Monday, June 17, 2013

My Four-Legged Troupers

Our family has been through quite a few major changes since the end of 2011, beginning with the selling of our home to move to a place with a better high school for our son. Once our son made it clear that he did not want to go to a private Catholic high school, we faced a huge decision about moving. Of course, there was more to our decision than just his school, but it was time.

Our house sold quickly, which at that time, was  a miracle. We were hard pressed to find a place to move on short notice and we found a rental house in the area of the high school that was our first choice for our son. Finding a nice place to rent, while having two dogs was another miracle in itself.

Because over 15 years, we had owned and renovated (from top to bottom) two homes, it was a nice change of pace to just rent and not worry about things. Well, eventually, we had to start worrying because we had to find a new house to buy. Because the area where surrounding this high school is pricey, we had to start contemplating on if it really was the place to buy. My son was still in Junior High, so we had some time to buy somewhere else. Our main requirement was it had to have a good high school and my son’s main requirement was that their soccer team was good. We explored El Dorado Hills ( too much of a shock for my kids at the time) and became really serious about Scotts Valley. It has great schools, it’s an amazing town and it’s close enough to my kids’ friends (great for them), but, at the same time, it’s far enough away that it’s NOT Silicon Valley (a huge bonus for me). We saw many homes there (even fixers which I thought I would never do again), visited the high school a few times, starting finding some favorite joints (Go Cafe Carlos!) even watched the fireworks there last year, but, in the end, decided it's probably not the best choice for many reasons.

Well, it turns out that we waited a bit too long and suddenly, the market turned on us and we were forced to make some quick decisions. The house we were renting went up for sale, with 9 days notice, thank you very much.  We knew we did not want to buy it. Living there for a year lets you see the things you definitely don’t want to compromise on. Because the market had turned in to a crazy seller’s market, the rental house sold and we were scrambling looking at houses, townhouses and condos (anything) like crazy. We ran out of time and then moved in to a small, 2 bedroom, 2 bath apartment in Los Gatos. A family of four, with two dogs in a small apartment!
That’s where the title of this post comes in. Yesterday, I was going crazy driving my younger son to Davis to drop him off with his dad and older brother, who are there for a soccer tournament. I have to work today, so the kid has to go somewhere! Anyway, all the way driving back, I was so stressed about getting home to the dogs, who were alone for like 8 hours. But when I got home, they were fine. Just fine.

During all this chaos, my dogs have been so amazing. They are my little troupers. They don’t know what’s happening. They just follow us wherever we go. Even in a small apartment, they have adjusted so well. My little Buddy has a little more difficult time, at first, especially at the rental house because it had hard wood floors and he was petrified of them. I think he thought they were dark holes that he can fall in to. Of course, the apartment had all carpet, which was a nightmare for me, but he loved it.

Dingo has also been so good. He is almost better in an apartment, because he can’t huff and puff and chase the mail main. He can’t see outside to protect anything, so he was somewhat quiet, except for when the stupid sirens of fire engines blare at full volume. He still howls like a maniac at those. Of course in an apartment, we had to walk them...a lot. So, that might be why they were so relaxed. We lived right on the trail, so they got lots of outside time.

The apartment was only a temporary solution, but still we haven’t been successful in the purchase of a new house. Everything you read about the market right now is true. Normal buyers like us are not fairing so well, against the all cash offers and savvy investors. Sorry, I don’t have an extra $100,000 to throw away, by bidding that much over. People around here have lost their minds. In case I’ve never mentioned it before, I hate Silicon Valley.

So, the only things that have remained constant in this last two years, are my younger son’s school and our family’s PO Box in Campbell. We had to have a constant mailing address until our permanent one shows it’s face.

Where will we end up? Who knows. I’ve been pushing very hard to move from here. I’ve researched until the ends of the earth. Has to have good schools, HAS to have good soccer and has to have a way to earn a living. The bonus is being able to buy an normal house that we can actually pay off in our lifetime! I really like Folsom (took me by surprise) and Portland is a wonderful option too. Still have quite the convincing to do with my family, but time will tell and the cutoff is looming, because my younger son will start junior high in the Fall, and once that happens, there will be no moving out of the area after that.

One thing I knows is that, no matter what, my dogs are going to be fine. I know it’s sounds silly to worry about something like that, but I have two and one is big and well, my kids are very attached and it’s just all a very complicated package. But, my four legged babies have demonstrated to me that as long as they are with their pack, they adjust to any new situation seamlessly. 

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