The House, USA

The Sign Is Up!!!! 5009 Clarke Street, Oakland, CA 94609

February 17, 2018

We went by the house yesterday and saw a sight for sore eyes, the “Coming Soon” sign was up!!!! WOW are things moving fast now. The house is staged and looks fantastic as the designers did a really great job. It is done in a totally different style than we would have ever thought of, but it really works! It is very crisp and minimal and we love the colors, furniture and artwork they chose to use. Both the upstairs and downstairs complement each other. The flow of the house is really shown off and the basement looks bigger than when we had our stuff in there (although we loved our items from all over the world) and we think the entire house will show really well and get lots of bids.  Continue Reading…

The House, USA

There Is A Lot To Selling A House!! Part Two

February 11, 2018

A week ago we spent four grueling hours doing our Disclosure Statement for the house sale. Eleven long pages of every imaginable question on the house history for repairs, problems, improvements, use, neighborhood and in our case, since the house is actually designated a condo, the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&R’s). We exhausted ourselves from having to think so much and for crossing our T’s and dotting our I’s as we didn’t want to leave anything out. After 20 years of Glenn owning the house there was a lot to go back over and explain. We eventually got it done though and Glenn finally ate dinner at 10pm! Anyone who knows him knows what a bear he gets when he doesn’t have food. For me it is no problem as I rarely get hungry, so I kind of forget what is happening to his body until too late. Once he gets something in him though, his sweet disposition comes back. I hear his dad was the same way and his mom always had to bring snacks for him. I may have to start doing that too.  Continue Reading…

USA

Here A Tiff, There A Tiff

January 30, 2018

Making a huge life change brings challenges for everyone, and we are no exception.

Since May 2017 we got married, decided too sell the house, Glenn retired, we found a great Realtor, we sold just about everything we owned and emptied our house out, hired a design company to work with contractors and stagers to fix up some portions of the house for sale and to stage it for viewing, met with our financial advisor several times, visited the Mexican Consulate in Sacramento for visa information, looked at international/expat health insurance companies, set up our account with the library so that we could read books online, moved to our AirBnb in Albany, got immunizations, got a copy of my official birth certificate from Canada for Mexico, bought and packed suitcases, mind-mapped a budget for the first 3 months of the year; which we are sticking to rather well, went through the holidays, mind-mapped 3 more budgets for the next 10 years based on what our house proceeds might be, and on and on. Continue Reading…

Retirement Days, USA

10,000 Steps

January 25, 2018

10,000 steps a day. That is our goal and we have managed it 6 out of the 12 days that we have been in Albany. That isn’t horrible, but we sure would like to improve it. It has been raining some days though and we have been doing a lot of meetings this past week so all of that has cut into our walking time. We vow to improve and we certainly have a great area to do so. It is fun to be in a new neighborhood, checking out all the streets, homes, shops and restaurants. We are close to 9,000 steps if we just head out the door, go to Solano Ave, travel all the way down it and head back home. And we certainly have the time to do so most days.  Continue Reading…

USA

Our New Albany AirBnb

January 24, 2018

We have been in Albany a week and a half already and are settling in pretty well. We are in a great area that is close to everything and we can walk everywhere and explore like we did in Temescal. Our AirBnb is comfortable and a decent size with an amazingly cozy bed. Unfortunately it is against the wall so that makes getting into it and making it difficult. I have claustrophobia, so guess who has to do the crawling? I just love having fluffy bedclothes/duvets and there are a lot of them so we have a tendency to sleep in. So much for Glenn saying he only needs 6 hours of sleep. I think he is getting used to retirement. The warmth of the bed is good since it is cold in the house. And for me, I am never warm in the Bay Area. We only have 2 small space-heaters which we keep on all the time when we are home, just not at night. We are used to using a small heater since the apartment had one, but that one cranked out heat really well and we only needed to turn it on for 10 minutes. I love night lights both at home and when staying at a hotel or AirBnb, so I bring them with me. They make it so much easier to move around at night when things are unfamiliar. We are lucky to have a washer and dryer here so that makes laundry easy. We may have to have that as one of our requirements in Mexico too as we detest laundromats. The only real downside is that the Internet is horrible here and it takes forever to have things load. We seem to have this problem all over Albany though. Continue Reading…

The House, USA

There is a lot to selling a house!!

January 20, 2018

We chose Cheryl Berger from Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate in Berkeley to be our agent. She has always been so friendly and patient with us when we have seen her representing other homes in our area even though she knew we were just passing through to look, had our own home in Temescal and weren’t buyers. She really has an amazing knowledge of the market for Temescal and surrounding neighborhoods. We kept her card just in case and when we decided to sell she was the only one we called, we trust her that much. Besides, she has stellar reviews from those she helped in the past. We have been working with her since June 2017 and she has really helped us with the process and is always there to answer questions and help us with all the forms, documents, etc., and there are a lot of them. She got us in contact with Nurture Source Designs who will be in charge of the remodeling work we need to do, they are a bit more contemporary than we are, but that fits the buyers who are looking at our neighborhood. You can see their work on the website and it is particularly interesting to see the before and afters. Our upstairs has been recently remodeled so we don’t have to do much there, just change some lighting and do some touch up. They really like the colors we chose, which is great because we think they are perfect for the house. The downstairs basement needs to be painted, get new carpeting and be fixed up a bit. It hasn’t been touched since built 15 years ago. The kitchen island will stay, which I am happy about since I think it really makes the room. Continue Reading…

The House, USA

We Did It!!!

January 16, 2018

A couple of months ago we set the deadline of Saturday, January 14th to be totally out of the house and into our new yellow Airbnb in Albany. And we actually did just that! Luckily Volker helped with the transportation of our 6 suitcases, carry-ons and general stuff for the next 2 or 3 months, since they would not all fit in our small car. Two trips for us, and one for Volker and we got it all. After all of that, Glenn and I headed over to Nai and David’s to drop off a few things that are a bit too fragile to bring down in our overpacked suitcases this time and they are willing to hold them for us. We will bring them down next year when we swing through the Bay Area on our way back from Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. They had some great food for us and we brought some nice wine and bubbly. It was wonderful to finally relax for an evening with fantastic friends. Continue Reading…

The House, USA

Three Suitcases Each!!!

January 11, 2018

We have culled all of our clothes and belongings down to the minimum and have done a preliminary packing run. The good news is that it looks like we will be able to fit everything into our three suitcases each. The bad news is that the weight of the big suitcases may be more than the airline allowance. Right now we can barely move them. We have got to find a scale to weigh them and see if we can take them onboard. We would hate to get to the airport and find out that this is not the case. That would be a disaster. Of course we sold our big scale this past weekend which was a dumb thing to do, so we have to figure out some way of checking the weight out. I am thinking of taking them over to a UPS store and having them weighed on their big scales to get an accurate reading. Then we can figure out if we need to freak out and whittle down some more. Continue Reading…

The House, USA

The Selling of Our Life

January 9, 2018

Saturday was the big moving sale as we tried to get rid of all our remaining possessions in one day. That didn’t quite work as we had to carry over for a bit on Sunday, but we still did do a pretty good job of it. We advertised on Facebook, Craigslist and Nextdoor Temescal and got a good crowd in. Earlier in the day Glenn tossed out one of his prized possessions; his hat from the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps which he was a part of for 3 summers, even through 1981 when they won the DCI World Championship. He did keep his medal and ring. For the sale though some of our friends stopped by to lend moral support, buy a few things and eventually drink some wine at the end of the day. And we brought in about $1700 over the two days which will pay for half of our Airbnb in Albany for 5 weeks, which is our next port-of-call. But boy were people bargaining us down to just about nothing. They knew we were in a time crunch and took advantage of that. We had tons of great stuff from our travels but only some of that went and we were surprised because we live in such a diverse and eclectic neighborhood. I guess with more people traveling nowadays they want to bring their own memories home. Our good friend Nai bought quite a few of the textiles though so we know they went to a good home.  And Julia, who just got her first salaried job with benefits in 45 years snagged some items for her new office. Continue Reading…