Sunday, December 23, 2007

Little House on Matey Road

I can remember thinking, back in 1995, when we were looking at houses prior to moving into the area, that the little house on Matey Rd. could be one that we stay in for 12 years. Why 12 years? Frankly, I have no idea where that number came from, other than it was larger than the seven year figure that was rattling around in my head for most of the other places we had been checking out.

Well, here we are 12 years later and the arbitrary time frame suddenly has meaning. With the move to China comes the question of what to do with our humble abode. Is now the time to sell it? There are good arguments that way.

The neighborhood is not what it used to be. One of the great things about Matey Rd. was the familial connections that went back sometimes three generations. Although we were newbies, we were surrounded by Crawfords, Isoms, Norwoods, and other long-time Matey Rd. residents. Now many of these awesome neighbors are gone. Mrs. Wilson is hanging on, but there are few others left. In their place has been a string of renters who come and go before we even get to know them. There's not much, people-wise, binding us to Matey Rd. any more, that's for sure.

It will be easy to make the break. Moving out will be sad for all four of us. Some of this sting will vanish if we move out in the context of the larger trip to China. In other words, the excitement of what is to come will take some of our attention off of what we are leaving. And then it will be cool to come back and set up an entirely new shop somewhere else.

That said, there are so many logistical hurdles to pulling such a move off.

Do we aim to sell the house right before we leave and have no residence to maintain while living abroad? Is this kind of timing at all feasible given how weak the housing market is? And how will we search for and buy another house from 7,000 miles away?

Do we sell the house now and only move the essentials into our next place, treating it as a way station on the road to China? Then we could rent this new house out and not feel uncomfortable that someone is living in our space. When we return, we can then paint it and do all of those things that transform a living space into a home.

Do we rent our current house out and then move back into it for only a short time, while we look to sell and buy? This way, once again, we won't feel funny about having renters in our permanent space.

Do we just rent the house out and plan to stay for a long time after the trip? After all, we do really like the house, yard, etc.

Or do we just leave it empty for a year?

Lurking behind all of these questions, of course, are financial realities. Can we afford the kind of move we would like to pull off? What are the monetary pros and cons of the various roads we might follow?

I have no idea what we should do, nor what we are going to do...

~Steve

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