As you may recall, amidst this pandemic we rented a house in Wickenburg, Arizona to confirm this is where we would exit from our nomadic lifestyle. Halfway through our lease and after living in this little town of about 10,000 people, we realized it was where we wanted to settle down. We checked out several homes for sale in the area to do a comparison, but the rental won us over. It’s hard to explain, but the moment we entered this house on April 17th it gave us good vibes and grabbed us right away. Renting our future home gave us an edge and solidified our initial impressions. It’s small but spacious, just right for the two of us.
So what have we been up to during the ongoing home-buying process?
You know what they say – location, location, location. And that’s what made us fall in love with this place! The housing development is surrounded by vast state land that gives us access to many miles of hiking trails. Our house backs up to a large acreage buffer that met Steve’s dream property size. Although we own only 2.3 acres, the house sits on the edge of 26 acres owned by the folks who sold us the house, and they won’t be allowing any other development on the property around us. Perfect!
We love the desert animals that roam around and sometimes pay us a visit. Although we’re a little further away from town than we wanted to be (about 8 miles), the plus is that we have a very dark sky at night with minimal light pollution. It feels like living in the boonies, and we’re even shopping for a telescope to zoom in on the moon and planets!
Springtime breezed by, and as the pandemic raged we embraced the toasty summer in Wickenburg. Since June our temps have been in the triple digits, but being inside with the air conditioning keeping us cool is working out just fine. We’ve quickly adapted to living in a desert environment, walking or hiking at sunrise for a couple of hours followed by doing our outdoor chores before the heat sets in. Then we do our shopping or indoor tasks until the evening. We usually take a “power nap” in the afternoons, which we’ve never done before!
Steve began accumulating “toys” right away, things he couldn’t own during our 8 years in Betsy. And speaking of Betsy, she’s still on the market looking for that one buyer, but I digress. He spends his time tinkering with the car and completing chores around the house:
Our “wild” neighbors occasionally come by for a drink or to just take shelter in the shade for a while. During springtime, the migratory birds visited, while the locals continually delight us with their antics. The rabbits are cute but they chew on some of our plants, while our slithery friends have been scaring the heck out of me:
Our feathered friends have been keeping my camera busy, especially during spring migration:
My new favorites this summer are the Gambel’s Quails. We began noticing several family groups foraging in our backyard during the mornings and afternoons, and we literally watched the broods grow from tiny little chicks to teenagers. They’re so fun and delightful to watch that Steve even gets excited when they stop for a drink:
Steve pitched in and became friends with our neighbor’s horses while they were on vacation:
One day he untangled a garden snake from a neighbor’s garden netting. He wouldn’t have done it for a rattlesnake, but he felt so sorry for this snake that I couldn’t stop him. So if you can stomach it, watch this little video on how he saved a snake:
Steve lived on well water and septic systems for years, but the laws and inspections here add some complexity when buying a house. Thankfully, the septic inspection showed that you-know-what was running downhill as expected, and lab results of our water confirmed we have a great well.
Once all inspections were completed and we were confident that we’d own the house we got busy with some serious yard work. I got to play with some new tools!
Arizona sunrises and sunsets have always stopped us in our tracks, and now we have the best seat in the house to marvel at their beautiful appearance:
Living on the road for 8 years was amazing, but we’ve found our little piece of heaven in the Sonoran desert. Happily, our transition from RV life to a fixed home was smooth as butter, and now I can buy anything I want with no weight limits to worry about 🙂
We’re adapting and starting a new page in our life as homeowners, and we’ll take whatever the “new normal” may bring us:
After signing the many dotted lines and passing all inspections, we put up our stake in the desert sand and call it home.
And just a couple of days ago we officially became Arizona residents!