The #1 problem with renting this home base is that it’s an empty space and we own nothing with which to fill it except our suitcases of clothing and the bin of me-specific kitchen stuff that son#2 has been storing in anticipation of us resuming North American road trips in the future.
Because, unlike our normal around-the-world rentals, this new space is unfurnished, and because the home owner was happy to have a single extended family renting both units in his house, we were able to negotiate a very reasonable (for British Columbia, anyway) monthly rent. It means that even though we’ll be leaving the apartment empty for 6-7 months each year while we travel, our average “housing” budget over 12 months remains relatively unchanged. It’s a waiting game to see how utility costs will impact that, since they are not all included in the rent.
Our “problem” is furnishings. We have no annual budget for THAT.
There’s no question that we need a bed, something to sit on, a table and chairs for 2, and some kitchen basics.
Luckily for us, when we downsized EVERYTHING, son#2 “inherited” our beautiful custom-made queen-sized storage bed, our one-year-old custom-made condo-sized leather couch, our Crate & Barrel kitchen island with 2 bar stools, Ted’s leather recliner, our surround sound system, and our media stand.
We’re buying those things (except the sound system, which they still want) back from them – at a really good price! Don’t laugh. It’s what parents do. They’ve been wanting a king-sized bed forever, and will now have both the space and the money for one. Frankly, we’re at the point in our lives where our kids understand that we’re happy to have them “inherit” from us without us having to do the usual thing that makes that happen.
I’m sure there will be other things they need as they settle in. After all, we’re basically emptying their family room as well as taking their bed.
As for us, I’ll be creating a list during this 3 week initial stay before we head back to Europe. We’ll borrow what we need from the nice people upstairs for this month, and if needed I can work on the list remotely while we’re in Mexico over the winter so that we return to a “complete” space next May. (A big advance thank you to all those companies who let me shop online, and then deliver to the door.) I’ve already ordered an area rug to help define the living area as separate from the kitchen, and just got the shipping notice that it will be here in 2 days from now.
Daughter-in-law #2 has also been looking after us as she works on unpacking and settling their family in, putting any of their extra items into our space for me to go through and choose those that will work for us. That means that dishes and glassware are taken care of, although I still need a couple of pots and pans, some cutlery, a kettle, a colander….
Our biggest purchase will be a television, which I suspect Ted and son#2 will enjoy shopping for together.
For now, the second bedroom will remain empty, with the option to turn it into a guest room and/or fortress of solitude (aka reading nook) later.
But now … it’s time to empty our suitcases, do a bit of laundry, and hug the grandsons – not necessarily in that order!
I’m going upstairs to “borrow” a wine glass… and some wine to go in it.