It's that time of year again. It seems like every year around this time we are making some big changes in our life. My sister Jenna described me and her as getting complacent easy and needing to change things up a little. :-) Adam and I are definitely changing things.
I won't bore you with Adam's business details. Long story short -- we previously built out a large studio/office in our house with a separate entrance for Adam's business. This has been wonderful for the past 2 1/2 years, but Adam has grown out of it. There are people coming and going all of the time -- at all hours of the night, even when Adam is traveling and I'm here alone with the kids. Our street is getting crowded. He is running out of space. So he is moving his business to a studio in Scottsdale that houses several video production companies. This is a wonderful opportunity and Adam has a business relationship with the owner of the studio. Adam is also taking on a partner who has been sub-contracting for him the past several years. Jeff will handle all of the management, invoices, new clients, etc. for a percentage of the business. Jeff will "buy in" to the company by paying for half of the rent at the Scottsdale studio.
This is the biggest risk that Adam has ever taken with his business. I don't like risk. We normally butt heads when Adam wants to take a risk. Oh I was kicking and screaming over this one. I even blurted out "this is the stupidest thing ever" on one occasion. There were tears shed. However in the end, I knew he was right. It is time to move on. It is time to grow. It is time to decide if he wants to stay a "mom and pop" company or grow into a larger company. I was terrified.
It didn't take long for me to realize that if Adam moves out of this house, we won't be using half of it. We live in a 4,800 square foot house. Our electricity bill last month was $823. Our monthly HOA bill for the gated community is $152/month. This has been a great house, but I can't imagine paying for it, cleaning it, and taking care of the larger yard when we don't even use half the space. We don't even have a TV downstairs at all (except the studio). We live in the upstairs of our house practically. We never sit in our family room. We sit upstairs in the loft. It was time to start thinking about downsizing.
The market in Arizona is very, very different than most other places right now. Rentals are going fast. People are having to place bids on rental houses and you have to snatch them up very, very fast. While we were looking around at rental houses (we have no intention of actually buying a house for many, many years because of the current market), we happen to see a house that had a little "for rent by owner" sign in the yard. It wasn't on any of the real estate websites. We called the guy, saw the house, fell in love, and we just learned yesterday that he picked our family over the other applicants. So . . . we're moving!
We've been renting the past 2 1/2 years from Jim and Sherree, and they will be able to sell the house for a profit when we move out. As for our new house, it is 2,150 square feet -- less than half the space we currently have. But we are ready for small. We are so ready to get back into a "cozier" feeling house. A more manageable yard. And no video equipment taking up my garage space!!!! The house is 3 bedrooms plus a den, and it has a 3 car garage. There is no pool in the backyard, but the neighborhood has a large community pool and tennis courts that are free to residents. Now I don't have to worry about my kids playing in the backyard with a pool. I don't have to worry about the pool maintenance. It's great! We will probably add a jacuzzi to the backyard once we get settled.
The boys are super excited about the move and they want to get to the new house as soon as possible. It is 4 miles from our current house, but I have applied for a variance so the boys can continue to go to their current school. I have been told that it shouldn't be a problem because we are still in-district. The neighborhood is really quiet with a lot of cul-de-sacs and no through traffic. We live across the street from a huge park and a skate park. We can ride our bikes to so many different places. Currently we are limited to just our neighborhood because of lack of sidewalks outside of it. At this house, we can go for miles and miles to restaurants, grocery stores, and parks.
The best part -- by downsizing we will be reducing our monthly expenses enough to pay for the studio, Jeff's percentage, and to have a little extra leftover in our pockets. Adam is able to take his risk, and I'm able to play it safe by downsizing our costs. This is a good thing.
The landlord has been great, and I did research on him just like he did me. We are planning on getting the keys on September 1st and moving in mid-month. We want to paint a little in the house, and Adam wants to have time to set up his garage -- ya know, the one without all of the video equipment everywhere!!!!!
There are lots of changes, but these are great. We are really looking at what we "need" in life. Bigger isn't always better. We understand what we are giving up with the big house, private pool, gated community, etc. -- but we also understand that we are going to be gaining a whole lot more. I'm ready!