Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Background

Just another pretty view from the lot, last October.
So many things have fit together for our move to Guffey. This move has clearly been God's leading for us. We don't know what He has in store, but we know He wants us there. Here's a bit about the background, leading up to this point in time.

For a long time we've talked about "downsizing" for our retirement. We've observed in our own families as well as others, that downsizing is inevitable, sooner or later. When these moves become necessary later in life due to health issues, the homeowner does not have the physical ability to carry out the process of cleaning up and purging all the stuff that is so easily accumulated. Tim and I don't want to leave our mess for someone else to clean up, and wish to do as much of it ourselves. Moving to a smaller home and living with just the necessities seems right for us. We also feel it would be best to have a single-story home without steps either to an upstairs or to a basement, so we can access everything easily on one floor. We also want to build our own home while we are still physically able, so now seems like the right time.

Things have come together for this move in amazing ways.  Here is all it has all come about:

THE PROPERTY
  • We visited Guffey for a vacation the first part of July, and "fell in love" with the area.  We saw property flyers for vacant land and began looking around.  Next thing we knew, we were calling a realtor!
  • After viewing a few properties, we were drawn to one of the first ones we saw, Buck & Doe.  The price was better than other 35+ acre lots, the layout is nice for a house, barn, & garden, and of course for the horses.  This property already had electricity (worth about $10k each lot).  And, the wells nearby are all good and not too deep.
  • We made our offer, a low one, thinking we would have to go a bit higher, but our first offer was accepted, and the process was in motion.  After that:
  • The "witcher" found some spots that look quite promising for a well.
  • The electrician thought he could get the power in for us in time for our vacation.
  • We have a clear line of sight to a wireless internet tower, which will allow us to use our new wi-fi phones, and should be able to have that available in time for our first vacation.

TEMPORARY LODGING

  • After searching a bit for a 5th wheel, we found our Hitchhiker.  The owners, Bob & Pat, needed about a month to move out, and we didn't need it for a month, so that worked well for both of us.  It's in great shape and having been lived in, it has lots of nice extras, such as the skirting around the bottom with extra storage, a front deck, and (best of all for me!) a full-size refrigerator.  Later, with our change of plans moving our September trip to October, it allowed Bob & Pat the extra time they needed to move into their new place.
  • We purchased our2004 Nu-Wa HitchHiker on September 20th, and took it to the property October 3rd, where it will remain as our home while we build.

TIM'S RETIREMENT

  • While considering when Tim will retire, we'd gone through different scenarios about when we'd sell the house and move.  Since Tim will be 62 in October 2015, we thought we'd wait until at least that time to make the move, but since winter would come shortly thereafter, we wondered if Spring 2016 might be better for a move.  That seemed so far away…
  • Along came a "phased retirement" package from HP.  What a surprise!  The plan itself wasn't suitable for many employess, but for us, it will work out well. Tim will be able to leave HP earlier, May 31, 2015.  Prior to that, he'll only be working 4 days/week from Dec 1 on.
  • Tim will be glad to get out of HP and the stress of being in such a worldly environment.
  • With this time frame, we could put the house on the market sooner and possibly move as early as June 2015.  (Tim thinks that as things have been going, he wouldn't be surprised if someone would drive up the lane and ask if they could buy our house.)

MOM

  • We knew we wouldn't be able to move forward with this idea with Mom living with us. She would need to find a new home at least by the time we'd be ready to move. And, with her here in the meantime, her needs would make it more difficult to visit the property on weekends, as well as to get the house ready to sell. Certainly, less comfortable for her. A lot would be going on, she'd be ignored more, and life wouldn't be as fluid around here.
  • We wanted to make a plan for her to be somewhere else by March 2015, so we could more seriously get ready to move.  We spoke with my sister & husband and my brother, Jeri & Gary and Tim. Jeri & Gary offered to have her move to Green Valley, where they live, and they had found a nice independent living facility not far from their home. That was a welcome surprise to allow us to move forward. We tentatively planned for Mom to move sometime after the holidays.
  • We had planned a couple of vacations to visit the property, one in September with J/G coming to care for Mom, another in October with by brother Tim coming to care for Mom.  In late August, Tim had emergency heart surgery and would be unable to make the trip in October.  J/G offered to have Mom come to stay with them for the month, to cover both of our vacations, but then one thing led to another, and a unit would be available at The Peaks by the end of September. Mom moved there permanently on September 23. This has freed us up to visit the property more frequently and make a mess of things around the house while we clean it up. :)

HOUSE PLANS

  • We've been planning on a small, one-story home, and have begun thinking about what we might do: A "kit" home? A yurt? Some other round kit? We are attracted to the round concept, and even a yurt was somewhat compelling.
  • First, we visited a yurt and chatted with Dan & Emma at Colorado Yurt Company. Prior to our visit we discovered that Park County, where the property is located, is not amenable to yurts as permanent dwellings. Dan and Emma were very helpful, and provided lots of information about codes and that their yurt would meet or exceed wind and snow load codes, etc. They indicated they were willing to come to the county to help us obtain a permit if we decided to go that route.
  • We continued to search for other options, particularly looking for round plans or kits.
  • We stumbled on to Smiling Woods Yurts, which are actually wooden round homes with a dome roof similar to a yurt in style. They will meet our county requirements. We have now made plans for this home. More on that later.

THE BIG PICTURE 

It is exciting to us how one thought, one plan, one contact, seems to lead to another, until we settle on something that makes total sense for us. We think about property and some of what we most desire, and find just the right spot for the right price. We need internet, and there it is on the hill in sight. We need a place for Mom, and there it is. We start thinking about retirement in October, then HP comes along with "how about May (and you can work part time until then)?" We think about round homes and find just what we're looking for. It's been amazing to us how things just seem to "happen", and it's right. The whole thing just seems to be God's leading, and we want to give Him the credit!

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