Monday, April 25, 2011

Finding a House

We've been planning our retirement for the past 2 years. We knew that once we retired, we would probably return to West Texas because we love the area, but more specifically to be closer to our daughter and her family.

We looked at all our options. For a while, we thought about purchasing some acreage and immersing ourselves in gardening and rural living. But we decided that would be too much work and might interfere with all the playing we wanted to do, so we then began focusing on finding a place in a town. We felt we needed to locate in a large town for medical services, shopping, and other conveniences, and, since we wanted to be in West Texas, that didn't leave too many options. We spent at least some time looking at Lubbock, Abilene, Midland, and San Angelo.

We've never spent much time in Abilene, so after a trip there about a year ago, we ruled it out -- it just didn't feel like home. We also made a trip to Lubbock, which had been our "shopping town" for several years from 1979 to 1987. I like Lubbock, and it has everything we need. However, it has grown so much in the 20+ years since we've lived in the area that it just no longer had that right feel, either. Besides, it does get cold up on those South Plains, and we really don't care for those dust storms.

So that left Midland and San Angelo. We lived in Midland for 5 years before, and we really like that town. However, housing prices have really gone up since we sold our home there in 2002. And Midland is really a one-dimensional town, too -- it goes as the oil market goes, so to speak. So we decided against Midland, despite all the wonderful things that city has to offer.

So, after much looking about, we signed a contract last week on a new home in San Angelo; it is due to be complete in late June. We'll be moving out there in about 2 weeks. Our current house is due to close soon, so we will have to move our household belongings to storage temporarily until our new house is complete. We will live temporarily in our trailer.

Although we've never lived in Angelo, it was our shopping town for the 8 years we lived in Ozona, a small ranching community about 75 miles to the southwest. We've always liked San Angelo; in fact, we purchased some acreage in the Dove Creek rural subdivision there in the 1990s, only to sell the property when we moved to Midland. There have been several times when we wished we had kept that tract of land.

We were able to contract our house in time to make all the important selections for tile, carpet, counter tops, brick, paint, fixtures, and other items, so we look forward to getting out there to watch the house being completed.

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