Mother of one Laura Hazan had just sent her son off to college when her husband got a job offer and the couple decided to make a major move.
The upside: They’d be going to Baltimore, MD, near family and an hour away from their son Paul’s university. The downside: They’d be leaving their home in an idyllic neighborhood in the St. Louis, MO, area.
“We lived in a fabulous suburb that’s like Main Street USA where kids could ride their bikes to the ice cream shop and the library,” Hazan said. “It was bittersweet to leave.”
In conjunction with National Moving Day, which in 2015 falls on May 26, SpareFoot is sharing various stories about people who’ve moved amid life-changing events. This story focuses on moving away from an empty nest.
‘A Huge Change’
In fact, Hazan started a blog to cope with her feelings about her newly empty nest and big move. “It was such a huge change all at once,” she said.
On top of the emotional challenges, the couple faced logistical snafus with downsizing and moving with little time to plan.
Starting in late fall, Steve started traveling back and forth between his new job and the family home in St. Louis. In February, he moved to a small Baltimore apartment, taking a card table and an air mattress. “He lived like a monk,” Hazan said.
On the Move
In the meantime, Laura priced movers and sorted through mountains of stuff. The large bank where Steve worked provided a lump sum that covered the $15,000 move.
After the couple put their house up for sale, they were surprised to get an offer in 48 hours. A few months later, movers from United Van Lines packed up all their stuff, loaded it into a truck and headed east.
The Hazans had the movers drop off a few pieces of furniture at Steve’s apartment, and everything else got stashed in storage while the couple looked for a house to buy.
The couple couldn’t decide whether to live in the suburbs or the city and whether to downsize. Laura wanted another four-bedroom house so they could keep a bedroom for their son and also have a guest room. “It was an interesting house hunt,” she said.
They finally found a three-bedroom home in the city with a “fabulous rooftop deck and all kinds of great views of the harbor,” she said. They can walk out their door to their favorite trendy restaurant, Of Love & Regret, or head to a pub to sample local microbrews.
“I wanted to live in the suburbs, but I’m glad we ended up in the city,” Hazan said.
The Hazans learned a lot from moving on the fly. Here are four moving tips for empty nesters.