Tuesday, March 6, 2007

What's in a name?

I believe in serendipity, I mean really!

On January 2, 2007 I uprooted my partner David, our dog Trixie, our cat Mia, put our cute Oakland, CA 1923 craftsman bungalow on the market (yes, we sold real estate in Northern CA), left behind a wonderful group of friends and neighbors, a decent job and moved to Seattle, WA for a dream job.

Relatively speaking everything has been going very well. Sure the ride has been an adventure.

Here is the bullet point synopsis of the trip. Bullets are a great tool to keep me from rambling - something I tend to do on occasion ;-)
  • Early October 2006 - Solidified plans for trip to Japan (more on Japan in a later post).
  • Mid October 2006 - Received an email from a recruiter for big Seattle company (name intentionally left out to protect the, hmmm employee). Replied to big Seattle company with interest thinking that the job might be in CA. Recruiter responded with dream job description and informed me that the job was in the Seattle area.
  • Late October 2006 - After much discussion with David, decided to pursue the opportunity, flew out to Seattle for an interview a week before trip to Japan. Survived day-long interviewing process.
  • Even Later October 2006 - 2 days before leaving for trip to Japan and 1 week after interview Recruiter made me an offer. Shocked and bewildered I told Recruiter that I would like to think about it while in Japan.
  • November 2006 - Had fabulous time in Japan. Returned to Oakland, negotiated offer with big Seattle company and accepted job.
  • December 2006 - Found great real estate agents. Made quick design to sell improvements to the house (gotta love HGTV). House and car was packed up and shipped to Seattle. Went to Seattle to meet Seattle Real Estate Agent and go on a city tour. Had the best going away party at the Paragon Restaurant. David, Trixie, Mia and I spent last week of December in Jack London Square hotel.
  • Early January 2007 - Had last SF New Year's Celebration. 1/2/07 David, Trixie, Mia and I hopped on a plane to Seattle and moved into temporary housing -- a high rise in downtown Seattle called Harbor Steps. Started new job 1/8/07. Began looking at homes with Mike, our fabulous Real Estate Agent.
  • Late January 2007 - Saw a ton of real estate all over Seattle. Went back and forth over which neighborhoods we would like. We felt strongly that we wanted a newly renovated single family home or brand new townhouse. Power went out in our apartment building (long story). Moved out to hotel for close to a week.
  • February 2007 - Power was still out in apartment building. Moved to a different temp apartment for a few more days in a different tower in complex. Electricity restored after a week and a half. House in CA was officially listed. Received several offers, 2 over asking. Accepted best offer. Made below asking contingency offer on new townhouse in North Queen Anne. Builder/seller countered but amount was still under asking. We accepted. House in CA and new house in WA closed the last week of February.
  • Early March 2007 - We move out of the temporary housing and into our new home 3/8!
PHEWWWW...

I know, I know, the synopsis was still long. But just imagine what the length could have been if I included all the little details! I promise that reading the bullet points was important to understand how serendipity played into the experience.

Serendipitous Moment #1: We didn't think that we would be able to find a home in Queen Anne that we could afford. So we almost ignored the neighborhood all together. We thought we really liked Madison Valley. It's a neighborhood that was close to the freeway that I take to work and was in between Capital Hill and Madison Park, 2 very nice neighborhoods. We found a townhouse that was pretty nice. It had great details and was designed by a "Green" Architect. But there were some issues with the layout that we struggled with and it didn't have any bathtubs. Unfortunately we discovered that the a good portion of Madison Valley was in transition and decided that we would be settling if we chose to buy the townhouse.

We made that decision on a Saturday. On Sunday we met up with the incredible Mike (our agent) to look at more homes. David and I were pretty discouraged and didn't think that we'd find a home before our time ran out at our temporary housing. Well, we were pleasantly surprised when Mike showed us a bunch of great places. One of which was the townhouse we eventually bought in Queen Anne.

Now why was serendipity at play? The whole experience was very similar to the one we had when we were looking for a home in CA. We discovered Glenview and didn't think we would find a home we could afford. But we did wind up finding the perfect 1st home in Glenview.

Serendipitous Moment #2: Our new house is on Etruria Street. The name doesn't roll off your tongue very easily and we always need to spell it when giving the address to people. Some of you smartypants out there will probably know the origin of the name, we didn't. So thanks to Wikipedia we learned that Etruria was an ancient region of Central Italy. Today, Tuscany is part of that region.

One of my most memorable trips was to Italy in the late '80s. I had hoped that I would one day live in Florence or Tuscany. Well who would have figured that I would land in the Tuscany of the Pacific Northwest? And so the name of my blog, Tuscany PNW.

This is actually my 2nd blog. The first was Obsessed In Oakland. I figured it was best to start a new blog with a relevant title. Feel free to check it out. You can learn more about our old home, my knitting projects, etc.

Well thanks for bearing with my long entry. Stay tuned for pix of the new home, new knitting projects, soap box entries, and assorted observations.

7 comments:

Janis said...

Keith! Congrats. I didn't even know you left town. Who knows where we will end up!
Please stay in touch.

Janis

RiseyP said...

welcome to your new home! can't wait to see pix...

Jane said...

Yeah!! So glad you guys are getting settled. I swear I'll send you a proper email soon...love that you're the west coast USA tuscany. How is the backyard for starting a mini-winery???

Brian said...

So ETRURIATIONS didn't cut it, huh? I'm pleased as punch (though I have no idea what that would feel like, truth be told) for all of you. Kisses... b

Anonymous said...

I miss you guys!! Congratulations on the new house, I will be up north soon to visit!!
I love you,
Jess

Anonymous said...

So, Keith, what is it that I should send you -- Ring Dings, Yodels, Funny Bones? Some of each? A new house calls for a box of goodies from Back East!!

Woo Hoo!! The boys have got a new home.

Sally, Back East

Miss Nancy said...

Love your new blog and look forward to seeing some pics. Your whole move went like clockwork, except for a couple of glitches. Amazing!

Poor Trixie - has she forgiven you for leaving her alone to deal with the vacuum cleaner?