So, there have been some changes. To cover the majors, we sold our Mt. Rainier house in September, to a wonderful couple who seem as if they will really and truly love the house. We had a 60 day closing and it was just a bit stressful, but fortunately that’s all passed. Our Baltimore house is being prepped for renting right now, and hopefully we’ll have a tenant in ASAP.
We were fortunate enough to turn a profit on the Mt Rainier house (we had a contract on it within 2 days and had over 29 showings!), even having only been in the house for a few months, and when we were contemplating what to do post-house, we realized we had a lot of options open to us. We originally put the house up on the market because we were considering buying this beautiful, giant old house in Frederick, MD with the intent to turn it into a wedding venue and potentially a Bed & Breakfast. Unfortunately, it was an estate sale and the owners were not only unwilling to make any repairs, but they would not allow any contingencies on the contract, so we would have potentially had to carry three mortgages and there was no way we could have supported that or even gotten the mortgage for that.
With that as a dead end, we turned towards other options. After a particularly good visit, we had both talked about wanting to live in Puerto Rico, or someplace very warm. For a variety of reasons, I need to be in a warmer climate year round, and we had loved the atmosphere, culture and personality of the island when we came to visit in January. I had thought Steven and I would need to hash it out more, and would possibly waiver back and forth, but we were set. We did do our homework and look at other cities (mostly because Puerto Rico presents a logistical issue for my company, and I’m still working for them remotely). However, we just kept coming back to Puerto Rico. Specifically the small island of Vieques off the east coast of the main island.
Vieques is a beautiful but very small island, measuring at just over 3 miles wide and 21 miles long with over 41 beaches and terribad infrastructure and services that are pretty much non-existent. A large part of the island was used by the Navy until 2003 as a bombing range. In 2003 the Navy gave back the land and started a massive clean-up project. By 2010 the land was fully reopened to the public as a national park, and tourism opened up considerable.
Fast-forward to 2013 and the tourism is booming, at least for an island of this size. During busy season the population swells from 9,000 to 15,000, which, is really kind of crazy.
All that to say, we now live in Puerto Rico and have for the last month or so. We rented a cute little house with a lot of land (albeit a ton of problems, the landlord is still fixing, and which presents a lot of design challenges for me, which I will hopefully be blogging about consistently), I finished up my masters degree the first week we were here (I even passed all my classes!) and on the 6th or 7th day we were here (which happened to be Thanksgiving) we found a dog on the side of the road who had been struck by a car and left to die.
So, now we have a new dog (who after a fairly extensive surgery will hopefully make a full recovery), I have a masters and we have a new kind of life entirely. One filled with beautiful beaches, wonderful people (not that the people we left weren’t wonderful — this is just a completely different kind of community), fresh fruit and many, many challenges of a new and interesting variety (for instance, yesterday internet was finally installed, and it’s kind of really slow).
It’s going to be a fun ride.