Continued from Part 1
So we found ourselves ready for the basics of the that first big step: sell the Austin house (should be no problem), pay off almost all our debts, and buy another house elsewhere.
Now, it was time to go…but where?
We considered trying to have 2 homes: a winter home somewhere in Texas and a summer home somewhere cooler. But the shortening of our timeframe meant we would not have the resources to invest in 2 homes, no matter how modest.
We even considered an interim move wherein we would move somewhere within the central Texas region for 2-5 years, then turn around and sell that property. We considered San Marcos, Wimberley, and even Marble Falls. With the whole area around Austin booming and promising to continue to boom for the next several years, we would almost certainly make additional profit on any property we might buy and then resell. Then, late last September— when summer lingers too long, still hot & sultry even at night and showing little sign of letting up — Sara announced that she had moved to Texas to marry me, and she had now put up with 27 of our insufferably long Texas summers — and that was more than enough and she wanted OUT.
So we started with a simple set of climate-based decision parameters:
- Nowhere south where it’s too hot too long in summer,
- Nowhere north where it’s too cold too long in winter,
- And after Hurricane Ike destroyed our relatives’ Bolivar beach house — nowhere near any coast with the associated storms.
We had both travelled extensively in the United States, me more in the West, Sara literally all over the map (hit all 50 states by age 50!), so we had each had our impressions, as well as shared impressions on our trips together, from New England to Alaska and various points between.
We were less interested in the politics of where we might move than in avoiding both deep red (again) and deep blue states, as politics on either end of that spectrum tend to get stuck in a purity mode, pushing extremes. We did not want to move to another big city, but we had no great interest in small town or rural life, either. Proximity to a wide range of healthcare resources & services had to be considered as a major factor as well — we’re not getting younger.
People often relocate to be closer with family. Well, we are our family to a great extent. Both sets of our parents and all of our grandparents have been gone for years. I have one sibling back in Texas, and Sara has one surviving sibling in New England — who is not on speaking terms with her. Our son, Lucas, lives in Asheville, North Carolina — but he’s 24, hardly the most stable time of anyone’s life. Were we to move to be closer to him, he just might move elsewhere within a short time anyway. Still, we fell in love as Asheville when we first took Lucas there four years ago, so we kept that area in consideration.
Our Decision Map
By now, we’d narrowed our choices down quite a bit and basically were just looking at two places: Colorado and near Asheville. Colorado has always been a welcome escape for this Texan, even though it takes 2 days to get there. And when we visited Rory in 2014, Sara fell in love with Boulder, especially sitting outside mid-summer. But much as we love and adore Boulder, there is no way we could afford to buy a house there, much less live there. We considered other nearby communities, but decided to widen our search to other parts of Colorado.
As to North Carolina, well, North Carolina was not really the spot we were considering anyway. No, we loved Asheville, but it suffers the same fate as Austin: a liberal bastion in a highly conservative state. Yes, Asheville itself is wonderful, beautiful, and enticing and we loved it from the minute we saw it. But again, prices within Asheville proper can be prohibitive, so many folks live outside the city itself in nearby communities and commute in to work. That might not be an ideal set-up for us.
Anyway, we decided last fall, we needed to make a couple of trips to further examine our prospects.
To be continued…
in nearby communities
in nearby communities