We Bought A House On The Internet

Has life been strange for you lately? Likely maybe since February?

It has been for me.  There’s the pandemic, working from home, and trying to remember where I put my mask …

Over the last couple of years I’ve been considering when the right time to retire would be and what would I do when I give up working in the high tech business.  It’s a difficult thing to consider and more than a bit scary.  Heather and I have discussed various plans and options.  The most common one being moving from the expensive San Francisco Bay Area to Reno, Nevada, where our two daughters and five of the grandkids live.

We’ve looked at homes there and have had a bit of family “encouragement” to round up the wagons and head east.

In February we went looking at homes with a Realtor and almost bought a house.  The timing wasn’t right and we didn’t love the homes we saw, so we returned home, promising to take a fresh look in June when more houses came on the market.

Then there was this major pandemic, I was sent to work from home, and in early May I got a new boss.  It became obvious after a few meetings that I was likely on the short list for the “early retirement” package. During this whole Covid thing, the value of family and uncertainty of the future have hit home harder that it has before.  Who knows how much time we really have.  Needing to do what is truly important has become the biggest thought in my brain.

There comes a time when you just have to follow your heart and take the risk.  So in the middle of a pandemic, with most things shutdown, we decided to buy a home in Reno and figure out how to make everything work including possible retirement.

With the internet and all the fancy communications tools available it’s amazing what you can do if you put your mind to it.  We contacted our agent who started emailing us listings and it wasn’t long before I came across an interesting listing.  I showed it to Heather and she really liked it.  Then we sent the address to our daughter and asked if they’d do a drive by.

Well, the house is less than a mile from her place and her report was encouraging.  This was early May when the shelter in place orders were starting to lift in Reno.  The house was vacant and our agent informed us that a private tour could be arranged with certain restrictions.  Our daughter and son-in-law agreed to put on their masks and do a walk though for us.  Our agent would do a video call with us so we could see the place.

We joined the video link, asked questions, and liked what we saw.  In the days before the call, we’d had plenty of time to research the home, check pictures, satellite images and a ton of public records.

When the call was over, Heather and I looked at each other and both said, “I want that house.”  The house has all the things we wanted – plenty of space for our creative activities, including a larger area for my wood shop and nice spaces for Heather’s art studio and sewing areas.  There’s a master bedroom suite that you can get lost in and a kitchen equipped to feed a platoon.

We called our agent back and got the wheels moving.  There are a million details in buying a home, escrow, mortgage, packing, hiring a mover, etc, and that’s been our life for the last six weeks.  Heather’s been packing seemingly nonstop and I’ve been doing the same when not working.

This last weekend we were finally able to travel to Reno for the escrow closing and got our keys to the house.  It’s an odd feeling to enter a house for the first time only after you’ve paid for it.  The risk paid off and we love the place.

Just before we left to get the keys my employer informed me that my job was being eliminated and I was offered a generous severance package.

So, that’s where we are.  I’m newly retired in a house of boxes waiting for the moving PODs to arrive to move us in to a new adventure.

There are the normal fears of a move, but also the possibility of new worlds opening up.

I’m hopeful that with more time on my hands, I can finally finish some of those writing projects I’ve been working on and can start doing some new creative work as well.  There will be some changes to this blog.  Likely I’ll be changing format slightly and be posting on different days.  Let me know in the comments if there is anything you’d like to see me posting here.

Finally, I’ll not be posting for a couple of weeks as things get moved and we start to setup the new house.  The electricity is on, but the internet connection is still a work in progress.

Kind of like my life – a constant work in progress.

About Andrew Reynolds

Born in California Did the school thing studying electronics, computers, release engineering and literary criticism. I worked in the high tech world doing software release engineering and am now retired. Then I got prostate cancer. Now I am a blogger and work in my wood shop doing scroll saw work and marquetry.
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68 Responses to We Bought A House On The Internet

  1. Chris Toepke says:

    Congratulations… 🙂
    Interesting post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this post. This surely is a time to reassess our priorities and make major changes where they are called for. I see families now having meals together for the first time, playing games, parents getting to know their children. It’s moving many of us back to an earlier time. Of course, there’s the downside: the stress and the increased violence, but there are still many people choosing as you have to make the changes that enable closeness with family and more time for the things that really matter. Good for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey there Andrew!! This is a voice from the past… Ha! I read your most recent post and said, “Wait, what??” Looks like our lives are paralleling each other! I “retired” (can’t do massage during a pandemic!), but did NOT get a severance package (dang). We sold our house and moved to Chicago be closer to our grands. Funny how it takes a pandemic to really understand what our priorities need to be! Best wishes setting up your new life! I can’t wait to read about your adventures and the projects you’ll be working on!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations! What way to ‘move into’ a new phase of life. I hope the unpacking and set-up is going well 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Carrie says:

    Oh wow, this is so exciting, Andrew! How amazing we live in a world now that this can be done. It’s a bright spot in this COVID nightmare. I wish you the best of luck with the move. May the next chapter of your life be wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. inese says:

    Congratulations, Andrew! Delighted for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow, Andrew, that’s HUGE! I didn’t see this coming. The timing with the job–wow! Seems pretty clear you’re making the right move, literally and figuratively. Of course my first thoughts were for the cats–but, of course, they’re coming with you. Right? RIGHT? And then of all those beautiful plants you having growing. What will become of them? Make the new home owners promise to love and care for them? Neighbors, perhaps? Inquiring minds must know so they can sleep at night!
    And congrats on the new house. I’m happy you get to be nearer your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. G. J. Jolly says:

    This sounds like the move of your dreams. Congratulation, Andrew!
    Out of curiosity, does your package include retirement pay of some sort?

    I’ll be taking a furlough so chances are I won’t be around when you first get back to the blogosphere. When I do return, I’ll hunt out your posts of your move.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Baydreamer says:

    How exciting, Andrew, and I almost felt like I was reading about my future plans with my hubby, too. Funny, I didn’t realize you live in the bay area, too. Anyway, we plan to retire in a few years and want to move and begin again like you and Heather. We’re thinking of Oregon or WA, though. Where our kids are around that time will determine where we choose. I’m so happy for you and a wee bit jealous because mentally we are ready, but financially, not quite there. Wishing you all the best in your new Reno adventure and so glad buying the house went smoothly.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow, what a big change! Congratulations on your new home and on moving to the next phase of your life. Wishing you happiness in your new digs!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Perfect timing! God always knows what’s best for us and provides. It will be wonderful for you and your wife to be near family and I bet you’re going to enjoy retirement. I know we surely do. Best wishes for your relocation and a new beginning to another life journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Lakshmi Bhat says:

    Congratulations and we wish you both all the best. It will be nice being closer to your children. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. tjsthings says:

    Congrats on the new house! It is something how this situation can refine one’s priorities. All the best!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Sue says:

    Congratulations on the house and retirement!! My husband and I both retired from government jobs in our mid fifties and have never looked back! You’re right that life is too short and no one knows what tomorrow will bring. Enjoy your new adventure and having family close❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Christi says:

    I’m so excited for both of you! This sounds like an ideal move. Your house seems perfect and what timing with your job! Amazing how things come together like that.
    Yesterday was our two-year anniversary of moving to Minnesota. Almost seems a lifetime ago, so much as happened, but I remember well all the chaos of uprooting our lives for a new beginning.
    Here’s to a new beginning for you and Heather! 🥂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. George says:

    Congratulations, Andrew!! Sounds like you win on all sides, especially being closer to your family. Good luck with the move. In these crazy times, the craziness worked out very well!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. What exciting news! It sounds like everything happened exactly when and how it should. It made me smile to read about something positive amidst so many calamities. Hope the move goes smoothly and your new adventures exceed your hopes and dreams. (Remember to lift with your legs!)

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Congratulations on the new home and new life. You will enjoy both.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. That is absolutely stunning, Andrew. I devoured every word, being one who is house hunting. You are now living my dream–which is anywhere but California. Congratulations on all counts, efriend!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. lorieb says:

    I firmly believe things happen or fall into place for a reason. Sounds (to me) like this move is one of those things! Congratulations, being closer to your daughters and grandchildren will be awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Teressa says:

    Congratulations! Best wishes and so much more and you close one chapter and begin another. (And ditto the request for pictures – we do like to live vicariously through others adventures!)

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Annika Perry says:

    Wow! Congratulations to you both! That was a big move … literally during these turbulent times but much better than waiting it out! Enjoy your new home, setting up all your creative areas and seeing your daughter and family much more. Happy Early Retirement … a massive change but every day seems to be like that so one to embrace instead!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. pommepal says:

    How exciting, what a great adventure you have ahead of you. But you didn’t mention the garden!!! I’m looking forward to photos, before and ongoing. Best wishes, retirement and the third age can be the best years of your life

    Liked by 1 person

  24. All the very best, Andrew. I made the mistake of working for a year too long, so even without the new boss’s input you’re doing the right thing! I’m sure you’ll love Reno (I’ve never been there, but if you like it it must be okay). Enjoy your retirement!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. jfwknifton says:

    Best wishes for your new life!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Eric Henderson says:

    Glad to hear of the successful house hunting! Best wishes for a creative future for you two.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. PiedType says:

    Wow. What a gutsy, awesome, perfectly fabulous thing to do! Fortune does indeed favor the bold. I managed an interstate move to live a mile from my son and grandkids and have never regretted it. I can’t imagine having stayed 700 miles away.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. cindy knoke says:

    Awesome and congratulations! We picked out a house for our kids, sent them photos and videos, and they bought it based on us looking at it and the photos. It is a beautiful house and they moved three weeks ago in the dead of night with the two twin baby boys and they are loving their new house which is close to us and I am going to babysit while they work remotely. Strange new world, but these brave decisions turn crisis into opportunity. I am happy for you and your bold decision. დ

    Liked by 1 person

  29. I think you are doing the right thing, Andrew, and I wish you well with your move. One thing I have learned in my life in corporate (22 years) is that corporates don’t care about individuals. They use you and squeeze you dry and then they discard you if it suits them. I have not personally had this experience but I have watched it happening on an on-going basis from the sidelines. Loyalty to a corporate is completely misguided.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. dorannrule says:

    Congratulatioms on your new home and your retirement. How smart you were and brave too as you made these very wise decisions. I look forward to your next additions to the blog and to learn about your adventures in Reno.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Donna Chang says:

    Congratulations on your new adventure, I’m so excited for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. lifelessons says:

    And, that is a great title for today’s blog. Who would not be drawn in by it?

    Liked by 1 person

  33. lifelessons says:

    That is so exciting. Let me assure you you will never regret retiring. I did it about ten years early because my husband was sixteen years older than me. I have never regretted it but the story didn’t end happily for him for he waited too long and died before we could move into the retirement house we’d just bought. You are going to have tons to do to keep you busy. My request is that you post before and after photos of your new house.. empty and then after you have moved in. We all love to live vicariously.. as well as within our own lives. Congratualtions. The universe wanted you to retire.. everything worked out perfectly.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Dave Foyle says:

    Welcome to the new adventure of “retirement, leaving the bay area, and buying a new place in a new state!”
    I hope you and Heather have as great an experience as we have! Best wishes, luck (since you’ll be in NV), and good health!

    Liked by 1 person

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