Author Topic: Wife wants to move; I say wait. Need opinions.  (Read 6354 times)

WFUDEAC

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Wife wants to move; I say wait. Need opinions.
« on: July 19, 2015, 08:54:05 AM »

Wife and I (both 29) currently own a 3BR/2.5BA town-home, which is basically perfect except not allowed to fence any area for our two dogs. We recently got the second dog, and even though I told my wife we're not buying a house because of a second dog she started looking. I didn't want to move 5 minutes away just for a yard, so I showed her a house that would met some of the things we're missing in our current place and now she wants it. Problem is I don't see any need to move for at least 5 years. We don't have kids yet and could comfortably stay in our current place even with one or two. I calculated that the move will increase our annual expenses by $10,000 annually and that is just a back of the envelope calculation (increase in mortgage interest, taxes, and loss investment of the $20,000 we would probably put in the house to do a few things right away).

Pros of moving:
Yard for the dogs (and wife; she wants to garden)
Location is walkable and bikeable to many things unlike our current location.
Wife (a marathoner) could run directly from the house
Move to the location where we could ultimately raise our kids and could live for 20+ years.
Cost of house is reasonable for location and has 1-car garage; garages/off-street parking can be rare in this location.

Cons of moving:
$10,000+ increase in annual expenses (can afford at the expense of saving)
Increased work commute (wife currently walks, I have a 10 minute drive and it would increase to 20)
Increased home/yard maintenance compared to town-home
Home only has 1 car garage (long-term we might spend to add a 2 car garage)
Life could easily go in a different direction in the next 5 years and house wouldn't met our goals at that time

What are additional pros or, preferably, cons of moving now that you fellow mustachians can add that I am missing?

mozar

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Re: Wife wants to move; I say wait. Need opinions.
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2015, 08:59:53 AM »
Can you get an electric dog fence?
http://www.lowes.com/cd_Install+an+Electronic+Pet+Containment+Fence_700388417_

Happy wife, happy life though (because women put more effort into their relationships then men do).

Another Reader

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Re: Wife wants to move; I say wait. Need opinions.
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2015, 09:04:59 AM »
That is by far the most expensive dog you will ever own.

In your shoes, I would sit down with the wife and discuss your long-term goals and your plan to achieve them.  If the plan you agree on involves staying in the townhome until the kids come along, then you either manage with two dogs or re-home the second dog because it was an unwise decision to get a second dog without a plan in place for managing two dogs.

Rezdent

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Re: Wife wants to move; I say wait. Need opinions.
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2015, 09:11:17 AM »
That is by far the most expensive dog you will ever own.

In your shoes, I would sit down with the wife and discuss your long-term goals and your plan to achieve them.  If the plan you agree on involves staying in the townhome until the kids come along, then you either manage with two dogs or re-home the second dog because it was an unwise decision to get a second dog without a plan in place for managing two dogs.
+1

Khaetra

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Re: Wife wants to move; I say wait. Need opinions.
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2015, 09:23:24 AM »
Re-home the second dog and don't move.  I love dogs so don't get me wrong, but I agree with Another that adding a second dog to the mix was quite unwise.

Zamboni

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Re: Wife wants to move; I say wait. Need opinions.
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2015, 09:34:40 AM »
I say it's pretty much a toss up because I want to try to see things from my partner's perspective and seriously consider anything that the person says will add to happiness.

But it's pretty clear that you don't see anything in this for you other than a happy wife. Personally I would not want to make my work commute longer. While your wife might like to garden, does she want to mow the lawn and trim the bushes? I like to plant flowers and vegetables, but not mow and trim. Also, as you point out your expenses go up for no real added value to you at all (as far as I can see, it's all about her and the dogs.)

Plenty of people garden in townhome complexes, either through container gardening on patios or balconies, or by just starting to plant things in common areas if some land is adjacent to the front or back porch. I've seen more than one person make an extensive garden area on the land around their townhome.

A cheaper place closer to work is almost always better. You would be moving in an anti-MMM direction in terms of pure $$$, but also in terms of your own happiness.

My advice is to stall. It's never a bad idea to mull over such a big decision! One of two things will happen:
1) the price of the home your wife has her eye on will be reduced, perhaps to the point where it is more financially enticing, or
2) it will be taken off of the market or go under contract to someone else.

Probably 2 will happen. And stop showing her homes if you don't want to move.

forummm

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Re: Wife wants to move; I say wait. Need opinions.
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2015, 09:40:59 AM »
The extra amount the new house would cost you in year 1 is more than we spend in a year total. And on an ongoing basis is about 40% of our total spending. That's a pretty significant increase in costs, and a resultant increase in stash needed to FIRE.

Janie

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Re: Wife wants to move; I say wait. Need opinions.
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2015, 11:34:53 AM »
You showed her the house--why?

Case

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Re: Wife wants to move; I say wait. Need opinions.
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2015, 11:53:40 AM »
Re-home the second dog and don't move.  I love dogs so don't get me wrong, but I agree with Another that adding a second dog to the mix was quite unwise.

-1 (minus).

Wife will go crazy; she is attached to the dogs.

Time to have serious discussion about practicality with the wife.
Myself, I would in way move for a pet's sake.  A little harsh, but $10,000/year (if accurate, but even $5000/year is enormous) can have a dramatic impact on your FIRE.

CrazyinVA

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Re: Wife wants to move; I say wait. Need opinions.
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2015, 12:59:14 PM »
Yards for a dog are over-rated.  Dogs need daily mental and physical stimulation and being in the same yard day in and day out does not tend to meet that need.  My impression of the benefits of a yard is that its more convenient for them to go to the bathroom than taking them for walk but that is really more of a convenience for the owner than the dogs.  Do you have a dog park nearby?  Long walks are good for people and dogs!  Look into ways of tiring out the dogs (find somewhere you can play fetch, agility training, regular training, Rally-O).  If you have trouble walking them both together on a leash then look into positive reinforcement training for leash walking (walking on a leash without pulling is one of the harder things we ask dogs to do).  This will all be more time consuming than just letting the dogs out in the back but if you are seriously considering moving then the dogs must be important to your wife.

Cpa Cat

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Re: Wife wants to move; I say wait. Need opinions.
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2015, 01:07:17 PM »
I have to admit that I don't understand why you don't provide your dogs with exercise off your property?

People own dogs without adequate yard space or fences the whole world over. This is why leashes exist. And dog parks. And doggie daycare.

Basenji

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Re: Wife wants to move; I say wait. Need opinions.
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2015, 01:20:29 PM »
I have a great yard for my dogs, but they don't get a lot of exercise there. They trot around, pee, and come back in. Their real exercise, the one they bug me to do, is walking the neighborhood. They will solicit walks and get all excited when I put on my shoes. Going in the backyard is just not the same thing. They want to smell new places, check up on the piss news around town. In fact, unless you have very low energy dogs, you are mistaken if you think letting the dogs out in a yard will replace long walks.

Cassie

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Re: Wife wants to move; I say wait. Need opinions.
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2015, 03:21:15 PM »
I have 4 dogs & they love walks.  The backyard is mostly to do their business. They will fetch if I throw a ball but that gets old pretty fast. They do love their pee-mail:))

partgypsy

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Re: Wife wants to move; I say wait. Need opinions.
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2015, 07:39:52 AM »
Apologize for showing her that house. You want to make her happy, but it does not fit your budget because it would cost an additional 10K a year. Unless something else changed (you or her bring in an additional 10K) not feasible. Maybe there is some alternative that would work, such as the electronic fence, or renting a house that is equivalent to what you are paying now? Otherwise yes sounds like a good time to talk about overall life plans, timelines, etc.
My husband had a dog in the city in a 3rd floor walkup. We also rented a small house on a deep lot (but no fence) for another 5 years. We currently do have a fenced yard but it is small so the dog needs daily walks.

 
« Last Edit: July 20, 2015, 07:42:06 AM by partgypsy »

starbuck

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Re: Wife wants to move; I say wait. Need opinions.
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2015, 08:07:04 AM »
Yards for a dog are over-rated.

+1. Fenced in yards are for the benefit of the owners, not the dogs. A fenced in yard has made me a very lazy dog owner.

Honestly, it sounds like there are quite a few pros to moving. I wouldn't put relocating 100% off the table, surely there's a compromise there that doesn't add $10k a year to your costs. It's not just about the dogs when you look at that list of pros.

HairyUpperLip

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Re: Wife wants to move; I say wait. Need opinions.
« Reply #15 on: July 20, 2015, 08:15:31 AM »
Is the dog able to get a job and assist with the increased costs of living? If not, I wouldn't even pursue the daydream forget about actually  getting a new house for a dog.

CommonCents

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Re: Wife wants to move; I say wait. Need opinions.
« Reply #16 on: July 20, 2015, 08:29:17 AM »
Everyone seems to be focusing on the 2nd dog.  I suspect it's more likely an excuse for your wife than the real driver.

Seems to me that while there might be reasons to move, this house is not the right house for you.  That doesn't mean that there isn't a house out there that is right for you (at some point before the 5 year mark).  Why don't you lay out what your requirements are (e.g. short commute, no or up to X annually in increased costs, etc.) and solicit her preferences as well, and have a dialogue?  Compromise is critical in marriages.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Wife wants to move; I say wait. Need opinions.
« Reply #17 on: July 20, 2015, 08:30:56 AM »
I am confused how you can walk to work from your current house, but your wife can't do her runs from it (listed as an advantage of the second house). That doesn't make sense.

HairyUpperLip

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Re: Wife wants to move; I say wait. Need opinions.
« Reply #18 on: July 20, 2015, 08:36:43 AM »
I am confused how you can walk to work from your current house, but your wife can't do her runs from it (listed as an advantage of the second house). That doesn't make sense.

lol - I was wondering what that meant too.

If she's a marathon runner, does it matter which door she exits from to begin her run?

CommonCents

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Re: Wife wants to move; I say wait. Need opinions.
« Reply #19 on: July 20, 2015, 08:48:51 AM »
I am confused how you can walk to work from your current house, but your wife can't do her runs from it (listed as an advantage of the second house). That doesn't make sense.

lol - I was wondering what that meant too.

If she's a marathon runner, does it matter which door she exits from to begin her run?

My guesses?
A commuter may not care about stop lights, while a marathoner may find the breaking into the run way too much.  In addition, 10 minute walk is also much shorter than the run a marathoner would make, so we don't know whether beyond the 10 minute walk there are safe areas to run.  (She could loop endlessly in the 10 minute circuit but even I, a non-runner can see how that might not be satisfying at all.)  And it's possible the 10 minute walk is safe for a male at normal commuting times, but much less safe for a woman running early morning or late at night.  (e.g. my husband does not like me walking to a non-profit for my volunteer meetings while dark, due to several rapes in that area over the past few years.)

In short, while odd, I can think of a few reasons for the discrepancy.

human

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Re: Wife wants to move; I say wait. Need opinions.
« Reply #20 on: July 20, 2015, 06:51:01 PM »
Edit: Bluh apparently I focused to much on the wife running from the second house . . . apprently it's further? buh I don't get why she can't run at the first house which is closer, just do a loop go home shower and then walk to work. That's what I do . . .
« Last Edit: July 20, 2015, 06:56:24 PM by human »

The Beacon

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Re: Wife wants to move; I say wait. Need opinions.
« Reply #21 on: July 20, 2015, 09:17:29 PM »
 I was very very close to buying a SFH for 100k more.   Instead, i bought an town home with the same square footage except no yard and sharing one wall with my neighbor who is nice and quite.  That 100k has been compounding for years now. By the time I FIRE, It will generate $8000-$10000 passive income annually for me. It have shaved a quite a few years off my FIRE.   Hell no, i would sacrifice that for one dog.  But again, we do not have any pets, maybe a few spiders here and there eating mosquito.