After six months’ effort, my house is sold! It is hard to imagine anything else that would make this move feel more real.
This moment marks the first time in almost two decades that I have neither owned a home nor had one under contract. I first bought a condo when I moved to Seattle for graduate school in 1996, and I had a contract on a new place when I moved to San Diego, to Oliver Springs (East Tennessee), and to Nashville. By contrast, I won’t be able to make a bid on a place in Cape Town until I have a bank account in South Africa. I cannot establish a bank account in South Africa until I am present in-country under a Temporary Residence Permit. The TRP depends entirely upon the consulate general, at this point.
I have had one home base in each city I have inhabited since Seattle, with the exception of Nashville. The reason is that I really hate moving! I started out in an up-and-coming neighborhood within Nashville when I moved there in 2005. I suffered a Christmas Eve daylight break-in, and shortly thereafter a gang of teenagers blew the side mirror off my car with fireworks while I was driving. Then my car was keyed. I decided to move out of that neighborhood.
When the financial markets tanked in 2008-2009, I felt the right moment had arrived to go house bargain shopping. I fell in love with a residence that was in a more established neighborhood, a bit closer to campus. I loved its tower with two bay windows as well as the open flow throughout its downstairs for parties. In July of 2009, I bought it. Having always managed to sell my prior home without trouble, I was dismayed that my first Nashville home was so much trouble to sell. It had been on the market for months, and then the 2010 Nashville floods dumped a bunch of water in the basement of the old house. A family bought it in the aftermath of that storm.
The sale of my most recent home was pretty challenging. The real estate market in Nashville is very hot! As one moves into higher price regimes, though, the number of potential buyers drops off pretty rapidly. I was very impressed by the team of realtors who helped me sell it. We listed at a top-dollar price at first, and the initial rush of house visitors did not lead to a bid. I was excited to get a contract in place to sell it, but it fell apart just as I left for Cuba because the roof had hail damage. I replaced the roof, with help from my insurance, and happily a new contract emerged soon thereafter.
Now a new occupant will enjoy my pretty castle. Farewell, house! I loved your stately beauty!