The Halfway House

Our former home

The original idea was to hand the keys to our house to the new owners and head to the airport for Our Big Trip. Fate had other plans for us.

Selling the House

We put our house up for sale in mid-March figuring after a couple of weeks on the market, we’d accept an offer and begin escrow with the purchasers. Typically, there would be a 45-day escrow as the purchaser arranged financing and all the forms were duly processed. Additionally, we would request a rent-back period from the new owners to extend our occupancy until the day we flew off.

As it happens, the best offer was all cash with a 10-day escrow. That had us transferring ownership in early April. Moreover, the purchasers were themselves on rent back through April on the house they had just sold. They wanted us to vacate in early May. That would be 2 weeks to get everything we own dispositioned, i.e. sold, donated, gifted, packed or trashed. Also, we already had planned a final house party in early June and our kids would be staying with us for the entire month of June.

As a condition of sale, we agreed to rent back until mid-June. This gave us more time for the party and getting rid of our stuff, but it left us over 2 weeks of homelessness. Thankfully, some dear friends invited us to stay at their place, in a spare bedroom, the entire time. I could not have predicted how helpful that was.

Our Halfway House

Our halfway House

As described in The Big Week is Here, dispositioning the house contents was way more work than originally conceived. Because we would still be local, knew I had a couple more weeks after vacating to lock down a few items, so those things were relegated to lesser priority during The Big Week. Accordingly, I still had much to do, only I no longer had my office and all the things in it.

Our Hosts

Our hosts were traveling for the first week of our residence. This was for the best, I think, since we, err, I arrived as a bit of a hot mess. Having the run of the house was fantastic. Had we stayed in a hotel, there would have been far less space to get organized for the final dispositioning push. We would also have been eating out every meal and basically been living on top of each other.

I came to view our friends’ place as a Halfway House. Not in the traditional addiction recovery sense, but rather as halfway between living in our old home and beginning our new roving lives. It was a kind of a port in a storm. Thinking back, this worked out much better than if we had pursued the original idea of going from our house to the airport. The Big Week was quite stressful and doing that just before our departure would have made the entire situation more difficult.

Moreover, once the furniture was dispositioned, which needed to be done at least a few days before our planned departure, there was nothing in the house to sit on. There was one Murphy bed, no utensils, cookware or linens.

This didn’t really dawn on me until we were in the middle of packing the house. Prior moves had been accomplished in one day. The movers showed up in the morning, packed up our boxes and furniture, went to the new home, unpacked the furniture and boxes. We slept in our own beds, only under a new roof. My original idea of staying in the house until our departure was flawed from the start.

Final Thoughts

I am eternally and immensely grateful for our friends’ hospitality. Our time there allowed for recovery from leaving our house and then launching into Our Big Trip. I would like to think we will be able to pay it forward ourselves someday.

leaving on our big trip
We are ready to go

How has other’s generosity helped you during a turbulent time?

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