Our son-in-law titled this – when we told him and our daughter our news. He said he was glad we were going to finally settle down! If you follow us on our FaceBook page, found here, this is no surprise. We have been posting some of the process but perhaps a post to help explain how this went down might help others. Or at least help us! Most of our family and friends were surprised by this – and so were we!
We had a fabulous year up until September, 2018. Probably one of our best – in fact, every year seemed to get better and better! One thing we always say after we’ve visited some of the most fabulous places was whether we could call it home one day. We had a few parameters for that “place” and we had hoped Wilmington, NC would work out for us. We were so sad when we finally visited it after three years of yearning to get there – we really wanted to love it!
I’m wishing I could do a 2018 review like I did each prior year – but I just don’t have it in me. It’s really sad we felt like it was time to stop – but we really didn’t want to stop! There are a few things to clarify to help understand what happened – which it was ultimately for family reasons.
First of all, we are about to celebrate our 44th anniversary this April. And guess what? We started our marriage with a dilemma – where to live! Bill had been living in Florida – and he loved it after growing up outside of Pittsburgh. He really never could tolerate the cold. I was living in Virginia. We met in a traveling evangelical ministry called “Christ is the Answer” when we met. We started this blog sharing about our marriage – divorce and then re-marriage. We have a story to tell and we share it whenever we can. But what I didn’t mention in that post was our first “dilemma” – where should we live. Bill wanted to move back to Florida and I said we needed to live near family since I didn’t know anyone in Florida. Bill said, “fine” in the most manly way – we’ll move back to Pittsburgh area! He really was punishing himself since I didn’t mind the cold! And now for the past 5 1/2 years, we keep asking ourselves, where should we settle down?
Next, is the fact we started RVing because of our first born grandson. We lived in Florida (yep, after 29 years, Bill finally got to move back to Florida – he’s a patient man) and our daughter and son-in-law were in Virginia. It was a 14 hour drive if we didn’t take more than three breaks driving. And then, they turned their guest room into a nursery, so we needed a bedroom. Long story short, the RV idea just seemed a perfect fit. And so we started in September 2013, right after he was born. And then guess what? We actually fell in love with the lifestyle after a few months. We sold virtually everything and in July 2014, we were full timers.
We really didn’t know how the lifestyle would “look.” We wanted to travel and see every place we could visit! Oh, we had great plans. We began following a couple of other full timers and really enjoyed their journeys. They were hikers like us so it was natural we would try to follow their paths.
But then we realized, we couldn’t travel as far as they did as we had promised our daughter – and it was a no-brainer, we would come back to visit for a month at a time, three times a year. That really limited our travels, coupled with the fact, once we had the motorhome we named Tiffany (bought in May 2015), Bill didn’t want to drive more than 250 miles a day.
We’ve had a blast and maybe we will regret it, but it just seemed right to stop here in Myrtle Beach. This location really met all of our basic requirements for a place to settle into. We’re doing this for family reasons. We started this for our grandsons and now we are ending for our grandsons. We really want a “grandma and grandpa” house for them to come and visit. The motorhome was just two small for the two
wild precious boys! They need a house they can hang from the rafters – so we bought a one story home that will be come their “beach cottage.” Our daughter and son in law now have a ready made vacation home for their family. First vacation is this Easter and Spring Break. We can’t wait!
Once we made the decision, finding the house was pretty easy. But it deserves another blog post. We don’t close on it until February 1, so we will have a “reveal” after we get settled in. Now selling the motorhome was another story. And we know many are curious.
We attended a seminar at the Tampa Super RV show – we began attending the annual shows for a few years prior to our first RV purchase. The seminar was about the differences in full-time RVing and “extended stays” RVing. We decided we were enjoying the extended stay mode of travel until we finally pulled the plug and just sold all! Anyway, what we learned was vital about going full time. Have an EXIT plan!
Our exit plan was to take place after about 10 years of RVing. Since we sold everything, we invested our assets and assumed in 10 years, it would grow at about 7%. That’s about the average our investments have grown in the past 10 years. But it hasn’t been working out these past five years. So to be honest, we began to think we needed to get back into the “market.” So that has been playing on our minds.
On October 24, we arrived in Myrtle Beach with our 3 year old grandson, written about here, thinking we would buy a condo that needed remodeling and flip it to help boost our assets. A realtor said the condos are flying off the market and they are great deals. But for various reasons, we decided that wasn’t really what we wanted to do. And in the fine print were the condo fees. It just didn’t seem to be a feasible way to invest. And besides, Bill sold all his remodeling tools! Ouch.
Once we took Bryce back home, we got serious about looking at properties. It didn’t take long to decide we are still single family home people. We wrote a contract for our dream home on December 14, 2018. But really, this will become a vacation home for our grandsons and their parents! And that is the driving force. We just felt we weren’t doing justice with our times in Fredericksburg. We ended up spending too much time seeing doctors – and we are both healthy – and not enough time enjoying life! Something just had to change – and this is the change we needed.
We need to do an update on his heart health – basically he now spends at least two hours a day taking care of his health! We have a stretching regime we do for 20-30 minutes a day. Then we walk at least 1 1/2 hours most days. And then we cook fresh at home. That does take a bit more time and frequent shopping. Settling down just makes sense now. And the good news is he has kept his 50 pounds off and I’ve kept the 30 pounds I lost off. We can’t believe the difference it makes in our joints and general well-being. So why so many doctor visits? Our son in law made a casual comment he thinks that is just what you do when you get old…..we still love him. 😏
Bill has never thought taking care of two homes was in his DNA. He’s a bit obsessive/compulsive about how he takes care of things. And there are just too many other things he’d rather be doing. So our motorhome had to go. But a few things had gone wrong and had planned to take her back to Red Bay for her annual check up and routine maintenance. But now that we were going to sell her, Bill began to scramble to get her fixed and ready to sell in excellent condition. At first, we just listed her on Craigslist – that was how we sold our first RV. And we used the FaceBook Market Place as another place to advertise. And then the phone calls began – no one really serious. Bill suggested RV Trader. For three months and 20 pictures, the cost was $69. And then we began to get serious inquiries.
So how did we find the perfect next owner? We must have talked to 10 people about her. Most wanted her but either had to sell their own smaller RV, they had a trip planned and would come see it upon their return, they wanted to pay much less (we did our due diligence and priced her right – and to sell) or some other indicator they weren’t really ready to buy. And then we got really good questions via email. One inquirer sent us a list of questions, about 15. We answered them all and saved it to use for further advertising.
And then on December 29, 2018 we got a phone call and we just seemed to click. We spent about an hour talking with him. He ended by saying he wanted to call back the next day with his wife. We liked his thoughtful approach and the questions told us he was a serious buyer. The next day, we spoke for over an hour and a half. It ended with the fact they wanted our motorhome. Bill told him we weren’t going to try and sell it to them, but he wanted them to want to buy it.
The not so perfect scenario was the fact he lived in Colorado and we were in South Carolina. He had some minor surgery scheduled and wanted to put it off for a month or more – but we just bought a house and needed to get her sold! We did some negotiating and long story short, he flew here on January 9 and drove her away on January 10. We really enjoyed our time with him. We drove to Charleston to pick him up as that was the best airport for his flight. We were happy to do it as a dry run for possible future travel. You see, Myrtle Beach’s airport is pretty small and only has a few carriers. We learned you need to allow two hours travel time there – it’s only 1 1/2 hours away but there were traffic issues.
Bill wanted to fully brief him on every aspect of her systems. We were with him from 1:00 pm until 8:30 pm. He just amazed us – he just grasped everything about all the inside functions and we could tell he was going to be the perfect next owner – he and Bill care for their things the same way. Sadly, his wife couldn’t come with him as she still has a few more months to work until she retires. Then they plan to become full time travelers! We picked him up the next morning at 9:00 am. And then it was all the outside systems. They went over it until about 3:00 pm and it was finally time to take her for a test drive.
Because he was going to drive to Colorado by himself, we wanted to do all we could to make sure he fully knew everything he needed to know. We offered to let him drive her to Florence, SC with Bill as his navigator and give him driving tips. It was his first time to drive a big rig – but he is a pilot and has owned larger boats. But this is a bit different. I followed and could tell he would be a great driver. We made sure he got her set up OK and we headed back to Myrtle Beach by 7:30. Those were two intense days. But we wanted to end on a positive note with him and let him know we will be here for any questions or concerns. So Bill said he failed in fully briefing him – he contacted us to see how to turn the windshield wipers on!
Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
Next up? What would you like to know?