A slight detour

Even before our journey begins, we have encountered a roadblock. Sadly, our plan to sell our condo failed, which wasn’t a complete surprise in the current Calgary housing market. I am happy to report that we executed a successful detour and are back on what we hope will be mostly paved roads as we close in on our departure date.

Our condo is now leased for a year effective September 1. This isn’t an ideal scenario for us because the rent we can charge does not cover our costs–mortgage, property tax, condo fees. Since spending several hundred dollars of our limited budget every month to fill this gap would create an emotional burden, if not a financial one, we have decided to flip this expense line item into a revenue one. On January 1, 2017, we will make our maximum allowable annual lump sum payment to reduce our early payout penalty, and then immediately pay off the remaining mortgage. From that point on, our condo becomes a revenue-generating property. Yes, we will reduce our capital a bit, but our psyches will be content.

There are a few other upsides to this change in plans:

  1. We have a spare storage locker so won’t need to pay for storage for things we are going to keep for now.
  2. We can try again to sell our condo in what will hopefully be a much better market in a year or three, avoiding the capital loss we would have taken by selling now.
  3. Should we ever decide to live in Calgary again, we have a place (albeit unfurnished) to come back to.

So now we watch as the home we set up here only 1 1/2 years ago disintegrates. The floor grows larger as furniture disappears, off to grace a family member’s or stranger’s abode. Our voices bounce around the now-bare walls as we fill holes and repaint, attempting to remove all traces of our residency. Bits of green painter’s tape identify spoken-for items that we will continue to use for a few more weeks, and we must modify activities as we adjust to fewer comforts. (Margarita tonight? Nope, no blender. Waffles on Sunday? Nope, no waffle maker. Homemade bread? No mixmaster or even large bowl to mix the dough in. Relax in the living room? Sure, if you’re OK with patio chairs.) I’ve become quite friendly with kijiji, will soon get re-acquainted with Freecycle, and there’s always GoodWill for last-minute drop-offs.

Our goal for only 7 weeks from now is to have belongings in only three places:

  1. Our car filled with camping boxes, bikes on the back, parked at Mom’s house for now.
  2. Our condo storage locker filled only with sports equipment and winter clothes that we plan to use in the next year, and a few tools that are useful for home repairs since we (sadly) still own a home.
  3. Our suitcases and carry-on bags that will travel with us.

I’ll let you know how well we met our goal in a future post.



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