The lab was located just south of San Jose and just south of it was a town called Morgan Hill. Tom and his wife had bought their house there and it just seemed like a good idea for me to move there, too. California real estate was nuts. Everything was top price and there was very little inventory. I looked at one place that was filthy and they were asking a bundle. So the next place I saw, although cookie cutter and in a development of condos just alike, I bought, probably because it was clean.
IBM moved employees around a lot in those days. It was said that IBM stood for I've Been Moved. They had it down to a science. And a bit of a gravy train. First of all, they paid all your closing costs - for both selling your old house and buying your new one.
They helped you sell your old house. You got 3 appraisals of the house and they took the average and offered you that price. So if you didn't want to bother and/or didn't think you could do better, just just handed it over to IBM and they gave you a check. The appraisals for my condo in Rochester came in way higher than I paid for it so, for once in my life, I finally made money on real estate! I sold it to the IBM broker gratefully.
IBM also paid for every single moving expense. They paid a service to pack your stuff. (And they would pack everything - the ash tray, was wrapped and packed, the ashes were also wrapped and packed - separately.) They paid for all the actual moving of stuff - car, boat, horses, people and all your belongings. And they paid for a service to unpack everything, put it away and take all the boxes. They paid for temporary housing with a per diem for meals and incidentals. Seriously, it was a sweet deal.
I was living in a little hotel/motel in Morgan Hill until my stuff could get there. My first Saturday morning, very early, I heard this amazing ruckus outside. There was a window just by my bed and I opened up one eye. And there, in the fields outside my room were 5 hot air balloons in various stages of taking off. They were so beautiful.
I fell instantly in love with California.
I got my stuff and moved in to both my new condo and my new job.
To Be Continued