Well a lot has happened since I last wrote on October 9, 2006. I'll cover the main points.
Denise and I had been growing tired of the Elk Grove area. Although it's difficult to know how much the population has grown in the 18 years we've lived here, it has been a bunch. The streets are crowded. The stores are crowded. People are getting ruder as the competition for resources increases. And we're seeing the "crud" of the south Sacramento area beginning to bleed into Elk Grove. So we started looking around at other places to live.
After weighing the commute and neighborhoods, we decided that the Citrus Heights area was the best for us. It is about the same distance from our jobs as Elk Grove. Where my commute was 15 miles and Denise's 17 miles from Elk Grove, from Citrus Heights my commute is 16 miles and Denise's remains at 17 miles if she drives directly or 18 if she takes me to work first. Plus instead of being 34 miles from our grandson in Folsom, we'd be just 10 miles and visits could be more frequent. We also wanted to move to an area that was already established so we knew what we were getting. We did not want to move to another new area and watch it grow around us again.
We found the perfect house! We wanted a single story house with one great room instead of separate living and family rooms. We also wanted 4 bedrooms so we could have an office, a adult guest room, and a grandchildren's guest room. Our new home had to either have RV parking or space available so we could add it. And we wanted roughly the same square footage (2300) that we had in Elk Grove. This house had it all. It was 2650 square feet on a half acre lot located near the end of a cul-de-sac. The yards were fully landscaped and irrigated. It had a RV parking with electricity, water, and even a sewer outlet. The inside had the huge great room. There were four large bedrooms, one of which had already been converted to an office. It even had a 4 car garage that would let us park the truck, boat, and car inside and still have some garage space for other things. Plus there is a shop in the back yard for all of the garden stuff and whatever else. The only thing we didn't really like this house was the small kitchen. However the layout of the house would allow us to expand it without too much difficulty.
However the price was a bit too high. Our financial planner recommended a mortgage amount that would work for us and not impact our standard of living significantly. This house at the seller's asking price would have put us over by $50K. The last thing I wanted to do was to move and be in a financial situation where all we could afford to do is stay home and look at our house. We placed an offer but the sellers refused it and did not counter.
But now we had our sights set on moving and decided to put our home on the market anyway. So I rented a storage space and we cleaned out the house. We removed all personal pictures on the wall and reduced the clutter. Our home hit the market on October 23, 2006 and we began the process of attempting to live in a model home. Everything had to be cleaned up everyday and the house had to be "show ready" all of the time. It's a very difficult way to live. Nothing on the counters. No magazines on the table. Remote controls put away. No pending bills on the desk. Nothing! And all while being prepared to leave the home for a showing at the drop of a hat.
We had a lot of interest in our house but no offers. I continued to look at other homes but none met all of our requirements like the first one we found.
Near the end of November, the realtor representing the sellers of the first home called our realtor and asked us to submit another offer. The seller had been on the market since July and were building a home somewhere near Denver, CO. They were running out of time. We kicked it around again and increased our original offer by $15K but still no go. Our realtor thought that if we'd go up another $10K that would do it. I wanted to wait and let them stew a bit but Denise really wanted that house. Plus $10K at 6% interest of 30 years is only $60 per month so I agreed. The seller's accepted our offer and we owned the new home on December 19th.
We moved in on January 12 after getting the entire inside of the house painted, carpets cleaned, and a small bit of remodel work completed. Boy is moving a lot of work! I'd never actually moved as full fledged adult with a house full of stuff. The last time I moved, a couple of pickup trucks and a buddy was all that was required.
And now here we are nearly 4 months later and finally getting most of the things put away. It's been a real busy time between getting settled and still trying to sell our old house in Elk Grove. The bulk of my weekend is spent maintaining houses and doing yard work. One day in Elk Grove mowing the lawns, cleaning the pond, and general yard clean up. Even though I am only at the Elk Grove house for 2 - 4 hours, there's an hour of drive time each way and the time to load all of the stuff I need into the truck and put it away again when I get home. Thus it takes about 5 - 8 hours of my day. And then the other day is spent on the yard at our new house. Half an acre is a lot more than the small lot in Elk Grove. Plus I'm playing catch up as many of the plants are overgrown, the beds are full of weeds, and the trees need pruning. Once I get everything "tamed", it will take less time but for now I'm spending 4 - 6 hours a week on this yard.
So I'll try and post a bit each week. For now, there really won't be too much exciting going on. Maybe after we sell the Elk Grove house and get into the grove at our new home, we will be able to resume some of the activities we used to enjoy.
Comments, Praise, Complaints?