Omigosh, we’re moving to Portland!
So, it turns out one (this one anyway) can’t get a house ready to sell, look for and try to buy another house 300 or so miles away, deal with end of the school year stuff, and support one’s husband in job changes and selling the beloved Volkswagon Vanagon without giving up something to free up time. Now I know that some of you (those of you who don’t actually know me and only think you do because you read my blog) may have thought I was a superhero and would be able to tackle all of the above while still maintaining my blog. You may have thought based on my ability to kick a hole through a wall, knit up a mean hat in only a day, and run a 3K faster than my twelve year old, I could do it all.
Those of you who actually know me in real life, though, are probably not surprised that something had to give… usually it’s my ability to breathe. I seem to be completely unaware of stress in my life until my body lets me know. I often feel that I’m going along just fine, then one day I realize the only way I can get air is by taking little tiny breaths. Amazingly this time I’m breathing and thus far my body hasn’t let me know that I’m repressing stress. That’s probably because I completely bailed on blogging or even thinking about blogging for the past month… and I may be not thinking about everything that needs to be done in the next few months (weeks?). Baby breath, baby breath.
So, I’m taking a break from my regular posting and I’m calling it a sabbatical.
During my sabbatical we played “House Hunters: Portland, Oregon.” I’ve always liked those House Hunter shows on HGTV because it’s exciting and fun to look at all the possibilities. I like options and dreams in my own life as well. When I think about the possibilities with a move to Portland, the things that stand out to me are the chance for our boys to live somewhere they can both walk to school, the chance for me to walk or ride my bike to get to a grocery store or the MAX line or just for exercise without having to get in a car first, the possibility of a growing season that’s in the three digits instead of two, and the opportunities for our family to play together in so many ways in a city.
Thus, we began our search for a neighborhood that would encourage the above possibilities and keep Jason’s commute short. We took a couple trips to Portland, drove neighborhoods for hours, and narrowed our search. Once we figured out the schools we wanted the boys to attend, we ended up with a very small (less than three miles square?) area within which to begin looking for a home to rent or buy. Nice. Nothing like giving yourself lots of options. When you live a complete state length away. Again, nice.
We began looking for a rental home, then learned that Portland is the second worst in the nation for available rentals. So, we broadened our search to houses for sale and to apartments for rent. We found a number of wonderful craftsman houses with lovely porches, on streets lined with huge trees, all within easy walking distance to everything. There were so many that were perfect. Unless we needed to pay for them. While still paying our mortgage on our current house. Not perfect.
So, we went back to the rental scenario and to the “it’ll all work out” philosophy. This was fine. Looking at houses online was fun (because we currently live 300 miles from Portland we used a large number of great apps that I’ll talk about when I do my next app review) and we had no definite timeline. I was busy continuing my purging and now was thinking of it as pre-packing/pre-selling the house, and just feeling pretty darn good about it. Getting rid of stuff just feels great.
However, as time passed and we kept checking our online sites, it was becoming more apparent how difficult it is to buy or rent a house in a hot market (yes, we managed to be looking in the one neighborhood in the world that is actually in the middle of a major real estate rebound with multiple offer situations and everything). We had spent hours looking online and now were just addictively checking the sites in case a new house popped up for sale or rent. One of the rentals we applied for was only online for five hours and had six offers on it. The house rented for twice the term asked and at a higher rate. Ridiculous. Especially when we live far enough away that we couldn’t even see the place before it was gone. When this happened again with another home, we realized that without being up there we were going to just have to rent a place unseen. It sounds kind of awful, but we were viewing it as an adventure with the idea that we could do anything for a year or so.
That’s where things stood as of May 30th. Read tomorrow to find out what happened next.
- MyMove™ – Top 10 Things to Know for Moving to Portland Oregon (mymove.com)
- Expedia Kids in the City: Portland Oregon (pitstopsforkids.com)