Settling down was far from our minds after only seven years on the road fulltime RVing. Living on and volunteering for national wildlife refuges for the past few years has instilled in us a love of open spaces inundated with wildlife. But when we found a small affordable house on two acres in lush desert landscape with 360 degree spectacular views near Saguaro National Park, we had to reconsider. The house and property had absolutely everything we ever said we’d want in a retirement home.
So we made an offer and it was accepted. That’s when reality set in.
On one hand, we felt we couldn’t pass up a home that seemed so right for us. On the other hand, we weren’t actually ready to leave the fulltime RV life. We spent sleepless nights agonizing over this decision. Irritability increased. Breathing became difficult. Doubts ravaged our minds. The number of times we nearly backed out of the deal escalated as closing time grew near.
Fifth Wheel Home
We love our fifth wheel home. It offers everything we need. The RV life has been good to us. We’re healthy and energetic and mobile. Our expenses are minimal. Why did we need to complicate our lives?
These thoughts tortured our minds for weeks. Each time I opened a drawer, turned on a light, delved into storage, or even went to bed, I became more aware of everything an RV offers that a house lacks. Our trailer came equipped with so many light fixtures that we still haven’t used them all. We store a full-sized keyboard, extra clothing, suitcases, backpacks, and boxes of treasures in under-bed storage. The RV came furnished with the bed and even the bedspread, as well as a built-in chest of drawers for our clothing. The windows came with window shades and valances. We tuck exercise equipment, heating pad, tax forms, old photographs, radio equipment, books, extra towels, and a myriad other necessities in built-in overhead cabinets. Chuck enjoys his built-in desk, while I read on the couch or recliner chairs that also came with our RV. And we both watch TV or listen to radio from our built-in entertainment center.
Since we sold or gave away almost everything a few years ago when we sold our home and hit the road, we’d need to start from scratch with this house. Not only would we require furniture, lamps and lighting, and storage units, we’d need to shop for second sets of flatware, dishes, cookware, towels, sheets, ironing board, and other assorted household necessities.
“We should have a shower for you,” a friend told me. Wouldn’t that be nice!
The more we realized how much our RV came appointed with compared to what the empty house would offer, the more we hesitated.
“The house and property look great,” another friend offered. “Just go ahead and get it, go through your buyer’s remorse, and enjoy it!”
[/threecol_one] [threecol_two_last]But we needed a second look at the house and property to help us decide. We returned once more.
Driving up the driveway to the house actually felt like coming home. Giant saguaro and prickly pear cactus, ironwood and palo verde trees, creosote and brittle bushes, and more dotted the expansive yard. Although the house itself is a modest two-bedroom, two-bath simple abode, the covered decks that stretch across the front and back of the house beckoned us. As we walked the property, we discovered coyote droppings, javelina and quail tracks, and other signs of wildlife.[/threecol_two_last]
But one of the biggest selling points for us, we realized, was the RV site with full hookups next to the house.
What attracted us to the property originally was not the house itself, but the acreage with pathways among the vegetation, the views, the decks, and the wildlife. That’s when it dawned on us – we weren’t buying a house on a beautiful piece of property. We were buying an RV site on our own wildlife sanctuary as we continue RVing!
For the time being, we decided, we would remain fulltime RVers, living in our fifth wheel hooked up next to the house, enjoying the property whenever we were in town before one day moving into the house and staying put. We can take our time furnishing the house. But for now, at least until we give up the full-time RV lifestyle and settle down, we have purchased a very nice RV site that comes with a large guest house for our visiting friends.
[box type=”note” style=”rounded”]This article originally appeared in Escapees Magazine May/June 2012 issue.[/box]