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Getting the itch for a house
Old 03-03-2007, 05:48 PM   #1
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Getting the itch for a house

Ok, all...

Here's the situation. We have our first baby on the way, and have been planning and saving for ER for about 8 years. We have a pretty good nest egg at this point (for our age, compared to others, etc.) and own a multi-unit rental property which we live in to save money.

I'm REALLY getting the itch to move out of town a little and buy a house with more room. We currently have 3 bedrooms, so we're not cramped for room, but being in a rental neighborhood means there is really no privacy and no yard for a swingset, sandbox, garden, etc.

My question is this: I would love to buy one of the several houses that I'm looking at, but it would nearly triple our monthly housing payment. The difference in payment would come directly out of our ER savings. We can certainly "afford" the property, but have never followed the usual rules of what it means to be able to "afford" something.

Is it worth it to move (and hold on to the rental property) to have more room to breathe, and more privacy? Or, should we tough it out, stay here and keep saving like crazy? Or, a combination of both but don't do anything until after the baby arrives?

Any insights are appreciated!!!!
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Re: Getting the itch for a house
Old 03-03-2007, 05:57 PM   #2
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Re: Getting the itch for a house

See my thread on balancing ER with quality of life.

Only you can answer for sure where the fulcrum is.

Tell you what though, moving while your wife is pregnant isnt going to be a fun time, and you definitely wont want to do it for the first 6-9 months after the baby is born.

You'll be hoping to god for 4 hours of consecutive sleep mostly, and wondering how its possible to put 4oz of liquid into a baby and get 8oz back out an hour later.
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Re: Getting the itch for a house
Old 03-03-2007, 06:16 PM   #3
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Re: Getting the itch for a house

It sounds to me like you'd really, really like to have more space and privacy and I don't blame you. Especially with a kid on the way. I say good for you for living in the multi-unit and building a great foundation for ER. Now go enjoy a new home.
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Re: Getting the itch for a house
Old 03-03-2007, 07:08 PM   #4
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Re: Getting the itch for a house

Here's one pro and one con:

Pro: You said you'd triple your housing payment, but perhaps you'll be renting out the place you're in now, so the increase will actually be less.

Con: You probably won't be any happier than where you are now. Check threads here on happiness and research it on the web.
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Re: Getting the itch for a house
Old 03-03-2007, 11:35 PM   #5
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Re: Getting the itch for a house

If you're doing it for the kid, you have a couple years to think about it. Take your time. In addition to privacy and a yard, you'll probably want to check into schools, the kid-friendliness of the neighborhood, etc.

FWIW, we lived in a downtown condo for a while, and the lifestyle was great. But we eventually went for the semi-rural place with a large yard, and we can never go back to high-density living. We love it. The dogs love it. The kid loves it.
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Re: Getting the itch for a house
Old 03-08-2007, 08:12 AM   #6
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Re: Getting the itch for a house

My story, which may or may not correlate to what others have found. Me and my business associate both have what could be termed as the same type/size of house. I am on 1/2 acres in a suburb, most of which is wooded. He is on 2 acres in the country, all plain. I pay $5k/year taxes, he pays $3k/year. BTW, my taxes are somewhat low for the area, as I live in a high-growth county with some very desirable (read, high end) new build coming in. From what we have seen, my higher taxes easily offsets a lower overall cost of living in our area: 1/3 the commute time for me and s.o., <20% of the lawn care time/cost, much lower overall outdoor maintenance costs (ie, driveway sealing/plowing/paving, septic/well problems - I'm on muni, etc.) PLUS, our schools are better, we have better access to good shopping (well, maybe not a concern!) and groceries, better access to "culture," and easier access to friends and family.

Obviously, everyone's mileage on all the above will vary. However, we did once live in the "country," and looking back at it, we may not be country people. Most were into hunting, fishing, boating, snowmobiling and atving. Conversely, we find ourselves more likely to enjoy cycling on the bike path, walking/jogging the the neighborhood, going to the Y or the library, and spending time with neighborhood friends.

The point is, don't discount the cost of trying to force the square peg of your preferred living paradigm into the round hole of your housing choice!
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Re: Getting the itch for a house
Old 03-08-2007, 11:38 AM   #7
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Re: Getting the itch for a house

Truer words never spoken. We're looking at moving in the next 6-12 months and we have a 2 month old.

I always wonder how he can spit up his entire stomach... and then do it again.... and yet again.

It never ceases to amaze me what comes out of this kid's mouth... and he's not even speaking yet!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
Tell you what though, moving while your wife is pregnant isnt going to be a fun time, and you definitely wont want to do it for the first 6-9 months after the baby is born.

You'll be hoping to god for 4 hours of consecutive sleep mostly, and wondering how its possible to put 4oz of liquid into a baby and get 8oz back out an hour later.
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Re: Getting the itch for a house
Old 03-09-2007, 01:40 PM   #8
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Re: Getting the itch for a house

wow ... 3x the current housing payment. What do SFH RENT for in the desired area?
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Re: Getting the itch for a house
Old 03-09-2007, 07:07 PM   #9
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Re: Getting the itch for a house

it sounds like you have enough room - i wouldn't rush it.

plus -after you have the baby you will be able to judge what you really want and how you all are adjusting to life w/ kids - it is usually quite overwhelming as CFB noted, and the baby won't notice you don't have a yard until they can walk - after year 1 - if you have a park nearby then you are fine - even then, they can't really enjoy it until they are about 18 mths.

i moved when i was 6 mths prego because we were in a 1 bedrm apt - and didn't have a lot of stuff. if you are going to move, try to do it before it comes out because moving w/ an infant is nuts.

also consider the schools factor - you might want to move where there is a good school - which you might not deal with until they are 5...

good luck!
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Re: Getting the itch for a house
Old 03-17-2007, 10:21 PM   #10
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Re: Getting the itch for a house

If owning the house will measurably improve your current life and happiness today, then I say go for it. It is important to plan for the future, but we all live in the present moment. I've know too many people who delayed gratification so long, they dropped dead or got sick before they could enjoy their lives. Also, it is a house that can potentially increase in value. It's not like buying a fancy car that starts losing money the minute you drive off the lot. Good luck!
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