This is a report on our house hunting. Finally, we can disclose it! We had not said almost anything, except to a couple of very close friends. We did not want to be overwhelmed with questions (or having it jinxed, if you believe in it… I do!) I have received many questions about it because of my latest message. I cannot answer them all, so this goes to everybody. I know you will undertsand! Well, I hope…
As many know, we had been considering moving to San Francisco to be closer to our daughters – the only relatives we have in this country. They come here often to help, but they have jobs and a life, and as we get older (and sicker), we need them more than ever.
We started in October 2012, when we felt we were ready to take it seriously. With the help of a realtor, Valeria and Rosana went to see many houses. Not easy. We were looking for a “double unit” – that is, a house with two separate living quarters. Valeria and Creg would live in one and we in the other.
It was not until February that we realized San Francisco was out of bounds for several reasons – houses tended to be too small or poorly maintained, but it was due mainly to the cost. One of the houses we liked better than others had … 17 offers! Yes- and it sold for 300,000 above the asking price, which was already over one million!!!
The next step was to see what they had to offer in neighboring counties. The first house we found was in Marin county, in San Rafael. Then, as we all liked it and it was reasonably priced, we made an offer and it was readily accepted! Since then, we have been incredibly busy with mortgage specialists, three realtors, two banks, and a lawyer. We even had a notary public come to our home here (for a hefty fee, naturally) to sign all the documents for the closing. It took one whole hour!
The house is ours as of 21 March 2013!!!! However, we cannot move in yet. The people who live there now will not leave until May 1st, and for us it is better, as we cannot be ready so fast. we are not well, as you know. Valeria was here for almost two months helping us get rid of all the “junk” accumulated in the 32 years we have been living in this house. It was not easy. What they labeled “junk” was a treasure for me… But, as the house is smaller, we have to adapt, and I closed my eyes as things went to several charities. It was the books I could not let go, but having Kindle helps, and I realized I could not keep all of them. Fortunately, many students benefited from them, but libraries had too many restrictions… Moving everything across the country will not be easy, so we have to be realistic.
As long as I am sending this to many, and some have asked, I will add that Guido is now in limbo – he can see better with the eye that had the cataract surgery, but he has to wait until next Tuesday to have it on the other eye. In the meantime, he can’t wear his glasses, but needs them for one eye. Catch 22, indeed! Maybe a monocle? Very dandy! We hope by mid April everything will be better. Rosana is now here to help and also to take Guido to the doctors, as I am not allowed to drive.
For those who assumed that we are moving now because we are better, I am sorry to have to say that is not the case. As it is, I am worse, even after having turned to yet another highly recommended endocrinologist… He seemed quite capable, but could not help much. He told me I have to wait until 2014 for the new Synthroid dosage to be effective. I am not joking!
Let me also remind you that after the very strong earthquake in San Francisco in 1989 Valeria took a course on earthquake readiness and survival. We know all about it, naturally, even if she had not taken the course, so do not worry!
We will probably be moving sometime in June. By then, I hope I will have been able to close my eyes and discard everything that we won’t be needing there. Clothes are the easiest, as the weather will be much sunnier and milder than here! And less foggy than San Francisco – one advantage. Also, Isabel Allende lives there, so we may be able to resume our lapsed friendship.
We are now eager to be in California. Guido was somewhat hesitant for almost two years, but now he is also looking forward to it. He even has drawn a plan and is “placing” furniture in the rooms (remember he is an architect)! And there will be time for Valerie and Creg and Rosana and Rafael to go and see what else needs to be done to the house so that when we move it will all be ready, waiting for us with open arms!