Bennetts & Company

Our Landlord Asked Us to Move Out In the Middle of a Pandemic

Just when we thought life couldn’t possibly get weirder.

We’ve lived in Seattle for just over 7 months. Two months of that time have now been spent in our Airbnb in Port Angeles, which we’ve lovingly named Rainbow Ridge. That means that we spent about five months living in our downtown Seattle condo in the Insignia Towers.

Last week, our landlord emailed us and asked if we would be willing to move out early so they could sell the condo. Sigh. Are you for real right now, lady? We’re sort of in the middle of something. A GLOBAL PANDEMIC.

Turns out, she is for real. She is retired and her husband is very near retirement. They bought the condo a couple of years ago for $1,000,000 and the market dipped almost immediately and has stayed down for the past two years. When we moved into the apartment at the end of September, similar units in the building were selling for ~$850,000. No one wants to lose $150,000, so like most people would, they tried to wait it out until they could get their money back.

But now, they need their money out of the condo in order to retire. Or so they say. They’re older and at a higher risk for severe illness if they contract Covid-19. He is apparently still going into a work place which obviously increases risk.

It’s a very sympathetic story, and I get it. Life is scary right now.  As a human, I want to help this other human stay safe. But it was (and still is) a lot to work through.

The big question was whether or not it would even be possible to move in the middle of the pandemic. How would we find a new place if only essential businesses are open? Are movers essential because we don’t really know anyone in Seattle to help us move? And we have pets. We ended up in this condo partially because it was one of the only places that would accept the animals, even though it was $1,400 above our original price limit.

Yeah, you read that right. $1,400 above our original budget. Which was already $2,500. We have been paying $3,900 for a 1,200 sq ft condo, and for the past two months, we’ve also been paying for an Airbnb.

When it came down to it, we based our decision on money and we’re moving out. But we aren’t moving IN anywhere new….at least not yet.

We have our current Airbnb until the end of June. Brian doesn’t have to be back in the office until at least October, possibly longer. Seattle is crazy expensive and we hadn’t even considered where we wanted to move after downtown. We had just planned on renewing our lease unless for some reason we were unable, so we just don’t feel ready to pull the trigger on something more permanent.

With the uncertainty of the economy and the job industry, the expense of downtown, the scariness of downtown Seattle right now, and the fact that our jobs are 100% remote for at least 5 more months, we’ve decided to be Digital Nomads for a while.

We are officially going to be roaming the great State of Washington (and perhaps beyond?), getting to know it and seeing the sights, while working remotely. It reduces our financial obligations significantly (although there are some expenses, such as a mail forwarding service and a storage unit), and gives us a lot more flexibility to react to what the pandemic brings.

We are currently and will continue to social distance while doing all of this. The only public place I have set foot in since mid March is a CVS and that was to pick up necessary prescriptions. We’re only doing curbside pickup groceries, we haven’t done take out from restaurants, we have gone no where. We plan to continue to do so until a vaccine is available. So while we will be moving from place to place, we’re doing so in our own vehicle and not coming into contact with anyone. We will self quarantine indefinitely at each location.

This is going to be quite the adventure.





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