It has been several months since my last blog entry. The delay is not because nothing has happened since our return from Madagascar. On the contrary, too much has happened. So here is the latest news update.
January 6, 2019
This morning we hitched a pre-loaded U-Haul trailer to the 4Runner and, with Jane in the Green Machine (our apple green Toyota Camry), the two of us started out for a grand, new adventure by moving lock, stock and barrel to a new domicile in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Our departure for Albuquerque had been preceded by a chain of events that culminated in this exodus.
Although Jane and I had on previous occasions mulled over the idea of leaving San Diego, it was not until we visited the Del Webb 55+ retirement community at Mirehaven, in Albuquerque, that a conclusive decision was made. We made an exploratory trip to the Del Webb development in November. We totally liked what we saw and entered into a purchase agreement that was contingent on selling our Mesa Madera house.
Making this extraordinary decision to purchase a home in a retirement community solidified our resolve to seek new adventures and signing the purchase agreement initiated an intense chain of events. We had to (1) wire an earnest money deposit, (2) interview and select a realtor, (3) interview and select an interstate moving company, (4) return to Albuquerque to select design options for our new home, and (5) arrange to rent a furnished house to live in during construction of our new home. Oh, and by the way, we still managed to spend a relaxing, long Thanksgiving weekend in Idylwild.
We selected Jennifer Blake, with Sotheby International, to be our real estate agent. That turned out to be a wise choice. Jenn guided us professionally through the stressful process of selling our house without a glitch. She knew the Scripps Ranch real estate market and what selling strategy would garner the best sales result. She recommended that we list the house shortly after the yearend holidays when there would be fewer competitive houses on the market and that the house be “staged” to attract the most buyers.
Those decision set off another chain of events. Staging the house required that we would have to move all our belonging out in order for the staging to occur. In order to be ready to list the house in early January all decision making had to go into high gear. Allied Van Lines, our selected moving company, was notified and packing and moving was scheduled for January 3rd and 4th. In the meantime, Sean Blake, Jenn’s husband and “operations manager” arranged for and supervised needed small repairs and painting. Jane and I took care of last minute details, cancelling cable service and packing what we needed for the rental house in Albuquerque into the Green Machine and U-Haul trailer. That brings the chain of events to January 6th when we departed Mesa Madera Drive for our new, exciting life in Albuquerque.
January 18, 2019
All minor repairs, painting, cleaning, staging, and marketing photography at the Mesa Madera house were completed and the property was listed and ready for its open house reception. Multiple listings information had been submitted the previous Monday and by mid-week, several days before the scheduled open house we had received a bona fide offer. Our counter offer was accepted and by January 18th, the theoretical sales kickoff, we had already opened escrow. And, by January 18th Jane and I had also officially become New Mexicans with new driver’s licenses, car and voter registrations.
February 15, 2019
Today escrow closed and sales proceeds were wired into our bank account. Now there is no turning back. We now live in Albuquerque. We have been living in our furnished rental for over two months and have become familiar with our new neighborhood. Construction of our new home has been started. Underground utilities are in and concrete foundations poured. We make periodic trips to Mirehaven to check progress and are thrilled to see the slow emergence of our new house.
March 26, 2019
Construction of the house continues. Framing has been completed and it is starting to look like a house. Interior plumbing, electrical and HVAC have been installed the structure has been “wrapped” and windows installed. Today we conducted an official inspection with Chris, the Del Webb construction coordinator. The inspection was to ensure that pluming, gas lines, electrical outlets, cable outlets and other specifics were in conformance with our selected design options. This was a milestone inspection, for now insulation can be placed and dry wall installed. It now appears that construction may be a bit ahead of schedule. Chris was not willing to give an estimate, but Jane and I speculate that we may be able to move in around end of July or August, about a month earlier than we had previously thought.
There is much more yet to be accomplished and many details for us to take care of. Those details are sort of fun to work out, like selecting window coverings, ceiling fans, home office details, new furnishings, and in general just getting very excited about the prospect of moving into a brand new house.
That completes the news update for now. There will be more blogs as we explore our new home state and visit its natural and historic attractions.