Retire early and move to the Philippines.
Over the course of the summer past, I have put all my recently acquired (with age) aches and pains aside and achieved some major milestones (mind over matter) in preparing our house for sale. I could have easily just listed the house it in it’s current “as-is”condition, or I figured I could pay myself for making some much needed improvements to the overall condition and curb appeal of the house. Aside from getting all the flower beds in tip-top shape and all the shrubbery trimmed, our yard has never looked better. Looking at our yard, it’s obvious that the good looking yard “trait” runs in the male genes in our family (and it doesn’t come easy!).
Upon our returned from our visit to the Philippines last April, we decided that we would take the summer to install new windows, front entry door, and provide a new paint job to the entire exterior. I received a rebate from the government for all the windows, and did all the painting myself. I even painted the fence and garden shed. The difference in condition and visual appeal added thousands of dollars in value to our property during a time when pricing pressures still remain in the housing marketplace. While a higher pricing strategy for us doesn’t necessarily equate to a quicker sale, our goal is in protecting and preserving our nest egg for when we actually make the move.
Two garage sales have helped us rid of a lot of clutter, and also paid us well. Who knew there was that much money just laying around and hiding out in the attic? We have sold some furniture, and the riding lawnmower, bicycles, some tools, my stuffed cobra and mongoose (arghhh), and other odds-and-ends mainly utilizing Craig’s List as our main selling platform. We have already packed several boxes of mostly rarely used kitchen and dining room glass wear and things. We have shipped about 8 or 10 balikbayan boxes to the Philippines already. I have organized and compressed all of our important papers and files and took all the rest to the commercial shredder. All the pack-rat items that have filled our closets and drawers over the many years, are slowly disappearing. My personal desk started out as a nightmare, but I’m quickly discovering that all the things that didn’t want to part company with me, don’t really miss me all that much. Next, I have an entire bookcase that needs to be sorted through and soon. Many of the books that I want to get rid of will need to be donated before year’s end as that ‘charitable deduction’ that I can take now, may not be around after next week (Jan 1st).
I have obtained shipping estimates from three separate companies and there are substantial differences of several thousand dollars between them. We will not get serious about the main shipment though until the house actually goes under contract. There is still much to do and more stuff to dispose of. We will also have two vehicles to sell before we are ready to go. All I can hope for now is to sell the house and before the grass starts growing again…I’m getting to old to be pushing a mower!
So here’s to hoping for a Happy New Year to everyone…and an especially successful one for us!