We headed to the Midwest in March, 1998 through ice and snow. I come from a rather large Midwest family, so we were able to temporarily stay at one of my relative’s apartments until we found a house to buy. The apartment was located in the college town of River Falls, WI situated southeast of St Paul, MN. River Falls is the home of the Kansas City Chief’s summer camp. The housing market there was college oriented; there were a lot of rentals and temporary housing.
Shortly after we moved over there, my father unexpectedly passed away. It turned out to be good for us to live close to my relatives during that time. We eventually were able to buy a 1970’s ranch with a walk out basement/garage for $110,000 in May, 1998. The house didn’t need a lot of work. It had a fairly good sized, unfenced yard. While living there we did some minor changes to the kitchen to increase it’s functionality and we put a new sink and countertop in the main bath.
My husband had never lived outside the Pacific NW before, so this was his first experience with full time Midwest seasons. The biggest climate change was the humidity, followed by straight line winds/tornadoes, and of course, snow all winter long. He used to watch the tornado chaser shows on TV, but living through those storms is a whole different story. Waking up to sirens in the middle of the night was no laughing matter. When I said head to the basement, I meant it! After he first hand saw the damage those storms cause, he had a little more respect for the storms. Fortunately, our first winter we lived there was mild snow wise, but it was COLD. By the end of our second summer over there, we were pulled back to the Pacific NW by my husband’s family. Honestly, I was glad we didn’t get to live there another winter. Moving back there reminded me why I left. I really don’t like sub zero temps, high humidity and violent wind storms.
We put our house on the market FSBO for one week and then listed with my cousin’s mother in law in September, 1999. Our house sold the first week for $128,000. We moved back to Portland, OR into a rental prior to closing, giving our Realtor POA to sign our paperwork for us. Back to the Pacific NW’s mild winters, occasional earthquake and volcanos.