I'm moving into my new home. Next Tuesday our things should arrive from Minnesota.
It isn't exactly what I was expecting for my next home. No, not at all what I pictured in my mind.
Two years ago, almost to the month, we put our "home" in storage, after selling our house in Minnesota, and moved to Tahoe, into our very small vacation home. Thinking everything would be a short time in storage, certainly not two years, we stored almost everything except for a few clothes. After all, the place at the Lake had all the other things we would need for our short stay. What we couldn't have anticipated, of course, was the economic meltdown our country would experience.
Two years later my husband has accepted a job right back where we started six years ago - my home town. Time to think about a place for our stuff things. The only problem? We have changed. No longer needed is the big home and all the trappings. We can be happy in a downsized environment. But we need a place to do that. A home big enough to hold all the stuff things until we can go through them to sift the gems from the chaff, such as the tiny silver container that holds my children's first teeth, or the gold-sprayed noodle "jewelry box,"made by my youngest in Brownies. Or what about that Christmas decoration my daughter made in first grade of dough that looks exactly like she did at that age? No, I need time. Time to go through everything we've accumulated over thirty years of marriage, time to decipher what's important and what can move on.
Enter our new home: Looking for a home to lease has become rather easy in this economy. Who knew really nice homes would be available for less than our mortgage payment on our last house, without gambling the down payment, and being tethered to a mortgage? Who knew that we would be in a home much nicer than what we would have looked to buy, if we had decided to do that? Craigslist has many homes I was thrilled to look at, and contemplate renting. The only problem was getting the owners to take them off the market for 2+ years. (Our lease is for two, and a third at our request. By then, my husband hopes to permanently retire and we will move to the Portland area, probably buying our "forever" home.)
So this new environment of leasing one's home is new for both lessors and lessees. When we finally made a decision between three, all of which would have worked for us, the owner asked to meet us and Lucy, our lab. Obviously she was concerned about a big dog on her property and in her beautiful home. They had only cats.
Lucy passed the muster, and we were seated at her dining room table when we started to talk about each other and how we came to be at this place in time.
She said they had thriving business when they decided to take on a partner. This partner ran their business into the ground, severing long-forged relationships and basically ruining everything they had worked their lives to build. They had been in litigation and the result was that they could not work within 50 miles of the mutually owned business for five years. The severe downturn in the economy also hadn't helped. They had decided to move to California and pursue other avenues until the five years was over, traveling back to the area for nine days every six weeks to keep an eye on the business.
Unfortunately the economy had not only wreaked havoc on their business, but had also left them unable to sell their beautiful home. They were stuck. At this point I asked what kind of business they owned, and she said a hair salon and medical spa. A light bulb goes off and I ask her if it's @#$%$ Salon? She says yes, and I tell her it was the salon I frequented when I lived there six years ago, but had noticed it had completely changed since I had returned. And it had. It was almost completely empty when I made an appointment. It used to have about 25 hairdressers, often a six week lead time for my hairdresser, a full upscale spa, etc. Now it had about three people working. No one in the waiting area or spa. I thought it had been the economy. At that point I told her who my hairdresser had been and she was shocked! It was her husband! My hairdresser was now renting me his lovely home! He enters from the bedroom area and remembers me with a hug, telling the realtor that he needed to know no more financial background from us because he trusted me.
We feel so fortunate to have sold our home in Minnesota, just as the downturn was gaining momentum, that our intention was to help someone else out, if at all possible. A symbiotic relationship, mutually beneficial, was the goal. We have that and more. I have offered to let them show the house the last month or two that we are living there. Houses usually show better with furniture, and I've learned how to sell a house. Three houses in five years - I know all the tricks. (Washing machines are great places to put stuff from the counter when the realtor calls and wants to show in the next 30 minutes.)
We will live in a lovely environment with a view of the city, something I had always wanted. They, in turn, found a brand new condo on the ocean that was willing to lease, completely furnished. They will only move their beds and the rest will go into storage, until the next chapter. Which, by the way, she says will entail downsizing.