Cricket Lane: Sold!

On August 31st, we sold Cricket Lane, our home for the last 10 years.  We really loved that house and shared many, many happy moments there with family and friends.  When we started this RV trip, we put Cricket Lane on the market so that after the trip was over, we will be free to make a new life wherever we wanted, including the option of moving to Little Wolf.

Now that the house is sold, we feel a great sense of relief.  It felt that the house was like a boat anchor we dragged along on our trip.  It was a huge source of worry and required constant attention and activity from the day we left until the day we sold it. Houses don’t do well when left vacant and uncared for and when the owners are on the other side of the country, it’s an even bigger challenge to maintain and sell it remotely.

Cricket Lane

Prior to leaving on our trip, Timm installed a security system called  FrontPoint.  It sent alerts to our iPhones when anyone entered the house.  It also allowed us to set different entry codes for different people so we knew who was entering the house, such as a real estate agents showing the house, our neighbor checking something or my brother David helping us.  The alarm system also called the police if there was any unauthorized access to the house. We were very glad to have it protect the house and our possessions and to keep us informed of who was in our house in our absence.  Luckily, we never had any burglary incidents while we were gone.

It is not easy keeping a vacant house in “show ready” condition when you’re not living in it.   We remotely managed cleaners, lawn mowing people and driveway grating contractors.  We also had numerous maintenance problems that needed attention so we leaned on our neighbor Quentin and my brother David to help us several times.

Sunny balcony overlooking the living room.

We were also constantly dealing with the process of trying to sell the house, working with our real estate agent.  We changed agents as well, so we had to interview new agents while on the road.  In June, we found interested buyers, but after much effort, the deal fell through when the buyers could not secure an appropriate loan.  In July, we started the process again with a second buyer, which was its own saga. This buyer was securing a VA loan which requires all sorts of bizarre approval tests and steps.  After repeated delays and copious amounts of stress, we closed the deal and sold the house.

Ideally, we would have sold the house before we left and been free of the financial burden, constant worry and labor of managing and selling it remotely.   However, with the housing market at its worst in 40 years, it’s hard to say what we could have done differently.  It’s a great house but requires a unique buyer that wants 18 hilly, wooded acres.  Sometimes, things progress on their own timetable and no amount of trying and wishing for it to move faster will make it so.

It’s only been 3 days since we sold the house and we can already feel a heavy weight lifted off our shoulders.  I didn’t think it was possible, but we feel even more free and unencumbered.  Free of worry, free of the financial burden, free to choose anywhere we like to eventually live.  However, our memories of Cricket Lane will remain with us always.  It was 10 of the best years of our lives and we are thankful for every minute of it.

Winter wonderland at Cricket Lane

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