Sunday, July 28, 2013

Moving

Hi friends,

Today's post is nothing crafty, but I figured I would give an update on our living arrangements.  We are now in our new condo and I love it.  We still have a lot of unpacking to do, but the beds are set up, the wi-fi is set up, we have one of the TV's working and enough of the kitchen unpacked for me to cook simple meals.







The whole process started last November when we had our first meeting with our realtor to sell our 4 bedroom colonial in the outer suburbs.  What prompted the move?  Well, mostly the move was triggered to lower Bob's and my commute.  In our outer suburban location, Bob was driving 1 1/2 hours each way to work and I was driving 60 minutes each way.  Once Eric graduated in 2012, we knew it was just a matter of time before we moved closer to work and into something smaller.   So the process of downsizing began.

Starting in November we began to get rid of unneeded items, declutter the house and prepare for the sale.  All of January and 1/2 of February was spent painting, and fixing our big, beautiful home.  The house hit the market Mid-February and we had a ton of showings each week until we had our offer 4 weeks later in Mid-March.  Step 1 - DONE.  On the day of our open house (Mid-February) we went out for the first time with our buyers agent to look at new places.  Of course our intention was NOT to make an offer but just to 'look' and get an idea of what was out there.  Wouldn't you know it but the third property we looked at was PERFECT.  We both fell completely in love with a 10 year old condo.  What did we love about it?  Well, it was in the perfect location - 30 minutes commute for both of us, 10 miles into Boston and in a nice neighborhood.  It also had all of the 'essentials.'  There were a few things that were a must have.  One was a 2 car garage.  Another was a place to walk to the dogs that was safe.  The third was a comfortable heating system that would provide even, reliable, comfortable heat in the winter.  The condo had all of these and a nice open floor plan, three bedrooms, a place for my craft room, lots of windows, a big kitchen with granite, very low condo fees, 2 and a half bathrooms and it was a low end of our price range.  How sweet is that?

So what did we do?  Well we made an appointment to go back 2 days later and made an offer.  We were a little nervous since we made the offer on the new place and had no offers (or even serious interest) in our house, but we talked through the risks and decided that we could afford to carry two mortgages for a few months and if the suburban house didn't sell we could rent it.  Fortunately we had an offer on our house and never had to make the two payments.  To sweeten our offer for the sellers we offered to close at the end of April, but then rent back to them for up to 3 months to give them time to find a new place.

We spent the month of April and May purging and packing.  Oh My Word - what a lot of stuff we had accumulated over the years.  We had moved before, but our previous moves were pretty hectic and moving from one place to a bigger place so we never really purged stuff before.  For this move we knew we had to get rid of at least 1/3 of our stuff.  Our old suburban house had 3,000 square feet of living space (including the finished basement) with a full attic, a partial basement and a shed.  Our condo is 2400 square feet with no basement, no attic, no shed and minimal closets.  So we sold on Craig's list, gave things away on freecycle and had a massive garage sale.  By the time we moved out May 30th, we were exhausted.  Every spare moment was spent purging or packing and we were tired.

The sellers had taken us up on our offer to rent since they hadn't found a place yet, so we headed to a small furnished apartment for 2 months.    




That was not unbearable but not great.  A few things I really didn't like about the apartment.  First, the sink.  On my first night at the unit I was exhausted and emotionally drained.  I had spent the day (in 90+ degree heat) coordinating the movers, cleaning the house, packing my car with apartment items and saying goodbye to my home and neighborhood and lots of memories.  Bob had a church meeting so I was in the apartment by myself when the sink gurgled a noise and sewer water came spewing up into my sink almost to the point of over-flow.  The maintenance man came twice to service it and while it only filled the sink about 4 or 5 times during our 2 month stay every few hours it would make a loud burp noise and shake the counter-tops.  Not fun.


  

The second thing I didn't like about the apartment was the double key entry process.  You had to open the outside door leading into the hallway with a key.  So you opened the first door (no lock), unlocked the second door and then went down the stairs and unlocked the apartment.  Having the dogs on the leashes and/or things in my arms made it very inconvenient to come in and out.  Plus, every-time I took the dogs out to pee or get something from my car I had to bring two keys with me.  Thankfully I never locked myself out, but I was worried that I would every time!

Having said all this, I refuse to complain about these inconveniences (well besides just a bit to you on my blog.)  Honestly, there are so many people in the world that don't have a bed to sleep on or a safe place to live that I was thankful to have a roof over my head and a safe place to stay.  The things I didn't like were unpleasant for the time but in the big scheme of things - no big deal really.

So now we are in our new condo and as I said before I love it.  It only takes me 30 minutes to get to work each day.  In the past it would take me an hour.  I have the most awesome fruit and vegetable store about 1 mile from my house.  It is called Russo's and they sell every fruit, vegetable, cut flower or live plant imaginable.  They also have specialty cheese, artisan breads and ready made foods.  We tried their lasagna and marina sauce and it was pretty good. 



The other thing that is really nice about our new town is all the restaurants we have nearby.  We have tried the Mexican, Sushi, Spanish, Italian and Indian restaurants.  In addition,  there is a great park for walking the dogs just 1/2 mile from our house and I've joined a nice health club right near there too.  Everything is super convenient and one of these days we'll take the train into the city.  I've heard the subway is very close by and takes us right into downtown.

The movers came with most of our furniture on Tuesday and most everything fits.  There are a few furniture pieces that aren't really working in the new place, but I kind of figured that may happen.  It's hard to move from a big colonial house to a condo and have everything fit just so.  We had a big old desk that we got for Bob when he was working from home everyday that just doesn't go in the new place.  We don't really have a need for it now that Bob is going to the office everyday.  And the style of the unit is very traditional - ornate with dark wood.  The dining table and hutch are a casual/distressed style in light oak so the two styles really clash.  So Bob's going to try to sell it on Craig's List.





Slowly the place is coming together.  Today Bob is busy working on installing our new Ikea closets. These things never come together nearly as easily as one might hope, but I'm hoping he finishes them without too many issues.



Well, I'm off to move the final things out of our first pod so it is empty for when they pick it up tomorrow.  Then we get the second pod on Tuesday and hopefully by next week we'll be pretty much back in business on all fronts.  My goal is to have my craft room up and working (even if not 100%) by Thursday August 1st.

Watch for a crafty post around that time.