Wednesday, April 06, 2011

April so soon?

Hi. How're doing?

6 days into April and not a word. Sorry. I have been a big jangling ball of stress and nerves, yelling at everyone even strangers all the time. Eating my face off. Not being able to concentrate on a HUGE project I am working on that I NEED to get done by April 25, and it's not looking very likely unless I GET IT TOGETHER.

I have been so, so stressed about our house sitch. Should we suck it up and write a huge check at closing and walk away from our entire savings account? Rent it out instead of selling and keep our cash and minimize our tax liability but still lose money slowly and have to deal with the stress of being landlords? If we do rent it out, do we hire a property management company or maverick it? Is anyone even going to ever buy the damn place? I used to think that once we had enough money to take a loss of the house, we'd be able to sell, but that does not look like the case.

And then what about the other end? We have missed out on 2 houses we really liked and were genuinely sad when we heard they had accepted offers, but we don't want to rush into making any offers because this is supposed to be a buyer's market, damnit, so we want to find the right house at the right price. Lots of people are underwater like we are but are trying to sell their houses for what they owe, not what the house is worth, and we are not getting screwed on both ends of the deal if we can help it.

Should we keep stretching for that perfect 4 bedroom house with plenty of room to grow up in so we don't have to worry about moving again, maybe ever? Or do we buy one of the many smaller, perfect-for-now houses we have seen and look for something bigger in 5-7 years while enjoying low payments in the meantime? Also, exactly how much can we/ do we want to fix up-- I mean, are we really looking for anything beyond new blinds, new floors, and some paint? Or screw it, maybe we should just build exactly what we want.

So yeah. We are tying to answer all of these questions, and they are keeping me up at night.

Saturday was a lovely day-- a little windy, but in the low 50s. We went to the zoo, but when we got there we saw half the town had the same idea. Instead of pushing through the crowds, we went for ice cream on campus at the lake, with the other half of the town.


  1. Ugh, these decisions are SO stressful. I know you guys will figure it out. The buyer is out there somewhere!

  2. And that is one major blessing of moving every 2-3 years--we rent a house we like enough and then move on to a new state/house/home that we also like enough. Eventually we learn what we do/don't want in the home we will eventually buy once we're out.

    Good luck! I know you'll make the right decision for your family. And I can't wait till you post pictures of your new home!

  3. Argh. It will all work out. Keep looking. But try sleeping, too. I hear it's good for pregnant ladies. :)

  4. We're in the same boat, Sarah. I totally feel your pain. Our house stress is making me physically sick. I don't know how much more I can take!

  5. Sarah,

    We had the same exact situation with our house in Illinois. When we were getting ready to move to Colorado, we realized that 1. Our house had lost value. Like $20K in value and 2. If we sold it, we would be paying someone to buy it. And, like you, we'd likely lost most of our savings (which I'd always felt was pretty substantial) leaving us no down payment for a house out here. And no cushion, which is important to me.

    In the end, we ended up renting the house in Illinois. It still costs us a little bit, but my realtor out here said "Rent it for a few years and see what the market does. Then your renter is building equity in your house for you and years from now, you may end up being able to make some profit on it."

    We know there's expense with renting (upkeep/wear and tear) but we just couldn't take such a big hit on that home. We found GREAT renters who keep it immaculate and are, like our Realtor said, building equity in our house. I realize they could walk away at any moment, but it is something to consider. A lot of people can't buy right now, but they can rent... maybe turn your home into an investment property?

    I hate these grown up decisions!!