Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Making Adjustments

I took this picture from our room on St. Thomas, USVI.  A Catalina is out there ... can't wait till ours is!

I really like the above quote in the picture, because landlubber life can be so monotonous!  Don't get me wrong ... Ken and I have a wonderful family, great friends, and we often take advantage of all the happenings just minutes away in the New Orlean's French Quarter.  However, our weeks are pretty much the same ... get up early, go to work, come home, prepare and eat dinner, watch a few shows on television, then go to bed and start the next day.  Every now and then we'll go to a local "Happy Hour" during the week, but for the most part we stay home and save money.  We live for the weekends, which often consists of errands and/or getting some rest.  The really fun weekends of festivals or sailing are few and far between.

Needless to say, we can't wait for a lifestyle that is constantly changing.  The landscape, the people, the culture, the sights ... always new and unique.  Life can be "lived" or it can be "experienced".  We vote for the "experience", which for us means new environments, relationships and challenges.  

We realize that the uncertainty in cruising isn't always a good thing ... the weather and unexpected repairs can really mess up a plan.  But, the beauty of cruising is that adjustments can be made and the plan can be changed pretty easily.  There's a quote I recall that says something about when the winds of change aren't as expected .. just adjust the sails.  

Our current landlubber life is a little harder when making adjustments!  We decided a couple of years ago that we wanted to buy a sailboat, fix and sell our house, get rid of all the "stuff" in the house, and go cruising. Buying the boat wasn't all that difficult, but we've been feeling helpless with selling our house. We can't just price the house at some ridiculously low price, because then we wouldn't have any money to fund our cruising plans.  We just lowered the sales price again, and we're at the point where we really can't do much more.  Luckily, the holidays are over and the housing market generally improves in the Spring.

We've already made some adjustments to our plan of selling our rental that recently became vacant.  The house is in a rural area, and there's just not enough demand right now.  The house is priced below market value, and we've had zero activity on the house over the last month.  We have very limited savings, and we can't afford to pay the mortgage for a couple of months only to decide at that time to rent it.  Since the mortgage consists mostly of interest, that would be money wasted.  So, we decided to list the house for rent.  Once our current house sells we can pay off the rental mortgage, and try to sell it a later date.

In a way, this decision has been a relief!  Ken and I have been stressing about the rental not selling in time and being left with absolutely no money for anything that could go wrong.  We don't like being unprepared for the challenges of life, and we feel we've made the right decision.  Have you ever come across a person that just "freezes" when faced with a life challenge?  They do nothing, hoping the problem will just go away and then everything just gets worse.  I just want to shake those kind of people!

The other night we ate Chinese food for dinner and my fortune cookie said, "It's in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped".  We couldn't agree more!  Every decision paves the road of the future ... even the decision to do nothing has consequences.

With the exciting news during our Vegas vacation, we've also adjusted our cruising goal/date ... just a little bit!  We're trying to be as realistic as possible with ourselves in setting our goals, so we felt our cruising plan needed to be adjusted.  Check out our latest cruising plan here.

Our landlubber life does have a few unknowns that we don't like.  When will our house sell?  Will we really be in it for another hurricane season?!  We're thinking (and hoping) not!   

Hasta luego ... until then.  Mid-Life Cruising!


Anonymous said...

Have you thought about just moving ontothe boat when you sell your home instead of moving into an apartmnet before you leave? Im sure you could find a marina that allows live aboards, you will save money over having the boat at a marina and an aprtmnet and most importantly ease into life on a boat...it would give you time to figure out what works and what doesnt etc etc.

Ken n Cheryl said...

Good question! We're constantly running everything through our heads. After much thought, we figured we'd move into an apartment first because we don't want to tear up the house right now when we're trying to have it look "just right" for showings. We could get rid of everything in the month or so that we'd have after accepting a contract, but a month isn't much time! We've got two motorcycles, tons of construction tools that Ken still uses for now, and on and on. Also, Ken's going to redo the electrical and plumbing on Nirvana among many other things so living on the boat right away would make it tough to do those things needed on the boat. We figure those 6 months will be really busy and will fly so it will be worth the extra money. We'll still be saving quite a bit by getting rid of the mortgage we have right now ... can't wait to dump that!

Neophyte Cruiser said...

I don't know if this will be of any consolation to you guys, but we've been stuck at the dock since splashing trying to get all our canvas redone. It is Mexico and the guy who is doing the work is great to work with, but it's taking much longer than we had hoped. The good news is the port has been closed several times, due to high winds and waves, since we've become "attached" to the dock, so I guess that's the good news if there is any. Never the less, our time here, without sailing has become a little too routine.

Unknown said...

I'm just under 3 years away from retirement. We've recently decided that our game plan will be to cruise for six months out of the year,then fly back home for six. We have over 30 rental houses that we have to attend to, plus our own house. So, we'll be shopping for a boat in a year or so. Plan to keep it around Lake Pontchatrain or may Vermilion Bay. Did you buy your boat locally?

Sandee said...

Yep, if you dream it you can plan it and eventually it will happen. Go for is as I know you both are. Great fortune cookie.

Have a terrific day. ☺

Emily said...

Sorry you had to delay your schedule, but I guess with your daughter's engagement and wedding, it may make the most sense. The sooner you can move onto the boat the better, though. Some apartment complexes will take a lease as short as 3 months, which would allow you to get everything done before moving onto the boat. Just something to think about. It's frustrating not to be able to sell a house when you want to, though. In our case, we thought our NC house would take a year or two to sell, and it sold in 60 days, leaving us scrambling and having to give away stuff we maybe could have sold given a bit more time. It's frustrating when you can't control the timing!

LittleCunningPlan.com said...

Gosh I'm sorry you had to push your date back. I know you didn't want to do that. But it may turn out to be the best thing, you just can't see it right now.
It's frustrating to be in the middle of a big plan like this and feel like you're being held back. You're trying to sell a house, we're still trying to sell our boat so we can shop for the one we need for long voyages. I'm coming to terms with the wait, as it's just too difficult to focus on what's 'not' happening.
Keeping my fingers crossed that your house is going to sell soon!

LittleCunningPlan.com said...

My comment disappeared so hope this doesn't get posted twice. Just want to say how sorry I am you had to adjust your date, but it will work out in the end. We're still trying to sell our boat, so we know what it's like to be waiting for that buyer.

Ken n Cheryl said...

Neophyte ... sorry to hear that you're not able to sail as much as you'd like while in Mexico. I know that's a beautiful area you're in.

Sandee,thanks and you're right .. it WILL happen!

Carolyn .. 30 rentals! I know you're busy! We bought our boat nearby in New Orleans. We found her on Craigslist and went to look at it the very first day it was posted for sale because we knew it would go quick. It seems that there aren't near as many sailboats for sale in this area as others.

Emily, we agree! The sooner we get on that boat the better. Our goal date may very well be pushed up if possible. Once the house is sold we'll have less bills and more money ... then Ken can knock out the boat work in no time. We're excited about the wedding, so that's a good thing!

Thanks LCP ... I know you can relate with trying to sell your sailboat. Best wishes for both of us!

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