Thursday, July 14, 2016

House Update

Oh my goodness!  I don’t even know where to begin!

May and June were absolutely crazy!  So much has happened since I last posted.

We ended up flying to OKC for two weeks in May so that we could empty the house of everything that our youngest daughter did not take. She took pretty much everything we owned of value except our lawn mower, our china and our baseball memorabilia. 

So what we had to do was empty the attic, house and garage of the stuff that she did not want or was not of any value, such as decorations, pictures, toys etc.  There was a ton to deal with!  Then we had to clean the house from top to bottom, including the carpets as well as deal with the yard, as nothing was cleaned when they left. 

It ended up being unseasonably hot with high humidity while we were there.  Tex ended up getting heat exhaustion and had to go to the hospital twice for fluids.  He was extremely sick with heat exhaustion and was down in the bed for about 5 days. (I say bed, what I mean was air mattress!  We had no furniture in the house during our stay.)  He was also in great pain due to his lower back problems.  The hospital gave him morphine during his two visits due to his extreme pain. 

During this horrible ordeal, I was left to deal with the roof contractor, the mortgage company regarding the roof, our insurance company as well as finish getting rid of stuff and I also had to clean our whole house by myself.  Our oldest daughter was amazing and took very good care of us while we were there, making us dinner, bringing us drinks, and helping to sort through our stuff.  She was 7 months pregnant, has a 2-year-old toddler and is taking 3 master classes online and still found the time to help us out tremendously.  We are forever grateful for her help!

We were also very blessed with our wonderful friends Michael and April.  They let us borrow a truck for our two-week stay.  It was such a lifesaver!  I don’t know what we would have done without that truck.  We made daily trips to the dump and it would not have been possible without their help!  Thanks Michael and April!

While we were in OKC, we had to get a new roof put on the house as it had hail damage.  This was found as part of the house inspection for the sale of the home.  That went smoothly and it looks great!

We also had to rent a small storage unit for the items that we did not have time to deal with, such as the totes and totes of family pictures, family china and the baseball memorabilia.  Since our oldest daughter was moving to Alaska, she couldn’t take it and our youngest daughter didn’t want to store it for us, so we have to pay for storage until we can get back next summer when we have more time to go through the stuff. 

The big problem was the closing on the house.  Our buyers were not the issue. It was the buyer’s for their house in Tulsa.  Long story, but the gist of the story is that it was delayed for several weeks but we finally closed on it and it is over!  That was 4 months of absolute, over the top stress, which some of it didn’t need to happen.  When we sold our first house in Topeka years ago, it was very easy but this one was trouble from day one for so many reasons!

Shortly after getting back from OKC, Megan and her family came through Seattle on their way to Dillingham, Alaska, where they will be living.  We spent 5 days with them and shopped for hours every day! They had to ship their car by barge to Dillingham because the village is only accessible by boat or plane.

Since they were shipping their car, we filled it to the top with non-perishable food and supplies. This will save them a ton of money on shipping those items.  They will have to buy all of their furniture online and have it shipped there once they arrive.  Because Megan is 8 months pregnant, they have to stay in Anchorage until the baby is born because there is no hospital in the village.  This means that they won’t actually get to Dillingham until the end of August.

So now that Megan and family have left, we are just now beginning to slow back down.  It has been one horrible year so far but hopefully things are looking up!

We have a trip planned with some friends beginning July 23rd.  We are going to Port Angeles, WA for a week to explore the Olympic peninsula.  We are so excited!  We will be celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary while we are there so we can’t wait! 

So that is what has been happening for the last two months.  It was horrible but we are really hoping all the bad luck is behind us and only good things ahead!

Will post again soon!

~Until next time!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Our House is FOR SALE / SOLD!!

Here it is!  Part 3 of my 3 part series of our exciting news!

To recap, the first amazing news was that Tex was released from the eye doctor on April 13th.  The second great news was that we purchased a yearly lease at the Arizonian RV Resort in Apache Junction, AZ in order to get ready for retirement.

The last and final news is that we officially listed our house for sale on April 2, 2016.  We have not lived in it for 2 years since we are currently stationed in Seattle.  Our daughter and her husband have been living in it since we left in May 2014, with the understanding that they would have to move when we sold the house.

We had not planned an exact time to sell but we definitely needed to do it before Tex retires next year.  We had been watching the market since the Fall of 2015 but because we bought at the height of the recession in 2008, it had not been at a price that we could afford to sell until just recently. 

In March 2015, all of a sudden, the comparables went way up and our realtor said that now was the time to sell.  The oil market, as we all know, has taken a tumble and several OKC area oil companies have had to close and go out of business or scale way back.  Our realtor said it was already affecting houses just above our price point and if we were going to sell, now was the time.  We had to take advantage of this blip in the market.

The only problem was that we had been telling our daughter that we weren’t planning to sell it any time soon due to the market but because the market is so volatile right now, and went up so fast we had to jump right then.  (As it turns out, the market was not high very long and already started turning downward before we got a final contract.)

They were understandably upset but we had to make the decision to do what was best for us.  We are only 1 year away from retirement when our income will drop dramatically and we had to sell now or we might not have been able to sell if we waited until later this year or next year.  We have always put our children’s needs before ours, even with them as adults, but this time, we had to think of ourselves first. 

The house was only on the market for 36 hours before we got a full price offer.  Only problem was that it was contingent on them selling their house that they had just listed that same day.  We accepted the offer but continued to show the house in order to get a better offer.

After multiple showings and several offers that we declined for one reason or another, we finally got an offer from a couple who already have a contract on their house.  They are due to close on May 28th.  The one problem was that they wanted to close on our house on May 28th as well.

That date wouldn’t work because Amanda and James won’t be out by then.  They found a house that they are purchasing but they aren’t due to close on their house until May 18th and weren’t planning to finish their move until May 30th.  We then need a couple of weeks in order to clear out and sell the rest of the things that they are leaving behind.  They are taking most everything we own with them but we will still have some stuff left to deal with.

We finally agreed to a closing date with this new buyer for June 6th.  With our original buyer, we had a closing date of June 30th.  We provided the original buyers with their official notice to remove contingency and they were unable to do so, therefore, the new buyers are the official buyers under contract now.

So now that we have moved up the closing date, we have had to make several adjustments.  We had already made refundable (thank goodness!) airplane tickets for the last two weeks in June so we had to move those to the last two weeks in May instead.  We also had to scramble to find someone to watch the dogs, which took us a few weeks, but we finally found someone that will come to the RV and stay with them.

So there you have it.  There are still many hoops to go through with inspections, appraisals and I will be praying that our buyer’s houses closes on time as well.  Until I actually sign on the dotted line closing on our house, I will be a nervous wreck.  But it is all a part of the process and I have to trust God that he will take care of everything.

Tex and I are so very excited for this next adventure in our lives.  This will be the hardest 12 months ever but it will be so worth it in the end.  We only have one short trip in the RV planned for July and then will start conserving Tex’s leave to use so we can leave Seattle next June and not wait until November.

Hope everyone is having a great Spring so far!  Safe travels!

~Until next time!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Arizona Here We Come - Eventually

Hey everyone!

I am sure you have been sitting on pins and needles waiting for today’s post.  LOL!  I am finally finding the time to sit down and write it. 

One of the wonderful, exciting things we did recently was purchase a yearly lease at a campground in Arizona.  This is where we plan to spend our winter months, at least for the first few years, once Tex retires.

We have several friends from Oklahoma whom we used to travel with when we were all members of a local Good Sam Chapter in OKC.  Several of us are full time RVers now and are no longer members of the Chapter.  These friends are already retired and have spent the past few winters at this same campground and they love it. 

The campground is the Arizonian RV Resort outside of Apache Junction, AZ.  This is the only campground in the area that backs up to BLM land.  Because it has its own access to BLM land, most of the people who stay there all have UTVs of some sort, such as a Polaris Rzr. 

Our friends, along with many other people in the park, go out and ride on trails in the Superstition Mountains during the day and then have a campfire and cookout for dinner somewhere on the trails.  They have a blast and we can’t wait to join them!

Now, you might be asking yourself two questions.  Why purchase an annual lease when we only need a space for the winter and second, why we went ahead and purchased a yearly lease now and not wait until next year?

First of all, when we looked at the pricing for 4 or 5 months in the winter versus the price for a yearly lease, it was only a few hundred dollars difference.  Once we thought about it, it made more sense to go ahead and purchase a yearly lease.  This provides us a place to store our eventual purchase of a Polaris Rzr and its trailer and we can put a shed or other type of structure on the site to store other items or even build a small casita etc.   

Also, buy purchasing an annual lease, this provides us with a spot that we know we can always go to and park, for however long we want to.  Without owning a home, this option provided Tex some comfort that we would always have a spot somewhere to park.

Next, you are probably wondering why we went ahead and purchased an annual lease now.  After all, we can’t leave Seattle until June 2017 so we don’t need anything before the winter of 2017.  This decision was prompted by a call from our friends.  They called us last month and said that several yearly leases had just been purchased around them and that they were being sold like hotcakes.

Purchasing a yearly lease is not as simple as you might think.  For instance, this park has two sections, one for pet owners and one for non-pet owners.  Since we have our two cocker spaniels, we needed in the pet section.  The pet section is a little smaller than the other section.  The park has about 430 total sites. 

It is also complicated by the fact that the person who stayed in a site during the most recent winter has the “right of first refusal”.  This means that if someone wants to purchase a yearly lease, the person who last stayed in that spot has to be contacted to see if they want to purchase it.  If they do, then you can’t buy it.  We didn't care what site we got, we just wanted one, so that helped a bit.  It still took the park a little time to find one that was not already purchased or was released by the previous people who stayed in it.  If we had waited another year, we might not have been able to purchase a site and we didn’t want to take that risk.

So that is part two of our 3 part exciting news!  We are so excited and can’t wait until we can get out on the road and start traveling!  Retirement can’t come soon enough!

Stay tuned for more news in our next post!

~Until next time!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Tex's Final Eye Update

Hi everyone!

I guess it is about time for me to update our past few months.  As I said in my last post, it has been crazy lately!

The good news is that Tex was finally cleared from the eye doctor on April 13, 2016.  He was fighting an extreme case of Iritis that progressed from the front of the eye to the rear of the eye.  It took 4 months of treatment to heal, which meant multiple eye drop medicines a day, sometimes every hour around the clock!  But it was all worth it!

The potentially bad news is that it MIGHT come back….. and it might not…..doctors don’t know why some people have recurring cases of Iritis and others only get it once.  So we will be on guard for anything in regards to his eyes from now on. 

We feel extremely blessed that his eye sight healed as good as it did.  The doctor said that when he saw Tex for the first time, he was within hours of losing his vision in his right eye.  He still have some blurry vision but it is so much better than before he started treatment. 

So that is our update for today!  I will be posting other great news this week so STAY TUNED!!

~Until next time!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Recent Happenings!

Hey everyone! 

Sorry it has been a while since our update!  There have been so many things happening and so fast, I just didn’t have time to write a post.

We have had 3 major changes since we last posted.  I will write a post about each one in greater detail but thought I would give a quick update now.

First off, Tex’s eye has fully healed and he was released from the eye doctor on April 13th!  Praise God!  What an ordeal and long 4 months that was!

Second, we have finally decided where we will be spending our winters once we retire and where we will have a home base.  Think Arizona.

And last but not least, we had to make a very fast decision to put our house on the market before the downturn in the oil industry, specifically in OKC, affected our resale value.

It has been a crazy few months.  The craziness isn’t over yet, but we are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

More info in our next post.

~Until next time!