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Michelle_P - The next journey

Michelle_P

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Relocating to Oregon

I think everyone knows that I have been pretty much constantly with Laurie for a few years, It’s been a long distance relationship at times, with Laurie living in the Portland suburbs, and my living in the San Francisco Bay suburb of Walnut Creek. We occasionally had to each be in our respective homes from time to time, as we had things on our schedule that could not be readily adjusted, but we have spent the vast majority of our time together.

Recent events, from the COVID-19 pandemic to changes around our living situations, are telling us that a change is needed. My condo is feeling a little confining, between HOA regulations and insufficient space for my found family. Laurie’s lease is ending on her apartment, and the new complex owners would like Laurie and her sister out of the way so they can renovate the apartment and raise the rent substantially.

We have been exploring new living arrangements, to find a place where we could safely age together, with accommodations for the three of us, that would offer privacy, space, the ability for us to pursue hobbies, and be in close range to needed medical facilities, shopping, places to walk and relax, and extended family.

I have family in the Gig Harbor area of Washington state, as well as family currently in Idaho and missing Portland. My location in the San Francisco area puts hundreds of miles more between me and them. Laurie and her sister have relatives in Oregon, of course, and her sister has grandchildren there.

We’ve reached the conclusion that things will be best for all of us if I relocate to Oregon, and Laurie and her sister remain there. To that end, Laurie and I have been looking at homes in the Portland suburbs of Tigard, Durham, Lake Oswego, and Tualatin to try and find a home that would be perfect for us, or could be made perfect over the next few months.

We have found a few. One was perfect as-is, and so naturally the bidding went crazy on it, and we wisely dropped out rather than massively overpaying. It’s now the most expensive home per square foot in it’s town, delighting the tax assessor.

After looking at a number of others, we ruled most out because of price, location, or goofy HOA rules. Some were overpriced per square foot. Some were incredibly trashed on the interior while looking nice on the outside. All the copper pipe is GONE and the interior walls destroyed? The HOA prohibits possession of any wireless transmission device? So, no cellphones or WiFi, or is this going to be weaponized to harass residents that some HOA board member doesn’t like? Oh, and your association is wildly underfunded, so there will be a massive special assessment in the future. Good grief.

We finally found something in our price range, a great location, with plenty of space, that we think we can, with a bit of work, make perfect. The home was an as-is estate sale, priced low, and needing some work. It was built in 1978, and the interior is completely original but in excellent condition. It has a high-end 1978 kitchen, with a Jenn-aire grill, built-in 1978 vintage oven (ain’t NOTHING digital!), cabinets and countertop.

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There’s some deferred maintenance, including a roof due for replacement, and the water main is pinched off a bit, reducing flow. We are budgeting for this, of course. We also plan on doing a little remodeling to turn a downstairs den and half-bath into a bedroom with attached full bath for Laurie’s sister, along with replacing the carpeting and flooring. That plus new paint inside and landscape cleanup should have the place ready to move in for us.

We closed on this on Friday, July 24th.

IMG_3726.jpeg


Over the next few months I will be packing up and selling my condo in Walnut Creek, and relocating to Oregon. This is exciting, and a bit anxiety-producing. We will have a lot of work to do before all is ready for us, but I hope to get this done within a few months and be moved in before the end of the year.
 

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TonyaJanelle

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Looks wonderful. I know you two will be very happy there
 

Kenna

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Congratulations! It sounds great (with your repairs.renovation budget) and I wish you all the best!
-Kenna
 

Linde

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Nice house and setting! Will you do all the work alone, or have contractors doing it? I bet ist will be fun for you guys building your very own nest together!


Hugs
Linde
 

OzGirl

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Congratulations, with a little work you will realise another dream!

Hugs,

Allie
 

Michelle_P

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Thank you, everyone. This is going to be quite an adventure.
Nice house and setting! Will you do all the work alone, or have contractors doing it? I bet ist will be fun for you guys building your very own nest together!
We are not as physically resilient as we once were. We can handle a bit of painting, but setting timbers or replacing a floor are definitely outside our physical limits these days.

We have contractors doing the roofing and structural repairs, and have a contractor to do the remodeling job. We are still getting bids for the flooring work.
 

Linde

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Age and estrogen made us into little sissies! We can't even lift 6 x6 x 10's any more, darn it!

Hugs
Linde
 

Donica

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I am so happy for you both. You now have a beautiful home, and a wonderful life ahead of you. I never liked the HOA. Some times they work in the homeowners favor, but all too often, they're just power crazy.

Wishing you all the best.
Cheers!
 

Michelle_P

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It looks like word on my moving got out to the real estate industry. I’ve had a number of phone calls and texts this morning about selling my Condo in the San Francisco Bay Area! I’ll meet with a realtor later this month and hash out a plan. I think I can move at almost any time, storing my stuff in the new home’s attic and garage until the renovations are complete on the house. Now that the new roof is on and the porch supports are repaired, it’s down to getting the first floor mini-suite done for Karen, and getting all the nasty red-orange carpet (oh, yay 1970s...) replaced.

Most of the stuff from my condo will wind up on the second floor, so if I can get that recarpeted before moving, I won’t have to stage things into the garage and attic, making the move a little easier.

We have a contractor lined up to do the remodeling work on the ground floor now, and asked him for a bid on the flooring work. If that doesn’t look good I’ll see what some local flooring/carpet joints come up with.
 

Monica

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Wow, I missed this, the house is beautiful, the color, the trees, the big window, the two chickies out front. Congratulations you two.This makes so much sense for so many reasons. Very happy for you!

What's the back yard look like Michelle?
 

Maddie

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What a pretty house!
Good luck ladies with the upcoming projects.
 

KathyLauren

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Wow, congratulations, you two!! That looks like a great place, and I know you will be very happy together there.
 

Michelle_P

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Wow, I missed this, the house is beautiful, the color, the trees, the big window, the two chickies out front. Congratulations you two.This makes so much sense for so many reasons. Very happy for you!
Thank you! We are pretty darn happy with how this place is, and how our lives are progressing.

What's the back yard look like Michelle?

Overgrown! The previous owner told the yard service to let it grow, as he liked it a little bit wild. His wish has been granted, in spades. English ivy and blackberries everywhere, non-native invaders growing unchecked for years. Laurie has already started ripping the overgrowth out.[/QUOTE]
 

Monica

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You are two wonderful people, I'm glad you are finding happiness together. I love a natural setting, I'd wither and die in a city.
 

Lexxi

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You are two wonderful people, I'm glad you are finding happiness together. I love a natural setting, I'd wither and die in a city.
Does that mean that every time you go to a city someone has to water and fertilize you to keep you from withering? 😂 🤪 😂
 

Michelle_P

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Does that mean that every time you go to a city someone has to water and fertilize you to keep you from withering? 😂 🤪 😂

In my case, I can generally do this for myself, through a mindful meditation practice.
 

Randi

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Beautiful new home! Wishing you much happiness.
 

Tia

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Michelle, As I recall, you also enjoy a latte and croissant at a walking distance café from time to time. How far to local village pleasantries?
 

Michelle_P

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Michelle, As I recall, you also enjoy a latte and croissant at a walking distance café from time to time. How far to local village pleasantries?

That was one of the criteria for any place I would move to! I had to have some basic services, grocery shopping, cafés and restaurants, clothing and such within walking distance. There is a shopping center full of high end chain stores, cafés and dining, and a Whole Foods grocery 10 minutes walk from here. They are even getting an ”In-n-out Burger”, which makes Laurie’s sister happy. There are huge city park spaces where I can walk miles about 5 minute away. Hardware stores and other shopping centers are 5 minutes by car or a 30 minutes walk away.

The place has a “WalkScore” of 56, lower than my old condo at 85, but still pretty good, and with what I care about located close by.
 
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