This house has become too big for us. It was the perfect size when the Budster and Lovey lived here. Buddy was a wild man, racing around the house, chasing and being chased by Lovey. And Lovey ruled this house. It was her house. I’m so happy she was allowed to spend the rest of her days here.
But now we have Skipper and Shadow. Skipper is 17 – he never did like the stairs and now he gets lost in the middle of the night and howls until I call his name. And often that means getting up and going downstairs. I’m starting to feel the space, as if it is no longer wanted. And the stairs.
We analyzed those stairs and why this house feels so big. You have to walk from one end of the house to the other to get to the stairs, and then back to the other end of the house to get to the living areas. Downsizing is in order.
Reading our journey on this blog, you know some of the challenges we’ve had getting a decent house rental remotely. The process has changed so much since the last time we did that. Investors snapped up hordes of repos and created property management companies that are unwieldy, unresponsive, unreliable, and dishonest.
We were frustrated trying to deal with a couple of them, especially when they showed their smarmy lying sides. We were starting to worry about this gigantic move and depending on these people for a place to live. We began to read scary reviews of a few of them. Comments like, “Do not lease from this company. RUN from them!”
Rich became so stressed, he couldn’t eat or sleep, and when he said, “I don’t want to read these reviews anymore,” I said, “We don’t want to find out the hard way.” So we hit the panic button, rightly so, and called off the move.
Rich chatted again with his co-worker in Orlando, and she told him of their property management nightmares. For one thing, after driving all of their stuff and their two kids across the country in a UHaul, the house wasn’t ready for occupancy for another two weeks past their lease date.
This whole rental house process has flipped on its side from just a few years ago. It’s like the whole world has changed dramatically from just a few years ago. You can’t help but want to keep the status quo so you can ignore what the world is doing. “If I don’t change anything, the world can’t change me” kind of thinking. And then you’re stuck with something you no longer want.
We regrouped and realized we still wanted the move, but the best thing to do to secure a place to live on the other side would be to rent an apartment. More reliable, and less money upfront with every deposit up the wazoo, with changing dates to charge you more fees upfront.
Still smarting from that apartment a few years ago when we returned to Silicon Valley for a year, I tried my darndest to avoid apartments. We were no longer 20-, 30-, or 40-something. Dark, depressing, and small with unwelcome middle-of-the night alarms going off, well, let’s just say that “Hotel California” was not my happy place. Btw, we discovered that two-bedroom apartment, which was an outrageous $2600 in 2013 is now renting for $3600.
Sometimes you have to do what you have to do and it’s not for like forever. We found a brand spanking new resort-like apartment with all the amenities you want in Florida. We’re going into this with the attitude of an adventure, a resort vacation. It’s just a year. After that we can make a different choice.
I’m trying not to worry about our big house furniture and where it will all fit in this downsized space, but we do need to make some decisions about what to bring and what to leave behind. It’s hard to really know how much space we have, other than the overall square footage. The only visuals I have to go by are one photo of the living room and kitchen and a floor plan. I keep saying, “Surely, this apartment isn’t as small as it looks.”
But if it is, well, then, now’s the time to downsize. Before all this big furniture, acquired while living in this big house, is hauled up to a third-floor apartment and stuffed to the gills.