We bought an SUV in Abbotsford and drove it back to Arizona after our December 2019 visit. We bought a Canadian vehicle to avoid the hassle of immigrating an American vehicle into Canada when we returned. Now that we had a projected moving date, we needed to get busy making preparations.
We had purchased a larger home in 2018 that provided me with a beautiful office. That office was a significant upgrade from the laundry room corner I had used in our first Arizona home. We had recently finished doing some kitchen upgrades and were quite comfortable in the home’s 2200 square feet. So preparing to leave those comfortable surroundings was bittersweet.
We put the house on the market the first part of March, and it sold in five days for $5000 over our asking price. The buyers wanted to take possession in mid-April, which worked perfectly with our projected moving time frame. Being fully committed after the house sold, our preparations ramped up and got serious. We sold many of our unneeded household furniture items on Facebook Marketplace, with one lady buying most of what we were selling. Within a couple of weeks, we sold everything that we wanted to leave behind.
I made arrangements with my real estate clients to work with my backup agent for their buying and selling needs. Vickie and I had worked together for a couple of years, covering each other when either one of us needed to be out of town. She is a great agent, and I assured my clients she would take as good care of them as I did. At this time, I still maintain my Arizona real estate license.
As we were busy preparing for our upcoming move, our realtor in Abbotsford looked for condos for us within our price range. Canadian housing prices are considerably higher than Arizona, so we knew we could not afford a single-family home without getting back into a significant mortgage. At this stage of our life, we did not want to go into that debt level again. Plus, a condo would minimize the number of unexpected maintenance costs in the future.
We had an accepted offer on a condo and planned the furniture we would take with us accordingly. But unfortunately, Covid-19 hit, and that deal fell through on the seller’s end, just as we were packed and leaving. So once again, we were making a significant move with no home waiting for us.
Covid-19 travel restrictions had just been implemented, so we did not know how we would fare with our cross-country travel. We loaded our SUV on a transport trailer behind the 20-foot U-Haul truck loaded from “stem to stern.” We went back north with a bit more “stuff” than we had in the small cube van when we went south! We took blankets and pillows in preparation to sleep in the truck if necessary, but accommodations and food were readily available the entire trip. We found hotel prices deeply discounted, so establishments were happy to get any business.
We had only been on the road for about three hours when we received a U-Haul call, saying that we needed to return and change transport trailers. We told them where we were and that turning around was not an option. They then made arrangements for us to stop in the next town, where they had a facility that could exchange the trailer. We were glad they contacted us when they did because the brakes on our trailer were using were faulty, and we would be traveling across numerous mountain ranges on our journey north!
Three and a half days later, we crossed back into Canada. Before we left, I had contacted the border authorities, so we were aware of what we needed when we arrived at customs. We are dual citizens of the United States and Canada, so the inspections only took about 45 minutes, including receiving our strict quarantine instructions. Although we had a manifest ready for our goods, customs did not inspect our truck’s contents.
After crossing the border, we took the U-Haul truck to our daughter Lisa’s home, where it remained parked during our two-week Covid-19 quarantine. We quarantined in a friend’s Airbnb, and both health officials and the RCMP checked on us to make sure we were where we were supposed to be. Those two weeks seemed like a long time to be stuck inside with not much to do. Our daughters made sure we had enough food during our isolation time.
When our quarantine was over, we unloaded the truck and put our goods into storage until we found a place that we could call home. After looking at several prospective homes, our realtor found an empty condo that we decided would be suitable. Knowing it would need some upgrading, we bought it and waited for all the closing details to complete. We were finally able to move into our new home on May 31st, 2020.
We had quite the move-in experience! Based on the size of the first condo we had a contract on, we had purchased a beautiful leather sleeper sofa for the second bedroom. However, the condo we purchased was a bit smaller and was a different configuration. Consequently, after struggling to get our furniture through the elevator and into our condo, the sofa bed did not fit through the second bedroom door!
The movers wondered if we bought furniture by the pound! We thought we would need to take the sofa back into storage and try to sell it. Fortunately, our daughter Lisa arrived at the right moment and decided she wanted to buy it, so the movers took it to her home! But despite the stress and strain, everything worked out in the end.
We are settled in now and getting back into Canadian life.