboard their dream boat to go cruising there was never a word about the transition from working careers and your land based home for over 30 years to living aboard a boat in a very humid location. As we neared the time to make a decision about either leasing or selling our home we had already shed a lot of stuff. But there was a whole lot more to get accomplished if we were to actually dig up the anchor that had been buried for over thirty years and shove off. First was the decision to either sell or lease the home. Well recent market conditions and a little fear of not having a backup plan just in case all of this did not work as as envisioned held the cards.I remember reading an article in AARP magazine that encouraged their readers to keep there home for at least a year just in case the move to their retirement destination did not work out. We were never ones to throw all our eggs in one basket and take the associated risk that comes along with losing it all. My Grandfather had a lot to do with the common sense side of my particular attitude on all this. This was however in direct conflict with my fathers way of getting through the fog, he would not hesitate to take off to California in an old car with a half tank of gas and no spare tire. Lessons learned for sure.

So also to make the Admiral feel secure in a bail out plan, we decided to lease the house. In preparation for either sell or lease I had already begun to get some remodeling projects done. After living comfortably in a home where we had some remodeling through the years the old homestead would need more than we first thought to get her ready to lease.The plan was to paint and put new flooring in the 3 bedrooms and the den area. All of the other rooms had been remodeled in recent years and seemed good to go. After meeting with Troy who would be our broker and manage the house for 8% he gave us a few tips: Dumb proof your home, whoever moved in would not have the wherewithall or motivation to take care of anything so any new installation of items in the home had to be durable and simple to replace in the event they were damaged in the course of leasing to young or carefree, or careless persons. Also as you begin to repair and make things new, other stuff jumps out at you and the remodeling becomes three times more the effort and expense than you originally thought. When the Dry wall people came to fix all the dry wall cracks We thought we could just stay there and hole up in our bedroom, we made it through but that was a huge mistake, we should have just got out for a week and let them get it done. All those old trees had to go and new ones planted. The last thing we needed was a huge limb through the roof or falling on someone and having some kind of liability claim. It went on and on and since we had signed a contract with the Broker we had to be ready to get out by July when most people are moving and leasing. And sure enough it leased and we had to be out before July 1.

We still had a lot of stuff, stuff we thought we would need for a while went into a 5x10 storage in Corpus one car or truck load at a time, All the rest went into a 5x5 unit in Austin, stacked up to the roof. We bought a lot of those plastic 56 quart stackable storage containers at Home Depot. The worst of my worries was changing our address and accounts including online accounts, investment accounts , and on and on. I made a spread sheet and had approximately 75 different accounts to notify for address, phone and email changes. I wondered how do people cope with this who move frequently??? I would tell techie people I knew how they could become the next .com billioners by simply coming up with a web site where people could goto and just put in their old contact info and their new contact info and all their accounts would change overnight. This would of course include contacting all the government agencies as well. There is no wonder there is so much identity fraud going on, everyone else is getting somebody else's mail! Shinola!!

So we finally had the house renovated, had it leased, tenets moved in, stuff in storage. most of the address changes, and we had rented a condo in Austin for July so we could have one more month to complete the transition to Austin. July gave us time to take the rest of our stuff to the Corpus Storage unit one packed car at a time. We actually avoided renting one of those big U-Haul trucks and dealing with all that. We also both had laptops now, a friend graciously gave me an old HP that would do for a while & the Admiral got a early birthday gift with a new Dell. I still had the old desktop and I would need to get all the stuff off the hard drive before I donated it to the Goodwill. We had planned a retirement celebration vacation for Lynn by taking a Alaska Cruise in the middle of all this, it was a great diversion and a wonderful trip. We had a chance to visit our daughter and son in law in Seattle as well and the point to all this is our son in law Russell had just bought the latest IPhone, and he gave his not so old one to Lynn. We now had a great communication tool and it was perfect to satisfy Lynn's need to stay in contact with family. Thank you Russell!

We had an Ace up the sleeve as we approached our move to the boat. We owned a great vacation rental condo with our son's family in Port Aransas so if we needed a place off the water we could always go there when it was not rented. This proved to be a huge transition buffer. In fact we are staying there now for a few days and this is where I find time to write these blogs since I am away from boat projects for a while.

Today I will return to the boat to install new refrigeration, the old unit died. But before that I will call three accounts that just seemed to slip through the net and get our address and contact information change, God I hope this is the last of it...

October has brought great weather and we seem to be moving into a rhythm of coastal living.

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