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Curbed: The path to abandoning a townhome for a Winnebago

From the bloggers at Curbed.

When husband-and-wife Mick and Cathy Hanratty first bought their Old Town Alexandria townhome some 16 or so years ago, they were in love with the home’s two-car garage (a rarity in the neighborhood), the fact that it was two stories instead of three or four, and how every room seemed to be flooded with sunlight. With how spacious and welcoming the abode was, Mick said, “You didn’t feel like you were in a townhouse.” Now, the couple has decided to give it all up. Not for a bigger house, though. Not even for a condo. But instead a Winnebago.

The couple sold the townhome for $1.3 million along with many of their possessions. “We went through and took the things that were important to keep like all our photographs and all his record albums,” said Cathy, later adding, “We didn’t have any antiques or anything. We gave stuff to people who wanted them, sold stuff on Ebay, had an estate sales come in and do the majority of it.” The hardest possessions to give up were Mick’s Mercedes convertible and one of Cathy’s sewing machines, which she adds is only on loan to her sister. The couple still has a few possessions tucked away in a 7.5’x10′ storage locker in Woodbridge, Va., though Cathy said, “I think when we come back in a year or two to get that stuff back, we’re going to wonder why we kept that.”

In truth, Cathy had been ready to sell the house for over a year now. The harsh winters and not having a backyard for their three Greyhounds weighed on her over the years. After the previous winter—with issues like having someone come to their home when they weren’t there to bring in mail and check the pipes to see if they were frozen—he decided it was finally time to start downsizing and head out on the road. According to Mick, “Poor Cathy has been with me in my military career, has managed our family moving from place to place through that 30 years … She deserves to have a home that doesn’t have a winter.”

To read the full story by Curbed, click here.

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