We began looking at real estate online, "interviewing" agents by email, and establishing rapport with some, crossing others off our list immediately. I leveled with them: we're not rich, we're not retiring. We don't have jobs there yet. We don't know where we want to be.
We'd have to sell our house here at some point (although we've downsized enough recently that we could technically qualify for two small mortgages). Two mortgages, but no jobs? And, how could we buy a home there while we're here? One agent suggested bidding, then flying like maniacs to get an inspection before closing. Ack.
Jobs? How would we manage this overlap? We surely couldn't go long without a job, carrying two mortgages, but how do we apply and interview from 2500 miles away?
What if we rented an apartment? Easier than buying, for sure. Except ... we've owned for so long that we forgot how landlords feel about other people's animals, and we don't harbor just an apartment-sized cat pod (maximum 2). A house would be better still, but the rents would put us in the situation of needing two full-time jobs very soon after landing.
How would we get the cats there in the first place??
It all built to the point of despair. We would never be able to figure all of this out. It was a sadistic game of Tetris in which all the pieces were round. No wonder people stay where they are. We all just succumb to the quiet ease of inertia and make the best of it.
Annie was browsing Craigslist one day and read aloud an ad wanting a mature couple to pull their RV onto land that needed caretaking. "Cool idea! Wouldn't that be great?" We did some quick checking to see what kind of RV we could get in Arizona. It's not clear who said it first - we each claim the idea - but the obvious next question was Why not buy it here?
Are we kind of serious about this? Yeah, I think we might be.
- A place to stay on the way
- A way to transport the cats
- A place to land at the other end
- The perfect transitional vehicle
Somehow we began to think of the trailer in terms of a semi-permanent home, and not being in such a hurry to duplicate our lifestyle here. Why not give ourselves time to explore, not just the southwest, but ourselves? And, without the overhead of a stick home, taxes, utilities ... would we rather do something else with our time than continue the gray flannel life? [Note: neither of us wear gray flannel, except, I do wear gray flannel pajamas. I'm using gray flannel as a metaphor for stuff we do for money that we'd rather not do if we had a choice. Just clarifying.]
There have been minor headaches since that decision, but the impossibility just fell away once we got our heads there. That tells me it was a good choice.