Wow, a mid-week, mindless and rambling blog entry!
So, what did he say? Go???
Yes, go; move; relocate. We decided to have an impromptu dinner date on Monday and as we enjoyed our dinner at Henry’s Taste of New Orleans we wondered out loud if now would be a good time to get serious about finding a new-to-us home. In fact, in my morning note to Debbie on Tuesday I told her one of her 1st special projects after retiring would be a search for a possible new home for us. Debbie was a practicing, licensed real estate agent for about 10 years so this would be old hat. And, as it turns out, our son Wesley is a mortgage broker, so if there’s a home out there that has our name on it, Wes can work the loan for a win-win. I figure with a credit score of 840 we’ll be well positioned for the better rates!
So, what’s the deal with moving? We’ve been in our current home for 25 years and while we’ve tried to be diligent about keeping it in good shape, inside and out, the same can’t be said for the community. The HOA levied a $200 special assessment for the amenities package this year, which I was OK with; but what about enforcement of the covenants and ACC guidelines? It’s not the amenities package that keeps our home values low, it’s the low value of homes in the community, especially the ones that aren’t being maintained.
Of course, the problem we’ve always encountered when we’ve considered a move in the past is that there’s nothing we can find in the same price range that’s nearly as roomy or nice. Now, if our our home was in a different community just a few miles away it would easily be worth quite a bit more than it is here in our current community and we’d be in good shape as far as what we’d have to select from. Uggg. Maybe it’s time to rob the piggy bank, i.e., the ‘mad money’ that we’ve been letting our Financial Advisors muck around with.
So, it’s a Catch-22. We want to move to get into a neighborhood where home values will grow as they should, but to do so means trading up and taking on debt, something we’ve previously eliminated. We really don’t want to move all that far from where we are as we still like living in this area where we have great cycling right out our front door, we’re only 8 miles from Loco Willy’s and have pretty much made our home about as comfortable for us as we can. Not having a basement dug out when the house was being built is the only regret I have, notwithstanding some issues with the builder going bankrupt and selling out to another builder who exacerbated our home value conundrum by building lower-quality, smaller and cheaper homes in the final two phases of the community. If we had a basement I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be Jones’ing to call up our friend and electrician Mike Maguire to get an estimate for installation of a 220v power supply for the garage lift and a 110v outlet for the jackshaft garage door opener we’d need to make it work.
Dodged a Bullet on Daytona – So, if this was a normal year we would have been hoping on our Harley-Davidson Road Glide “Blue” and heading to Daytona Beach on Thursday morning. But, this isn’t a normal year and we decided to skip the spring rally at Daytona. This has turned out to be a good thing because (a) Debbie and I are still trying to recover from the flue and (b) the weather is far less than conducive to four days of being out-of-doors and enjoying sunny, warm weather in Florida. More specifically, at last check, the temperature will be 24*F at 6:00am, the time we would have normally saddled-up for the 450-mile ride to Daytona. The weekend outlook while partly cloudy to sunny, is still showing temps dropping to the upper 40’s and 50’s after the sun goes down with highs in the upper 50’s and 60’s on Thursday and Friday, and finally into the 70’s on Saturday. Good, but not the 60’s -80’s range that you hope to enjoy during Bike Week. And, well, as I said, neither Debbie nor I are 100% yet so with our resistance still being low it’s a good thing we’ll be staying closer to home.
Count Down Clocks:
- Debbie’s Retirement: 13 more wake-ups until 3 April. Not sure how we’ll celebrate that just yet, other than letting her enjoy sleeping in on Tuesday the 4th and 5th before…
- New Orleans: 16 more wake-ups until we climb in the car or truck at 6:00am on 6 April and head down the French Quarter in New Orleans where we’ll spend Thursday, Friday and Saturday with our friends David and Deb before returning home on Sunday the 10th. I suspect that will “count” as part of Debbie Fest and her retirement celebration.
- Debbie’s 60th Birthday: Amazingly, on 25 April my dear Debbie will celebrate her 60th I’m thinking about having friends over to the house on the Saturday before so that we can rest up on the following weekend – 29 & 30 April — before heading down to Panama City Beach on 3 – 7 May for Spring Bike Week.
- Panama City Beach: We’ve got 48 wake-ups to go until that trip to Spring Bike Week in Panama City Beach: very excited about that as we’re WAY overdue for a long motorcycle ride and hanging with our friends at a motorcycle rally! And, since Debbie will now be retired we’ll be able to head down a day earlier on Wednesday and experience having a full three days and four nights in PCB for a motorcycle rally!
- Georgia Tandem Rally: We’re 63 days out from our first tandem rally of 2017. We decided to skip the Alabama Tandem Weekend since I’d like to use that to celebrate Debbie’s 60th, so GTR in Valdosta is where we’ve set our sights at this point. It will be good to see a lot of friends from tandem cycling whom we only ever see at the rallies.
Honda S2000 – Hold or fold, it’s still not a clear-cut decision. As mentioned, we thought one of Debbie’s co-workers who has said for several years that he’d buy her little red car if she ever decided to sell it has gotten cold feet now that he has the opportunity. Given my dislike of selling things – since that’s when gains or losses are finally realized – I’m still not sure if I’d go ahead and try to put it out on Auto Trader or just hold on to it. Our mechanic, Jeremy, says the S2000’s like ours that are basically unmodified and well-maintained are increasing in value. Now, with over 120,000 miles it’s hardly a pristine collector car; however, it’s still a very desirable car because of how long we’ve owned it (12 years) and how we’ve maintained it for the last 100,000 miles. But, storage is an issue and our options – paying to store it, having the kids put it in their 3rd parking bay, or installing a parking lift in our garage – all have down sides, e.g., cost and/or taking up valuable garage floor space that could be better-utilized. So, we’ll see what happens there. This could also play into the question about finding a new place to call home.
Time to Clean Out
While I was working on some of my projects last weekend I was reminded that I have:
- A garden shed that needs to be cleaned-out, as there are buckets upon buckets of ½ empty paint cans, scrap/left-over wood and building materials and a myriad of other “things” that have slowly filled all of the available space. So, there’s a ½ day project.
- A garage storage rack and workbench storage cabinets that are overdue for being cleaned-out; yet another ½ day project.
- Not one but two attic spaces that need to be cleaned-out, as just about every box that any appliance, TV or other large electronic/electrical device has come in is stored over the main house, and every other thing that didn’t have a place in the house has now migrated to the attic over the garage. This one is a full day project that could take a garage sale to resolve.
- Garage Sale Stuff A Plenty is the other issue: the house is filled with little odds and ends that someone must certainly see value in, either for personal use or as something to sell for a mark-up at the flea market.
With the living room ceiling fixed and the laundry room wall marks now repainted I’m reminded of the other interior painting projects that I need to knock out before too long:
- Upstairs Hallway Ceiling – A few years back the whole-house humidifier crapped-out and leaked water onto the upstairs hallway ceiling for the 3rd The damage was minimal, but it’s now time to patch and paint.
- Guest Bedroom Walls & Ceiling – After 25 years the front guest bedroom has been beaten up by the UV light from nearly ½ day direct sun to the point where it now needs a complete repaint. The ceiling has been fixed and repainted twice, but the walls are definitely faded and in need of some attention.
- Exercise Room Walls & Ceiling – I’m not sure why I was inspired to use a yellow/gold wall color in that room, but I’ve since grown tired of it and definitely need to give it a more friendly, relaxing color… something that ties in with the adjacent walk-in closet. This time the baseboard moldings will get installed as well.
- Fixing the crack above the Kitchen bump-out is going to be a “cheater project” were I’ll just install a piece of wood trim to cover the dry-wall corner bead that has continued to show stress cracks time and again after several repairs: this will hopefully be a one-hour job: yeah, right.
- The Master Bedroom, saving the biggest and best for last. I think the room is close to 700 square feet with 12’ ceilings and a variety of architectural features that will make the repaint project an event that lasts a few days. The trick will be limiting my efforts to just the paint, and not getting into a flooring replacement project, as the carpet is getting a bit long in the tooth
That’s About It…
To end on a really positive note, one of the reasons that I’m writing this mid-week is because I feel like it! Although still tiring rather early each afternoon and still not being at 100%, I’m thinking that other than the fatigue I’m at 95% and still improving. Best of all, Debbie is also on the upswing, with less coughing and more energy. Now, don’t get me wrong, she’s still got to get past all of the post illness fatigue so I’m not sure if this weekend will be “normal”. In fact, I’m pretty sure it will be yet another weekend where we lay-low and build up our energy stores. Better to recover and then enjoy than to try and come back to quickly and prolong the recovery.