Last week was a big one for me. The contract with Oliver was signed which included all my final decisions on upgrades, add-ons and customizations. It begins production on June 26, 2017. I cannot wait for the moment I see it for the first time and the for moment right after when I step into it for the first time.
I do a full-body shiver of delight every time I imagine that scene.
At times when I felt most overwhelmed during the last three years, I would tell myself at the basic boiled-down level, there were really only two things I had to do to become a fulltime RVer:
- Buy a rig, and
- Move into a rig.
I’m not a dope, so I know this formula oversimplifies the process. And that, in reality, there are about a thousand things that have to happen to complete each of my two-steps to fulltiming.
So today I report step one has officially been checked off the list.
One of the biggest “details” of step number two is downsizing. I can’t very well move into a rig until I have downsized enough to actually fit into one. I have written about various downsizing options here, here, here and here.
Once sufficiently downsized, the next “detail” is to sell my house. There are many reasons not to sell one’s house when embarking on the fulltime RV life. In fact, there are probably more reasons not to sell than to sell. But I am selling. I will share how I came to the decision. Time will tell whether or not it was the right one.
I met with a realtor a week ago. She confirmed what I already knew. My carpet needs replaced before I list the house. To be honest, it needed replaced when I bought the place a decade ago. But I ended up adding a puppy to my family. And between the dog and the cat, I have had vomit, dirty paws, hair clumps and many unidentified stains that make the very light-colored carpet look permanently dirty. I took the “why bother” attitude when it came to replacing the carpet.
It also might be possible that a couple of glasses of red wine have been spilled, a slice of pizza ended up face-down and a woman’s size 8 shoe print on every other stair after she unknowingly stepped in dog-poop also contributed to the problem.
However, for the purposes of this discussion, let’s agree that I haven’t replaced my carpet sooner because I have naughty pets.
This week the checklist only has one item. Purchase new carpet. Once it is installed, it will be time to put my house on the market which will bring me that much closer to completing the second step of my two-step plan.
What does any of this have to do with today’s blog post?
This preamble gives you the backstory which is necessary to understand the lesson I learned. It’s this:
There is such a thing as downsizing too much. It’s the downside of downsizing.
In my mind, it would be best to present my house to prospective buyers as empty as possible so they can envision their own lives and possessions taking shape in the space.
Not so, says my realtor. She says most people have trouble visualizing how an empty room will look filled and that it’s my job to stage each room with what it might be for them. For example, she said one of my bedrooms should be staged as a kid’s room even though I don’t have children. Most buyers will and we want them to “see” their own children playing and sleeping in that room.
When I proudly show her the furniture I hauled to the garage she says it all needs to come back in. I refrain from showing her the body bruises I received from the very heavy lifting. She says I should remove it from Craig’s List and sell it after we have an offer on the house.
The realtor tells me to look on the bright side. The near-empty house will make carpet laying a breeze. I am not at all brightened by the bright side.
As she talks about empty walls being the death of a potential sell, I am thinking about all the hours that went into making those walls pristine and empty by removing every nail, filling every hole with putty and repainting them. I remember the multiple trips with a full car, including wall art, to charity. And now she is telling me to go buy large wall art!
My realtor has been in business for 22 years so I will her advice to heart. Though I do so begrudgingly.
I will borrow extra furniture from work to turn one empty bedroom into an office. As for the child’s room, my plan is to take the boxes I have packed and make a fake bed. I’ll add my air mattress on top. Then cover with a quilt and toss on a few stuffed animals. I can also create a covered child’s table (another cardboard box) and decorate it with color books, markers, and blocks which I can also borrow from work.
Fingers crossed that no prospective buyer sits on the kid’s “bed.” The results would not be pretty.
I hope this blog serves to inspire others to take risks (despite the immense fear) and to Supersize their lives. I know what I am doing is unique to me. But I share this story for those who might be downsizing and selling a house.
What I wish I’d done was change the order of my to do list. I can see now it would’ve been advisable to speak with a realtor early on. We pay them a percentage of our sale for a reason. Lesson learned. Albeit too late to do me any good.