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Thursday, August 1, 2019

No move for us for now

After 6 months of trying to figure out how to happily move near our little granddaughter we have concluded that we just can't in the current housing market in the East Bay of N. Cal. In fact the market has gotten even more frenzied than it was just 6 months ago.

Our idea of living further away in Davis, CA seems a non-starter too as the commute time was much longer than predicted even though we made the trip on 3 different days and at different times. We may check it out again in the fall to see what it is like with 35,000 university students in residence but given all the developments sprouting between Davis and Berkeley the commute time would only get worse. The housing market is much easier there though.

So where does that leave us? We are brainstorming ways to visit for longer stretches without camping out at our son's house during their work week. Perhaps visit a weekend then take a mini-vacation in another area nearby and then come back for another weekend? Rent an AirB&B for a month? Rent a vacation home and invite the family to join us? Babysit during school breaks? Join them for children's theater outings? We have decided for what it would cost us to buy a smaller home in N Cal we could spend a lot on visits LOL.

We all have our thinking caps on. (And where the heck did that saying come from?)

If you have any ideas on how to be a well connected long distance grandparent I'd love to hear about it!!!
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We do like our current house but are feeling a bit isolated and don't really enjoy living in an age restricted community although people are very friendly and kind.

On the family front, the good news is that our other son and DIL are still living in S Cal so we get to see them quite a bit and that is lovely. In fact we will go to Pasadena on Sunday and take them out to lunch to visit before they head off on vacation. My Hubby also has 2 aunts who are in there 90's and live alone that we try to see regularly.

We are determined to get ourselves busier and happier with daily life here! Part of that will be to issue more invitations to others and entertain more. Planning a weekly outing especially if it is a new experience or exploring a new area will help too. I will also create a weekly routine to make sure I have plans and tweak it until it is comfortable and energizing. Hubby is going to make sure he has OLLI classes one or two days a week although I don't see any in the fall schedule that I want to take.

We are going to continue to take care of the little fixes and improvements we would make to our current home to get it ready to sell and then enjoy them ourselves. Today the frig was repaired so we can use the water dispenser again. I still have to replace one of the shelves in the door but I now know where to go to get it. The repairman ordered it but was sent the wrong part.

We made a deposit to finish the remodeling of our smaller bathroom as the previous owners only did it halfway! That will mean the whole house is updated although not upscale. I am going to fix up the guest bedroom too so it is more appealing in terms of decor.

So there it is - our plans until, or if, there is a recession that causes a housing downturn that makes moving a practical option!

23 comments:

  1. All the possibilities and different scenarios to consider can drive you crazy, can't they. Sounds like you're going about it all in a smart way. Eventually it will pay off and you'll get more family time in one way or another.

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  2. I didn't know you live in the bay area...I grew up in San Francisco and Pacifica. Raised my family in San Mateo. We left the area 11 years ago. We live in Shasta County and love it. Fortunately my 2 sons, eventually came up this way, due to the high rent. I don't know how my retired friends are able to stay on the Peninsula. It was a culture shock leaving the Bay, but it has turned out to be the best decision we've ever made. Have you tried communities that are close to Davis - like Woodland, or Rocklin? They still have affordable homes and you would be closer to your grandchildren.

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    1. Oh I seem to have it backwards. Yep, that commute from Davis to Berkeley is rough. When I visit friends, we go around to 680 as to not, have to sit in bumper to bumper traffic through Berkeley.

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    2. Thanks for the suggestions. Right now we live in S Cal in Camarillo so that is what is driving us to try to make a change. We came to our current location to be near my very elderly FIL who has since died so we have unlimited options now.

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  3. I don't have any wisdom on the Grandaughter connection as such. I take it there's really not enough in their neighborhood to keep you busy and entertained during the weekdays? Or is it that you feel you are in the way of their regular routine? I spend a month with my daughter and son in law-while he is there some of the time along with the grandpuppies, she is gone during the traditional work day, so I end up going out and doing things, but I know the area and I have even looked into a couple meetups to keep me busy. I have also looked at renting an airbnb in the earea were I to do more of a snowbird thing and stay longer than a month.

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    1. We have thought of doing what you are doing and may extend our visits. We could keep busy but it might be too long an interruption of a family with a young child. They are brainstorming too since they were encouraging us to move closer!

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  4. I wonder if you could rent an RV for extended stays?

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    1. Hadn't thought of that. Not sure where we would park it but interesting idea!

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  5. I am in your current boat, with our granddaughters about the same distance away by airplane. We do get back about five times a year, staying anywhere from 3 days to a week each time. We would love to live closer but 1) we don't care for the area or weather, and 2) our SIL is military, and will likely be relocated every few years.

    Our solution is simply to visit as often as we can, and bring them here at least once a year. Between the longish visits and FaceTime, we are able to remain close to our granddaughters. It's not a perfect solution, but we do feel much closer to our granddaughters than what either my husband or I experienced growing up. And now that they are getting older, tripping with them is beginning, and it's wonderful fun.

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    1. That's right - I have read your visit posts. Thanks for reminding me!

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  6. I can't help with the grandparent thing as both our sons are unmarried and we have no grandchildren (to our constant disappointment). However my parents visited often and phoned to talk to the boys at least once a week. They also sent them letters at least once a month once they were older.

    God bless.

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    1. Great ideas. I keep forgetting to send mail and she loves getting it although it is a fleeting experience at 2 1/2. We do FaceTime and even the dog gets in on the act to her delight.

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  7. The housing recession is crazy here! Apartments in our complex sold for $550,000 plus last summer and they're languishing on the market at $400,000 right now. We have constant upheaval from construction and it will continue for a few years. Our building will be finished in the spring and I'm looking after those small improvements in case the market picks up. You would probably enjoy a sublet vacation near your grand-daughter. If you could find someone who is going travelling, perhaps you could water plants and live in their home.

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    1. Thanks for the suggestion and sorry you are in the midst of a housing recession. We may do a long term Airbnb as Silicon Valley jobs and UCBerkeley keep the housing market very tight. We can stay at our son's house but we think it pressures them although they haven't said so at all.

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  8. That is disappointing but it is Life. All the choices you are thinking about sound great. Just like house hunting, you might have to try a few to find the one that works best. I guess I'll start appreciating the fact that the Grand Girls are less than an hour away. LOL.

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    1. It is disappointing as we would like to be part of her life weekly. Not moving is certainly easier on us though!

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  9. Are your grandchildren still pretty young? (Sorry, I can't recall the ages.)As they get older, if you are still in your current location you might be able to have them come for extended visits, which would give you quality time with them and would be a nice break for their parents. When you visit, have you looked into extended stay hotels? With membership points and discounts the costs may not be too bad. Well, I wish you luck with your geographical challenges. You're smart to take it slowly and thoughtfully.

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    1. Our only granddaughter is 2 1/2 so we do have a lot of years ahead. Thanks for the ideas.

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  10. Oh, Juhli, I am in the same boat. But can't afford to go to Ft. Worth much more than I already do to see my older granddaughter. And with her in school and their very busy lives, it is hard for them to get to El Paso more than once a year. Do you Skype? That helps me between visits. Reading to my granddaughter via Skype is fun. Meeting in the middle sometimes for a weekend? We haven't done that but it might be an option. Our distance is about 600 miles apart, so that would still be a drive for both of us. It is so hard to say goodbye not knowing when you will be together again. We always try to part with a plan for another visit in the future.

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    1. I know you are in the same boat and great ideas. We do FaceTime although her attention span for conversation is limited at this point. We were brainstorming with our local son and DIL over lunch today and they suggested a planned vacation half way that we all go to. That and more frequent visits will have to do for now. Glad you just had a visit.

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  11. Could you house sit near your relatives? Are they members of nextdoor.com, house sitting needs are listed there for their neighborhood. Free housing! Also they could put a post at nextdoor saying grandparents will house sit. Sometimes you feed pets. The commute could be even more gnarly from Davis when the students arrive in fall.

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  12. You did so much research - you are making an educated decision to stay put for now! When I retire in 9 years (haha), we will need to find a way to spend more time near Link in Toronto, without moving there (because our retirement funds would be too quickly depleted there). Will probably look at extended stays, 1-3 month rentals. The weather is more extreme in Toronto than it is here - colder winters and hotter summers. So will travel during the off-seasons!

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