Meet Our Members: How Dana Buck Used His Landing as a Home Base to Explore the Pacific Northwest
Buying a home can be a complicated (and costly!) process and can be particularly intimidating if you aren’t entirely positive you want to commit to a certain area without spending time there first. Fortunately, many people have been turning to flexible living options like Landing to test out their new home in advance so they can feel confident in any long-term decision they make.
Landing member Dana Buck was kind enough to sit down with us to talk about how he used Landing as a home base to explore various neighborhoods in the Pacific Northwest before buying his home. Here’s his story!
How did you come to start living with Landing?
My wife is originally from the Pacific Northwest in Vancouver, Canada, but when I got a job down in Dallas, we bought a house down there a couple of years ago. I thought I would be with that company forever, but after a year, it wasn’t the right fit. So I started a new job where I was telecommuting from Dallas, and when COVID hit, we found we weren’t integrated into the community at all, we were a long way from family, and we were basically on an island alone.
We wanted to go back to the Pacific Northwest, but we weren’t exactly sure where. We knew we wanted to stay in the U.S. and not go back to Canada. We were honestly considering everywhere along I-5 between Portland and the Canada-U.S. border.
We did some research and what we wanted, really, was a flexible living situation. I came across an article on Landing in Forbes and thought it sounded interesting. I did some research, and it seemed like a really good fit for us.
What was it like living with Landing while looking for a house?
Using pictures and reviews, we picked an apartment complex basically sight unseen in Bothell, Washington, between Portland and Vancouver. We made that our home base and checked out neighborhoods and how much the money we got from our house in Texas could get us.
In essence, once we started living with Landing in June of last year, we spent every weekend going to different neighborhoods in a 100-mile radius. We started around us and then slowly expanded our search. We have two little kids, so we were looking to get a feel for parks, playgrounds, and green spaces, as well as look at the affordability of housing and what traffic was like in the area. I hate traffic. I despise traffic with a passion!
We did that for four months and finally found a neighborhood and a house that we liked in Bellingham, Washington, 75 miles from where our Landing was. Our offer was accepted, but the day after we put in our notice to leave Landing, we found out there was an issue with the title for the house we were going to buy. So we were scrambling, and I called Landing and said, “Hey, we had an issue with the title. We need to rescind our leaving. And they said, “No problem—it’s all good.”
In theory, I would suspect Landing could have said, “No, I don’t care that you had this issue. You’ve given it to us in writing. You’re out!” But instead, it was, “Oh, no problem. We can take care of that.”
When we finally got down to closing, we were able to communicate a smooth exit. It was absolutely perfect.
What do you think you would have done if you didn’t have Landing as an option?
We weren’t ready to buy, so we probably would have ended up picking a city and signing a year-long lease somewhere. Because we didn’t know exactly where we wanted to be, we didn’t want to move all of our stuff somewhere and then move it again. So the fact that our Landing was a furnished, month-to-month, flexible living situation was an absolute godsend for us.
We left 95% of our stuff in a PODS storage unit in Texas and left it there until we knew where we were going to go. We basically just had a small UHaul and left the vast majority of our things in Texas. Then, once we actually had our house, we just moved our stuff up to the house instead of having to move multiple places.
Had we not had Landing as an option, we would have signed a year-long lease somewhere, but it probably would have been unfurnished, so we would have had to move our stuff twice. So the fact that we were able to only do that once was a big deal.
Anything else you want to share?
I have nothing but great things to say about Landing. The funny thing was that we had talked about whether there were other cities we wanted to explore if we didn’t find any neighborhoods we liked in the Pacific Northwest or if housing was too expensive. We talked about checking out Denver or going to Las Vegas. We ended up not going down that path, but it was helpful to know that we had the ability to do that if we wanted to with Landing.
We were only in a Landing for a shade under six months, but it was absolutely perfect for what we needed during that time in our lives. It checked all the boxes. We were very, very happy with our experience.
Thinking about moving somewhere new but want to test it out beforehand? Learn more about what a Landing membership can do for you, and learn about other Landing members’ stories in our blog post, “How Flexible Living Is Enabling Prospective Homebuyers to Test New Cities.”