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.