Sunday, July 21, 2013

Living in a Trailer (or a New Slant on Life)

We finally live at El Rancho full-time. A little sooner than expected.

I had planned to have the house ready for viewing in April, but the sign didn't go in the front yard til the end of May. Throughout the spring, I took advice from a realtor friend about sprucing things up and about leaving some things be. Watching home selling shows a few years ago actually helped!

And speaking of realtors, I interviewed three before signing a contract and strongly recommend it to anyone selling their house. I liked two of the three and finally chose the agent who I already knew. Of the others, one didn't seem that interested, but the other ran a close second to Trish, and ended up being a key player in the sale anyway.

A month behind schedule, we finally got the house listed on a Thursday night and they started showing on Friday. Saturday, we had an indication that a contract was coming from the first couple to see the house and they were preapproved! Their agent was the third one I interviewed-- she knew the couple had been looking for a place like ours a few months before without luck and so she gave them a call. The inspection created no surprises, we already had a survey, and we were off to the races. We closed (which is real estate talk for 'we got the money, honey') just 32 days after listing the house. That meant we had to be out of the house!

So May was very busy. Between moving and storing all of our stuff, we had to make sure there was a septic system at Danny's house, that he had a semi-finished room to live in, that Dan and I had a travel trailer to live in..... and the house was clean and the grass didn't die in the heat-- truly nerve-wracking! And buying a travel trailer is crazy-- some are junk and some are mansions, and some are cheaper to buy new rather than used! I finally bought a 29 foot Coachmen Cascade, 2003 model, from a part-time dealer in Caldwell. It boasts a queen-size bed in the front with a door, a big slide for the dinette and 'sofa', and a separate bathroom in the rear with a four-foot tub and a big closet.

We have been in the trailer for about three weeks and are settling in. After about a week, I noticed we were listing to port. Dan got some big jacks and tie-downs and leveled the beast, but now, after the rain, it is down in the stern. We'll go out in a couple of days to get her on an even keel.

The hardest thing to adapt to has been personal space. We replaced the mattress with a new one, but trailers use shorter mattresses, so we have to kind of crawl into bed from the door because the end of the bed nearly touches the wall. No way to get dressed in there or in the bathroom, so the living/dining/kitchen is also the changing area. There is no washer and dryer out here until Danny's plumbing is finished, so I have gone each week to the Harvey Washbanger's, where you can eat, drink and do laundry. I've split my grocery shopping between HEB in Brazos County and Slovacek's in Snook.

To save space, we each bought a Kindle, which has proven to be a good thing. We don't have any TV stations, so our usual entertainment is building on Danny's house, planning our barndo, and watching the goats. I must say that goat dynamics are a lot more interesting than I thought they would be. Such personalities! I'll hold those thoughts for next time.

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