Thursday, May 16, 2013

Online Realty

Roger wants me to write this blog, I think because he wants to blame me if everything goes sour.
Yes, it was my idea from the start.  Last September we traveled to South Dakota for a number of reasons.  One of them was to meet with a realtor/property manager and see a number of homes that were for sale that were rented out as vacation homes.  We also just wanted to see the place we are using as our legal domicile.

I read a number of RV books and blogs describing what was done with belongings in storage while RV’ers traveled for 2 or 3 years.  For those who continued the full time lifestyle, it was an absolute waste and they tended to lose a fair amount of money storing furniture they would never use and eventually sold for a mere pittance.  The trouble is that those who moved back to “sticks and bricks” don’t tend to write books.

At some point that I don’t remember, I came across the website, Executive Lodging of the Black Hills.  They rent out high end vacation homes they call lodges.  The lodges are owned by private individuals who use Executive Lodging to manage the homes as vacation rentals.  I eventually made contact with Ana who showed us the homes last September and helped convince us that we could invest the money we made in selling our house in Redlands, CA and make about 5% on our investment per year.  Ana is a delightful young woman who laughs a lot, just like Emily, one of my favorite nurses at Vitas.  She also seems to have that Midwest forthrightness and honesty I saw in people in the 2 years I lived in Omaha.

Things happened too fast.  After almost 4 months of very little action on our Redlands house, I had convinced myself that we were going to have to wait for the summer when there would hopefully be more buyers looking for homes.  Roger‘s last day of work was Good Friday and the following Saturday we got an offer on our house.  However the buyers wanted a 30 day escrow which I was happy to comply with because I was really tired of being a housewife.  There just wasn’t time to arrange to go to the Black Hills to find a house.  One of the houses we saw last September was still for sale so we were going to put in an offer however it sold just as we were going to make our move. Ana said there was a house they had been renting owned by a local realtor that was for sale and we could see it on their website.  You can too, if you click here then click the box in the upper right corner for a full page view.  You can look around the rooms by moving your mouse.  Change rooms at the bottom of the page.

It was built in 2009.  I really liked what I saw and convinced Roger we should go for it.  We were able to buy it for just a little more than we got for our Redlands home.  Today escrow closed and we still haven’t seen the house.  Are we crazy? You’ll have to decide for yourself.
Unfortunately the house is furnished and we just didn’t have time to get rid of more of our stuff so some of the furniture in the home will have to be moved out before our shipment arrives.  You will have to look at the video now so you can see the changes we make after our stuff arrives.  They will make a new video of the home so we will let you know when it is on their website.  We will replace all the pictures with our stuff, especially Roger’s photos.  We will also replace some of the furniture with our antiques.  But our stuff took a whole moving van.  I have had nightmares about not being able to get all our stuff in place before the next renters come.  Ana just laughed when I told her but she doesn’t know how much stuff we’ve got.  I got rid of an awful lot of junk but I’m afraid it wasn’t enough.  We’ll see when it is moved in on the 17th of June.


  1. First time I've taken the virtual tour. I must say it looks like a really nice home, and I am relieved to know that I will still have a place to live in and mooch off of you guys after you finally sell the apartment in San Diego.

    -The Kid

  2. Sure thing! Cough up the 350 bucks a night and you're welcome to stay as long as you like.