Date: 22 Mar 1995 08:57:50 -0800
Hi everyone. I thought I'd update everyone on our bike tour companion list as to how we're coming along with our departure plans. If you have any questions, comments, or helpful suggestions we sure would like to hear from you all.
We're still trying to sell our San Diego townhouse, which is absolutely the only thing holding us back from leaving. Things have been difficult, to say the least. But our real estate agent finally came up with an idea that we think will work. Basically we would have the buyers assume our loan and then we'd be the loan agents for a major portion of the downpayment. We'd require that they put up some minimum down so we'd at least be guaranteed to get something out of the deal. The biggest advantage of this approach is should the buyers default on the loan the responsibility reverts to the bank, not to us. Just imagine how difficult it would be if the buyers defaulted and we became the responsible party again.
Brian has been off work now since January 3rd. Since then he did some work on both the van and the truck. The truck was sold just last week within 24 hours of putting an ad in the Auto Trader. To now at long last we are a one vehicle family. One more to go and I will have reached my goal of having no autos what-so-ever.
Also, we have continued to sell household things that we either won't be needing on the road or don't currently need to decorate the townhouse. Even though we are down to a minimum amount of furniture and other stuff, it will be real interesting once we get a firm offer on the townhouse. I estimate we'll have just 3 weeks to sell everything else. We plan to move directly from the townhouse into a campground so we must be down to the bare bones when we close. Those last 3 weeks aught to be real hectic.
Brian also just finished our taxes. We've got quite a bill this year due to the sale of our house. Of course it figures that just after we sell the new Congress starts to consider indexing capital gains for inflation. Oh well, such is life. We'd rather get going than wait for Congress to do something. Determining the basis of our houses (past and present) was quite a task, though. We did all the landscaping ourselves with a little help from local day workers. Well, we had kept every single receipt for things purchased during this process. This includes receipts for amounts from $1 to $800, hundreds of receipts. This all had to be summed which was quite a task.
Finally, we also had a lot of donations last year so our accountant has asked us to write a note to the IRS explaining what we're doing. Well if it heads off an audit, I guess it's a good thing to do.
Brian's next task is to find some good health insurance. Since we'll be relocating to Wyoming we need a policy we can transfer up there. He's found one from American Republic that looks real good, but they don't sell policies in California at all. We really want to get all this set up before we leave and then just simply transfer, so this may be out. Blue Cross and Blue Shield looks reasonable, but he's still looking. Maybe we'll end up getting something temporary to cover us until we can establish our new Wyoming address and then we'll go for American.
In the meantime, I've been getting to know our little HP 100 better. I've learned how to manage the files, create an address book, write and store memos and letters, and work with Lotus 123. I've even figured out how to make hardcopies. The HP only has a serial port and most printers have a parallel. So I bought fax software. Now I can fax a letter to myself and this now becomes my hardcopy. This will be useful for sending newsletters to my non-net friends. Right now I'm learning how to access our Schwab account using the Equalizer software (had difficulty with the password at first but now I think I'm making progress). Finally, after all this I'll be learning how to use GENIE. Keep in mind that once we finally leave my email address will be changing. I'll keep all yours and will send you all my updated address when that happens.
Lastly, we've almost finished collecting and upgrading our equipment. The panniers arrived but we had the wrong handle bar packs. They've gone back to be reordered. We've settled on most of our camping equipment, although I'm sure as we go along we'll find that we'll be changing things, especially during the first year. We still need to go through all our equipment and do a final sort to get rid of the excess. One last thing we're currently looking for is a cheap shortwave radio. We've heard from many different sources that this can be quite nice to have along.
I finally got my musical instrument, a flute. For my birthday Brian paid for it to be cleaned and repadded. I'm going to take a few lessons before we leave to give me a jump start on learning to play. I'm not a natural musician, so I'll take all the initial help I can get.
I am working on my very first newsletter. I'll be describing all the preparations we've gone through in more detail. In particular, the approach we've taken to solve some of the problems associated with not having a stationary home address may be of interest to some folks. We're trying to be as independent as possible so we won't be too much of a burden on folks at home. This is one of the main reasons we'll be taking the computer. We may have come up with a few new innovations that folks would like to hear about.
Well, that's it for now. I'll notify everyone when we sell the townhouse, when firm departure date is set, and what our new email address is when as soon as we know ourselves. In the meantime, we'd sure like to hear what everyone is up to these days.
Caryl and Brian
Copyright © 1995-2011 by Caryl L. Bergeron - Distribution for personal use permitted. Distribution for other uses with written permission.