Gerry has two married sons living in Cairns and a married daughter living in Brisbane. Leaving Cairns would mean leaving the boys behind. However, if we moved closer to Brisbane, then if anything happened to me, Gerry’s daughter would take care of him. This was always on my mind. Eventually Gerry and I discussed what I would do when he passed away. My response was, “I would not want to live in Cairns. I would move away, and as I have a hankering to move closer to the Universal Medicine community, this perhaps is what I would do.”
We decided to leave everything till after Gerry’s 90th birthday party, which was in April 2019. We had the party with more than 80 people attending the event at our home. Many friends supported us with setting everything up for a major event like this. For me it was a coming together of many people and friends from the area. It was a huge success and thoroughly enjoyed by all as many phoned after the party to say what a great time they had. We are never too old for a good birthday party!
The party was over so what next? A situation arose for us to visit Brisbane to see Gerry’s daughter and at the same time my sister had moved to the Gold Coast area so it was a chance to see them both. My sister asked if there was anything we wanted to do while in the area. We said yes, we would like to go down and have a look at the Northern Rivers area, in view of us moving there in the future.
Off we went for a day’s trip to view the area. Gerry immediately fell in love with the area, and we actually visited real estate agents for information about house prices and what was available. We returned home to Cairns and as soon as we got back, we decided Cairns was too lovely a place to leave and left it at that.
A week later, Gerry woke up one morning and said if we want to move we should do it now, not later as it will be harder for him to do as he got older. At the moment I am fine and well within my capacity to move. He also reminded me, that my sister said the same, “If you want to move do it now”. This then set the ball rolling.
Next step was to sell the house. First of all, what maintenance needed to be done before we were able to put it on the market? I was also thinking about clearing out the house as we had lived there for twenty years and had accumulated much in and around the house! We attended to all this then all was set to sell. We found what we felt was the best real estate agent, settled on the price and put it on the market.
Just before the coronavirus took off in Australia, we did actually have one or two open house experiences, but this was quickly closed down. “Well”, we said, “We may have to stay here after all.”
Ours was a very solid house with a beautiful garden and a creek down at the back of it facing a nature reserve, that no one could build on. So it wouldn’t be too bad if we had to stay put.
Then I woke one morning feeling that the young couple who had originally put in a low bid would come back.
The next thing the agent phoned to ask if we had a solicitor, as he was coming around with details in hand and also a contract signed by the young couple who were originally interested in our house. Well, this threw us completely. Was the price right? It was a little less than we wanted, however we would sleep on it and go from there. Next morning we talked and talked and decided to accept the price, so everything was then moving along quite quickly, as the prospective owners asked if we could do a three week settlement. I will add here that my husband brings things together very easily.
You can imagine, many decisions had to be made, with all the details involved in selling a house and moving interstate. Actually, with only a few hiccups it all came together very easily, and I am eternally appreciative to Gerry for his organising ability.
We decided to drive down and stay with Gerry’s daughter for a while, and then set out to find our new home in the Northern Rivers area. We had wanted to move in the summertime, but here we were in the middle of winter, and I was concerned for Gerry. As it turned out he handled the cooler weather better than I, so there you go!
Due to the coronavirus lockdowns, the trip down was beautiful as there were hardly any cars on the road and it was easy to find accommodation along the way. We were truly looked after in every possible way.
Upon arriving in the Northern Rivers, we found the houses we looked at in our price range were too old and needed far too much work. We were quite disappointed with the outcome, but then my sister suggested we look in the Ballina area, Ballina being closer to the coast and the climate being a bit warmer. Off we went to check it out. We decided to look at an over 55 village, only to discover it was a gated community. We found a lady at the front gate that took us to meet a real estate agent selling houses in the village. Being a Sunday, it was not possible to show us any houses as such, but he said he would show us around his place, which he did, and much to my surprise, Gerry fell in love with his place and proceeded to say so. This was so out of character with Gerry, as he often said to me, “Be careful what you say around real estate agents, don’t let them think you are too keen on a house etc.” Well, being ‘reserved’ did not happen at all. The agent said they were thinking of selling their house. Gerry said he wanted to buy it. You can imagine how I felt. “Hey slow down here, this is far too quick for me.” The agent asked if we would like to come back the next day and have a look at the few houses that were for sale in the village. We decided to do so.
I went into absolute panic and phoned my sister and brother-in-law and said, “You guys better come down if you can, because Gerry is acting totally out of character.” They arrived the next day to look at the houses in the village with us. We did so, and then decided the real estate agent’s house was the one for us. On finding how much he wanted, we immediately said yes. Amazing how simple it all turned out to be, which took me by surprise. And all this in Gerry’s 91st year of life and myself being 76. One thing is for sure: We are never too old to move house (even interstate) whatever age we are.
Mary H., Australia
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