The announcement three weeks ago that our rental home was being sold was the equivalent of a bomb going off in our lives and plans. Everything we had set in place since our move to Kaua’i was suddenly in place no more.
The obvious first thing to get turned upside down was our housing situation. Although we knew when we decided to rent here that things could change, we had still (naively) assumed we would be safe in this rental for several more years because of the house’s past history as a rental property. We had based all future plans on being able to stay here until at least until the girls were all off to college. BOOM! Now all of a sudden we were faced with having to search for a new rental, maybe something not as nice or as convenient, or possibly more expensive. There was suddenly a new reality that we could find another rental, move, and then have to move again in a short period of time. Although we had told ourselves we would not own another home again, we very quickly realized that renting here was not going to be the best option for us over the long haul, that we needed our housing situation to be more solid and secure, especially since we live on a fixed income.
When we decided that buying made more sense than renting, we also accepted that it was not going to be easy. First, although our income is solid, it’s nowhere near as large as it was when we were working, so we would be quite limited in what we could afford here. Housing on the island is expensive, and there was no way buying a home was not going to affect our savings. BOOM! Although we are going through the VA and can avoid a down payment, a home purchase would still require us to come up with closing costs and other expenses, and any property we purchased might require repairs or other expenses that we currently didn’t have to deal with in a rental (for example, we know we will have to buy a washer and dryer right away). We would need to dip into of our retirement savings, something we had not planned to do for several more years.
And, all our plans for future travel? BOOM! We cannot even think that far ahead now. Although owning a house will actually end up costing us less each month than what we currently pay for rent, and will allow us to put more away into travel savings, there are still too many unknowns right now to even dream about what we might do, where we might go or for how long. We still plan to travel, but how that will or might look has currently become something of an unknown.
The only thing left untouched is next spring’s Mystery Trip. All of that has been reserved and paid for, and we would lose money if we cancelled. But otherwise, everything is in turmoil, and until the dust settles we’re going to have to get used to living with some unknowns, and with life being a bit more disorganized than we’d like.