Friday, May 31, 2013

Sold the House!

Four days after we got back from the East Coast, we had a huge yard sale and six days after that we listed our house. Then we had an Open House on April 14th and got an offer right away. We accepted it and thought things were going good until the buyer backed out. So we had another Open House on April 27th, and got three more offers. We selected the cleanest one (all cash, 30 day escrow) and started thinking about where we were going to live until we take off cruising. So we bought a little condo and after signing our names about a bazillion times, we have sold our house and bought a condo. Escrow has closed on both properties, and we will be moving on June 4th.

It is with mixed feelings though. Even though the house was originally built in 1950, we literally rebuilt it ourselves in 2000. We raised our kids there, entertained the families several times a year, and lived there for 17 years. It was a beautiful property with heritage oak trees, an established neighborhood, and great neighbors. However, while most folks clean their gutters once a year, we cleaned ours every month. And with every season came another thing falling from the trees. And the water bills were getting out of hand. And we were just getting tired of spending all our spare time maintaining a house where only two people lived. The condo has a home owner's association to do all the outdoor maintenance and repairs. Yippee! So we can go off for several days at a time and not worry about the yard.

And so now we can concentrate on getting a boat.

Boats Back East

On March 28th we flew back to Annapolis, Maryland to look at boats. The first was a 46" Alden named Cara Lynn. While it was a beautiful boat and large and comfortable below, we were concerned with its size and condition. And it has been on the hard for more than 2 years.

Then we drove to Tiverton, Rhode Island and looked at two Shannon 43s: Chance and Ceilidh. Again, they were well built, and comfortable below, but they just didn't thrill us.

Then we drove across the river to Portsmouth, Rhode Island and looked at two more Aldens; a 48' boat named Serenade, and a 44' boat named American Beauty. The 48' Alden has the same hull as the 46', but with an extended transom which provides a larger lazarette. Again, we decided that 46'-48' was just too big. And too expensive; not only to purchase, but to maintain.

However American Beauty, at 44' long, had the best layout ever! A large airy salon accessible from the cockpit, a small quarter cabin to port, galley to starboard, traditional settees with centerline table, double bunk up forward, and a watertight bulkhead between the forward cabin and the chain locker. To access the chain locker, you had to descend a ladder from a deck hatch, but it was a great place to store not only anchors and rode, but other bulky, wet things. And a bright red hull! But they were asking over $300,000 for it so we scratched it off the list. 

After spending the night in Mystic Seaport, we drove to Old Lyme, Connecticut to see the last boat; an Alden 44 named Pilgrim. This boat was affordable, had a newer rig and sails, had been hauled out every winter and professionally maintained, but how would we get it home to California? There are companies that transport boats, but not only is it expensive, it is nerve-wracking to have your boat on the road for a week and there are fees on each end to de-commission and re-commission the boat.

So, in the end, we were happy that we went back and checked on all these boats, but we keep coming back to the 44' Alden in Sausalito.....