Adventures in moving cross country- Volume 1 : We're Moving!

In June, 2018 the Brains family will be relocating from Eugene, Oregon to Lansing, Michigan.   There are many reasons that led to this decision that we made last summer:

-James has a lot of family and friends out there
-Michigan summers are beautiful and full of lightening bugs and thunderstorms
-I'm eager to try living somewhere else, I've been in Oregon my whole life and am ready for a new scene
-Lansing, Michigan is centrally located and we can go so many more places for a weekend or even just a day trip (here we come, Canada!)
-The housing market in Oregon is cuckoo bananas and we can actually afford to own a home in Michigan 

There are plenty of other things that we kept in mind, but that final reason, the cheap as dirt houses, was a HUGE thing.  

Initially, we had an idea that we were going to get a reasonable sized house, that was move in ready and with the paltry pre-approval we qualified for, we could get a really nice place. But our friend, and James' "Derby Wife", Agent Orange, was also feeling the draw of leaving town and decided to join our family and so we started looking at the bigger places that were still SOOO CHEAP!  

Seriously- go to zillow and just look at places in Lansing that are $130k and below and you'll be amazed at how many crazy pants opportunities there are there.  We could get a single-wide trailer on less than an acre of land here in Eugene on that budget. 

Another friend posted that he had been fixing up houses in Lansing and when we connected with him, we struck up a deal and were able to find a house that seemed a perfect fit for our big family who wanted to live in an urban area.  

All of our ideas of moving into somewhere that didn't need a lot of work (we are not particularly handy people) and that was a "reasonable" amount of space, went up in smoke as we quickly got excited about this 3 story, 4000 sq ft, 5-8? bedroom hulk of a house that was built in 1906.   

The pictures online had all sorts of visible issues- like tarps on ceilings and yucky flooring. We had our friend on the ground though, who was able to certify that many of the bigger issues- like a messed up foundation or electrical issues or a leaky roof- weren't present. So we felt pretty confident that we could make it work- even if we couldn't figure out exactly how many rooms were in it. 

We reached out to a realtor to take some video- which only made this house more confusing.  They briefly showed many rooms and features, and one point opened a door in the 3rd floor bathroom and said "Oh my god!" and quickly shut it.  It didn't shed much light on exactly what the house looked like inside. 

We were able to get a few more details from our friend, John, who had been inside the house a few times as we worked towards purchasing the house.  But he still couldn't tell us how many stairways it had- only that there were more than were needed. 

Agent Orange had the capital available for the cash only short sale and after a small bidding war, was the proud owner of this definitely haunted house for only $45k.  YES- ONLY $45K!!!!  

A toast to an interesting future!


  1. Welcome to Lansing Michigan's affordable Capital City! We left Cape Cod for similar reasons plus hurricanes and N'or Easters enough is enough I say! We live in REOtown in a deluxe apartment in the sky for $760 a month heat water gas parking trash pick up snow removal pool gym laundry included! We bought a cabin on five acres with a trout stream for 53K! I love Michigan!


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