Moving on: Time to go with Plan B


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On a good day we think we’re adventurous; It seems crazy on bad days

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You know the saying, “Be careful what you wish for, it may come true”?

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In my last column, I wrote about our desire to enjoy simple pleasures and live life less as my husband and I downsize from our home in Collingwood.

What we didn’t anticipate was how minimal this lifestyle would be…at least in the short term.

I also mentioned that we had the unfortunate timing of listing our home since the market was slowing down, but I hadn’t shared that we had bought a home in the Niagara area in late April when the market was still hot.

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I’d been looking at the daily deals in Collingwood and the Niagara area for about a year, so I had a pretty clear idea of ​​what would work for us.

But the “tipping point” of the decision came when we toured three houses with Barb Sukkau, a sales representative at Royal LePage NRC, Brokerage in St. Catharines.

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As soon as we entered the third, we immediately felt a connection and could imagine starting our new lives there. I whispered to my husband, “I love this house, but maybe it’s too beautiful for us.”

It met so many of our criteria and more – a newer, move-in ready bungalow with upgraded finishes and a private garden with mature trees in a quiet neighborhood within a small community.

And it was close to a quaint downtown area, a hiking trail, a beach, and only 30 minutes from my mom and our oldest daughter.

We couldn’t stop thinking about it and a week later, when the sellers lowered their prices, we made our move. Thinking that we could compete with another buyer; somewhat overwhelmed, we made a binding offer with the request to extend the submission deadline by one month.

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To our astonishment, our offer was accepted a few hours later. And looking back, unlike others who bought just before sales slowed, we didn’t experience any buyer regrets. On the contrary, despite all the jugglers, we would have regretted missing out on this one.

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With the closing date of August 12 approaching and we still hadn’t sold, we had to come up with a plan B, which involved beginning the move gradually and keeping our Collingwood home on the scene for as long as possibleβ€”and on working towards a final move-out date before the snow flies.

We have also hired a caretaker to look after and maintain our property, including pre and post shows in our absence. Since I was still busy getting the house “ready”, my husband focused on makeshift solutions for our new home.

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An important lesson we learned was that you should avoid closing on a Friday. We experienced delays and missed the registration deadline which pushed our closure to Monday, the next working day.

Luckily, although we were fined, we were staying with my mother and only had a packed car…no moving trucks and a van to pay for over the weekend. Three days later at 5pm we finally got our keys

Out of necessity, our new style has become a mix of furniture-less minimalism and urban camping. Initially, our setup consisted of an air mattress, two folding bar stools, a camping sofa and rec room table (thankfully my husband had the foresight to ask about the vendors’ TV), two low lounge chairs, a portable grill, and our bikes .

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We also brought a coffee maker, kettle, minimal kitchen supplies, linens and cleaning supplies. On our memorable second trip with our small trailer down the freeway during a torrential downpour, we brought an outdoor sofa, chairs and tables, another air mattress for our second bedroom, more kitchen supplies and a push mower.

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So how do I feel about our new way of living? On good days I think we’re adventurous; with others I find that we are crazy to do something like that at our stage of life.

And while we envisioned a smooth transition from one home to the next, our experience, while not ideal, has yielded some benefits.

We enjoy the sense of calm, ease and freedom embodied by a minimalist lifestyle which in turn has given us more time to explore the local amenities and get to know the area.

More importantly, arriving ahead of the rest of our belongings has given us a chance to re-evaluate what current possessions and future purchases we really need to love life in our new home.

Since beginning her career as a travel journalist over a decade ago, DeeAnne has broadened her focus to research and write about ways to live a fulfilling and engaged life.

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