Our Home Saga:

In January 2000, Theresa and I sold our two-bedroom townhouse in Alexandria, Virginia and rented a larger three-bedroom townhouse in Tierra Verde, Florida. Our intention was to do some cruising on our new boat, so the townhouse was to serve primarily as a base of operations for our sailing. While we were bringing our boat down the ICW in March, the neighboring townhouse unit came up for sale, but we weren't sure that we really wanted to stay in Tierra Verde, so we didn't make an offer on it.

When we finally got back home to Tierra Verde, we started looking at other townhouses on the island, but we couldn't find anything we liked. We realized that we both rather liked having a permanent home (as opposed to living aboard the boat), but that we also wanted more space and privacy. I hadn't lived in a "real" house since the fall of 1991, and Theresa hadn't lived in a "real" house since the spring of 1994, so we decided that it was time to break out of the townhouse rut.

We still hadn't decided to stay in Florida, though, so I started researching locations all the way down the East Coast from Norfolk south. We really took a liking to St. Augustine when we stopped there on our ICW trip, so I found some properties there and enlisted a real estate agent to help us see some of them. We found a nice house southwest of St. Augustine in September 2000 and made an offer on it. About that time, though, Theresa got a job offer from Smith & Nephew in Largo. We also got a copy of the homeowner's association documents, which were alarmingly restrictive. The seller countered, so we just walked.

Our lease was up at the end of December, so we went month-to-month, still waiting to see how things would work out with Theresa's job. In the spring (of 2001), our landlord made some noise about moving down from New Jersey, so Theresa and I found a rental house farther north in Dunedin. We signed a contract and scheduled movers, but then the owner of that house sold his other house and wanted to move in! Fortunately, our landlord decided not to move to Florida after all, so we ended up staying put for another year. I continued researching houses all down the East Coast, but with little success. We were still undecided about where to live, but it seemed prudent to stay in the Tampa Bay area for a while for the sake of Theresa's job.

A year later, in July 2002, our lease was once again up on the Tierra Verde townhouse, and this time the owner really did decide to move down. Theresa and I searched for a house to buy in the Tampa Bay area, but again to no avail. Faced with a time crunch, we rented a nice townhouse-style apartment up near the Gandy bridge and moved again. That move was grueling. The movers arrived at 8:30am, and we weren't done until 1:00am the next day, thanks to one mover with a broken rib and a truck that was too small. Though we missed being waterfront, our new apartment was actually nicer than the townhouse in Tierra Verde.

Thirteen months later, our lease would be up again, and we were getting tired of moving...

2003 Robert M. Freeland II. All rights reserved.
Changes last made on: Wed, Oct 8, 2003