The Semi-Retirement Move Back to Florida Plan, Part 1

When Rich started working at home full-time due to Covid, we started thinking about our future and what did we want our retirement to look like. Certainly not Las Vegas. Would we move back to Florida? The last time it was complicated because his company and direct manager didn’t really support remote working and we found ourselves back in Las Vegas at headquarters. But with the change in policy, post Covid, and a new manager, he was given full-time remote status.

Las Vegas real estate has been booming since Covid – Californians are fleeing in droves and snapping up everything they can get and the new home business is booming, resales are in high demand! Florida is even more insane! Bidding on homes “highest and best” offers, lotteries, etc., building delays – some taking more than a year. Most of this, we’d heard was in the booming Tampa Bay.

On our trip here in March, we found a new home builder on the Atlantic side of the state and went under contract before we left Orlando. Completion date was end of June “maybe sooner” he said. We were excited that this part of Florida didn’t seem to be having the issues that Tampa was having.

The value of our Las Vegas house was soaring so this was an excellent time to cash out and so we sold our house to Open Door. None of that horrible showing/selling of the house! Our new builder works with Open Door so we imagined that this time, we could move from house to house without any of that messy “in-between” stuff that we’d suffered before – lol!

When we heard that our closing date would be delayed by 2 weeks, which would make it on my birthday – how cool is that? On one hand we were disappointed – so didn’t want to travel in July or be in Las Vegas in July, for that matter – but that wasn’t too bad. Would we go ahead and leave and stay somewhere for a couple of weeks? That would we could be there for the walk through and closing. Besides, our agent was going to be on vacation then and we wanted to do the walk through ourselves.

We lined up everybody – packers, movers (of course, moving costs have soared due to Covid) – and booked an airbnb near our new home for the 2 weeks before closing. The cats and I stayed in a Residence Inn while Rich was supervising the packing/loading. By Saturday, June 25, our 3 cats and us set off for Florida with a target arrival date of June 30. Before July – yay!

All we had to do was drive across the country with one adventurous cat, one scaredy cat who hides in places that are hard to find, and a new kitten. Once we survived that, it would all be downhill, right?

The Residence Inns along the way: