Friday, June 27, 2014

Contemplating Change

 

This has been an interesting week for us. Thanks to our friend who is allowing us to park on her property, we have really been able to  get a feel for Bend, Oregon and we love it here. So much so that we actually went and looked at a couple of condos for sale. In our nearly six years of full time travel, this is the first town we’ve found that we could see living in, at least during part of the year. And who knows, maybe we could even tolerate the winters here if we get some snowshoes and cross country skis.

Beautiful Sparks Lake, just up the road from Bend.

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The condos were okay. They have great views of the Deschutes River and are just a couple blocks from downtown next to a lovely park. But the building is old, and most of the units are in a rental pool as part of a motel, which makes them less desirable. We liked the third floor unit, but there are no elevators. Good exercise, but if one of us had a mobility problem down the road that would be tough. On the other hand the complex is gated and would be a place that would be easy to lock up and leave for months at a time.

Then as we were thinking about that possibility, we found out that an acquaintance was getting ready to sell his 36’ Foretravel class A, which Jim has lusted over for years. When we purchased our 30’ Lazy Daze in 2007 we had no intentions of retiring and living in it. But we’ve managed just fine in it for all this time, with the exception of the fact that we have limited storage, trouble keeping our weight within the limits, very little kitchen counter space, no automatic leveling jacks, and small holding tanks. We have adapted to all of this and are quite comfortable in our tiny house.

The Foretravel would give us all those things we wish we had in our Lazy Daze, plus it’s already rigged for boondocking with solar and greater battery capacity, and a whole house inverter, which we don’t have.

So our big dilemma is are we ready to settle down, spend our summers in Oregon, and keep the Lazy Daze for winter travels? Or do we buy the Foretravel and keep traveling as we are now? Or as a friend told us, buy both, it’s only money!

Jim called our insurance company yesterday and they quoted $1,000 more per year just to insure the Foretravel, so that gave us pause. And we already know that maintenance expenses would be greater with all the extra systems in a diesel class A. And it is a 2000 model, 6 years older than the Lazy Daze, so more likely to have problems down the road.

A happy family with no decisions to make.

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As it turns out, someone else is going to look at the Foretravel today, and if they decide to buy it that will make it easy for us. Unfortunately it’s in North Carolina, so if we decide we want it that means Jim would fly to Charlotte and have to drive the FT back to Bend, or we would both fly there which means boarding the cats. Then we’d have to get the Lazy Daze ready for sale and transfer all our stuff, another big chore.

The easiest thing would be to do nothing. And after thinking all this through, that is most likely what will happen. But sometimes it’s fun to contemplate change even if nothing changes.

So where do we go from here?

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34 comments:

  1. Love your perfect picture for this post. I find that I have terrible lethargy as regards change. I don't want to work that hard. All your alternatives seem very enticing. Maybe the FT will drop out of the equation and that will make a decision by default although I hate those since I want to do my own choosing. I agree with your friend though, you can't take it with you. If you want both then do it. My guess is you'll never regret it except for the time it takes to make all the switches. That's what always makes me just take a nap. :-)

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    1. I think lethargy will get the better of us!

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  2. Contemplating is much easier than deciding! Seems like you have a (potential) decision about Bend, but have not found that "this is it" life changer - with the positives totally outweighing the negatives. Good luck

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  3. Great ending picture! As I get older, my mind also wanders to contemplating changes. Of course, I haven't been to Bend, OR, yet. ;) Maybe next summer???

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    1. You will like it here. No mosquitoes yet.

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  4. Can sure identify with your decision dilemma. We have gone down that road so many times but I think the way you are going about your decision making is correct. Your thinking ahead & that is a big plus in itself. We are happy with our Snow Bird lifestyle. A nice stable home base to live plus a nice RV to travel in. It's often been called the best of both worlds & I truly think it is...............

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    1. We always think ahead but don't act on our thoughts. We know we will have to get serious about it one of these days.

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  5. I hope you wind up doing what is best for you. Before I read further down I remembered that I had read many years ago that Bend was voted as one of the best places to live in the country. So I googled, and guess what! They are number one for 2014: http://tinyurl.com/qyrexjr

    Rich and I were always looking at new homes. We'd fall in love, then on the way home become rational. LOL I can think of some, now, that I wish we would have bought; but I'm stuck,now. Whatever you choose I hope it brings you happiness.

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    1. Thanks. We don't really want to buy another home but thought a condo might be the way to go. Bend is a great town!

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  6. Bend is certainly a great place to live, especially for active outdoor people like you two. Wishing you all the best as you contemplate your choices.

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    1. We liked Eugene, too, but you guys get way too much rain!

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  7. What a circle of life we lead. You are thinking about bigger to carry more stuff. I am looking at smaller since I don't use all my storage area in my 20 feet of trailer and can downsize my stuff a bit more. Bend winters are not really that bad normally. I always visited there in January/ February and it was very nice but brisk.

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    1. We don't really want to carry more stuff, other than maybe a grill, but we hate having to worry about every little pound.
      Remember we come from Florida so brisk doesn't sound do good!

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    2. I came from south of Houston Tx so I well know what you were used to in Florida. The lack of humidity in the PNW dropped my brisk tolerance by about 20 degrees. I went from 60 was miserable cold to playing golf at 40 degrees in Washington. Got back to coastal Texas an nearly froze to death at 60. Personally I would rather just rent campsites than but some dirt again.

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  8. I could do the winters. It's the congested roads I couldn't abide.

    Other than that, what a great location.

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    1. We don't find the traffic bad at all here. Guess we've been lucky so far.

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  9. The Foretravel would be quite tempting over a Lazy Daze. You could have the Foretravel and go south in the winter and find an RV park and spend your summers there if that is what you would want. We have friends in Bend and go Mexico for the winter. Actually, she is not yet back in Bend. Just sayin.

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    1. We aren't crazy about commercial RV parks, so that doesn't appeal to us much, but it may be something we do more of on down the road. Haven't tried a winter in Mexico yet.

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  10. Tough decisions for sure! But are you really ready to have a sticks and bricks again? Sure doesn't sound like it by reading about your travels. Remember that Bend is great now becauss it is new. But think five years down the road. Will you be tired of biking and hiking the same places!? Bigger RV means bigger expenses as you said said. Keeping what you have means you have that extra money for play!!! We had this decision years ago in our house. We stayed with the smaller house and that money for pleasure. Very smart idea on our part. Good luck with your decision:)

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    1. The reason we were able to retire early is because we resisted a house on the water like most of our friends did. They are all still in FL working.
      One day we will settle down somewhere and so far Bend is the best place we've found.

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    2. Sounds like our great minds thought alike...and look at us now:)

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  11. Bend is awesome isn't it? We too contemplate living in Bend, but the winters scare us, it is quite cold there. Also the amount of growth it has, and is, experiencing.

    Income taxes in OR are very high, almost as high as CA where we came from. Which is why we are considering WA or NV; no state income tax. Oregon has so much to offer though...

    Decisions, decisions...it certainly is interesting and also stressful to contemplate big change!

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    1. We kept FL as our residence since there is no income tax there, either. We did some research and since we have very little income the tax situation would not be too bad in OR.
      Property taxes seem high to us, though. I am more inclined to rent a place part time and keep our FL residency.

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  12. You guys can buy the lot across the street from P and I. You can enjoy the 90% humidity and the annual risk of hurricanes. I know you miss it.

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    1. We would consider it if not for those neighbors across the street!

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  13. How wonderful is a life with choices :-). Interesting that the FT became an option just as you were contemplating coming off the road at least part time. Although complicated, having so many great options is the curse of a blessed life. Whichever straw you pull, you're going to have an adventure. Enjoy the journey!

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  14. Oh boy...a Foretravel is an excellent coach.

    We ran into a similar situation when we saw this house. We weren't sure we were ready to settle in one spot for any length of time, but after talking the life out of the situation, we are glad with our decision. This is really a decision only you two can decide on. Good luck.

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  15. Change is good, but it would be nice it it was a little cheaper :)
    It really is "only money," and you can't take it with you. I think a blended RV/Sticks and Bricks life is in your future anyway (Very few RV'ers stay on the road forever, and I would go so far as to say that most of the one's who stay in their rig forever is due to financial necessity. And it is nice to have a home base to come and go from for a lot of reasons. You get to spread out once in a while, don't have to worry about water and dumping and price of gas etc.. Then you have a hometown hospital in case you need it…this was brought home to Bobbie and I this past winter BIG TIME. Yes we are are all getting older and things happen to even the fittest among us. The great part about a Condo or house is that you can always hit the road when winter gets a little long or dreary. We can be in central Arizona in an 8 hour drive…warm as toast, even in the winter (most of the time, anyway). Of course Bend is a couple more day's drive to the sunny southwest…not a big deal, especially since you love, love, love the town and all of its recreational and brewery amenities. If not now…it will happen eventually, unless you blow the nest egg. Don't blow the nest egg or your "options" go out the window. :)
    My two cents
    Box Canyon Mark…on the mend, hiking again, feeling good (knock on wood).

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  16. It seems the most important part of the decision is, do you want to come off the road, at least part of the year? All the pluses of the FT would be great--except the stuff for boondocking, we have them all and love it. But someday, maybe in 2 or 3 years, we are thinking of the part-time stick house.

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  17. Here is what we learned, the hard way. It is better not to buy anything until you have lived in the area for a year. You need to see the full year. Consider renting.
    A Class A will cost you more to run. The number of electrical systems on these things is sort of insane. Foretravel is a good coach, but it's still a Class A.
    Have you seen the disposable charcoal grills in the grocery stores?

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  18. I would stick with the Lazy Daze. Imagine taking the Foretravel to those boondocking spots you frequent. And fuel costs. Yikes. But perhaps I'm biased since I would love to downsize now that we're no longer full time.

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  19. Interesting post. If you aren't sure what to do, my advice would be to do nothing. You've made a "somewhat" decision that you love Bend. If you continue on as you are now, you have Bend in your back pocket and can return when you tire of full timing 12 months a year. Then you can look in earnest for a condo that is newer, easier to get to with an elevator or on a lower floor, and has more full time residents. There were a lot of red flags in that building that could come back to bite you - sorry for the mixed metaphor. :)

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  20. We may have an interesting decision to make regarding our future shortly. Thanks for providing insight into choices.

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