Making the transition from living on a sailboat to living in a RV has been quite a challenge. The living part is actually very easy as our new RV is very spacious and comfortable. The challenging part has been the logistics that one has to deal with in making the transition. Who would have thunk it?
First, we spent weeks in the hot tropical sun prepping Leu Cat to be sold. This not only including spiffing her up but also going through all of our stuff that was on board and determining what should stay and what should be packed up and shipped back to the states. Once that decision was made, we were next faced with how to get our stuff back to the states. Fortunately, I found a freight forwarder located within a mile of us so we took our packed up boxes over to them for storage and then shipping.
We left Leu Cat in Sint Maarten to be sold and returned to San Francisco where we moved in temporarily with our daughter, Heather and her foster baby, Victoria. It was a real joy to be able to spend some intimate time with them.
Now was time to find the perfect RV to call home. This was actually the fun and easy part. In past visits back to the State over the last 3 years, we has gone to some RV shows and it was during those visits that Mary Margaret fell in love with the bus that Tiffin makes. Thus, all I had to do was search the Internet to view the various buses on the market, looking for the one that had all of the features we wanted and at the right price.
Within a couple of days of Internet research and searching we found our new home and we were anxious to buy it while it was available. However, we were still in the negotiating stages with a potential buyer of Leu Cat and were not in a position to make an offer on the RV. As it turned out, I had to fly back to Sint Maarten to address some concerns that the potential buyer had before we could close the deal. Before leaving for Sint Maarten, I talked to the sales manager at La Mesa RV and explained my situation to him. I shared with him that we love this particular bus and desperately wanted to buy it but could not commit to doing so until Leu Cat was sold. Vince Meo, the sales manager, was very understanding and suggested that he remove the bus from its Internet market listing and holding it for us during the month of August. If we still were not able to buy it by then, he would put it back on the market. Also, he said that if someone came onto his lot and wanted to buy the unit, he would sell it to them. Seeing that this was a new 2017 unit and the end of the model year was quickly approaching, we felt this was more than reasonable, especially since we were not putting anything down on it and we had agreed to a price which was 25% less than listing.
With this understanding, I flew back to Sint Maarten to address the issues the potential buyers had. As it turned out, I was not able to make the potential buyers happy unless I dropped the price of Leu Cat by $30,000! I discovered that the potential buyers were real estate brokers in the US and I felt like they were trying every trick in the book to buy Leu Cat well below market value.
Fortunately, on the day we made the decision to kiss the potential buyers goodbye, a new offer came in just below what we had listed Leu Cat for. Yay! Saved by the bell! They immediately flew in when they heard that I was on the boat and we took Leu Cat out for her survey sail. Leu Cat passed her survey with just a couple of minor issues noted (a slight tear in a batten pocket and a rivet on the bowsprit that needed replacing) and we went into escrow with a closing date of August 30th. Double Yay!!
On the day that we received the funds from the sale of Leu Cat, I immediately signed a contingent agreement to buy our new RV home. The agreement allowed us to first inspect the bus before actually buying it, just to make sure we were getting the home we wanted. I put less than 1% of its value down at this time knowing that if we did not buy this unit, our down payment would be applied to the actual unit we did buy.
During this time we also had to find the perfect car to tow behind our new house on wheels. More research, more angst in finding the right vehicle in such a short period of time. Again, thanks to the various car buying search engines on the Internet, within a few days we had lined up the perfect car to tow and drive. We wanted a very light and small car that is designed to be towed with all four wheels on the ground and with no special alterations needed to make it towable. For us, this whittled down the field to just the Fiat 500. As it turned out, our nifty little car was sitting on a lot in San Jose, just waiting for us. It too was a new vehicle and since we were in the end of model season, we were able to snap this puppy up for just $12,500. Wow! What a deal!
Now we were ready to pack up and head off to buy our RV. Whoa Nellie! Not so fast. As it turns out, our son and daughter-in-law decided to give birth to our brand new granddaughter a week early. Actually, it was little Molly who decided to be born just in time to meet her Leu grandparents. Yay!
With David Paul, Allison and little Molly all doing well, we finally loaded up our little Fiat and off we went, striking out on our new adventure and our new lives.
Here is a photo of our neat, little Fiat 500 Pop. Whoo Hoo!