Category Archives: Moving Abroad

Before we move: Researching the options

Our hope is to move to Mexico — specifically to San Miguel de Allende. (More on that choice in a separate post.) The current US government administration *cough* seems determined to screw that up, though, so we’re creating a back-up plan. The goal isn’t just “Mexico.” It’s to move somewhere different and immerse ourselves in a different culture (for a few months at a time).

Moving to a new country requires a LOT of research and preparation. My first step was to create a spreadsheet where I could collect the information I was gathering. The high-level subjects I’m researching are:

  • Visa
  • Moving
  • Vehicles
  • Finance (banking)
  • Health
  • Pets
  • Housing
  • Phones
  • Internet
  • Taxes
  • Receiving packages/mail after moving
  • Miscellaneous

We have TONS of subcategories under each of those. I have great resources, though, so I’m actually pretty relaxed about the whole thing. There are several groups on FaceBook devoted to moving to Mexico, and the people have been really helpful.

Interestingly, my husband has been super chill about the whole thing. He’s… change averse… and so I thought this process would freak him out. However he has turned it over to me, and as long as I can answer his questions, he is happy.

We are, of course, doing more than amassing research. We have gotten our passports up-to-date. We have started the visa process for Canada (Nova Scotia — our back-up location), and we have a trip planned to San Miguel de Allende in March. Oh, and we’re studying Spanish.

We’re also working on a plan for getting rid of all our STUFF. We purchased a new car, got rid of Jay’s Prius, and will rehome my Outback next month. *sob* We’re going to buy a small trailer and whatever we can fit in it is ALL we’re taking with us!

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Before we move: Remodeling the house

We own just shy of 10 acres, about 40% cleared and fenced for horses, 60% heavily wooded. The house is ~2400 square feet, and there’s a barn and graveled dry lot.

That was our house when we moved in, back in 2004. I’d post a pic now, but I’m not ready. We have to do a LOT of work to get it ready to sell. I’ll post pics when it’s done though!

Remodeling the house to sell is a necessity, if we want top dollar. In order to do it, though, we have to get a loan against the equity in the house. A big loan — bigger than we want to afford long-term, which means once we pulled the trigger, the sale was a done deal. We couldn’t change our minds and keep the house.

We pulled the trigger in December, built an exhaustive list (with the help of our realtor), and hired our long-term contractor, Todd, to do the work. He started the work this month, with a goal of getting it on the market April 1. There’s a lot to do!

One of the biggest impacts of pulling this trigger was that Jay and I (and the dogs) had to move to a rental house. Could we have stayed? Sure, but it would have been hard on everyone, especially the dogs, and it would have slowed Todd down considerably. We want fast, so we moved out.

We lucked into a 6-month lease on an adorable house in Fall City, about 30 minutes away. The owner of the rental house is in college, and it just looking for someone to rent while she’s out of the state. We are hoping to be heading to Mexico by the end of May, so this was perfect. The rental house is small, but it has an awesome yard for the dogs, so we’ll make it work.

Jay and I have loved living in Duvall, and we love this house. Over the years we’ve made improvements that made it comfortable and OURS. We always knew, though, that we couldn’t grow old here. There’s too much upkeep, and the plethora of stairs make it a house for young people. I thought I would be more sad about letting it go, but the push into the rental house was so quick and busy that I didn’t have to miss the old house.

If there’s any regret, it’s that we didn’t get a chance to finish the remodel in a way that WE would have wanted. This last push will make big changes, specifically with the purpose of selling it, not to make us happy.

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