People usually are the happiest at home.William Shakespeare
This week’s Sunday Still’s theme is Home.
I have hinted in a post and in several comments lately that when my hubby retires at 2020’s end, we are moving to the Spokane, Washington area. If you are thinking Seattle, move your finger on the map to the East closer to the Idaho border and Spokane resides there. We will be the area known as Nine Mile Falls to be exact, along the Spokane River. If you missed the post you can read more details here.
We closed on the property in mid-March, just before the disruption of Covid-19 closed the world down.
In mid-May, once both California and Washington “re-opened,” we decided to make the trip to Spokane to meet with the builder for the property. The house in the background is our neighbor’s.
Weather or Not
The light is what guides you home, the warmth is what keeps you there.Ellie Rodriguez
I have lived in the same house for over 32 years. My youngest daughter was one month old when we moved in.
People ask me why I would choose to move from California to the cold North of Washington State. Having lived near Portland Oregon for two years as a child, I was old enough to remember many rainy and snowy days. I didn’t hate it!
Being born and raised in San Diego, I remember the weather was fairly mild all year round. Once I made the move to Sacramento in Northern California in my early 20s, did I question that choice.
We get four seasons here but no snow, since we are at 25 feet elevation. I got used to the cold, foggy winters, and hot dry summers. My hubby, on the other hand, has endured Sacramento heat for the last 15 years as his jobs have been outdoors in construction or facility maintenance. He dislikes the heat for that reason!
Spokane is in the alpine high desert although when you drive into the area from the western plains, the landscape changes from rolling hills to evergreens and mountains. It snows there and gets very cold, but the summers are mild. I have visited there during every season and I look forward to the changes in the weather.
As Ilsa from Frozen sings:
“The cold doesn’t bother me anyway.”
A sneak peek at a neighbor’s home along the Spokane River. Our property is a few blocks from this.
Although we are buying a larger home, it will be new and modern. Our current home was built in 1962 and is small and somewhat outdated. In 2015, we built a 300 square-foot room addition which created a large master suite. There is nothing like it in this neighborhood and we expect the house to sell quickly in the Fall when we put it on the market.
The house was in need of new siding. Hubby had already replaced the bedroom and dining room windows. After tearing off the siding, he discovered there was NO insulation on the front of the house. No wonder we froze in winter and boiled in summer!
In the gallery, you can see the metamorphosis of the custom siding job my husband built. The old siding was made of shake shingles, common in our neighborhood, and unavailable. Thanks to the disruptions brought on by Covid-19, we spent our last week in March at home working on the house, instead of our planned vacation to Washington.
We still have a few more small projects. Over the last year, we updated the guest bath with a granite countertop and I recently painted the cabinet and vanity.
Hubby already rebuilt and replaced the old backyard deck. Luckily, he has accomplished most everything, now that windsurf season is here. I still need to repaint the kitchen and cabinets.
A Family Affair
Another reason for our journey north is our lack of family nearby. The kids live in San Diego, along with most of our family, with one daughter in the SF Bay area and my dad in the Sierra foothills. None of these places are retirement options for us.
I have heard about many parents retiring to be close to their grown children. Sometimes things change and those kids move again, leaving the parents alone again.
My hubby’s brothers and their extended families (think 35 people for typical Thanksgivings) live in the Spokane area. When we started exploring the idea of moving, I suggested that it would make more sense to move to Spokane. I always enjoyed visiting there and it is spectacularly beautiful.
Rightsizing and Retirement
What is rightsizing you ask? Rightsizing simply means to reduce something to an optimal size. This is an approach to simplifying your lifestyle while keeping what you need and use the most. For many it means moving to a smaller home, living closer to family or amenities, or changing jobs.
For more information, visit fellow blogger and friend, Kathy Gottberg at her blog SmartLiving365.
My husband and I have always lived frugally. We each raised our children as single parents and counted every dollar. For most years, we lived below our means and paid our bills on time. We have excellent credit and low debt. Five years ago, we refinanced our current home and took out a home equity line of credit to build the addition. Now the time has come to retire and move out of an expensive state.
As we age, it is important to consider what we need in a new home. For example, my knees are bad, so no two-story house for me. We toyed with the idea of having a basement, but when we walked around them last year while looking at homes, I realized I cannot navigate steep stairways any longer.
Rightsizing works for us. In our case, we chose a manufactured home which is reasonably priced, and we can get a lot more for our money. Today’s manufactured homes are built in factories rather than on-site and can be upgraded with custom options. I will say it again, these homes are not your granny’s single-wide with metal siding!
Our home will have a back-entry mudroom/utility room. We, and our dogs, can safely enter the house through the back and wipe off the pesky snow and mud. There is a large kitchen, a family room, and plenty of storage space. Even though this new home has 800 more square feet than our current house, it is thoughtfully laid out with modern features. No fixer-upper projects!
Washington State has no income tax so our retirement pensions will go much farther. We may have to pay more for medical, but we both plan to work until age 65. We are waiting until age 67 to draw social security, then we won’t have to work at all.
Can you tell I am excited about the future?
Peace — that was the other name for home.Kathleen Norris
For Sunday Stills this week, share your thoughts, images, and other creative ideas about your home. Perhaps you have a favorite vacation home, live in an RV full-time, or are searching for your future dream home. Tell us all about it!
Manufactured home images from The Home Boys. Featured images/banner colored in Color Planet.
Join me this Friday for my book review of Walk Your Way to Better, by Joyce Schulman!
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