It’s time to sell the house.
We have had a great run in this house. We purchased it in October 1990, twenty-two years ago. Our youngest son was born after we moved into this house. All of our kids grew up here. Their heights are marked on the frame of the pantry door. There are memories in every corner.
Nevertheless, our kids our mostly grown and gone and starting their own professional lives. The house is both expensive and time-consuming to maintain. We are going to sell the house, move to a small apartment near our office, and concentrate both our time and attention on growing our business: Asatte Press.
The house is just one aspect of the problem. This will be the first of a series of posts on different aspects of this “Scaling Down” problem.
Buying the house in the first place was quite an adventure. We had never purchased a house before. We were coming off of an international assignment with IBM in Japan. I had convinced IBM to let me move to Austin rather than returning to California. However, IBM had not offered any sort of special relocation package. We had two weeks of moving and living expenses and then we would be on our own. We didn’t know anything about Austin – it was quite a challenge!
Luckily, I few months before I had read an article in Time Magazine about buyers agents. We contacted a clearing house in Colorado who put us in touch with an extremely experienced and competent local buyer’s agent named Ann Littrel. She was terrific! Within a few days she had understood our tastes and zeroed in on this house.
The house sort of met checklist requirements for us. It was big enough. It had enough rooms. What sold us immediately was the lot. The lot was fairly large (50,460 sq ft ~ 5,000 square meters or 1.15 acres) but most of it was a cliff/valley/cave below the rear of the house. That is, the lot was about 70% green belt, containing a sort of natural saddle between hills with a geological ridge that formed a waterfall and a cave underneath the house.
At that point we had two small children and a third on the way. We had been looking at other houses, with little square rear yards. We looked at this built-for-kids adventure zone….and knew that we had to have this particular house. Ann helped us with the negotiation and we moved in right at the end of the two-week authorized hotel stay period. We actually rented for a week or two before closing. By Halloween we were proud new home owners.
By the way, when it rains hard, that stream becomes a raging torrent. The creek swells up to as much as 4-5 meters across and one meter deep. The water cascades over the edge of the ledge and tumbles down a 3-4 meter waterfall into the hollow below. All of this happens directly behind the deck outside our kitchen window. It is really fun to stand outside and listen to the roar of the water. The last such performance was earlier this week. Our little corner of the world here is called “Long Hog Hollow”
“Scaling Down” to be continued…