Apologies for the massive gap between posts. Moving is busy work. More than that, moving into a new house is hardly something that happens in a day or even a week. We’ve been in Estrella for just over two months now and I am only just starting to feel like we aren’t in the process of moving in, though there is still loads to get set up.
Strangely, somehow moving city has ended up taking a lot longer and felt more involved than moving country in many ways. When we moved to Chandler from England, we moved into an apartment that had been lived in by other people, like most apartments.
At the time, we thought nothing of the fact that everything in the apartment just worked. This turns out to be a big difference between living somewhere someone else has lived and living in a brand new house. Someone else has tested that the power works in every room, that the appliances all work properly and so on and they have done it over weeks and months, maybe even years, and in a variety of circumstances. When you buy a brand new house, the builders have tried to test it, but it will have been under fairly limited circumstances and just once for most items. It’s just not possible to fully test a house without living in it.
Neither of us have owned a new build house before, so we didn’t anticipate this major difference. We both imagined something like getting a new iPhone or even a new car. This wasn’t true at all.
The move itself took much longer than planned. The movers quoted us 6-8 hours. The whole thing from end to end took about 12-13 hours. That said, they were great guys and did a great job. Nothing was broken or lost.
We got to the house at 9:30 PM. When we got there, the power didn’t work in the master wing of the house, so the movers got to assemble the bed by a light we plugged in in the hallway. The kitchen counter level plugs were also all tripping and the master shower was a trickle. They finally left at about 11 PM.
To make things even more farcical, we ended up having an allergic reaction to the new comforter I had bought us from Bed, Bath and Beyond. It was from a brand we’d used many times before, Wamsutta, their own line. The plastic on it made all of our bedding smell of tomato paste and body odor. The washer and dryer weren’t being delivered until several days later, so we had to drive the now 40 miles round trip to return it and buy entirely new bedding on just a few hours of poor quality sleep.
Needless to say, I felt we started off behind on our move. We had to take several more days off from work as almost no unpacking happened the first two days. We also had a stream of tradesmen coming by to try to fix the various things that weren’t quite working. For the first 3 weeks, an average of two tradesmen visited us a day. I hate to think how long it would have taken to get major things fixed if we didn’t worked from home.
All of that said, it is a lovely house and a beautiful area! Something positive that I had not fully anticipated was just how near we are to the mountain bike and walking paths. We were able to almost accidentally go on a hike up a small mountain just by virtue of how near it is.
We have been enjoying the sunsets, the quiet and having a lot more space. Zosia, one of our cats, has even lost some weight just from all the extra running around she is comfortably able to do.
On another positive note, both cats have seemed to cope very well with the move. Zosia appeared to have forgotten Chandler ever existed within a few days. Kasia took a little longer, but both did much better than friends or cat books suggested was even possible.
Cats aside, I think it was the right house for us humans living here as well. We are very pleased with the floor plan. We are both happy about every single customization that we picked. For instance, getting doors on the offices and getting 6 ceiling lights in them has totally worked for how we want to use them. Having a door connect the master closet and the laundry room has been extremely useful. We are both very glad we upgraded to the most expensive version of the kitchen. Getting the better appliances and the pull out cupboard shelves has been great. It was also well worth getting the wine/chocolate fridge. It means our main fridge has been much more organized and manageable.
It has been a long, crazy, knackering process, but I do think it was worth it in the end. 🙂
Here’s the video: