Monday, February 11, 2013

Follow Up On Ask The Readers

Well folks, I'm sitting here locked in the master bedroom as the buyer's inspector does his thing in my home. I did take the dogs out to the dog park for awhile, but four hours is just too long to be driving around with two dogs. Should the selling process have been, or become longer I would have to look at boarding them a couple times a week, as well as going out onto the patio while folks check out the house. I'm hoping I will hear something today, but realize it may not be till tomorrow. I pray that things are in as good shape as I hope that they are and that we have only minor issues.  The give and take of home buying will continue, I am sure.

I want to thank all the wonderful readers who gave me great input. I got packing suggestions that were new to me, as well as suggestions on what furniture I might need in the future. All of this is of course invaluable. Life is an ongoing process and I am working through it. I have received good, good advice along the way. 

 I realize now that I need to do further research. I need to do some cost benefit analysis in terms of the price of moving items versus selling and re buying. That's an admittedly tough task for a non-mathematical girl. I need to look at replacement comparisons, as well as lifetime expectations especially in terms of appliances. In a couple cases I need to at least check on the advantages of upgrading to a more desirable model (thinking specifically of the inefficient side by side fridge versus a bottom drawer freezer). As as someone suggested, I need to check out a couple condos and houses that are the general size of what I hope to move into, and see what may or may not fit. Last but not least, I need to rethink the uses of some pieces. Could I sell the lounge section of my sectional and divide up the other two pieces? All of these are things I am working on, and some obviously depend on how much if any money I leave this house with.

Meanwhile, I continue to explore the areas of Denver as I can from afar (both in terms of housing and in terms of quality of life issues such as churches, social activities and the like). I have to share with you all that no matter what the financial end results are I am excited about this decision overall. Life is an adventure. In this case the adventure of a move and lifestyle change, with the knowledge of even more adventures afterwards due to freed up money.

As often happens, I have over night changed my plan-for the moment (this is where the planners and schedulers amongst you are cringing).  Who knows, it may change again before this adventure is finished. Plans are made to be changed after all.  My original plan was to get a small sublet in Denver and after a few months look for a place to stay. That plan has been left behind. Plan number two is to stay in an extended stay hotel (yes, I know-a bit more expensive), and spend my time driving around greater Denver until I find the right area. I need to actually be there.  This could take weeks, but I simply do not want to unload once and reload to a new place. I've also decided to at least investigate moving companies in addition to moving myself-the fact that they have a built in storage option may be a motivating factor depending on price. The logistics are still up in the air until we have finished our negotiations and chosen a closing date.

I did want to share more about my downsizing process. It may help others who have not begun the process, or who are wondering what changes to make.  When I wrote last my concern was only with the issues of furniture and large appliances.  These are items that are expensive to move, and in come cases past their prime.  However, many people suggested selling much more. Some folks suggested selling all of it. From my perspective this is not financially sound. I don't mean this in a negative way. I speak from a frugal perspective here.

 I've talked about this one before, and I know that for some people I am preaching to the choir. One of the reasons costs can go down in retirement is because we have the "stuff" we need.  Like many if not most retirees, I have acquired a lifetime of household goods-good quality items purchased slowly over time that will never need to be replaced. I expect that future household and clothing expenses should be only for planned replacement (with some exceptions obviously). From my personal perspective (and I realize that we are all different) it makes no sense to sell something if you have to buy it again-with a few exceptions.  I'm prepared to replace items that break or get lost.  I am not prepared to replace (at the same quality level), good quality items that I purchased planning to have them last forever.  Those tend to be kinds of purchases I make. So while I could sell my entire kitchen, and borrow and replace in my new location, for me at least it makes no sense.

I'll also share (with those who haven't figured it out by now!) that I am not a "simplify" person. I enjoy three different sets of dishes, art work, and the rest of my stuff. At this point I don't believe it will be necessary for me to let very much of that go. In fact, I tend to think those are exactly the type of things that will make me feel most comfortable in my new environment. I say this as someone who has moved over the oceans and had to spend up to three months with none of her stuff except for the clothes that could be carried on the plane while waiting for household goods. Stuff does matter.

For now, I continue to organize and clean the house as if I may have to continue showing it.  I work on my "grey" quilt, along with projects to put in my shop. I'm planning a couple weekend style trips here in Texas before I leave, and looking to a long beach vacation once I'm settled in Denver. LIfe goes on.


  1. This is such an exciting time for you. I would agree that unpacking then repacking is not a good choice. It is just too hard. I know, we have done it a couple of times.

    Storage is good but be sure to pack things solidly and inventory carefully...things can go missing or get broken. I would also recommend getting the moving company insurance. I thought I was covered but it turned out my insurance company did NOT cover anything that might actually happen in a move. :(

    Good luck. I will be following.


  2. May the move go well! Home inspections are always so tedious and expect that they always find something and then then the negotiations between the seller and buyer start up what to pay for and what not to....
    We just relocated from Illinois to Arizona this past June when we retired. We took nothing that would not go into our two cars. Then sold the one car when we got here. We shipped about 8 boxes. It was just more cost efficient for us to sell it all and rebuy than move it across the country to a climate that was so different and style was different.
    Good luck with your move. Cindy

  3. Glad things are moving along for you. I would suggest that you quickly get some idea of moving costs for your "stuff". I think you will be shocked by how much it will cost and that may cause you to change you mind about how much you move. Glad you are excited about Denver.

  4. Thanks B, I will defnitely be checking out insurance and either hiring professionals or else doing some serious packing and wrapping.

  5. Yep, gotta lov ethe home inspection period, Arizona. Fortunately I have spent alot of time in Denver and know what I will need and want to get. Bles you for moving down to eight boxes. I just cannot get rid of that much stuff. HOpefully once Ive downsized Ill get to do a lot of visiting to arizona and other climes.

  6. Thanks Juhli-ues, I am getting pioles of moving estimates. I already have a good feel for what it will cost to move myself in a rental truck, I still need to look at storage options and professional movers. You may wel be right about price. Since there is little in the way of my things that Im willing to give up, we'll have to work it out one way or another. That way may well be taking two full cars everytime I come back to visit (which will be often)

  7. I think you're correct when you say "Stuff does matter". Having been divorced for over 20 years and lived in three different apartments in different states, my grown children still feel like they've come "home" when visiting because of the stuff. The kitchen table is "home" to my daughter; the etchings from Germany are "home" to one of my sons. Stuff makes memories.

  8. My girlfriend wanted to move from CA to TN to retire. She flew out to TN for a week-end and stayed at a bed and breakfast, rented a car and selected her favorite area to live there by driving around all day Saturday and Sunday. Then she flew home, contacted a realtor there, who e-mailed her pictures of houses. Then she went back out for a second week-end and made her offer on a house; it was accepted and then she had an address that she could give to the moving truck She chose to move most of her furniture. She hired a company who drove her car from CA to TN, and she flew out to TN into her new house with her dog.

    Last year I was considering moving from CA to HI and listed my house and got an approval letter from my lender for a place in HI. They said that they could give me a Bridge loan, enabling me to enter into a contract with a house in HI before my house in CA sold. (My girlfriend got a divorce and he kept the house and gave her 1/2 of the appraised value so she did not need to sell in CA). For myself, after 3 months, I took my home off he market because I wasn't 100% sure about making the move to HI and because the value of the house was low, maybe waiting a few years woud make more sense. Anyway, hope this gives you some ideas! Sandy

  9. You might consider going to u haul and getting a dish pack box. When we move again I am determined that each holiday will get a dish pack. It will give you a better estimate of things. Pack your favorite things first then you are less likely to pack too much.
    Get those bags that take the air out of fabric for your crafts(and clothes). Pack dishes on end, not flat.
    If you don't take lots of furniture, I am betting you can fit it all in a 19ft truck. You are a driver (like me) and I can drive those things!
    Remember that if the moving company does not pack it they will only insure "the box" and not the contents of said box. Inventory, inventory- and have them sign off if they will.
    I never mind the unpacking. It is like Christmas all over again to see my stuff....but after 14 moves that is not a surprise.
    I wish I could come out and help. The kids do it themselves and I have gotten pretty good. I know you have friends- have a packing party!
    Oh, I am SO excited for you!

  10. Good for you Barb! I was rather worried for you last week, but it sounds like you're doing the right research now.
    One thing about putting all your stuff in storage is that you'll be able to see when it's stacked to the ceiling what size truck you really will need to get it to where you're going. And taking it a bit at a time once you find a permanent place in Denver is the safest bet. It is very expensive to move, whether you do it yourself or have others. A good between choice is to pack it yourself, and have movers move it.
    I suspect you'll also find that your 'stuff' weighs more than your furniture total.
    I have moved my quilt studio a couple times - the fabric weighs more than the sewing cabinets!
    Best of luck to you.

  11. You have a good point about keeping what you know you will need, especially cooking implements, craft tools (maybe not supplies, that's up to you) as well as family heirlooms or sentimental items that you KNOW you will want.

    Great idea to store items, find a home & THEN get your furnishings. I echo the comment to inventory everything, maybe in a notebook. I also found that coding boxes (i.e. CR-1 for craft supplies) & listing the inventory by that code helped a lot. IF, heaven forbid, you actually NEED something while it's stored, it is MUCH easier to open a notebook than to open 24 boxes to find what you are looking for. I was very happy for that plan, as I actually DID have to find items while they were stored.

    Good luck---I appreciate your blogging because I am vicariously enjoying this while NOT having to pack a single thing!


  12. Thank you for sharing your moving process - such a stressful time. Looking forward to your experiences in Denver - we lived in Golden at one time. We are in the move it all yourself category for the current move and appreciate all the decisions that have to be made. Best of Luck.

  13. Anon, it absouutely does make a difference when you have your things, in my experiece. I know others care less, but for me and my kids the kids,pictures, dishes and beer stiens are memories and they are not at a stable enough time yet that they can take those memories themselves.

  14. Thanks Sandy-I am absolutely committed to this move and I will be renting for at least a year, probably a smaller apartment until I decide on an exact home place.

  15. Janette, Ive giving my son the "moving research chore so we will see what we end up with!

  16. anon, you may be correct about the weight of the stuff. The stuff, however, is going...........I think weve made that decision now for sure. We will go thru everything and elminate things like unmatched glasses and such. But other than that, my old home is going to my new home-for now.

  17. I actually think that staying in the hotel would be a good idea. Packing and unpacking twice would drive me crazy and to my way of thinking not be a good usage of my time.

    As far as selling off items.... Check carefully on the costs of replacing, and do the math (yes, I know you are not a math person, but sometimes you have to be).

    Anyways, what ever you decide I wish you the best.

    God bless.


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