Tag Archives: moving

Done Deal !!

Exactly 509 days ago, the manager of my once upon a time employer called me into that dreaded meeting where you know you’re about to be shit canned. With little hope of regaining a meaningful job in the financial services industry at age 48, Diane and I made a hard decision to retire about five years earlier than we hoped. Deciding Malaysia was the intended destination, this set up a painfully long period where we’d live on Diane’s salary while I took on Life as a House Husband. Designed for middle class retirees over age 50 that wish to retire but not work, the MM2H Visa suits our needs except for the age requirement that doubles the financial commitment for applicants under age 50. Needing to sell our possessions and primary residence to have any chance at a 40+ year retirement, I began the long daunting process of waiting way back in November, 2013.

Our House for 30 more days

After what’s felt like an eternity, we’re delighted to report that The Experimental Expats received six offers for our house after only one weekend open house. We’re even happier to report that there’s way too many people with too much money in the San Francisco Bay Area. Coming in astoundingly high, the winner of our mini bidding war offered 13% above asking price with practically no contingencies other than routine inspections. Even agreeing to waive the appraisal contingency even though we believe the property will probably appraise at less than what they’re paying, our buyers really want this house. Clearing the way for our expatriation, the last step is filing the MM2H Application as soon as I hit my 50th birthday, 21 days from now. Relieved and a bit sentimental, our plan is to stay in the house one month after escrow closes and then drive the 2002 Honda CRV to the Motherland (Canada), where we’ll stay with Diane’s family a few weeks while allowing the visa some processing time (The buyers even gave us a month of free rent).

goodbye1Hoping you’ve enjoyed our tales of expat destination research trips disguised as vacations to places like Borneo, Ecuador, Thailand and Aruba, in a few short months we’ll be off to Penang in search of adventure, relaxation, volunteer opportunities and a place to live. Should any wonderful readers have any suggestions on where to start the process of apartment searches, please feel free to contact us. Looking for new friends, we’ve already met Eric and Marlina who filed their MM2H application 6 weeks ago and are heading to nearby Ipoh and we’d love to meet anyone willing to spend some time. And don’t forget to check us out on House Hunters International. Hopefully by year’s end, we’ll be making an episode. Cheers and thanks for reading !!!

Coming Soon:
Upcoming plans, final thoughts on overpriced California and stories not yet shared from our past escapades. Then, we promise a real expat blog by summer !!

Seller’s Remorse

Having returned from our trip to Portland where we met what will be our first new friends in Malaysia, Diane went back to work and I resumed House Husband Duties. Unlike all of 2014, there’s a lot to do before selling a house, trying to liquidate all your possessions and being home to accommodate the throngs of vendors that the real estate agent schedules. Creating a “Marketing Calendar” to keep track of it all, our real estate agent’s administrator’s job is booking vendors to get the house inspected, painted, cleaned, washed and staged. Almost wishing I was the one working, selling a house in the Land of The Overpriced is turning out to be an enormous pain in the ass.

dirty jobsUniquely different from selling a house built six years earlier and occupied only by us, homes older than me usually come with pages and pages of recommendations for minor repairs, statutory code upgrades, cosmetic fixes and disclosures up to Wazoo. (Built in 1964, our house is almost new compared to many homes in suburban Contra Costa County). Needless to say, none of this comes cheap. Along with bearing the unfortunate responsibility of paying broker’s commissions, the seller of a home in Northern California spends more on vendor’s fees, title company bullshit and miscellaneous regulatory fees than most men spend on an engagement ring. Spending upwards of $10,000 is “normal” even though our real estate agent conveniently “underestimated” all these costs by at least a few thousand.

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Now comes the fun part

After spending a year that felt like an eternity as a house husband, 2015 is upon us and suddenly an overwhelming sense of finality has set in. While thousands of fellow bloggers have simply “sold all their stuff” and left for wherever, the concept is different for old people (over 40) that lived a 30 year cubicle lifestyle complete with two car garages, suburban lawns and two-hour daily commutes. While I never want to return to the boring work of being a financial services peon, I’ve almost grown used to being a useless suburban slug that spends his days exercising, food shopping and blogging. But with Diane growing tired of being the sugar-mama, it’s time to buckle down and start packing.

pack 4Slightly anxious, we spent last weekend at the local U-Haul store purchasing moving supplies. Deciding it makes more sense to put whatever we’d want for future use in storage and not send it to a port in Penang with no known destination, we kept the inventory to 15 medium boxes, 5 large, 10 small and one dishpack  (mostly to save our Tim Horton’s collectible Hockey Hall of Fame glass set). Veterans to the U-Haul store, Diane and I have already had 7 addresses in 14 years of marriage, three in the San Francisco Bay area, three in Calgary and even a six month stint in San Diego (we hated living there). Having sent our stuff 2,000 miles by truck (Twice. And once from SoCal to NorCal), you’d think we’d be seasoned veterans. But moving is not the same as ditching everything for a new life in an unfamiliar continent across the globe and a certain degree of nervous anticipation filled my head.

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Almost Expats

for sale

Want to buy our house and help our cause?

If it was simply selling our house, I’d be writing from the beach in Penang. Unfortunately, I was 48 years and 9 months old when my job disappeared. In order to qualify for the MM2H, a social visit entry pass for would-be expats to Malaysia, you need to be 50 or the price doubles. Therefore the experiment begins after April 15th, 2015. In the meantime, follow our transition, read about some our past “expat research vacations” and bear with us until the paperwork dries and the early retirement begins.