All packed up and ready to go
Drawing by Trisharay
Finally, we are homeless. Well almost.
Closing is actually Monday April 8th. Then, at around 4 pm, we will formally trade the house for a nice fat check that will be wired directly to Vanguard. Our money, formally tied up in home equity, will be productive once again.
Since the market is trading at all time highs you might be interested in how and on what time-table I’ll be deploying the cash:
Immediately, and when the dust settles my allocation will still be precisely what it was:
50% VTSAX (stocks)
25% VGSLX (REITS)
25% VFIDX (bonds)
It works this way because I already figured my home equity as part of my real estate allocation.
Since then I have re-thought the idea of holding REITS as described here: Stepping away from REITs. So our current allocation is now:
75% VTSAX (stocks)
25% VFIDX (bonds)
A common recommendation with a newly received chunk of cash is to “dollar cost average” (DCA) it slowly into the market. The idea is that, should the market tank, you will have spared yourself some pain. That’s fine as far as it goes, but there are other things to consider:
1. The market might also continue to rise, in which case you will have spared yourself some gain.
2. When you DCA you are basically saying the market is too high to invest all at once. In other words, you have strayed into the murky world of market timing. Which, as we’ve discussed before, is a loser’s game.
3. DCAing screws with your allocation strategy. In the beginning you will be holding an outsized allocation of cash. That’s OK if that’s your allocation strategy. But if not, you need to understand that you’ve changed your plan in a deep and fundamental way.
While freeing up cash, this process of becoming homeless has entailed an amazing amount of work. Exercise too. I’ve lost 4 pounds!
Beginning about two weeks ago we started packing, moving boxes around and purging stuff. Then this past week we hit high gear.
Monday, April 1st, we signed our new lease and officially became renters again. We packed up the Forester and brought the first load over with us. Happy April Fools!
Tuesday was the final packing push. Boy howdy — for people who don’t collect anything, who regularly purge their belongings and who just now sold, consigned, donated and trashed a boat load — we’ve got a ton of stuff.
The movers were at it from 10am to 7:30 pm Wednesday and then again from 8-11 am Thursday. We chose a small local outfit and their somewhat small truck meant two trips.
We bought a couple of new furniture pieces to better fit this much smaller space and those arrived Thursday afternoon right on schedule.
Wednesday I spent all day working on the move and cleaning the house behind the movers as they finished each room. Mrs. jlcollinsnh took Wednesday afternoon off and met them at the apartment to manage that end and to start getting things organized.
Then we both spent all day Thursday unpacking and setting up. Boy howdy, but we have a lot of stuff. I’m not sure you can ever fully appreciate how much stuff you have until you have to pack it up and move it on out.
Friday she was back at work and I spent the day hauling stuff to the dump and donations to the Animal Protective League. And house cleaning. Lots and lots of house cleaning. But the empty house sparkles, if I do say so.
Turns out I kinda like this hauling and toting of stuff about. It’s good physical labor and you can see a tangible result of having done it. Plus, for the first time, we are routinely using our little Forester the way all the commercials for this sort of vehicle show rugged type folks doing.
One of our goals with this move is to return to urban living and the walkability that confers. As regular readers know, I’m a fan of cafes and we’ve already found Waterworks, a great little one just a block from here.
We had breakfast there Thursday and Mrs. jlcollinsnh strolled over and picked up sandwiches for lunch. (We were there again this Saturday morning!) For dinner we walked about six blocks to 900 Degrees, an upscale pizza joint, for salads, pizza and beer. Very good end to a very long day.
As I write, the apartment is together enough now that we can make turkey sandwiches for lunch. For dinner, who knows?
Closing yesterday, April 8th, was butter smooth. We are officially home free.
It is striking to me how excited the new owners are to have our house, and how relieved we are to be done with it. Roots v. Wings.
Different stages in life.
We’ve owned houses (2) for the last 28 years. It fit our needs at the time, especially after our daughter was born in ’92. The new owners have two little girls just about the same age ours was when we bought the place in 2000. Roots.
Now she’s off in college and for us the apartment life beckons again. Wings.