leaving home

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve made a pretty big decision: I’ve put my Northern Virginia condo on the market. I’d been thinking about it for a while. In fact, when I accepted the position here in San Francisco last year, I thought about trying to sell it then, but the interviews, job offer and move happened so quickly–less than five weeks from first telephone interview to my start date, with a transatlantic vacation and cross-country move in between–that I didn’t want to rush into the decision at the time, so I hired a property management company to find tenants and oversee the lease.

It’s become clear to me over the past year, perhaps unsurprisingly, that this is my home now; I love it here. And, even if we were to leave the Bay Area, I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t go back to DC. So I had started thinking about selling the condo when the lease expired the end of August. But by the end of June I hadn’t actually done anything about it, and started worrying that I wouldn’t be giving the tenants fair enough (even if legally sufficient) warning, so I decided I’d rent it for one more year and then sell in 2008.

But on July 5 I got an email from the management company that the tenants had decided not to renew the lease past August, so rather than have to look for new tenants for only a year’s lease, I decided that was the sign to sell it. So as of today, the condo is on the market.

It’s listed on the MLS and as a “showcase” listing on Realtor.com. It’s particularly strange to see the photos of it there, with someone else’s furniture, arranged completely differently than we had ours, but maybe that helps me in separating from it emotionally.

And it has been an emotionally charged decision. While I know that it’s really the right time (if not already a little late) to sell it for a number of reasons–I need to sell it within the next two years to avoid the capital gains penalties, a number of new condo buildings are planned nearby that will create a glut, I’m not going to be moving back there, we’d need the cash were we to find a house here we want to buy, to list only a few–but the decision still left a big lump in my throat. This was the first (and only, so far) home I’d bought, and I bought it completely on my own, with no financial support from my family. I was there for ten years, the longest I’d lived at any one address as an adult, I made a lot of friends there, Alex came into my life that first year, and Jeff and I had lived together there for three years.

But life moves on, and so will I. Even considering the less-than-ideal work situation and the bad things that have come our way the past year, I’m really happy out here in California, happier than I was back in Virginia. So, positive thoughts, if you will, that the former Chez Thomas sells quickly… and for the asking price. <grin/>

If you know of anyone who might be interested–the Barkley is a really well-respected address in Arlington, at a very convenient location, and my unit is on the secluded, quiet, tree-covered courtyard side of the building, overlooking the swimming pool (honestly, I think it’s one of the two or three best locations in the entire building, high enough to be safe and to have a pleasant tree-top view, but not so high as to get the street noise from Columbia Pike)–let me know.

4 thoughts on “leaving home

  1. Congratulations on your decision. I’m sure it will sell quickly. I think one of Ziggy’s sisters lives in Arlington; nice area.
    And really nice to see you blogging again. 🙂

  2. Considering how badly things are going in my new California life — still no job after two years?! — I might have to investigate moving back there and buying your condo!
    Still, like you, I can’t shake this feeling that I don’t want to go back to DC, even if things fall apart here. I don’t know why, because it will always be home to me; perhaps it’s just that I have a need to live outside the Beltway for a while…

  3. Personally I hope it sells for OVER the asking price! Glad to hear you’re happy in the Bay Area — it’s a great place.

  4. On the day that you were born

    It’s Thom’s birthday today! Happy happy birthday, baby. Here’s a photo of him at our joint birthday party last month (photo by Julie): » See also the Times’ “On This Day.”…

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