A New Month...a New Direction

What a difference a couple of months can make!

When last I wrote, we were concerned with managing expenses in retirement by becoming Cord Cutters [which worked out fairly well, thanks to our fiber-fast Internet service we still get from NorthState (our former cable and telephone company), an Internet-enabled device called a Roku, the Internet-streaming service called Sling, Netflix, and Over The Air (OTA) "local" channels that our attic-mounted ChannelMaster antenna brings in]. Looking back, that seems so mundane compared to how we've been spending our time lately. Now? It's a whole different ballgame, folks. And I'm not referring to the World Series. (Go Cubs!)

After a series of seemingly random events (more on that in an upcoming post), we came to the conclusion that it was time to put our Retirement Transition Plan into motion. Saying it like that is somewhat misleading...since it gives the impression that we actually had a Retirement Transition Plan, complete with some kind of timetable and well-defined set of steps to follow. We didn't then. We do now!

While we have known for many months that we needed to move closer to Missy M after we retired, we didn't get serious about making it happen until earlier this year, prompted by Thomas' earlier-than-planned retirement from Fuso. Then, we realized that we were trying to make it all happen too fast, and we pulled back in order to give ourselves some breathing room between "retirement" and "next steps." We had thought waiting at least a year before we made any major moves would work...but then the wind changed and we tacked yet again.

Regardless of the "when" or the final destination "where," we came to the conclusion that the "what" (sell our house in High Point) was the linchpin to making our Retirement Transition Plan work. Really long story shortened a bit: we have worked to the point of exhaustion since Labor Day to prepare our "stuff" for an Downsizing Sale (held by Blue Moon Estate Sales over the weekend October 21-23) and prep our house to go on the market (we signed the contract with our Realtor in early September, and it went into the Multiple Listing Service last Thursday). The sign is in the yard, and the lockbox is on the door! And to show that we really are serious about selling this time, I have buried St. Joseph in the back yard.*

Over the course of the past couple of months...and for the first time since 1988, which was our last non-corporate move...we have touched every single thing we own, in order to decide whether to: (1) keep it (the majority of which is now snugly packed in a Pod...see the picture), (2) sell it (that went into the Estate Sale), (3) donate it, or (4) throw it away. We still had many, many boxes of Nana/Momma/Edith's things, in addition to all of our own possessions...so this chore took several weeks and way more energy than anticipated.

At the same time, we tackled maintenance and repair-work required to get our property in tip-top shape to attract buyers. Gutters cleaned? Check! Nail-holes filled and touch-up painting done? Double-check!! House decluttered, rooms staged, dogs relocated to temporary quarters with Missy M? Triple-check!!! We know we must have all our i's dotted and t's crossed, since the real estate market for High Point is somewhat sluggish compared to say, Atlanta or Raleigh or Charlotte...for sure, the best product gets the contract!

So, where are we now? Well, we have already had several showings and a booking for another one tomorrow. We are encouraged at the amount of interest, even though it is "early days." 

We still have work to do to get the Way Back gussied up, since it has suffered from inattention while we were concentrating all our efforts and energy on the inside. We had hoped that frost would arrive on time (10/31 is the "average annual first-frost day" for High Point) and help us with some of the weed-killing...but no such luck this year. At least we are still able to have fresh-cut flowers for the kitchen table, even though the calendar is changing to November.

And even though the Estate Sale exceeded our expectations proceeds-wise, we still have to decide how to deal with the stuff that didn't sell. There is a mountain awaiting donation in the garage at the moment, and I have spied a few items that I want to "take back." Fortunately, we had enough left over to help us stage the house without any trouble.

All of this shared information probably begs the question: so, where exactly are you moving to? Stay tuned! Another post on that very subject will be coming along...hopefully sooner rather than later!

*About "Burying St. Joseph": chuckle if you will, but many realtors swear by St. Joseph's ability to help sell your house. If I remember correctly, I first heard about this one when we lived in Ohio. A neighbor advised me to bury a statue of St. Joseph in the backyard (she specified "head down") in order to facilitate a sale on our house there. Hunh? Was she kidding me? Apparently not. If you Google "burying St. Joseph to sell your house," you'll get over 25 million hits. Amazing.

Here's a link to an article that does a good job of explaining this one (note that it is from a business-oriented site, Bank Rate.com):

Did make me wonder, though, if the Realtor shares commission with St. J? Just sayin'...:-)


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