You may have all heard our sigh of relief last week when we accepted an offer on our home. This has been the most stressful part of our trip planning, believe it or not. Selling a home in a down/recovering market is never a fun prospect.
Now that it is done, though, what will we do next? We still have over 5 months before we leave for Ecuador. Sure, we could probably ditch out early, but we have some financial, family and work commitments that we really want to meet, which means keeping our original timeline.
Where will we live?
The good news is that our friend Betsy Moore has agreed to rent us a couple of rooms at her house. Betsy is a generous sort and would probably give them to us for free, but you know what they say about company and fish stinking after 3 days. Best to make it an official lease and set up a tenant/landlord situation so we don’t step on each other’s toes and maintain our good friendship.
We’ll save quite a bit of money over what we were paying on our mortgage, and we’ll get to spend quality time with one of our favorite friends over the summer. Plus she has a terrific backyard for Max to play in.
Reader Tip: If you need a place to stay for less than 6 months, consider renting rooms from someone through the classifieds or Craigslist (or a generous friend). Another option is a furnished apartment through a place like Residence Inn, but those are fairly expensive long-term and sort of depressing to live in for very long (we did this for a few weeks once). You can also find furnished corporate housing apartments for rent short-term. Believe me, having a kitchen makes the difference between a tolerable stay and a miserable one.
What will we do with our stuff?
We have 5 weeks until we close on the house, and in the meantime we have a pretty good plan of attack.
- Negotiate as much as you can: As part of the deal, we included most of our furniture. This was a huge relief for us.
- Open the store for your friends: The inspection and appraisal are this week, and we have scheduled a “livingroom sale” with some of our close friends a few days afterward (shades of the Reverse Birthday Party). We’ll package our office supplies, picture frames, lamps, table linens, books, some furniture and other odds and ends for them to browse through first (make it easy for people to shop because they’ll buy more). And of course we’re making it into a party with food and beverage cause that’s how we like to do things.
- Sell things online: This weekend we’ll start Craigslisting things pretty heavily that are left over from our livingroom sale.
- Cancel/update services: We’ve made a list of services to cancel or change address, and we’ll continue to monitor the mail this month for things we forgot. We’re still investigating which virtual mail service we’ll use for our trip. Got any suggestions?
- Scan photos: I’m going to scan the rest of our pictures and mail the originals to our parents or trash them as appropriate. (Find savings on professional photo scanning services with a Scan Cafe Coupon.)
- Donate/recycle: We’ll be donating/recycling things as appropriate.
The goal is to move into Betsy Moore’s house on May 18 with our clothes, electronics, and dog along with our remaining groceries and our bicycles and car. We can get rid of the bicycles and our car closer to our departure date, and our dog Max will be going to live with our good friends the Whitlocks.
Reader Tip: Don’t wait until moving week to start moving. Declutter as much as you can before you decide to move, and once you have a date in mind put together a schedule so it doesn’t overwhelm you. Remember, you have to fit in all this activity around your existing responsibilities, which means you’ll be very tired most of the time. Plan it out and you’ll have a little bit of recovery time.
What will we do until we leave?
We have a lot of plans before we leave, including a visit from Warren’s mom, a few weekend excursions, my half-marathon, and Warren’s sky dive plus his naked bicycle ride in front of thousands of people at the annual Fremont Solstice Parade in June (you can see now why we’re leaving the country). Getting the house sold and all our possessions eliminated means we have the time to enjoy the summer with our friends and family before heading out.
Reader Tip: If you coordinate your move early you can spend your remaining days/weeks seeing the sights and becoming a tourist in your own city. For some reason we rarely do this unless company comes to town, so treat yourself for all your hard work by vacationing in your own town.
Got any suggestions for making this process easier? Things we should do before we leave? Please share them in the comments.