It was a great two years, just before COVID. I learned a lot, both here online and upstairs, I had mostly great guests, and in spite of the worries and backaches, I enjoyed it. It was a lot more fun than being a landlord with tenants overhead on a year lease, and it made more money, but it was a lot of work.
But after 18 months of mortgage forbearance, financial chaos, and dread, I have to admit that since I can’t see any way to finance the bathrooms and heat pumps I need to make enough profit to live on, I need to sell the house.
Fortunately, this is the perfect time to do that. US interest rates will go up at the next Federal Reserve board meeting in March. According to my contacts in local real estate firms, house prices have been rising 1.5% per month for the past 3 years, and this is the most desired neighborhood in town. All recent sales have been bid up well beyond the appraised price. I inherited 25% of the house in 2005, which was the down payment on the mortgage. The house is now worth at least 2.3x what I paid for it.
All of the long project list, little to-do’s, and major improvements will be left to the next owner, along with the worry and stress.
I will make enough on this sale to erase all my debts, downsize to a smaller home, and have a comfortable retirement income without having to work, and the time and wherewithal to travel. I have a long world bucket list.
I’ve found friends here, and I hope that I will be able to stay with some of you, or at least have a meal or a drink. I’m sorry that none of you will have a chance to stay in this great old house.
So, for the first time in years, I have to look for housing! I’m sure I can find something here that will get me through house hunting, because it may take me a while to find the ocean capable liveaboard sailboat that I hope will be my home for the next 10+ years. That means that any of you on any coast in North America or in the Caribbean might get a call to come visit for a drink or a meal if I’m docked nearby.
I learned to sail in Southeast Alaska, in some of the toughest waters in the world, but I’m going to have to go get regrooved at a sailing school because I’m from the days of sailing with a half dozen Sea Scouts and hand winches. I’ll probably also take a diesel mechanics course, but I grew up rebuilding outboard motors and repairing VW Beetles.
For the first couple of years, I expect to spend summers here in Alaska exploring the places I never had time to visit, and winters in warmer West Coast climes.
And I have 3 friends, all recently retired (and 10-15 younger than me), either Coast Guard or commercial fishermen, that are looking forward to an Atlantic crossing. I’d really like to spend at least 5 years in Europe, sailing Norway/Baltic/Ireland/Scotland summers, Mediterranean in the winter. So @JohnF you’ll have to meet us in that little harbor at the tip of Punta de San Felipe in Cádiz with some of your Oloroso!
Once Elon gets all of his Starlink satellites up, he’s promising they will be selling marine units for worldwide broadband anywhere, so I will continue to stay online and in touch whenever possible. I still do homebrew computer and electronics projects, and a boat will be a great place for that. I also love woodworking, and expect to buy a boat that needs some updating and minor rehab. I’ve been secretly looking online for several months, and have seen several affordable ones that I want to take out for a sail.
I shut down my listings but I’m not leaving the forum. I’ll continue to post critiques, complaints, and opinions here until I get bored or y’all run me off!
Thanks to all of you for your patience.