Monthly Archives: February 2014

On to Ashland – Oct. 4, 2013 to Jan. 2014

Z3We left Fremont the final time on Oct. 4, the day the Fremont house closed. Mark towed the Z3 behind our Chevy truck and I drove the Volt. The Volt could not make the trip on electric alone so we used a combination of the electric and the the gas engine, a generator that makes electricity once the battery is depleted. Here we are at a rest stop on Hwy 5 on the way to Ashland.

IMG_4255We had left Rose, our Airstream travel trailer, at the Holiday RV Park in Phoenix, a small town about 7 miles north of Ashland. This is the park we have stayed at since we began RVing in the Ashland area.

Phoenix2Ramblin’ Rose with the big black truck and the Volt at the RV park in Phoenix this photo was taken from the bridge on the side of the park.

PhoenixAnother view of Rose at the park. We lived here for approximately 5 weeks until the house closed and while we had work done on the house before we moved in.

HouseOn Oct. 28th the house closed, we met with our realtor to pick up the keys and took possession of our new (to us) house. Note the yellow leaf bearing trees in front of the house. These are Ginko trees which dumped their leaves on us for the next 3 or 4 weeks. The gardeners employed by the previous owners dropped by that day and we continued their employment to deal with the deluge of leaves.

GarageCarportThe back of the house with the carport and garage. It also includes room for an artist’s studio which I am going to use for my beading. We had a really cold snap (to us) in November and I tried beading there using space heaters for warmth. Still too cold, so we had an HVAC system installed to heat and cool the space. Nice.
Ace marking
This was Ace’s first visit to the house and he lost no time in making it his.


Before we had our furniture delivered and moved in we had new hardwood floors installed on the second floor. The wood for the floors had to be acclimatized before they could be installed.

FenceOur last pre move-in chore was to have the fences replaced to secure the yard for Ace. This included our side of the public walkway that runs between High Street and the alley behind our house. Movers

Two weeks after taking possession of the High Street house we had our furniture delivered and we moved in. Boxes

The house went from being empty to being totally stuffed.

Living Room with rugI was amazed but within a week we were mostly unpacked! Although we did have to replace some of our furniture with smaller pieces. The Ashland house is significantly smaller than the one in Fremont.

GuestBedroomHere is the rose bedroom, our primary guest bedroom. bedroom

And our master bedroom with the new bed we had built (the walls were too low for our headboard of our old bed, which is now in the rose bedroom).

Kitchen IslandOur new kitchen,  we added a kitchen island to get more drawers and counter space. The kitchen only had 2 drawers when we moved in! Fence in snow

A week after Thanksgiving we had a storm which left us with 8 inches of snow. Everyone kept telling us that this had not happened in 12 years. SolarWe will have to see.

In January 2014 we had a 5.4 kw solar system installed on our roofs. This was not as simple as the system in Fremont. We have solar panels on two smaller roofs on the main house and more on the roof of our garage.

We are pretty settled in our new life in Ashland and looking forward to showing this lovely city to our friends. To close, an Apple Blossom Camellia in our garden before it snowed.


The Move (Aug 4 – Oct. 4)

This series of posts don’t really follow Rose, Our Airstream travel trailer, but she was with us every step of the way to moving to Ashland. This includes living in the Airstream until our Ashland house closed. I wanted to share our adventure in moving to Ashland, Oregon and this seemed a good place to do so.

When we went to Ashland, Oregon in August of 2013 we were only planning on catching a few shows at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. We had no intention looking at houses and moving to Ashland. Every time we visit Ashland we discuss moving, but always decide that selling our house and moving is just too difficult. But, this time we saw a listing for a home with RV parking and called the realtor with the listing. That home was already sold, but we decided to continue looking. We began focusing on homes with RV parking and soon found another home. 571 Oak Hill Circle This one was on the East side of Hwy 5 on Oak Hill Circle,  a beautiful home with RV parking and it’s own sewer hook up connected to a  septic tank.  The RV parking was behind the truck in the photo on the left. It is behind a large metal gate. We placed an offer on the house and returned to the Bay area to place our Fremont house on the market.

One of Mark’s Starbuck buddies is Kacey Alamzai. a Fremont real estate broker, and he agreed to market our Fremont house for us. The first thing he suggested was to make our front yard more buyer friendly.  front gardenOur front yard was like a meadow. We and our friends really liked it, but Kacey did not think it would appeal to would be buyers.

Kacey had very definite ideas how he wanted our front yard to look. He even interviewed landscapers for us and described to them what he wanted. SodThe landscaper converted our drip irrigation system to a sprinkler system to support the new sod. They trimmed all the vegetation, removed one Crape Myrtle and totally reconfigured the yard. It was not our yard anymore, but since the house would soon belong to someone else we dealt with the changes.

Next Kasey brought in an interior decorator to advise us in staging our house for showing.  She had a great many suggestions that we attempted to follow. The first was to declutter the house and to remove any personal items. She really liked whiteMasterFirst, she wanted a white comforter on the bed in the master bedroom. That was not hard, all I had to do was purchase a white duvet cover.

She also wanted white furniture in the great room. Kasey told us afterwards that she works for a company that rents furniture used in staging homes. Lucky for us Mark remembered that our sofa and loveseat had white material under the slipcovers. This was a total pain, we had to cover the furniture after each showing to keep it clean!  We also had to remove all the hangings from the beam that separated the living area from the dining room. Living room

But the great room did really look good.

dinning room:kitchen


Here are some more photos of our staged house.

The dining room …

The kitchen …

Once we had the house ready, Kacey put it on the market. On Aug. 29th the Realtor Open House was held. During the Open House Kacey had several buyers drop by and ask to make an offer.  He declined and said he wanted to hold Public Open Houses over the weekend to generate more interest. He accepted offers the next Wednesday, Sept. 4th., we received 7 offers and accepted one for $25,000 over the asking price.

A problem had developed with the house on Oak HIll Circle. An inspection was built into our offer on the house. The inspector  told us that the roof would not make it through the winter. Our realtor had 3 different roofers look at the home and give us quotes on replacing the roof.  They all agreed with the inspector that the roof needed replacing. The owner refused to admit that the house needed a roof and would not help us replace the roof. We pulled our offer and after the Fremont house had an accepted offer, we took Ramblin’ Rose and returned to Ashland.

We parked the Airstream at the Holiday RV Park in Phoenix and resumed our search for the perfect Househouse. We decided to change our search parameters from RV parking to walkability. There was a house we were interested in near the Plaza. We had not looked at that house on our earlier search because it was a two story house. But after looking a it we knew this was “the house” We put an offer on it the next day, and after a counter we had an accepted offer!

We left the Airstream in Phoenix (Oregon) and drove back in the BBT (big black truck). we did this so that when we returned to Ashland we could bring all our vehicles in one trip. Mark would tow the Z3 with the truck and I would drive the Volt. We left Ashland to get back to Fremont to make arrangements to close the Fremont house and move our stuff to Ashland. packing - garage

To get ready to show the house we had moved all the excess stuff in our garage. But, as you can see in the photo at the left the garage was pretty full. We decided to use Mayflower to move our stuff. Because the Ashland house closed 3 weeks after the Fremont house closed we had to store our stuff until the Ashland house was ready for us to move in.

packing - house As we packed our stuff the boxes piled up in the house. At the end it was difficult to move from room to room. Ace got very confused during the last few days before our stuff was picked up.

soldWe were looking forward to the sold sign being put on the For Sale house in front of our house.After the funds had been transferred from the buyers to our bank account Kacey finally placed the sold sign.

MayflowerThe movers loaded our stuff and put it into storage on Oct. 3, and the house closed on Oct. 4.

We rented a car hauler from the local U-Hall and they assisted us in loading the car onto the trailer.

One last note – If you need to sell your home in the tri-city area we highly recommend Kasey Alamzai. He made the process of selling our house painless and definitely got us top dollar.