CTRL Z – CTRL F5

Has it really been almost three months since I posted this cliffhanger? We started 2017 with 8 very different options and slowly worked through them all on paper and in real life. Several open houses, showings, offers and negotiations later we finally pulled the trigger. We are moving next summer. A legitimate, life-changing move across state lines.

It’s kind of a big deal. We’ve been living in the same state since 2001. We’ve been working the same jobs since 2004. We’ve been living in the same house since 2008. Some may call us established. Our situation is stable. Most days are best described as CTRL C – CTRL V.

What we just did can be summarized as CTRL ZCTRL F5.

Every single person we told so far had the same “WTF are they doing?” question in their head. Or at least that’s my guess since I doubt my mom, for example, uses such vocabulary.

We are living the American Dream. Great paying jobs, big brick front house in the best school district, two cars, vacations… Our son just started kindergarten and has lots of little friends on our family friendly cul-de-sac street. My wife and I have lots of big friends in the area. On any given day we can organize a social gathering with a few texts. We have not one but two grandmas available to babysit our son.

It took a good deal of time and effort to build this life. Who in their right mind would want to throw it all away and start over? Throw away the stability, the security, the comfort? And for what? To go live in a place packed with tourists 3 months out of a year that becomes a windy ghost town after Labor Day?

What about the climate change and the hurricanes and the rising seas? Didn’t you see what happened to Puerto Rico? Do you really wanna risk everything you own, your life, your kid’s life, to chase what surely looks very much like a mid-life crisis dream?

How can you justify pulling your son out of one of the top schools in the entire state to go to an average elementary?

Besides, where are you gonna work? Don’t they all  work in restaurants and construction there? Doesn’t seem there’s alotta need for IT consulting services – on an island.

These are just some of the questions that came up. We do have answers but honestly at some point I just started saying something along the lines of we just wanna try and see what happens.  If it doesn’t work out we can always come back. Most people just shake their head in disapproval and move on to the next topic.

By now you probably guessed that out of the eight options we picked # 5:

Sell the big house, buy a similar size house on the Outerbanks, NC and rent out part of the house for income.

Actually I should call it a Modified Option 5. First of all, we are not sure if we’ll be selling the big house. We may try and rent it out. But more importantly…

This year was tough in one very important respect. After trying for a while and spending a small fortune on doctors it’s clear that we’ll remain a 3 person family. Doctors say there is a very good chance we can have another kid if we push the science envelope a bit further but both of us don’t want to push it. We are too old for this. We know and accept it. Besides, our son is 5 now. He really is the best kid one could ask for. I really can’t imagine going back to the baby stage now.

Which brings me back to why I call it a modified option 5. Now that we know that it’s one and done for us, it seems ridiculous to continue living in a 3,200 sq ft 5 bedroom 3.5 bathroom McMansion. When we bought it a decade ago we thought we’ll have 2-3 kids so it would sort of make sense but now it simply does not. I know there is a family out there that can use the space. We need to downsize.

I’ve always thought it’s reasonable to allocate in the neighborhood of 500 sq ft per person when looking for a house, plus or minus. With 3 people our ideal home is somewhere in the 1,500- 1,800 sq ft range. Two bedrooms is good but 3 bedrooms is even better – room for guests and an office.

So why did we buy a 4 bedroom 4 bathroom 2,250 sq ft home on the Outer Banks? Because Triplex!

The top floor will be our main living space with 2 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms and a good size office/play room. Most areas have tall vaulted ceilings so it feels nice and spacious. The kitchen opens up into a living room and a dining room. No wasted formal rooms, no wasted space.

There is also a bonus room downstairs with a door to the backyard. This will probably become a multi-purpose room – a guest room slash man cave slash I-need-a-break-from-everyone room.

Did I mention it’s a triplex?!

There are 2 studio apartments on the first floor. Each roughly the size of an average hotel room with its own full bathroom, kitchen, HVAC and a separate entrance from the outside. Both apartments are legal, permitted and taxed by the town.

It works out to about 1,500 sq ft of space for us and the rest split between the two apartments downstairs. We’ll have less than half the space of our current house but I think we’ll adjust just fine. The open floor layout and vaulted ceilings upstairs make the space feel bigger than what it is. I really think this is exactly what we need in terms of size.

There’s lots more to share and I plan on going into a more detail in my future posts. Our journey to Pura Vida 2020 (or sooner) is in full swing.

Walks on the beach, sunsets and hurricanes…

CTRL Z – CTRL F5