Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?

United States
October 13, 2008 1:38pm CST
Family crisis #103 for 2008. Help me decide whether or not moving into a new house right now would be a good idea. Basically here is what we are looking at. (These numbers are rounded WAY UP to make the math easier to do) My husband and I make $10,000 a month. Our combined monthly bills are $6500 a month. That leaves us with $3500 a month in extra money that doesn't have to be spent or can be spent on the "finer things in life". We have 4 kids and a dog and live in a 4 bedroom 2250 square foot house that was built in 1911. I would like to update the kitchen, get new carpet, some new windows, and redo both of my bathrooms. It doesn't NEED to be done but it would make this house nicer than it is and add to it's resale value. If we move our monthly income doesn't change. It is still $10,000 a month. But our monthly bills go up to $9000 a month. That leaves us with $1000 a month that doesn't have to be spent or may need to be spent on those unforeseen emergencies that creep up on people when they are least expecting it. The house we are looking to buy is 2550 square foot with 7 bedrooms, two bathrooms, hardwood floors downstairs, and a stone fireplace. (In a slightly better school district) We need to buy a stove, dishwasher, and new bathtub before we ever step foot in the house. I would like to brighten up the kitchen and redo the upstairs bathroom in the new house as well. I'm seriously losing sleep over this decision. We can afford to move. We can afford to pay all the bills. But we won't be able to drop $4000 on summer vacations like we have the past 2 years. We will actually have to start checking the bank balance before we write $600 checks to pay the heating bills. The $3000 I spent on Christmas last year will NOT be happening again for at least the next 3 years. But we can afford the house and afford to live in it. But is getting a new house with the cost of the "quality of life" we have all been used to while living in the house we have now? If you were faced with this decision what would you do? How would you make your pros and cons?
2 people like this
7 responses
@dizzblnd (3073)
• United States
13 Oct 08
You have done the right thing.. pros and cons. If it were me, I would move! I would explain to my family that there will be a LOT of cutbacks and sacrifices on everyone's part. Explain everything you have explained here. Listen to what you family has to say. Take a vote. Sleep on it again. In the morning.. see how you feel. Whatever you wake up feeling, that is the instinct you should trust. I am excited for you and I hope that you decide to make the move, because it issomething that you WANT AND DESERVE. Good Luck! Keep us posted. Nice to see you. I miss ya!
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Oct 08
We actually decided to stay and then the seller came back and offered to pay our closing costs and throw in a 1 year home warranty. GRR! Now we are back to having the same decision. I would like to say I have slept on it but thinking about it keeps me up at night. This new house falls just a little short of a mansion in the area we live in. If this house were 5 miles north of where it is now, it would have sold easily for $400,000. We can get it for $95,000. That may not seem like a whole lot but in comparison, my house now is 10 miles east and sold for $20,000 back in 2004. So moving quadruples our mortgage payment. ARGH! I keep talking my reasoning in circles and still end up in a corner! I better quit while I still have an exit :) Thanks for stopping by. If we don't move mylot will be seeing a lot of me over the winter months.
@mommyboo (13198)
• United States
19 Oct 08
95K?? WHERE IN THE WORLD DO YOU LIVE? This home cost more than that 20 years ago... holy cow. LOL! I don't even think the average person could afford to quadruple their mortgage, for ease of multiplying, if *I* did that it would cost somewhere around 6k a month...
@MsTickle (24993)
• Australia
21 Oct 08
Hello stranger...nice to see you. If I were you, I'd be staying put and holding on to my spare cash for the time being. Your country is in a recession and spending will be come difficult for many people..as the economy further slows many will be out of work. I'd be cautious about spending money unnecessarily.
• United States
21 Oct 08
Mylot is going to be seeing a lot more of me now that we have decided to stay put. I noticed something when asking the advice of my family and friends.... 99% of the people under the age of 40 told me to move. 100% of the people over the age of 40 told me to stay put. With age come wisdom. No doubt about it! Thanks for stopping by.
@MsTickle (24993)
• Australia
22 Oct 08
An interesting observation sweety...besides, there has to be something positive about aging...
@MsTickle (24993)
• Australia
22 Oct 08
Thanks for BR...
@mommyboo (13198)
• United States
19 Oct 08
Since you did not mention this, I am assuming that the new house will have a higher mortgage than the current house, and that is where the extra money is going? What is the age of the 'new' house? Do you believe you can do acceptable remodeling on the current house that will make it someplace you love enough to stay in indefinitely? I think if it were me that I would look at the cost of remodeling the current home. THEN I would look at finding a possible new home that did not cost much more than my current mortgage. Housing costs are down right now, to give an example, just a few years ago, the average in this neighborhood was 365K-400K. Right now you can buy a home here for about 220K. The economic crisis and too many homes being repossessed and foreclosed has made the supply much larger than the demand. Because of the economic climate, either nobody can afford to buy a home or they don't want to spend to do it, even if it would be cheap. Also it is extremely hard to get a loan or credit right now as well. I guess saying that I would worry that I couldn't get a loan to remodel either, or find a contractor. I think I would rather have the extra money right now, simply because I don't know if groceries, electricity, and other costs are going to rise again suddenly out of fear and mob mentality. It is wiser to know you are completely within your means as far as reoccurring bills than to have to worry and check your bank balance often - as you stated might be the case taking on a new more expensive mortgage. This said, my hubby and I are NOT Mr & Mrs Fixit, so if we had to deal with a very old house that needed remodeling, it's likely we would shop around for something new and turn-key that just did not cost more than our current mortgage.
• United States
21 Oct 08
That is pretty much what my husband and I did. We figured we could completely remodel this house for around 9,000 not including the new siding and the new windows and we are "handy" with power tools (well, he is anyway) so we went to a builders supply store last week and spent $1200 and got every thing we need to redo our 2.5 bathrooms, including a jetted spa tub for me :) I will have 2.5 brand new bathrooms and a new kitchen and laundry room by Christmas. Then we will wait until spring to re do the dining room and upstairs bedrooms. After it is all done with, we will have added $30,000 to the selling value of this home and put less than half of that into it.
@Shar1979 (2723)
• United States
16 Oct 08
if you cant keep up with the finances in your own home then it's best that you just rent and explain it to your family. i'm sure they will understand you...let your husband help you explaining it to your family as well. you did a great job with the pros and cons. it helps you more in making the right decision
• United States
17 Oct 08
Thanks for the response but you missed the point. We are more than capable of keeping up with the finances where we live now. Moving will just give us less "extra money" at the end of every month. We don't rent now. The decision is whether or not we want to give up going to caribbean islands and local beaches in the summer to move to a slightly bigger, nicer looking house. But we have discussed it and we are staying. so thanks for your input.
@sedel1027 (17854)
• United States
13 Oct 08
If I were you and the shape of our economy, every dime you don't spend you put a portion away towards the new house, a portion of emergencies, and a portion towards all of your debt...that way you can work towards that home, put in a good down payment (thereby decreasing your monthly payment) and pay off your debt and lowing your monthly commitments.
• United States
14 Oct 08
The shape of our economy is actually playing a major role in this decision. Right now it is a buyers market if you can get the financing. We are afraid we won't have the leverage we do now if we wait a year or two. And finding 6+ bedroom homes are pretty few and far between. Just more stuff of my pro and con list that is giving me gray hair. lol
@underdogtoo (9599)
• Philippines
10 Nov 08
I don't make any money at all and my wife doesn't either. We are way over our heads. I would not be the best one to give you or anyone any advice. I hope you get it sorted out in the most correct way. Cheers!!
@SViswan (12071)
• India
22 Oct 08
I'd stay and not move. I'd rather save more at the moment than spend more. I'd probably renovate in steps and not put it all in one shot. But the fact that you might need to move to a place which has a better school might tilt the scale. We are people who found a school before we bought the house. But going through your details, I think I'd stay where I was and not think about the school.