Mike Garden 1I thought I’d live and die in the Boston area so imagine my surprise when I decided to shift my life to Florida.  I finally reached my personal limits with the costs, lifestyle, and climate of the Boston area.  Within a few months I had put my home on the market, let go of my hosta garden (pitured) got married, and found a new home in Tampa with spouse and cat.  And I learned a few lessons along the way.

Maybe you’re already used to moving about throughout your life and have some lessons to share.  I hope you will at the end of this blogI learned three things:  real estate can be both fun and ferocious; my gut is my truth-teller; and compromise is not a dirty word.

The process of selling and buying a home needn’t be complicated, but it’s made so due to the number elements that can muck up the process.  There’s the seller, the buyer, the agents, the bank or title company, the inspectors, the lawyers, the weather, the timing, the expectations, and finally the property itself.  I discovered that the real estate industry fairly thrives on chaos, last minute paperwork, and miscommunication.  I was very fortunate that my instincts led me to two wonderful agents who helped me keep my cool, both in Malden and in Tampa.

I’ve learned to go with my gut more and more.  Purchasing a new home and one that I likely will be carried out of in a box was an enjoyable enterprise as long as I listened to my instincts.  What felt right for me in terms of size and layout?  What sort of neighborhood gave me a sense of safety and comfort?  In what way spiritually did the property speak to my heart?  I knew that the answer to these questions would ultimately bring me the house I needed to have at this time in my life…a house that I could make a home.

None of us likes to compromise.  It’s like settling for second best.  Yet I found that compromise enabled me to focus on what was non-negotiable versus what I could always change later on.   No, I didn’t get crown molding, hardwood flooring throughout, granite counter tops, or a grand foyer!  I set my priorities on the basic structure, on the utilities and major systems, and on the potential beauty of the property.

Did I hit a home run?  Well it turned out my house inspector in Florida missed the fact that our house had a fake ridge vent on the roof and that our HVAC system, though functioning, was extremely dirty.  These issues will cost us but they aren’t deal breakers.    All in all I’m very happy with our home, our pool, our pond, and the feeling of privacy and natural beauty that will sustains me.

Share your relocation story.  It may involve renting, a condo, or finding congenial roommates.  What worked for you in relocating?   And what didn’t?