A few months after returning from our Road Trip Ramble, I was itching for a project. Tim was back at work, and I wasn’t exactly eager to find a job. We had talked about remodeling our kitchen and bathrooms before the trip, so I thought this might be the time to get started.
We had always known that we would need to make some improvements to the house before listing it for sale. I wanted to do the work now and be able to enjoy the updates, not wait until we were ready to sell the house in four to five years.
So remodeling the house became the focus of my attention during the winter of 2012-2013. I painted the rooms on the lower level, and hired contractors to do the rest of the work. It was fun to pick out paint, countertops and appliances with Tim, and we made it a point to not over-improve the house. We loved the way everything turned out and looked forward to enjoying our “new” house for several years. In the spring of 2013, we even bought new furniture for the living room to replace the sofa and chairs that Kitty had destroyed. We had absolutely no clue that we would make the decision to sell the house just six months later.
|Lots of Remodeling Projects|
Once Tim decided to retire, it was actually a huge relief that virtually all the renovation work was complete. That was one item we could cross off our list. Of course, I wanted to do a few more small things to make the house look as perfect as possible for potential buyers. Winter and early spring in Estes Park were not the ideal seasons to do things like staining the decks and trimming the bushes, but we somehow managed to get them done.
We had to put the house on the market, but when should we do that? For us, it made the most sense to wait until after Tim retired. Here’s why. First, selling a house is stressful, and Tim had enough stress during his last few months at work as he tried to wrap up his career with the National Park Service. Second, keeping a house in show-ready condition is even more stressful, particularly if you have a pet. We knew that we would have to remove Kitty and her things before every showing, and that was not something we were looking forward to. Finally, we had plenty of time. We already owned our RV and could wait a bit if necessary for the house to sell.
So we made the decision to list the house several weeks after Tim’s last day at work. That day would also be the day that we would begin our life as full-time RVers. We would leave the house furnished and ready to show, and let our realtor handle all of the details. Then, once we had a contract on the house, we would return to Estes Park and pack up. Downsizing would already be complete, and the only things remaining would be the items we would be storing or giving to relatives. Although it’s not a plan that would work for everyone, it seemed to be the best solution for us.