Ten months ago, we had an epiphany. We had a great life, wonderful friends and a strong community all within minutes of our home. But our family was always a flight away. With the imminent arrival of grandson #2, we started talking abstractly about moving closer to our children and grandchildren.
Since the first grandchild arrived, we found ourselves flying to San Diego more and more often to be part of their lives and experience all the exciting developmental stages. But every visit required not just a flight but a 24/7 imposition on their lives and/or my sister who is also a San Diegan. Our friends were all initially surprised but incredibly supportive as, they too, are enjoying the pleasures of grandkids close by. We knew we could keep our friendships going as we had successfully done so with our L.A. friends when we first moved to the Bay Area two decades ago.
From abstraction to action, we started the hard process of putting our home on the market. This involved a whole lot of cleaning and discarding of 20 years of hoarding and holding. Our first experience on the market was in late July. We were told the market was hot, ask high, get multiple offers and take the money and run.
Well, there were zero offers, the market was cooling and we finally took our own money and flew to Japan for a September vacation that both restored and inspired us. Maybe San Diego wasn’t in the cards for us after all… or at least not now.
On our return, we checked with a couple realtors about relisting our house in 2019. One said– “Don’t wait, the market is, indeed, cooling but I have the track record and process to get your house on the market and sold right now.” And so, we signed up and did exactly what The Sharp Group said. They said we needed to repaint, refinish, re-landscape and re-stage our home. It cost a bunch to do and the “Sharpies” kept us running and rushing (emptying out our dated stuff so they could install their stylish stuff) but we said “yes” to every request. Lo and behold, in just three weeks our house was transformed into a showcase home (all white walls & furnishings, grey cabinets and dark floors). And the people came. But. Still. No. Offers. Just when we gave up hope, the miracle of Hanukkah arrived. We got a buyer. A great buyer. A young and growing family who would love our home as much as we did. Just days before Christmas, we signed the deal. We were done.
Well, not quite.
Now, we needed to find a home for us. And fast. Everyone wanted a quick close, the buyer’s buyers, our buyers and thus us. We made an offer on a home in Bird Rock that we’d been eying since November but weren’t in a position to make an offer on. In January as soon as the house returned to the market, we pounced. Our son was a master negotiator in this transaction (he’s a broker). We played “international chicken” over the details of the offer but we ultimately got the house. On February 21, our young buyers closed on our old home, funds were wired to our escrow and, on February 22, we closed on our new home in San Diego.
On February 26, all our worldly goods were loaded up in a Bekins truck, we jumped in our cars and began the long road trip to our new life.
Who says we slow down as we age!! Everyone’s head is spinning at how fast this all happened. From concept to execution in under 10 months! That’s what I call radical reinvention.
Next time: The first few weeks in our new home as the bullet train of transformation continues.