Patty’s Big Adventure!

Why I’m so spotty in showing up.  In January, my favorite, oldest and only living sister in Kansas, mentioned I should think about selling my house in Denver. I could move to Kansas and pay 1/3 the amount my house is worth.

I sorta ignored her for a bit, because she’s said that before, and I ignored it more. Dying in Denver was what I was pretty sure I would do – my life is here, my sons are here. Why would I leave this expensive house with a ridiculous mortgage to move to a reasonably priced location?

Oh, wait, maybe I should look and see what I could get for 1/3 of the amount my house is worth and 1/2 what I paid for it 14 years ago.  She’s right.   You can get a great house for under 300k in Kansas – something old and fun, just the way I like my houses, or I could opt for something newer’ish.

I could be close to so many of my family, my mom, who is 83, can come and live with us if she ever wants to because I can get MORE house for that 1/3 of the money than I currently have.

My sons – I wasn’t sure what they would think. When I told them I was thinking of leaving Denver because I really sorta hate it now and want to go back home, they both confessed they really hate Denver. It’s a tough city for a young person to live in – rents are sky-high for something decent, you have little hope of buying here unless you are yoked up to the pay me more money and I’ll sell you my soul so I can afford to buy a crappy little house in a terrible neighborhood – which neither of them are made that way. so they’ve both decided to go too.  They can rent for $500 a month and can buy for under 100k a great little small house they can gloss up a bit and resell for a small profit and do the thing all of us used to do.  Kansas home prices don’t soar, but they will steadily climb with improvements and time – what housing should do instead of what it’s done here the last few years.

I lived through 2008 when my house overnight lost all its value and wasn’t even worth what I paid for it for a few years – couldn’t sell it, couldn’t refinance an 8% jumbo.  I was chained to this house for about 8 years, and it took a while for me to realize the chain was no longer there, and I don’t want to be here – in this city I used to love, but has changed so much for the worse.

Sooo… my house goes on the market at the end of next week and I’ll be moving to Kansas probably in May.  Houses disappear in less than a week here in my neighborhood, so I don’t expect to have much time to regret my decision

Getting READY for this big adventure has been grueling.  If you’ve done it, you know what it’s like.  I’ve lived here for 14 years, raised two kids, ran a business or three, and there’s a lot of stuff. First you have to get rid of like 2/3 of the stuff you have in your house – either store it or throw it away. I think I’ve been opting to throw away about 2/3 of the 2/3. The little portable storage bin that will eventually go to Kansas has been filled and is back in storage until we call for it.

There were some repairs that had to be done, not big things, a siding repair, minisplit replaced, bit of drywall repair in a bathroom basement nobody uses.  I couldn’t do any of those things, but I decided that I could paint and would save some money if I painted the whole house the proscribed (prescribed?) Kiliam Beige.   So I did. I’m a good house painter, but I hadn’t painted a house in 14 years. I’m 58.  It’s HARD work when you’re 44. It’s brutal when you’re 58.  I’m in better shape now than I was two months ago.

We are mostly done with painting. We just have the homestretch in the basement to do yet. The main floor and top floors look amazing! All fluffed and arranged and, well, empty of the flotsam and jetsam of my life that is normally strewn about.  It’s going to be a beautiful house for someone else to make a home, and I am so sad about leaving it.  When they get the professional pictures done for the listing, I’ll put them up here so you guys can see.

Kansas

And I’m ready to start back in my home state. I’ve lived in Colorado longer than I lived in Kansas.

And!  I think I’ve found the house of my dreams. It’s an old neighborhood in Topeka (where I used to live), they are doing it as a showhome fundraiser, and for sale later this month. It has been gutted and completely redone from top to bottom.   The layout is perfect for me, plus has a guest suite on the main floor (no stairs!) my mom could use if she decides to move in one day.  I’m going to see it in person after my house gets listed to make sure it’s perfect.

Kansas is my home, always has been, and my sojourn in Colorado is over, and it’s time to go back.  People drive through Kansas and only see how flat it is, empty, and that’s okay because all of the best of Kansas will always be hidden and known only to those of us who have taken the time to know her, lived through her spectacular sunsets and sunrises, felt the “big wind” that rolls through her, walked her hills and passed the time of day with her people – who always have time for you.

Thanks for putting up with me during so many absences. It’s not exactly over yet, but it’s close!

35 Comments

  1. Patty, this is exciting news. I am so happy for you! and I’m sure you will hear this from your many Posse friends. Best of luck in the weeks ahead, and for the big move. Please post some photos of the new house when you get there.

    • Aw, thanks. I’m super excited about this move – the one I never thought I’d make, but now it’s all I want. Weird how life turns out.

  2. I had to do the same kind of thing 4 years ago but for a different reason. Yes, it’s difficult to do but things work out for the best! Looking forwards to your pics!

    • Thanks, Portia. Loved the postcard! I always love getting a postcard from you in the mail. 🙂

  3. How wonderful – I am so happy for you! Sounds like an exciting new chapter for you and your sons. Please do post pictures… would love to see your new place! Good luck with all the transitional upheaval. Nothing you can’t handle, I’m sure, and well worth it once the dust settles.

    • Thanks! Going back home is easy. Moving out here with the altitude was hard all those years ago. Transition, though, is tough. I hope I get the right house, that’s the nerve wracking part of it! I really don’t want to move into a rental for a while, if I don’t have to.

  4. You made the right decision!!! I’m very fond of Kansas, it’s a beautiful state! Good luck!

    • Ah, someone who agrees! It is beautiful, and I’m happy not that many people know that yet. 🙂

  5. Best wishes on the move! I’m sure you’ll find the right place at the right price. A guest suite sounds just the thing… and I am a teeny bit envious of the opportunity to ditch Most of the Stuff.

    You can’t pick up a farm and relocate it, so I’m kind of stuck here. I like my house, but I have Too Much Stuff, and I’m not good at making myself divest, and since there’s no reason like moving to do it, well, I don’t. But I SHOULD.

    • I said that forever. I hate moving, I hate divesting, I hate the whole process. But once you abandon yourself to it, it’s amazing how freeing it is just throwing crap away. We literally have had them haul about 3 trucks of crap out of this house – furniture, supplies, things that I don’t even know why I kept. I gave away hundreds of books to Denver Book Recycles. I’m down to just the things I really love now. It’s hard to do a Marie thing while still living in your hosue – tried that – you just never get deep enough into the little storage areas that are jammed with your stuff and other people’s.

      But you know what? There’s a lot to be said for staying. If it wasn’t for just wanting to go slower and get rid of the mortgage I hate paying every month because it keeps me in the money-making hamster wheel, I don’t know that I would have found enough compelling reason to put myself through this torture. 🙂

  6. It’s lovely, how perfectly everything is working out — I’m so happy for you! Every good wish for this next step!

  7. The timing is right! I grew up in the Kansas City area, and have always thought it was a hidden jewel of the midwest. I sold my parent’s home there in 2008, and what a sad shock it was to see how little we got for the house in comparison to where I live, at the peak of the economic fall out.
    I hope that house of your dreams that you are looking at works out, and it’s great you’ll be together as family, including your sons!

  8. Best wishes Patty! I have never regretted a move, and it sounds like you have thought the process through thoroughly. You have so much to look forward to, and living close to your family is a blessing. I also live in Denver (Highlands Ranch), and agree Denver is changing for the worse. Population explosion and ever-increasing prices. Sadly no longer a cow-town and so many growing pains. My sister just purchased a second home in Fountain Hills, AZ, and that is my future dream as well. I’m not sure I want to retire in Colorado.
    Thank you for sharing your plans, and I can’t wait to hear more about your future home! xoxo

  9. Wow! And good for you. I think it will work out beautifully. I wish you the absolute best!

  10. How exciting, I’m so happy for you! Take me home, country roads, to the place I belong… I can hear John Denver’s voice in my head. This sounds so perfect, crossing fingers that you get your dream house and live happily ever after. 🙂

  11. What an exciting new chapter in your life. Sending you positive vibes & extra energy for this home stretch of packing and final renos.

  12. Congratulations! I’m so happy for you. I’m from California and always am telling the hubs that there is LIFE outside of high cost of living, exorbitant housing. I visited a friend who lives in Kansas several times, as well as Oklahoma. She lives in Salinas, but my dad had spent some time in Baxter Springs as a child so I traveled through parts of the state retracing his life. It’s beautiful–bucolic, lovely. Fireflies in summertime and bird song in the morning. Have fun and good luck on your adventure!

  13. What big news, Patty! Wishing you a smooth and uncomplicated move. And how lovely that your boys are going to make the big move as well. Perfection!

  14. Congratulations, and kudos for taking such a big step, and accepting what just feels right. But …. I’m personally sad to hear you are leaving Denver (and your gorgeous bathroom and kitchen :))

  15. Exciting news! Funny how sometimes we want to go home again..

  16. Awesome Patty! I did the same thing a few years ago, moving from Houston to Florida. You will not regret it – we certainly did not. It is hard when you put your heart and soul into your house, but it is just a house. It is more important to live where you are happy. Most of the stuff we got rid of we did not need anyway!

  17. Good for you, Patty! I made the same decision ten years ago to return to my home state after years away, primarily to be there for my aging mom and a dear aunt. They are both gone now but the final years with them were pure gold. I’m left not only with wonderful memories but also a great house in a great place that I never could have afforded if I’d stayed where I was. I found that all the big city things I thought I’d miss paled in comparison to the richness of returning to my roots. I really hope your decision works out as well for you as it has for me.

  18. How wonderful, dear Patty!! It sounds like a great opportunity and I don’t blame you one bit. In fact, I am deep in huge fangirl admiration for you for tackling THE MOVE. For me, the thought of moving ranks right up with riding a roller coaster, and is almost as as nausea inducing. And it’s so cool that your boys will be relocating too. Would love to see photos of the old and the new!

  19. Good luck, Patty! We moved almost two years ago. Went through the same sorts of things—value of the house dropped and we had to wait to sell, fixed up the house, got rid of a ton of stuff, and so on. The move has been good, but the “moving” part was tough. Keep in mind it will be worth it. I am glad to be back home in North Carolina.

  20. I admire you for the strength to make such a big move but I think with the support of the family it will all be easier. At least Kansas was your home before and you are familiar with the surroundings. I wish you lots of joy in your new home.

  21. How exciting for you, Patty! Looking forward to the pictures. There is a lot to be said for a more relaxed pace of life. I would love to do some purging in my own house. We did some before moving four years ago, but not enough.

  22. How exciting for you! Best of luck and much happiness to you in your new home!

  23. I’m happy that you can do what will make you happier, and that your sons will also be making the move! Yes, stressful times ahead, but also exciting ones and changes for the better. Good luck with your house-selling,/house hunting/ and move!

  24. OOO! That means I can come and actually camp on your doorstep when I need decants!!! 😉 Seriously, just kidding. But you really are going to just be up the road a piece, since I’m in OKC. As much as I do NOT like Oklahoma anymore, (oddly, quite a lot of MY family hails from Denver) I do understand missing the “big sky” out here. Sunsets ARE pretty amazing.

    Wishing you a great house at the perfect moment, and lots more energy for this move. You have my serious respect. Moving is horrid even when you don’t have lots of STUFF.

  25. Best of luck to you and your sons! I lived in Colorado for a couple of years in the early 2000s and I’m sad to hear that Denver isn’t what it used to be. I think that could be said for many cities that have become unaffordable in the past 10-15 years. I hope you find happiness and peace in your new location!!!!!

  26. Good luck with your move! I hope you find a good house and manage to establish some new friendships, too.Moving before you have to is wise. Think about getting a home you can live in also in old age (can you tell I take both personal and professional interest in universal design issues?).

    I have friends who have had problems finding a home, our property prices are soaring. I am lucky I moved last time the prices dipped a little, a reasonable mortgage is so important, with money left for the good things in life.

Comments are closed.