Sunday, July 22, 2018

Coming up for air.... and breathe

We're both here everyone, it's been a busy Spring and Summer with very little, if any riding or writing.

Trobairitz's boss retired at the end of February, leaving her without a job after 17 years. We knew it was coming, but nevertheless it makes for some tough decisions. First thing was for her to seek employment, we've all done it, whether through necessity or by choice, but I can only imagine how daunting it is after 17 years. It is difficult to find employment in Corvallis, the major employers are Oregon State University, Samaritan Health Services, and Hewlitt Packard. The competition for these jobs is fierce, especially for a legal assistant competing against the health professionals and techies migrating to Oregon from Southern California.

So what is one to do?

Salem is Oregon's Capital, and home to Willamette University, a private liberal arts college of business and law.  What better place for a legal assistant to find employment than the State Capital?

And so it was, discouraged by multiple rejection letters in Corvallis, she applied for several jobs in Salem and was flooded with potential interviews to where she was turning them down.
A nice problem to have if you ask me.

Minto Brown Park in Salem

Union Street Railroad Bridge is one of two pedestrian and bicycle bridges that connects three Salem, Oregon, parks and more than 20 miles of trails
However, this creates a whole other quandary such as her commute. She went from a mere 3 mile commute to a 40 mile commute, thus an hour each way everyday. I know this is nothing for you city dwellers and interstate commuters, but this is a big change for a couple of small town folk like us. So we decided we'd just move to Salem, her commute would be shorter and mine would stay the same.

Would that it t'were so simple

We knew of someone that wanted to buy our house, so we made an agreement, set a closing date, contacted a realtor and started looking for a new abode in Salem. When we bought our current home in '06 the market was flat and we only looked at three houses before finding this one. Easy peasy. However, twelve years later the current market is very hot, and looking for houses is not as it once was. No longer does your realtor recommend homes for you to view, and you casually ponder your options, but you are to scourer the internet listings, find something you want to view, contact your realtor, have them set up an appointment, meet them there, and hope that it is still available. If by some miracle it is available and doesn't already have multiple offers, you view the home hoping it doesn't need updating, repairs or who knows what else. Not to mention does it even fit your needs, forget about wants and desires, this is a hot market and there are 6 other offers on the table so you better make it a good one. Ack!

We spent every spare waking moment we had perusing listings, emailing and texting our realtor, then driving up to Salem after work to look at houses. Many evenings skipping dinner, and getting home late; only to go to bed, get up early, go to work and do it all over again. Every house we looked at needed something, if it was within budget it was 60 to 70 years old, needed major renovations and updating, then at the top of our budget houses still needed work, and throwing more money at it going above budget only increased the size of the home. We're modest folk, and the two of us do not need 1800+ square feet. We visited 16 homes over a period of  2 months, in three completely different neighborhoods and we were running out of time as the closing date on our home was coming fast... something had to give.
Brandy found a listing for a house very similar to our very first home, which we liked the layout, so we made an appointment to view. It wasn't in Salem, but the commute was fair for both of us. Our realtor texted me later that day stating there were already two offers and would we like her to ask the seller to wait for us to see it. Sigh... yes, please have her wait, we'd like to see it.  It's in a desirable neighborhood, within budget, fairly new (2007) and less than 1300 square feet. We were up against 3 other offers, I haven't slept in weeks, this is house number 17, I'm done, let's do this.

We are under contact, and this is the first weekend we've nothing to do since May and I'm finally able to sleep again. I went for a ride Friday to drop off the earnest check at the title company, and took the long way home.

I actually sat in one of the windows of the covered bridge, listening to the babble of Ritner Creek and closed my eyes for a moment.

We still have the inspection, and are going to be busy for the next month packing then moving, painting and cleaning, but the stress of securing shelter has been lifted.

So we're still here, hopefully we can get a ride or two in this summer, maybe even a hike and some pics posted. We've haven't given up on our blogs, we've just been a little busy lately.

Change is good, new treks and adventure awaits.