On the Home Front

Or maybe I should say “On the  HomeLESS Front!”  (don’t get upset — I know I’m not really homeless) . . we have a plan — not a formal, final plan but we’re headed in a new direction.  We’re going to figure out where we want to retire.  It may be in TX,  it may be in LA, it may be back in MO . . we’re going to spend some serious time thinking and researching in the next few weeks.  If we can find something by early December, we should be able to close and get out of this rental by mid-February when our lease is up.  We’ll find something we want for our retirement home and buy that and move all our stuff there.  Vince will rent something small here — a one bedroom apartment or maybe even an RV, and we’ll make the best of it til he retires.  There’s no reason we should have so much trouble finding a house here unless, like many of you have said . . it’s just not meant to be.  I feel like any more searching for a house here and trying to buy something here is just tempting fate.  It’s all kinda soured my already not so good attitude about this area.  Sorry to those who love it here . . we’re all different and I have found few things I like about Brownwood. The people here are very nice and I appreciate that and . . the UPS guy found my house finally and I really appreciate that!

For those who suggested giving the realtor an extra $1,000 who can find us a house.  Really?  The commission on a sale would be anywhere from $20,000 to $40,000 and you think an extra $1,000 is going to make them do something they wouldn’t have done already?  I don’t believe in paying someone extra to do what they should have done already.  A tip . . yes but on my list, especially with our recent adventures, realtors rate right up there with politicians.  Most will tell you anything you want to hear to make a sale and then they’re done with you when things don’t go their way.

About knocking on doors and asking folks if they want to sell . . that might work in the city but out in the country, so many of the houses are behind locked gates with long driveways and you can’t even see the houses.  We’re not looking to live in a subdivision and out in the country, it can be miles between houses.

We’ve tried everything we can try and looked at every house we can see.  I’m not mentioning the house search on here any more.  When (IF) we close . . I’ll let you know then.  I can bet you’re as sick of all this as I am.  Thanks for listening to all the whining and complaining!


  1. 1

    Debbie W says

    I am happy to hear you have a plan. It is really exciting to look forward to retirement and I hope you find your dream home, wherever that will be.

  2. 2

    Marky says

    Your current plan sounds like a good one. I’ve been praying that you would find the perfect house for you and when so much time passed, I too started to feel like this really isn’t meant to be. I’ve walked a mile in your shoes and I know how difficult relocation can be. You’ve done everything humanly possible to make this work and I don’t think you’ve been a bit unreasonable in your priorities. Today I was even thinking, “would Judy and Vince want to make this their final destination and retire in this area?” When Vince retires, I think there are probably a lot of other places you’d enjoy living, and at that time it could be hard to sell any house you did buy in the Brownwood area. The new plan seems to be better suited to your long term future (not to mention your short term sanity!)

    I haven’t minded your ‘whining’ about the house hunt at all. It’s been a good lesson on life for all of us, that things don’t always go according to plan; you’ve been a wonderful role model of making the best of a situation and perservering with your chin up every time you were hit with disappointment. You’ve been honest about being frustrated. This is real life, not a fairy tale where things always work out perfectly the way we want them to. It is very good that you’ve shared your experiences with all of us so we could grow with you and when our own trials come, face them with the same grace and fortitude that you have, while being open to other possibilities.
    I’m still praying for a home for you and Vince where you live “happily ever after”, where ever that may be! May it come to pass soon.

  3. 3

    SarahB says

    We’ll keep praying! And what are blogs for if not to share the goings on in your life?!?! You have every right to voice whatever you want on here and anyone who doesn’t want to hear it just shouldn’t read it! If it makes you feel less frustrated to talk about it then go ahead and blog, I, for one, will read and continue to pray and wish you both the best on this extremely unusual journey!!

  4. 4


    I think your new plan sounds great! And I agree with you…I think continuing to look in Brownwood would just be tempting fate. Good luck with your research and decision making. The right place is out there for you and Vince!

  5. 5


    Oh Judy, we are not tired of you complaining. I too, admire you and the way you have been handeling a very stressful time in your life. Everyone goes through hard times and we just want to be here for you. Sounds like you and Vince have come up with another good plan.

  6. 6

    Diane in CA says

    The universe obviously doesn’t want you to stay in Brownwood . Go for the retirement plan.. You have a better chance of finding that perfect place and it wont be at Brownwood prices..!

  7. 7

    Laura says

    It doesn’t seem like you’d ultimately want to retire in Brownwood anyway, so looking at someplace you really like makes sense. Best of luck to you, whatever happens.

  8. 9

    Perry says

    I think you may be on the right track. I don’t think you have good vibes about the area and it certainly hasn’t been a pleasant experience. I wouldn’t want to live there either. There must be something funny in the “no water”. I am glad all of your blogging “friends” have been here for you to talk this mess over with through the whole thing. I for one, will keep on praying that the right thing will happen as it is supposed to.

  9. 10

    Marilyn says

    You have not been complaining, just speaking out loud. I so support you because you both should be happy where you are.

  10. 11

    Shari in AZ says

    Sound plan Judy! I cannot believe the horiffic series of events that have presented on this move. We’d managed to reduce our search for a retirement location to two cities and then did the rest of the decision making on the smaller group. Its a very personal process, but if you want to blog about it we’re here to listen and help where we can.

  11. 12

    Becky R says

    How exciting this will be now! Looking for what YOU want instead of focusing on something that would be easier to sell when it’s time for the next move. I think this is a terrific new focus and remember that things happen for a reason. I’ve enjoyed seeing the posts about what you’ve found in your travels around the area so nothing to apologize for, in my book. The best is yet to come!

  12. 13

    sammi says

    Retire to the place you feel is “home”. Believe me, Brownwood is not “outrageous” in their prices. Now that the real estate bubble has “burst” here in the west, you can buy a 2000 sq ft house on an acre for “only” $750,000. Now if you want 20 acres and the same 2000 sq ft home, it is well over $1M. Cost is relative. As soon as we flew into this Valley, we knew we were “home”. Wishing you only the best …

  13. 16

    Karla says

    Judy, I am so sorry that everything has fallen through but I too was beginning to wonder if Brownwood wasn’t the place for you to be. But it does sound like your plans are good ones. Some small towns can be so weird! Im glad that where I moved isn’t like that or I would be looking to move too. My husband wanted me to move closer to Waco, but I do like the small community living not as much crime 🙂

  14. 17

    Karla says

    Judy, I am so sorry that everything has fallen through but I too was beginning to wonder if Brownwood wasn’t the place for you to be. But it does sound like your plans are good ones. Some small towns can be so weird! Im glad that where I moved isn’t like that or I would be looking to move too. I only wish the best for you, Vince and Speck wherever you all decide to move too.

  15. 18


    I think that is a wise idea….to look for a house where you really think you want to retire and buy in that area. I’m the one that said about the extra $1,000 for the realtor and was saying it in a half-joking way to take out that kind of ad….because it seemed like we were needing to come up with unusual ways for you to find a house and I thought that maybe the realtors weren’t trying hard enough. If, though, you seem to have doubts about Brownwood, then it might not be wise to buy there…because you then might have trouble selling once you are ready to head into retirement…and you surely don’t want that headache, either. Good luck with it…and please know that you have been and will continue to be in my prayers for your housing situation to work out soon.

  16. 19


    You can’t give a house away here in eastern NC. There is lots of land for sale. I could blindfold you and drive you over the bridge to the beach too. LOL Seriously Brownwood sounds dreadful to me … save yourself and escape while you can.

  17. 20

    Bobbie Schneider says

    You sound like you’re at peace with this decision. After all the trials you’ve been through, I’m sure that this one will finally go your way. God bless you and Vince.

  18. 21


    You’ve done your best and beyond, move on. The community will not have the true pleasure of your company and it’s their loss. I hate to see you two (three) separated, but the plan sounds like a good one. You especially need to get out of there so why buy and go through this again. You do not want to retire to Brownwood. Find your joy and go there. now while you can.

  19. 22


    The commission on a home might be $20,000 but in most cases it is split 4 ways: the listing agent, the listing agent’s office, the selling agent, and the selling agent’s office. Usually the split is even, though not always. So $20,000 could be only $5,000 for your selling agent. A $1,000 bonus is a 20% raise for them.

    At least, that’s what we were told when we did the buy/sell thing last year. Good luck with your decision–by the way, did you happen to keep count on how many offers you’ve made? It would be interesting to see the number…..

  20. 23

    Sandy says

    With all the stress and time you have spent looking, I think this is a good plan to move forward toward retirement. If you figure out what area you plan to retire , house hunt there and then you will have a place to move all of your household into. You could go back and forth for a few months/year or so until Vince retires. Many people have to do things like that in today’s world. If you haven’t sold your MO home yet, would that be an option moving back there? You said you liked that house and Chad would be nearby. Just a thought. I know it will work out in the long run. Best of luck, Judy.

  21. 24

    pauline charles says

    What a wise decision. It didn’t occur to me that Vince was any where near retirement….how near? Your tales of house hunting were/are very interesting and thank you for sharing them with a bunch of quilters who are always there to listen about most anything.

  22. 25


    Judy, this makes a lot of sense – you would probably not have picked Brownwood for retirement anyhow, so why not put your time, money and energy into a place you will live the rest of your life in. Better results hopefully, somewhere else. Positive energy coming your way. Judy C in NC

  23. 26

    Karen says

    Judy, I think this new idea that you and Vince are considering is a valid one. I know that if this were my hubby and I, we would be so tired of looking for a place by now that we would probably jump at buying any house whether we liked it or not and then sorely regret it. That’s what I have been afraid would happen to you and Vince. We are about 6-8 years out from retirement and if we were in your shoes, we’d be thinking along the same lines.
    I do want to tell you, you have been a better trooper about this whole ordeal than I would be!

  24. 27


    Judy, I know this has just been awful for you and Vince. I don’t think you where whining and complaining. Frustrated, yes, and who wouldn’t be? I actually think of this as a learning experience in the event that I ever have to look for a new home in another state or even in my current state. Teachable moments! 🙂

  25. 28

    Alberta in N GA says

    dont think for a minute that we have gotten tired of your remarks pro and con on the house hunt. I especially have enjoyed them and sometimes check your blog 2 or 3 times a day to see how your adventures are going. I think the idea of looking for a retirement home and making do until then is the best. Once you have the retirement home you can put your money and plans into making it the best for you. Please do keep us posted as to how this new adventure is doing.

  26. 29

    Norma says

    Judy, why don’t you advertise in your local paper that you are looking to buy and list your requirements in a home, You may get a response. There may be people just thinking about selling and that would help them to make up their minds. Good luck.
    Retirement could seem a long way off if you are living apart.

  27. 30

    Cindy in NC says

    Good luck with the new direction you’re going in. It sounds like a sensible approach to a difficult situation. I may be prejudiced, but I like the idea of the Louisiana lake house. It will put you closer to your parents, should they ever need you. I was certainly glad I lived near my mom when she was sick. I don’t know how I would have managed otherwise. Living on a lake will mean that Chad will be a frequent visitor. Just make sure there’s enough room for that quilting retreat business!

  28. 31

    pdudgeon says

    how about a new plan; move back to your house in Nevada (if it hasn’t sold yet) and then spend the remaining years looking for another place to retire to. you’ve certainly given Brownwood the old college try. But you deserve to finally have some closure in this episode and to live in peace of mind in a house that you like and can enjoy.
    you can always hire someone to mow the lawn for you, so that will be one more worry off your list. you’ll be able to use your smoker worry free, shop with the Amish again, and see Chad and Nichole, and have your chickens and your garden and your fruit trees in the Spring.
    my vote is that you move back to Nevada until Vince is ready to retire, and THEN look for a place.

  29. 32

    Marla says

    Judy, I think your new plan is excellent. I don’t blame you a bit. I simply can’t believe the trouble you and Vince have gone through to find a home there and also think that apparently it is not meant to be. Please don’t think you are whining. You were just stating the facts and you have taught a lot of us the reality of the real estate market in today’s economy. We are with you all the way!

  30. 33

    QuilterB says

    The two of you certainly have done everything possible to find a place to live in Brownwood. I liked your idea of looking for a retirement home near Toledo Bend. A convenient location for being near your family, living in a beautiful place, plus fishing for Chad. I pray you will find the perfect place for your retirement so you’ll never even have to think about moving again.

  31. 34

    Cindy B says

    My neighbor’s house is up for sale and Realtor traffic has been slim to none. His agent had the nerve to suggest to him that if he offered a $1000 or more bonus to the agent that sold his house it would be motivation to get it sold. ? He told her exactly what he thought of that! It seems that is what most agents are doing in this slow market, trying to get ‘kickbacks’ for doing their job and calling it a bonus!!

  32. 35

    Teresa in Music City says

    I hope you change your mind about blogging the home search! This is your blog and you blog what is going on in your life….no one is obligated to read if they get bored with it right? I find your stories hilarious and highly entertaining – if it were a novel I’d buy it! And it keeps me from pining for a new home :^D That said, I think you have hit on a wonderful solution! Put your money where your future is and bide your time as comfortably as possible until then.

  33. 36


    Judy, I think this is the best idea you have had yet. I hope retirement is not too far off and no one can say you didn’t try to find a place. I don’t think you would ever warm up to this area after all the heck you have had trying to find a place. Please post about whatever you want, including the house situation. You can’t leave us hanging at this point! LOL! We are your friends and friends don’t see anything you have done as complaining. Venting yes but venting is good. It is part of why we have blogs and why we read them! Hang in there

  34. 37

    pdudgeon says

    wherever you wind up, this time YOU get to choose the location and have the deciding vote, since Vince got to make the last two choices.

  35. 39

    Mary says

    Keith and I have been talking a lot about where we want to live when and if he retires. I’ve always thought we’d end up back on the East Coast but he mentioned Seattle as a possibility the other day. My current front runner is Maine. of course we’re 15-20 years away from him retiring but I wouldn’t mind getting settled somewhere permanent in about 5-10 years.

    I think your plan sounds like a good one because although I’d live somewhere I didn’t like temporarily I don’t think I’d want to buy a house there.

  36. 40


    I think this is a great plan. As a matter of fact it had crossed my mind when the last deal fell through. Having other options instead of being locked into an area you really don’t like would be good for you and your family. I think you have a plan, and now you can (hopefully) go forward.

  37. 42

    Kathleen says

    I like your plan. You want to love the place you retire to. How long will it be before Vince retires? This may sound crazy, but has your previous home sold and if not, would you want to retire there? I don’t take your posts as complaining – we’re interested in what you are finding (or not finding) and your thoughts.

  38. 43

    Sandy says

    I came to your blog because of quilting but have come to enjoy reading about your life every day. I have followed the move/home search with bated breath and hopes for the right solution to come to you and Vince. I seldom comment but read you more than once every day. Please continue to share your “goings on” with us, including the HOME search. My prayers are for you to be led to the best thing for you and Vince.

  39. 44


    No one will fully understand unless they are going through it..so whatever decision you and Vince decide today good for you both 🙂 Us followers enjoy reading your blog..and we support you, as well as learn a lot from you..Hope Speck is doing ok..and Chad is having fun fishing! Most of all through all of this my wish is that you and Vince find “your home” ~as you know a happy home is what you make it..and you seem to make that Judy anywhere you go!!! So things will work out fine… 🙂

  40. 45

    Linda in NE says

    You’ve made your stories about house hunting very entertaining though it’s plain how frustrating it is for you. Besides, you need to vent somehow so you don’t explode from all the frustration. Depending on how close Vince is to retirement, your new plan might work. One person doesn’t need a very big living space (especially if they don’t have a 14′ quilting machine) and some of those RVs are pretty nice. Good luck.

  41. 46


    Even in the country sometimes they go door to door. Did I ever tell you about the scary man who thought it was okay to open my latched gate, drive up my 1/2 mile road, and pound on my door to tell me I had to sell him 5 acres?

  42. 47

    Darlene S says

    I’m with you in whatever you decide. Remember that Missouri is beautiful in the fall and we have lots of green now!
    Someplace near one of our many beautiful lakes would be just as nice or nicer than Brownwood, I’m sure. Don’t forget, we have a large # of quilters in MO too. 🙂 🙂 Whatever you decide, know that we are with you all the way. Dar