It’s December 2017 which means in San Diego (and much of Southern California) it is Wildfire Season. Santa Barbara County is still burning as I write. This calendar year has been the worst fire season on record. Including massive wildfire losses in Northern California, earlier this year.
As such, the rental market in California is challenged. What has never been particularly affordable housing is now in great demand. Less home for more money, and more people clamoring for the “privilege” of shelling out big bucks for tiny homes.
Tim was a Fire Captain and I ran a Concierge Company. As a civil service worker and small business owner, we were comfortable but both worked very hard. As the economy ebbed and flowed, so too did our home ownership. We owned, rented, sold, and lost homes along the way, settling in as savers and renters patiently waiting for economic or market changes. We managed to get our two kids into great colleges, one in New York and one in Northern California, and retire while still in our fifties.
When our lease was coming to a close, our plan was to move into a smaller place, better suited for empty nesters, and perhaps relocate to Northern California. Then came the Napa Fires. We knew from experience in San Diego how devastating massive wildfires impact the community, especially the rental market. Now what?
This is where our hurdles have actually helped us be better prepared for what is to come next. Getting bounced around by our lenders and landlords was a hassle but it helped us learn to be flexible and react quickly to changes. We can make the best of any situation, we know because we’ve done it. We have reduced our footprint, learned how to live with less and embrace the things that really matter. We started to think a bit more outside of the box. Since we were were planning on relocating and renting, there really was no restriction on where we could move as long as it was within budget. We started thinking of “what if” scenarios. What if we could live anywhere in the world? Where would we want to live? I started researching things like, “What is the weather like in February in Ireland? (cold!) In Italy? (warmer) Italy, hmmm. Italy!