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The argument for staying put

February 17th, 2011 at 09:35 am

Today, I've been thinking a lot about staying in our current house. We love it, we enjoy it, it's paid for, and it suits our needs right now.

There are other benefits to staying put for another two years, while the kids are small.

Closer to childcare and preschool

We could SAVE money-- probably at least 35,000 more in savings in two years

We could have the car paid off without tapping assets

I'd be able to concentrate on what we need now-- my personal goals of novel finishing and weight loss via my gym.

Getting the kids in swim lessons and kung fu. ( I KNOW we'd be able to afford them if we don't have a mortgage!)

And, of course we would have the luxury of time to declutter and fix up the house. I could take time to really sort through every area, maybe have put some things out at the community yard sale this summer or sell via craigslist instead of freecycling or donating because we are rushing.

I KNOW I'd be able to afford to go to Las Vegas next spring for my best friend's 40th birthday trip.

And maybe, just maybe, we could get our house for sale and have an offer in hand BEFORE we put an offer on a house.

All of this is very tempting. Life is crazy with toddlers, and part of me feels like it would be foolish to upend our routine right now. What we are doing now is working.

Will we risk that we won't find another completely updated house with a half acre lot less than half a mile from all the things we want? Yes. And that is the downside.

Everything is full of so many unknowns!

13 Responses to “The argument for staying put”

  1. Looking Forward Says:

    You also might find an even BETTER house in a few years. Smile
    But I totally understand what you're saying. Tough choice.

  2. MonkeyMama Says:

    I can relate.

    We went house shopping when our kids were probably similarly aged? The market was dropping and there was some really unique opportunity to make a lateral move to some land. There were 2 houses in particular that we liked. One would not accept a contingent offer (we offered more than asking price, still wouldn't take it!) and the other one we were in contract a few minutes before they took another non-contingent offer. It dropped out of contract 4 or 5 times before it sold. I remember going back and forth a ton but we weren't stupid enough to borrow the money - it was a falling market - so decision was made for us. I remember it being a tough decision though, but in the end felt it was for the best that it didn't work out.

    Of course we went through the same thing with this house. The market had been insane for years and we had no doubt our first home would sell in 5 minutes. We planned to put it up on the market around 9/15/01, and aim for a 60 day close, so we wouldn't have to move twice. 9/11 hit, our condo sank in value $100k overnight. Worse, we couldn't sell it. We went back and forth a ton and finally went through with the second home purchase (we could have backed out easily). In the end, it worked out - was probably the best decision we could do. We lost $100k value in one city, but we had locked in the price so long ago in the new city that to buy another house - identical -would cost us an extra $100k.

    I just remember going back and forth in my head A LOT with both these decisions. In the end, it seemed to work out either way.

    Maybe a list of pros/cons will help clear your mind. But in these kinds of things, as long as you are thinking clearly, and can put the emotions aside, there is no right or wrong answers.

    P.S. I swear I am not stalking you. Every time I long online you have a new post (top one on the page). LOL. I noticed this the last 2-3 days.

  3. MonkeyMama Says:

    P.S.S.

    "Will we risk that we won't find another completely updated house with a half acre lot less than half a mile from all the things we want? Yes. And that is the downside. "

    Honestly, I think that is just an emotional downside. There will definitely be other houses - equal or better.

  4. momcents Says:



    Here is my story. I lived in 900 square feet with a 4 year old, 3 year old and baby. I was a SAHM and quite happy in my small house. On a whim we looked at a house on a quiet cul-de-sac 5 blocks south of where we lived. It was a 1970s split level complete with lots of panneling, a bad kitchen, avocado and gold abounding, but the lot was nice and it backed up to a golf course. We didn't do anything about our living situation and had children #4 and #5 in the next 2.5 years. When it was time to seriously look because seven people and 2 dogs in 900 square feet was getting tight we found the perfect house.

    Which happened to be the same house (only $75K more, but that was irrelevant because the value of our paid off house increased proportionately). Only the new owners put in a new kitchen and a great deck and got rid of lots of panneling and one two bathrooms. We bought it and it worked out well. So I bet that you will be able to find something even better when the time comes.

  5. ThriftoRama Says:

    I'm happy you are stalking me!

    It's true, I'm posting a lot about this because buying and selling houses are major financial decisions and can have long term impacts to your financial health. I'm also thinking a lot about this "out loud" and it's easier to work out my feelings here than to keep bugging my hubby about it every 10 minutes.

    I spelled all of the above out for hubby, and he said he thinks we should just go ahead and go for it. He said it's an A plus house with everything we want, and we'd have to do all the same work, if we move now or later no matter what. He said interest rates are going to go up-- it's just a matter of when, so why not lock in now?

    I'll pick his brain a little more later. He isn't usually passionate about houses, except for the one we live in now. I was wishy washy, but he was right about this one. it has been great for us.

    I am vascillating. Part of me doesn't want to uproot. It's a lot of work. And I already feel like there aren't enough hours in the day.

    Is it an A Plus house? Yes. It is an A plus lot and location?-- definitely. Would we be happy there? Highly likely. Is it the ideal time? probably not. Will it crimp the budget in the short term? Yes. Will we survive? Yeah. Would it be a good move in the long run if we can sell our house and get through the work? Most likely.

  6. mamas debt time out Says:

    This is the only time your kids won't care where you live/how small/big/what you have/not have etc. They only care about the time you spend with them and learning new things or getting excited about little things like making cupcakes or painting something for you etc. Life is abundant in surplus and debt that I am finding. It's deciding which is more important at the time and what needs to be addressedSmile

  7. MonkeyMama Says:

    By the same token of my other posts, I had already said sometimes things just happen for a reason and maybe this is *the one.*

    I can't say if I am helpful at all, because I can always see both sides. Big Grin So, either way, sounds good to me.

    It's probably why these decisions are so hard for me, too.

  8. ThriftoRama Says:

    I tend to hyper analyze, but that has been a good thing for us in the long term. My only hesitation is moving while still paying preschool bills. But, as I mentioned before, I can always adjust our tax withholding to free up cash every month.

    I think hubby wants to go for it. I think he sees the move-- and his ability to bike to work and to parks-- as a significant improvement in his quality of life.

    Still, now that the bonus check as arrived and been deposited into savings, I like the idea of keeping it instead of money out out out on house stuff!

  9. ThriftoRama Says:

    We are trying to arrange to look at more houses this weekend or next. I just want to see something that tips the balance, either something that tell me yeah, this is a good value, or no, there will be something better.

  10. My English Castle Says:

    I've not chimed in on this because house-lust is my major weaknesses. I never want anyone else's car, clothes, husband, or job, but I love a perfect house fit. I'm scared to look at other houses; even from the outside I fall too in love, too fast. I'll just read and daydream....

  11. ThriftoRama Says:

    I do like looking at houses, but I rarely want to buy them.

  12. Jerry Says:

    That is a tough thing to decide, yeah. There is so much to be said for the convenience that a perfect location can lead to, and you don't fully appreciate it until it is gone! (We changed apartments last year, and the commute to DD1s kindergarten is no longer the piece of cake that it was). But then, the insurance of it having everything you want? That is hard. However, I am inclined to agree... there will be something equal or better down the road. It's a fluid market. Good luck, whatever you decide!
    Jerry

  13. ThriftoRama Says:

    Jerry, those are sage words about the kindergarten commute. I am starting to think the pros of staying put outweigh the pros of moving.

    I should be 100 percent excited about a house, right? If I'm not, then maybe it's a sign. I like the idea of having a few more years to build up savings, so we don't have to tap as many stock assets for a down payment or rush and spend even more fixing up our current place.

    What we are doing now is working. The idea of changing it is pretty scary.

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