I’m rusty at the blogging thing. My two most recent posts were 10 months apart and this one clocks in at nearly 9 months after those (see a pattern emerging?).
That might explain why my first attempt at writing this one left me uninspired and had Lois groaning. To describe it as dry and lifeless would be an understatement.
Undaunted, I’m back with another take. Rather than blog, I decided to simply include the full text of an email I sent to a friend describing what we’re doing. I only changed a single word (removing the name of another friend).
In that regard, I’m communicating with the rest of the world in exactly the same manner I communicated with a very good friend (exactly as my blogs used to and should be).
First, a classic tl;dr (Too Long Didn’t Read) summary.
We’re officially Virginians/Southerners now. We’ll come to NYC often, so if you’re one of our Northern friends, you will likely see us as often as you always have. But, we won’t be calling New York home any longer.
The Infamous Email
Things are great. I’ve been meaning to write to you for weeks (literally), so having you jog me out of my routine to finally do it is great.
First, we were toying with doing a real cross-country car trip this September. I was actually actively planning it, Lois was more toying with the possibility of allowing me to plan it.
While we were going to stop in a bunch of places to visit friends, the two highlights for both of us were going to be Austin and SF.
So, why didn’t we do it?
Our bigger news caused that.
Last summer, one of our friends in Richmond made a strong case for us to move down there. In a nutshell, he said that as we age, we’re going to need to rely more on a “community” of people, and we already have that built in Richmond (over a 33 year period). He said if we wait too long, we’ll likely never make the move.
At the same time, the house between them and our closest friends was up for sale. He suggested that we look at it, since if the three of us lived side-by-side, it would be a blast in any event.
So, last August (2013) we looked at the house, and everyone hated it, so that was that. A few weeks later, the real estate agent told us that another house was about to come on the market a few doors down the other way and we looked at that.
Everyone thought that was a perfect house for us to buy. Unfortunately, it would have required a 100% gut job. It was priced to do that (so it wasn’t a financial reason to pass), but Lois couldn’t get comfortable with ripping a house to the studs and building it back up, over a period of 6+ months, etc.
So, we passed.
But, we kept talking about the concept, and it made sense on a lot of levels. So, every time we visited Richmond in the past year (lots of times), I would look online for houses on the market. While there were a number that I likely would have been very happy with, I knew Lois would reject every one, so we didn’t look at a single house after those original two.
Then this last trip, right before Labor Day, I found a house that looked perfect on paper. We made an appointment to see it on Labor Day, and every person that walked through the house with us (11 people) loved it.
A few days later, while we were in Birmingham, we decided to make an offer. Everything from making the offer, to negotiating, to signing the contract, to signing amendments, was all done online. What a brave new world.
We just closed on the house last week. We have some light renovation to do over the next few months (no construction, no walls coming down). In the meantime, we need to get our house ready for sale (given the clutter, neither of us is looking forward to that task!).
For the foreseeable future, we’ll hang on to the apartment in NYC. We’ll do the reverse of what we’ve been doing with Richmond for the past 33 years. We’ll come often to NYC to visit our friends here, but our base will now be down there.
We’re both quite excited about the prospective change. Here’s hoping reality exceeds (not only lives up to) that expectation!