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Thread: Moving??

  1. #1
         
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    Moving??

    As many of you know I am a single parent and for the most part live on my income alone. I own a very nice suburban home, cul-de-sac, fenced in yard, 7 miles from work, etc. I have owned the house for 6 years and maintained it the best I can. I am tired, I am tired of working around the house, there are a lot of things I want to d and can't do it on my own and can't afford to pay someone else to do it.
    Most importantly it is becoming a financial burden. I am paying a lot of money fo a house that I am too tired nd too uninterested to keep.
    All of the things I am saying may make this decision sound like an easy one but its not. I am considering selling the house, moving into an apartment for one year (due to credit issues I am not in a position to buy right away) and then buying a smaller home. This isn't an easy decidion because of the boys. I really hate to move them out of this house, it almost feels like I failed (I know I haven't but....).
    I am planning on moving into an apartment in the neighborhood so that they don;t have to switch schools until I am ready to buy again.
    I know it sounds like I have answeed my own question but guess I am still looking for some thoughts, can't think of a better place. I have weighed the pros and cons an keep coming up with more pros (time with the kids, a LOT more money each month, ability to take the boys on vacation, more time with them as opposed to cutting the grass, cleaning this big house, etc) vs the cons (moving, leaving the neighbor kids they love so much, them riding bikes in front of the house without me standing over them, having their own big rooms, etc).
    Does this sound like a good plan? Am I overlooking alternatives? Is it ever better to rent than own (even if I can no longer afford this)? Am I just being lazy?? Any thoughts or even similar stories would really help!! Thanks.

  2. #2
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Be carefull, Jaxs. Do you really want to move into an apartment again? Remember those days? And consider the tax implications; the tax deducations associated with a mortagage payment. Perhaps discuss with a tax consultant or attorney? But it does sound like you've made your mind up. Am I talking to the wall here?

    I'm in a house far to big for me...but I like it. And at this point, I can afford it. I hate the cleaning and maintenance, but I deal with it. Right, I don't have two young children with me, either.

    Best of luck to you in your decision.
    RJ is the KING of . The One

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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake
    Be carefull, Jaxs. Do you really want to move into an apartment again? Remember those days? And consider the tax implications; the tax deducations associated with a mortagage payment. Perhaps discuss with a tax consultant or attorney? But it does sound like you've made your mind up. Am I talking to the wall here?

    I'm in a house far to big for me...but I like it. And at this point, I can afford it. I hate the cleaning and maintenance, but I deal with it. Right, I don't have two young children with me, either.

    Best of luck to you in your decision.
    I really didnt even think about the tax situation, that is a big deal, a really big one. No I have not made up my mind, I just feel really overwhelmed right now, have a for quite sometime. So ALL comments are welcome!! Thanks!

  4. #4
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Jaxspra
    No I have not made up my mind, I just feel really overwhelmed right now, have a for quite sometime....
    Just don't do anything in haste. My biggest life expense outside the mortgage at this point is visiting a friend in central Florida. I've adjusted my budget to accommodate this situation (I've stopped eating two or three days a week ). It's a matter of setting priorities. Clearly, your kids come first. Adjust your life style. Adjust.
    RJ is the KING of . The One

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Plus dandy_warhol's avatar
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    *waves hi*

    i think moving into an apartment would be a good decision. or if an apartment is too small are there townhomes or duplexes for rent in your neighborhood? i think that it would teach the boys a valuable lesson, that material goods aren't as important as family. i can imagine that losing the space would be a bit of an adjustment, but it might also be a chance for you to let go some of the crud that you've accumulated over the years that you no longer really need.

    you could try to frame this next year as an adventure-- an adventure for yourself as an individual and also as a family. plus you could also use this as a lesson for the boys in showing them how to reduce your ecological footprint.

    i think change is good. you've lost some weight, you've been dating, it is time to start a new chapter of your life. go for it! life is short, enjoy the time you have with your boys.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  6. #6
         
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    Quote Originally posted by dandy_warhol
    *waves hi*

    i think moving into an apartment would be a good decision. or if an apartment is too small are there townhomes or duplexes for rent in your neighborhood? i think that it would teach the boys a valuable lesson, that material goods aren't as important as family. i can imagine that losing the space would be a bit of an adjustment, but it might also be a chance for you to let go some of the crud that you've accumulated over the years that you no longer really need.

    you could try to frame this next year as an adventure-- an adventure for yourself as an individual and also as a family. plus you could also use this as a lesson for the boys in showing them how to reduce your ecological footprint.

    i think change is good. you've lost some weight, you've been dating, it is time to start a new chapter of your life. go for it! life is short, enjoy the time you have with your boys.
    Thnk you, thank you. You put somethings out there that I have really been thinking about. The only real reasons I am scared to make this change is because of "pride". I am proud of my home, I am proud to say I own a home on my own. I like the boys knowing they have a big house, etc, BUT it is all material. Thats all this is to me anymore, and quite franly its just too much material. I am not afraid to give up the space I actually want to give up this apce. I don't use 1/2 of this house. The boys don't even use the huge backyard anymore, they play in the street or at the niehgbors.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Jax...

    I feel you on this one from having been a single parent for more than a few years. I understand both sides of the dilemma here. I think what concerns me the most is the tiredness...you work all day, rush to get your kids, get them home, get a dinner together, clean up the dishes, do homework, get baths in, get them into bed....then you look at the house and yard and think "I need to clean or do yardwork" when all you can think about is how you want to lay on the couch, soak in the tub, or go to bed. Been there.

    I know people will play the tax benefit issue, but frankly is that advantage really worth the trade off in time you lose on yourself and on your kids? Financially it can be draining especially if you have a not so new house and unexpected events. Owning a house is not the epitome of a happy life. Choosing to sell yours in order to have a bit more money and more time and more energy for your kids is the priority. You need to do what is right for you and them. They will be fine in an apartment and may miss the house some, but the trade off of having a mom that isn't tired or financially strapped and worried because of that is a greater benefit to all of you. As you said....you can always buy another house when the time is right and the right kind of house comes along for you and the kids.

    FYI....I sold one house....moved to an apartment for about a year or so and built up some savings and got some rest, then bought my current home which is small but adequate and pretty easy to maintain and I don't have to do the yardwork since it was included in the HOA dues.

    Kim
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Plus dandy_warhol's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Jaxspra
    Thnk you, thank you. You put somethings out there that I have really been thinking about. The only real reasons I am scared to make this change is because of "pride". I am proud of my home, I am proud to say I own a home on my own. I like the boys knowing they have a big house, etc, BUT it is all material. Thats all this is to me anymore, and quite franly its just too much material. I am not afraid to give up the space I actually want to give up this apce. I don't use 1/2 of this house. The boys don't even use the huge backyard anymore, they play in the street or at the niehgbors.
    americans have this crazy idea that space is necessary to be happy. and that space equates prestige and wealth. BIGGER is better, right? don't let pride get in the way of being happy. who is going to criticize you? friends? neighbors? co-workers? frankly, if they get on your case for wanting to spend more time with your family rather than having a big house that fatigues you physically and mentally, then frankly who needs them. good riddance to bad rubbish!

    i think kim gave you some good advice as well.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    Being a parent myself, I garner alot of your "tiredness" is from the kids and not the house. The house just adds a little to it. The kids arent going away, at least until they turn 18

    I'll throw this out there....have you considered you may not be making what you are worth at your current job, and maybe you may be able to solve some financial woes w/ a job change? I threw my resume on monster just to see what was out there, and i cant keep up w/ the inquiries from companies w/ alot higher salaries....

    Bottom line....I'd never move back into an Apt unless it was the last resort. Can you REALLY fit the contents of your current home into an apartment? As we move, we acquire things.....

  10. #10
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Have you looked into Codos in the area? You can get a good size condo, keep the tax deduction, and the upkeep of the grounds and exterior are paid for by the association dues.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  11. #11
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    One thing I will never give up is my yard service. They have only gone up $3 a month in 8 years, and of course I don't need them during the winter. I would find a house unmanageable, too, if I had to do major yard work. Now all I have is a little trimming or planting here and there.

    If you take Jeff's advice and look around for a job with more $$ you may be able to budget for a lawn service and occasional maid service, too.

    Or, do the apartment for awhile, then maybe look for a condo or townhouse where outside maintenance is included in your fees, and you get the community pool, etc.

  12. #12
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    I generally agree with Dandy on this one -

    as my Mom told me, happy mommies make happy kids so if you are not happy, they won't be either - just make sure what you are moving to will truly make you happier because if it doesn't, then you'll feel stuck and that viscious cycle will begin again

    [and I wish I could get my hubby to feel this way ]

    But you should run the numbers about tax decuctions as RJ said, and also think about interest rates - if you have a low interest rate, the way things are going, you might not get that again and that can eek into the number you can afford to buy at later on

    can you refinance (right now) and push your mortgage out 30 years to reduce your monthly payment? (I shrunk mine to 20 and I actually regret it because the monthly payment is killing us) Is the house big enough to take a housemate that you would trust to have in your home?

    I'm sorry this is happening to you, life can be so overwhelming, every decision affects so many other people - but you seem like a very strong person and you've already weathered alot of storms - so, imho: spend time looking at those apartments, etc to see if there is something you'd like and at the same time, run the numbers and look into a refi?

  13. #13
         
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    I have re-fied, that is one thing that pushed me into the situation I am in now; I went through a bad company and long story short, it didn't help. My interest rate is $hitty, not scared about giving that up. The yard is not a HUGE problem, I don't mind doing it, I just don't enjoy it anymore and every day I look at it, I think of all the things I would love to do to it but do not see a "light" at the end where these things I want to do can ever be done. I do have a cleaning lady that comes every other Friday (I don't want to hear about spending money foolishly, this is one service I will not give up with a 2200 square foot house, 3 bathrooms formal living room and dining room, NO WAY) ....so, that said I have tried a few of the suggestions here.
    M'skis - I think that is going to end up being my plan after I get my finincial situation in check, I am going to look into a condo, villa or townhome. Often time the problem with these developments (at least where I live) is that they are more for empty nesters or young people without children. But it is something I have considered.
    I am talking to a friend that owns a real estate company today and see if he can help me sell the house without taking 7% of the sale and to get some advice. I am also calling my attorney to see about the tax benefits and how much this could hurt.
    Jeff - I have considered different positions, etc. but I really make enough money to live on (a different lifestyle than I am currently living) and love my job, so that is a tough one.

    Thanks so much for all the advice, I am pretty sure of what I need/want to do right now but am going to talk to some people that also have my best interest at heart and see what the options are. Thanks again guys!!

  14. #14
    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
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    I think everyone had very good comments. I guess I would just add to weigh the cost between rent and the mortgage. Here, anyway, rent rates is just as expensive as a mortgage (plus you get the tax benefit), plus you are not earning any equity. Maybe refinance as LP suggested. I know it seems hard now, but it will get easier. I think having the house and making consistent payments will help get your credit back on track. And, as the boys get older, they will (should) be able to help more around the house and yard.

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    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Do it, Jax. Life is too short to live in a place that is bringing you down.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  16. #16
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    I have two thoughts, well three:

    1. I grew up in apartments (a generic term meaning rental) and did not ever wish we had a single-family home. I look back at my childhood with glee.

    2. My step-sister grew up in a single-family home and her dad owned it until she finished college. There is not a day that goes by that she does not miss that house, and voice it to her father.

    3. We (the wife and I) moved from a condo in a three-family back to an apartment (in a two-family) when we moved down here. We actually enjoy the stress-free apartment lifestyle, although the lack of control and noisy upstairs neighbors is sometimes a bother.

    Edit:
    Quote Originally posted by jaxspra
    2200 square foot house, 3 bathrooms formal living room and dining room
    OMG, didn't see this before! Much too big for you and two sons...go for the apartment.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    Another alternative: any chance that you know someone that would want to rent a room from you for awhile? If your house is quite big, it is another option. Sometimes another mum with a kid looks for that kind of situation. You can share responsibilities, swap babysitting duties, etc. Of course, housemates are not for everyone, so that's a hard call. But it's a way you can cut down your maintenance, get some income, and keep your equity.

  18. #18
         
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    Quote Originally posted by jmello
    I have two thoughts, well three:

    1. I grew up in apartments (a generic term meaning rental) and did not ever wish we had a single-family home. I look back at my childhood with glee.

    2. My step-sister grew up in a single-family home and her dad owned it until she finished college. There is not a day that goes by that she does not miss that house, and voice it to her father.

    3. We (the wife and I) moved from a condo in a three-family back to an apartment (in a two-family) when we moved down here. We actually enjoy the stress-free apartment lifestyle, although the lack of control and noisy upstairs neighbors is sometimes a bother.

    Edit:


    OMG, didn't see this before! Much too big for you and two sons...go for the apartment.
    Yes, it is way too much house for us (I bought it originally thinking my Ex and I would live there for a long time with kids). Its nice to hear growing up in an apartment was good for you. I grew up in a house, the same house from the day I was born until I finished high school and then my parents moved when I went away to college, so I don;t know what its like to move as a kid. I do know that kids are resilient and I know no matter where we go they have me thats the most important part to both me and them.
    I'll have more time with them, more money, etc...a house is a building, there are millions of them, its what I do inside the four walls of any building that makes it a home and makes them happy.


    Edit:
    Just saw the post, Nerudite - I do have a roomate, my cousin moved into my basement a few months back. He pays rent and helps out a little, but its still not enough. And there is no way I could have anyone else live there, I like my privacy, he is the perfect roomate, any other situation wouldn't work.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Our family just moved last month from our house of 8 years (where the kids were born). It was our first (and only) "owned" home and before the move, we fretted and worried about whether it was the right decision - about what it meant to be leaving this place we had invested so much emotion, time, money, and energy in. The house is on half an acre and has river access right from the back yard, but it was too darn small for us and far away from many things we needed regular access to. We were also nervous to be moving to a part of town we could never afford to buy in.

    Now we are renting a house closer to my job and my son's school and we couldn't be happier. All the anxiety about moving from the house melted away in the first few weeks. In fact, we were very shocked that we did not have more remorse. The house has the same number of rooms, but they are larger, and the lot is less that a tenth of an acre. And yet, its a much better situation for us (though we still own the house and are renting it out for a year, barely covering the mortgage, but at least accruing some value - it seemed at least as good as investing whatever equity we could get from a sale).

    We realized a few things:
    1) We used to have yard that was like a park. Now we live next to a park. The difference? We actuallly meet people at the park, whereas strangers in the yard was cause for gettin' the gun...

    2) All the emotional attachments we had about the house we left really weren't as tied up with the place as we thought (the memories are still there even without the place) and we feel much less displaced than expected.

    3) The new place is in a much more dense setting which, despite a desire for more country living, is much better for the kids, and we hardly drive at all. I estimated we would save about $100/mo. on gas, but its going to be even more.

    4) We have long been considering a move, perhaps to a different state altogether, and the process of going through 8 years of crap, and knowing that we are renting, has made us feel more ready to jump on an opportunity. Stripping things down to the essentials has been very liberating.

    5) We really feared that our kids (especially the older one) would be really torn up about the move as he is very resistant to this kind of change. but in the ennd, he was the champion of the whole enterprise. It was rough for about 3 weeks or so just before and after the move, but everyone is much happier now.

    For what its worth...
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Otis's avatar
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    Have you considered renting the house out for a while as you adjust your situation? That could help to avoid the tax consequences of selling the house (there might be other tax consequences of renting it out, assuming you report that . It would be important to get enough rent to cover all or most of the mortgage and insurance.

  21. #21
    Suspended Bad Email Address teshadoh's avatar
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    I can understand the feeling of being 'chained' to your house. Fortunately the timing was perfect b/c my wife got a new job out of state so that means we're selling. I've been thinking of getting rid of our house as nearly as long as we've lived here - 2 1/2 years. Dealing with a 100+ year old home, a large .2 acre lot requiring regular maintenance & otherwise regularly cleaning up the 3000+ sq footage has made me even more of a condo supporter. On top of that the house is just my wife & I - of course our 7 cats love the extra room.

    But I don't feel qualified to give you any advice - just I understand the dilemna of feeling suffocated by a large house & large mortgage. But the advice regarding taxes is an excellent point - we still pay taxes, but if it weren't for the mortgage we would be far more broke than we are now. But I hope at least you'll make a profit off the sell of your home, that is the one thing that makes me feel good about buying our home, we'll be making a killing shortly (we better)...

  22. #22
         
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    Quote Originally posted by Otis
    Have you considered renting the house out for a while as you adjust your situation? That could help to avoid the tax consequences of selling the house (there might be other tax consequences of renting it out, assuming you report that . It would be important to get enough rent to cover all or most of the mortgage and insurance.
    Ya know I don't know about renting out the house. It sounds feasible but I jut can;t imagine getting the rent I would need out of it. Maybe I could. I am going to definately look into that. Maybe I could get myself together over the next year or two and move back in IF thats what I decided I wanted in the long run or I would definately have a better idea of what I wanted by that time and not be as financially strapped. Thanks, something to look into...

    Anyone here do something like this?

  23. #23
          Downtown's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Jaxspra
    Ya know I don't know about renting out the house. It sounds feasible but I jut can;t imagine getting the rent I would need out of it. Maybe I could. I am going to definately look into that. Maybe I could get myself together over the next year or two and move back in IF thats what I decided I wanted in the long run or I would definately have a better idea of what I wanted by that time and not be as financially strapped. Thanks, something to look into...

    Anyone here do something like this?
    My DH's parents had a business deal gone bad, and wound up with a gorgeous 4 bdrm Colonial in a really nice part of town that they rent out as executive housing. They're not making any huge money on it, but they're not losing either, and once the mortgage is paid down, they'll be doing really well off of it.

    They do all their own maintenance however, which makes a big difference in $$$. My FIL cuts the lawn, and does minor repairs, etc. Which gets us back to your original problem.


    Jax - honestly, I have to agree with kjelsadek. Houses take a lot of time and money - two things you do not have in excess right now. If it were me, I'd have to go with the apartment - you're spreading yourself really thin, and you and the kids have been through a lot lately, and could probably use a bit less stress in your lives.

    whatever you decide to do, I really hope your kids someday appreciate how lucky they are to have a mom that is working so hard to keep them stable and happy.

  24. #24
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Jaxspra
    Ya know I don't know about renting out the house. It sounds feasible but I jut can;t imagine getting the rent I would need out of it. Maybe I could. I am going to definately look into that. Maybe I could get myself together over the next year or two and move back in IF thats what I decided I wanted in the long run or I would definately have a better idea of what I wanted by that time and not be as financially strapped. Thanks, something to look into...

    Anyone here do something like this?
    I rented out my house on Whidbey Island when I moved out of the area, as the market was in a downturn and I thought it would be a good idea to hold on to it for awhile. I had to use a property management company, just because I was so far away. Using a property management company instead of doing the management yourself has tax implications that you may want to consider. Any rent you get is taxed differently if you don't manage the property yourself. I can't recall the exact difference, but I know I was peeved with myself that I didn't look into that aspect of it. Otherwise, it was a good experience... and I was glad I had a property manager when a tree fell in a windstorm and hit the house (right in the middle of freakin' escrow!)

  25. #25
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Otis
    Have you considered renting the house out for a while as you adjust your situation?
    Then she would still be saddled with maintenance including lawn care. Also, unless she has a significant amount of equity (which does not sound likely), the rent probably would not cover the mortgage payment in this market. I really don't see the point in that.

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