On Moving, an Airstream, and a little building

Christine had made up our mind to move a little over a month ago…

We even put money down on a lot in a new subdivision and started building a new house. We would have loved the new house… it’d have been perfect for us today, and would have been big enough to serve us for at least 5-10 years (as long as we don’t have 10 kids). We signed a contract and everything, and we were excited. We picked exterior colors, brick and tile, and marble countertops and chose some options to make it “our home”.

But then, we had our realtor over to tell us what needed to be fixed up so we could sell the current house. The list was like 5 items long. The “stager” (that’s what the woman who tells us what to do to fix the house up) said our house was just perfect, and that it’d sell with just some minor work (like cleaning out the gutters) without a problem…

That evening, Christine and I took Jack for a walk around the block and down to the park. We started noticing the 60 year old oak trees and the shade as we walked. We noticed the individuality of all the other homes. We talked to a couple of neighbors.

That day at lunch, I’d talked to a guy that was working at home out of a big RV Motor Coach that he’d half converted to an office.

We briefly discussed buying an old Airstream travel trailer and turning it into an office and parking it in the driveway (Yes, Robert Earl Keen’s songs come to mind, especially the one where he talks about powering an air-conditioner out on a table top in the San Antonio heat in mid-summer). That Airstream idea turned us to thinking.

Why were we moving?

We were moving because I needed an office that was a little less distracting (when the dog barks because the mailman comes to the door, or a strager walks by, as I’m on the phone with a client, it throws me off). And Jack needs a place that’s less distracting for him while he grows up (when I walk from the office to the kitchen while he’s eating it throws him off).

So, why were me moving? We could get an Airstream and put it in the front yard.

We decided we weren’t moving.

I checked eBay and researched some other projects where people had turned Airstreams into offices. (Hell, even Airstream has a commercial sales program for new Airstreams as offices). I could get an Airstream for $5,000, put $2,000 into it, and a little electrical work on the house and we’d be set… I’ve have the less distracting office, Jack’d be able to eat without me walking through… Wesley could bark to his heart’s delight. Problem solved, and we got to stay in our little old 1940’s Austin bungalow. Putting an Airstream in the front yard sounded like a perfectly East-Austin thing to do.

Then we contemplated actually putting an Airstream in the front yard, weighed the costs and effort involved in making it work, and we decided to put a little out-building in the back yard instead.

So, I ordered a building from Affordable Portable here in Austin, and they’re set to deliver it on Thursday. I’ll spend the next couple of weekends getting it suitable for me to work out of, and then I’ll move out of the guest-bedroom.

note: We looked at buying a building at Home Depot, and the value just wasn’t nearly as compelling as what Affordable Portable was offering. For the same money we got a nicer building, with a real steel door and real windows built on-site, painted to match the house with a hip roof that’ll match our house perfectly. It’ll look a lot like a little house in our backyard, and might even turn into a nice hobby shed or play-house for Jack and his buddies when I move out of it.

I can’t wait to have an office again, though I’m not sure I’ll be able to handle the commute…

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