Saturday, March 1, 2008

New Chapter! New Blog

Day 003:

It's been a long time since we've posted an update and we have plenty of news! We've finally moved to one of our favorite small towns, Springfield, Illinois. The plan was for a moving company to transport our belongings while Sarah, our dog Nipper and I made the trip from Phoenix to Springfield in her Honda Civic. We added to the fun factor when my brother, Jeff, decided he'd also like to move to Springfield (from Long Beach, California). So, the situation became comical with my 6'+ brother in the back seat of the Civic with Nipper (our cattle dog/bull terrier mix) and Bruno (his English Bulldog). Despite our fears of being licked off the road, the whole crew enjoyed the ride. The only remnant is that Sarah now has a dog-fur upholstered back seat!

The movers left with our things the weekend before we drove away. We had already packed and stored everything out of Sarah's 1,000 square foot townhouse last year. Then, when we put my 2,000 square foot house on the market last fall, we added some of my things to storage in order to thin out the items in the house for staging. So the movers' task last weekend was to load the rest of my stuff plus Jeff's stuff from his 1,000 square foot home. My point is that we had 4,000 square feet of furniture and "Stuff" to be transported, and we weren't sure it would all fit in the truck. So we were relieved to see the longest full-sized semi-truck pull up on moving day. However, we hadn't completely finished packing it all. Luckily, the moving company was double-booked and asked if they could come back the next day to finish. Jeff and I spent all day packing while Sarah was at her last day of work. We continued to pack as Sarah attended to some family business after work. And we were still packing when the truck showed up again the next morning. Luckily, we finished packing an hour before the movers got everything in the truck. We were glad that we weren't holding them up.

Then, we had family and friends to see and say goodbye to during the rest of the weekend before leaving. After the last dinner we headed home ready to leave in the morning. We had accepted an offer to sell our Phoenix house earlier in February for much less than we had hoped (the nature of the current mortgage crisis). Still, we were happy to be moving forward. But on the way home from that last dinner, I received a text that Phoenix was being listed as a Zone 5 Declining Market (the worst depreciation level). It meant that 100% financing would no longer be available and that our buyer would now need to put 12-15% down. This blew up our deal. We tried to save it in a number of ways as we drove to Springfield, but with no success. This is our second offer that has disintegrated in the current economy. So, the house is back on the market and we're in Illinois.

The packing (and packing, and packing) and the house sale difficulties punctuated our mission to simplify. Big house, big mortgage to pay, and more stuff than we need is not the lifestyle we want. We got rid of a LOT of stuff and still needed all the space in the truck. Soon, the Phoenix house will sell or rent (preferably sell to keep things simple). As we work on our Springfield fixer-upper (is that a simple process?), we'll reduce some more of our belongings. Our goal is to create a simple life, with work we enjoy and schedules we can control. We'll be using this newly titled blog, Life Flipping, to update you on our progress and to hold our feet to the fire. Things are likely to get more complicated before they get simple, but we're optimistic.

- Randy

Next: The move in and transitions...

Search for Our Favorite Small Town (before-move blog)

TOTALS: 29 States - 62 Towns - 55+ Days - 13,707 Miles

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