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New home woo's
Old 06-21-2006, 09:46 AM   #1
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New home woo's

The other night I made a huge mistake. There is an older golf course neighborhood by my parents house that I have always loved. We saw a cute house for sale, and found that it was $200K less than we had expected.

Well now my poor wife has her heart set on buying this house. I am 7 years from FIRE. I NEED to finish paying off my house! I told my wife it would take me 15 years to pay it off, and I want to quit work before then. She started crying.

We live way out in the country in a house I build by hand. My wife says she is tired of commuting, which I can understand. I am also tired of commuting. So I told my wife I would be willing to sell our house even though I *LOVE* my house, but I wouldn't consider anything that I couldn't pay off in 7 years.

I am a little sad. I know our house is small, and requires us to drive a lot. But I have a beautiful shop, with a nice office for working at home. It is so peaceful at night.

She is telling me that if we move I could spend more time with our daughter. I am saying if I retire I can spend more time with our daughter.

I don't know if I am complaining or asking for advice. I simply want a cheap house that is paid for. And to me cheap is country living.

Rodger
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Re: New home woo's
Old 06-21-2006, 09:50 AM   #2
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Re: New home woo's

Sounds like you love where you live right now, but your wife doesn't? Do you know why she was crying - really? Does she have a dream of a nice house on a golf course that she sees as no longer an option if retirement is the priority? Or does she not like where you are living now and doesn't want to be "stuck there" or "stuck out in the country" for the rest of her life?

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Re: New home woo's
Old 06-21-2006, 09:59 AM   #3
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Re: New home woo's

Quote:
Originally Posted by rw86347
The other night I made a huge mistake. ...Well now my poor wife has her heart set on buying this house. I am 7 years from FIRE. I NEED to finish paying off my house! I told my wife it would take me 15 years to pay it off, and I want to quit work before then. She started crying.
She is telling me that if we move I could spend more time with our daughter. I am saying if I retire I can spend more time with our daughter.
Tough one.

From our experience, a house is just a house. Even if you built it yourself, even if you lived there for 100 years and memories abound, it's just a house. If your relationship with the DW will benefit from moving, I wouldn't rule it out. You could decide not to move and suddenly find yourself with a major problem in the neighborhood, the commute could become unbearable, an obnoxious neighbor could move in, the roof could collapse, a flood... whatever. It's just a house.

If paying off the mortgage is really the major hesitation, fair enough. But if new house is that good a deal and is $200k less than you though, you've got that much more equity the day you move in. Maybe a compromise would be to move, but reprioritize some of your other income streams or obligations to focus on paying down the new mortgage.

Sounds like you have some nice choices, though - stay ina house you love, or move to a house you will love. Good luck.
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Re: New home woo's
Old 06-21-2006, 10:01 AM   #4
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Re: New home woo's

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Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
Sounds like you have some nice choices, though - stay ina house you love, or move to a house you will love. Good luck.
I think he was more concerned about working 15 more years or 7.
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Re: New home woo's
Old 06-21-2006, 10:05 AM   #5
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Re: New home woo's

Yeah I can't standing "having to work"

Last night I told her I would move any where, but it had to paid off in 7. It was a blow to her desire, but moving was a blow to mine. I guess that is what comprimise is all about.
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Re: New home woo's
Old 06-21-2006, 10:08 AM   #6
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Re: New home woo's

What's the rush ?

Maybe if you wait another year house prices will come down another 10 or 20 percent.

Think through these big decisions from ALL of the angles. Sometimes after a month or two those great ideas don't seem so great anymore.

What's the rush ?


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Re: New home woo's
Old 06-21-2006, 10:14 AM   #7
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Re: New home woo's

If "the commute" is the issue, do like you say - find a house closer to town/work that you can pay for in 7 years that is hopefully not too much more than what your current house will sell for.

If "the golfcourse house" is the issue, ask her if she would consider sleeping on it - for a month - and then seeing if she still really wanted it that you would consider it.

It sounds like you can be FI in 7 years, so even if you moved to a new, more expensive house, you could probably get FI (except for the house) in 7 years, then work a few extra years and put your whole paycheck into the mortgage payment till it's gone. It's a compromise. Probably better to work a few extra years and be happy as a couple right now and during ER than retire a few years too early and not enjoy life.
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Re: New home woo's
Old 06-21-2006, 10:47 AM   #8
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Re: New home woo's

Along with potentially cutting back a bit on your lifestyle now to save a few more dollars, your wife should consider working some extra years to pay off the mortgage. After all, she wants the house more than you do.

A potential compromise here is that you and DW buy the house, but on the premise you will still be free to retire in 7 years...and she takes on primary responsibility for retirement of the incremental debt. In the end, the marital relationship is most important of everything and compromise is the key to success.
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Re: New home woo's
Old 06-21-2006, 10:56 AM   #9
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Re: New home woo's

Quote:
Originally Posted by AltaRed
Along with potentially cutting back a bit on your lifestyle now to save a few more dollars, your wife should consider working some extra years to pay off the mortgage. After all, she wants the house more than you do.

A potential compromise here is that you and DW buy the house, but on the premise you will still be free to retire in 7 years...and she takes on primary responsibility for retirement of the incremental debt. In the end, the marital relationship is most important of everything and compromise is the key to success.
I *LOVE* this suggestion! Although I can guarentee you she will think I am joking when I suggest I quit work in 7 and stay home with DD and DW go to work to finish the mortgage.
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Re: New home woo's
Old 06-21-2006, 11:05 AM   #10
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Re: New home woo's

Rodger, my only advice is to do nothing for at least a month. I know I get my "heart set" on something like a new car or house or toy... that I feel like I really must have, but if I wait a bit, the obsession wears off.

In the spirit of compromise, maybe you agree to continue exploring various options with your wife?
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Re: New home woo's
Old 06-21-2006, 11:08 AM   #11
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Re: New home woo's

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheryl
Rodger, my only advice is to do nothing for at least a month. I know I get my "heart set" on something like a new car or house or toy... that I feel like I really must have, but if I wait a bit, the obsession wears off.

In the spirit of compromise, maybe you agree to continue exploring various options with your wife?
that is also good advice. I have found that most things you really want because dull soon after.
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Re: New home woo's
Old 06-21-2006, 11:16 AM   #12
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Re: New home woo's

Quote:
Originally Posted by rw86347
She started crying.*
You've been married for a while, right? When crying happens it's my understanding that the discussion has ended and you lose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rw86347
I *LOVE* this suggestion! Although I can guarentee you she will think I am joking when I suggest I quit work in 7 and stay home with DD and DW go to work to finish the mortgage.
Good luck with that laugh track.

It's possible that putting your family in a new house that takes 15 years to pay off will make the time pass much faster (let alone much more happily) than staying with the status quo for the next seven years. When Einstein said that time is relative he was talking about pain & suffering, too, and not just from the workplace...
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Re: New home woo's
Old 06-21-2006, 11:48 AM   #13
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Re: New home woo's

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
It's possible that putting your family in a new house that takes 15 years to pay off will make the time pass much faster (let alone much more happily) than staying with the status quo for the next seven years. When Einstein said that time is relative he was talking about pain & suffering, too, and not just from the workplace...
A new house now, a new luxury car in 2 years. Face it, the poor sap is gonna be working until he's 65.
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Re: New home woo's
Old 06-21-2006, 12:08 PM   #14
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Re: New home woo's

Maybe you should both have a 60-day cooling off period before you discuss this more. There will always be nice houses to choose from.

On the financial/calculation side, be sure to calculate the cost savings of a reduced commute. If you are each commuting 50 miles per day, 250 days/year, figure 40 cents per mile, and you get $5,000 per year of car costs.
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Re: New home woo's
Old 06-21-2006, 12:21 PM   #15
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Re: New home woo's

Lifestyle choice.* That is a tough one.* When I drove the train to get us out to the country (we sold a great little beach house to move), my DH agreed, but since then has had some major regrets about the isolation, the commute, the yardwork, etc.* I designed and built the house, and absolutely love it.* Wouldn't ever want to move back to town.*
In order to keep peace, I've had to make some concessions because I know our expenses (taxes, insurance, utilities) are cheaper in the hinterlands for FIRE in the long run.*
Among these was the promise fulfilled that as soon as the house was complete, that we'd outfit the sailboat, quit work, and go sailing for 3 months.* That staved off some discontent.* Now my dangling deal is if we stay here, he can retire in 6 years at 50 and I'll keep working another 8 years and retire at 50 as well.* The art of compromise.*
I loved the pics of your house and would have a really hard time parting with it after you built it yourself, and especially to go live on a golf course somewhere in suburbia!*
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Re: New home woo's
Old 06-21-2006, 12:37 PM   #16
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Re: New home woo's

Oh, man, Rodger, I just looked at your web site and I see that you have a real dilemma.

On the one hand, I couldn't sell that neat house that you have.

On the other hand, I couldn't bear to see that cute wife yours crying.

Tough decision!
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Re: New home woo's
Old 06-21-2006, 01:08 PM   #17
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Re: New home woo's

Hi, Rodger.* I, too, looked at pictures of your house when you first posted to the forum.* It is pretty neat and even neater that you designed and built it yourself.*

I'll echo the transportation costs you'll save if you move to the house she wants or any other house closer to your workplaces, and the savings in time.* (Maybe she can get a second job with the time saved from commuting--more of a joke but if she agrees, then it'll help pay off the mortgage.)

I hope you can come to some compromise with your wife.*

Maybe you can still retire in 7 years, sell the new house you end up with, and build another one in the country like your current house now.* Of course, your wife may have fallen in love with the city/suburban house by then.* That's why I hope for a compromise between you.
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Re: New home woo's
Old 06-21-2006, 02:43 PM   #18
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Re: New home woo's

It can be really hard to raise a child in an isolated area. Your wife may be telling you without really saying it out loud that she is stressed by not enough friends, not enough distractions, not enough other Moms to gossip and share support with.

We lived in the country when our kids were little, though judging by your photo your life is more geographically isolated than ours was.

Neither of us would ever attempt it again, and we would discourage our kids from trying it too.

Life in a golf course community means life with people. This may be all she is trying to tell you.

And, IMO, given that gasoline costs will likely rise, you may wind up better off financially in the new home anyway.

Though, I must admit your place is totally cute.

Still, you don’t want to wake up some morning and find "Adios Roger" on her pillow.

Ha
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Re: New home woo's
Old 06-21-2006, 02:57 PM   #19
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Re: New home woo's

It sort of comes down to what you are both willing to do. She needs to accept some additional working years to help pay off the McMansion in exchange for you giving up your current (highly desired) lifestyle. If you don't agree on the terms one of you is going to feel resented and that leads to anger. If you can come to an agreement of some sort that you both can accept and stick too then you will have a win-win situation.

Why does she really want the golf course house? Does she play golf? Does she want the status? What does it do for her? What else would provide this same need but would be less expensive. Traditionally, golf course lots like waterfront lots come with a stiff premium to other ones that are off the course. Find out what is the real attraction and see if you can find something cheaper that will meet her needs and yours too. Maybe you can find a nice new house with a shop already built on or an out building that you can convert. Maybe with a lot that backs up to a park or wildlife area.

You have to know what she "really" wants before you can bargin.
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Re: New home woo's
Old 06-21-2006, 03:14 PM   #20
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Re: New home woo's

Rodger, your daughter is beautiful!

I would have trouble leaving a house like that, especially if I had built it myself. My biggest concern about your current home would be space. Where will Sam sleep and put her stuff as she grows? Also, the house is very specific to your wants and lifestyle at the time you built it. Will you get the money out of it that you put in? Will you find a buyer?

My concern is that a golf course house is SO different than what you have. What if you move and she hates it?
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