Author Topic: Selling a house: Is my math right or am I crazy?  (Read 1510 times)

LibrarIan

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Selling a house: Is my math right or am I crazy?
« on: November 03, 2018, 07:48:18 AM »
Hello. Long time, no post. This question requires some explanation, but I'll try to be brief.

My wife and I (both 30 years old) are currently renting. We've been looking for a house in the Northern Kentucky region (near the Ohio River) but the market is insane and we've been reluctant to jump into this when the bubble may burst, so to speak. For a while our plan was just to buy a house for the two of us, but our child-having plans have changed. With this decision comes school district considerations. Looking into ratings, reviews, etc. for schools, it seems that the general area we've been looking in has terrible ratings for schools overall. However, a couple elementary schools look good. We thought about buying a house in a specific area and living there until the child is ready for middle/high school and then move somewhere else.

So here's the main situation. We're followers of the "mustachian" mindset, but we are latecomers, so we won't be FIREd soon, but we're good with our money. We're ready to have kid(s) basically within the next year or so. I was trying to figure out the best financial situation for living in a house for x number of years, then selling, and not getting screwed. So I snagged a house off a realty website that will be in the ballpark price range as an example and started running some numbers.

Here's the house: https://www.sibcycline.com/Listing/NKY/521389/267-Washington-Ave-Bellevue-KY-41073
Here's the mortgage calculator I like using: http://www.calcxml.com/calculators/mortgage-calculator?skn=606#results

Let's make some assumptions here. Say I put down 20% (avoiding PMI), do a standard 30 year loan at the realty site's current default interest rate (5.125%), pay the minimum amount each month ($1,596.98), live in the house for 10 years, and then sell it for what I bought it for (value could go up or down, but who knows). That means the following:

House Value: $259,900
Down Payment: $51,980
Principal Paid over 10 yrs: $34,852
Interest Paid over 10 yrs: $89,227
Total Paid over 10 yrs: $176,059
Outstanding Principal Remaining: $173,068
I'm not worrying about tax/insurance b/c I'll pay that no matter where I live

If I sell the house at this point for $259,900, it looks like I'd be losing a lot of money due to interest.

When I sell, I get back my down payment and my principal paid in ($86,832). I also get $173,068, but I have to turn around and give that to the bank to cover the remainder of the loan (right?). So that leaves me my $86,832. Cool. However, over the time I was there, I paid interest, so What I Have - Interest Paid = $-2,395.

Firstly, is my math right? I went from having a 20% down payment and dumping payments into the house to having < $0. Hopefully I'm just not considering something correctly.

I understand that, ideally, you'd want to sell at a higher price point, but I don't think it's realistic that the home values in the area we're looking in will increase more than they have now. They are higher than I've ever seen them. Normally I'd just say we should wait to buy, but my apartment is not conducive to having more people in it. Advice?

« Last Edit: November 03, 2018, 07:52:36 AM by LibrarIan »

BicycleB

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Re: Selling a house: Is my math right or am I crazy?
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2018, 08:25:38 AM »
Keep studying these comparisons!

Some thoughts:

The fact that your interest paid and the "amount you get back" are about the same is just chance, or more accurately, a function of the time period you selected for example along with the interest rate assumption. Irrelevant noise, in other words. Interest is the fee you pay for the privilege of using someone else's capital; "what you get back" the way you calculated it is the amount of capital you happened to put in. In real life, you wouldn't get all that capital back when selling, according to your assumption that sales price will remain the same; you'd have to pay sales commission to the realtor, maybe 6% of sales price or about $15,540. So you'd only get back about 70k, not 86k.

One way to consider buy vs rent is make a spreadsheet that compares the costs and returns of both cases. You could use the same input cost, but model where the money goes in each case. Whichever one spends less, assume you invest the difference at a return of 5%. Include the cost of sale at the end of the buy case. Then see which one leaves you with more money at the end.

In effect, consider the time value of money, and build a model that includes all costs. Remember repair expenses as well as taxes.

In some cities, buying is so expensive that renting is almost always better. In other cities with much cheaper real estate, buying is better for sufficiently long periods. My city is in between; yours may be too.

Have you Googled "housing rent vs buy calculator"? NerdWallet's nice calculator is the first result when I try it. Please note that the conclusion ("If you stay in your home for 6 years, buying is better than renting") in the opening graph is just based on example data, it's not a generalized conclusion:

https://www.nerdwallet.com/mortgages/rent-vs-buy-calculator
« Last Edit: November 03, 2018, 08:30:36 AM by BicycleB »

px4shooter

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Re: Selling a house: Is my math right or am I crazy?
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2018, 09:18:33 AM »
Your rate is a little high, but that market may be that way. Some of our local brokers are around 4.8%, but far from that housing area :) Not a huge calculation difference for your study though.

Insurance- when I added a house, my autos and housing were cheaper than just my cars (only $20, but that matters in the big picture).

Interest- It is deductible, so your annual income will be reduced and mean less taxes. I really see it now, since I am in the final downhill swing of my mortgages. Low interest paid= less to deduct.

In 10 years, you expect zero appreciation. You are also going to lose 6-8% for realtor costs. I would really look at the cost per sf, land costs, and get a better picture of what the value of the home actually is and where it may migrate to. Sure, we can't predict everything, but the cost per sf is a good base to watch.

sammybiker

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Re: Selling a house: Is my math right or am I crazy?
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2018, 07:55:37 PM »
Nothing specific to add to the above posts, they cover your original questions quite well.

One question for you - as a young couple with no kids yet, have you considered buying something that's not so turnkey, already perfect, market value property?  You could totally swing a live in fixer that you slowly upgrade yourself over the next 6-12mo, make some good sweat equity, and either discover a whole new way of building wealth or confirm it's something you're never interested in doing again.

Just a thought :)

lhamo

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Re: Selling a house: Is my math right or am I crazy?
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2018, 08:18:14 PM »
Historically I believe real estate tends to appreciate at a 2-3% rate/year nationally, though obviously there are boom and bust periods in different locations at different times.  I think assuming 0 appreciation is pretty pessimistic, though.

That house looks lovely, but it is a LOT of house for a couple, and is probably fancier than you need since all the work has already been done on it -- if you could find something that  is livable but needs some fixing up you will get more for your money.    Something like this might be better as a starter home, and is half the price:

https://www.sibcycline.com/Listing/NKY/520535/824-Rossford-Rn-Bellevue-KY-41073

Jealous of those prices, though.  Here in Seattle your listing would be 800k-1mill + depending on neighborhood.....

KCM5

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Re: Selling a house: Is my math right or am I crazy?
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2018, 08:26:06 PM »
Agreed with the previous posters that you could buy a less expensive house and slap some paint on it/redo the kitchen and you’ll have as nice of a house for less money and have it done to your preferences.

Also, how much would you pay in rent for those 10 years? Add that in to your calculations.

And an additional comment, there are bad schools and then there are “bad schools.” Maybe once your kids are in the district you’ll figure out which one they are. Sometimes it’s solely socioeconomic status that makes a school “bad” and it’s really an excellent, supportive school. Look into it.

LibrarIan

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Re: Selling a house: Is my math right or am I crazy?
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2018, 10:36:51 AM »
BicycleB - Thanks for that link. That calculator looks like it covers nearly everything under the sun! Way better than what I was trying to do.

sammybiker - Prior to deciding we wanted kids, we were willing to take a complete gut job and build it up ourselves. However, since the decision, I think the flexibility level may have decreased in my wife. I have no issue with putting in some sweat equity.

lhamo - My wife is obsessed with the 100+ year old historic home type thing. Convincing her out of this - even for a short-term thing - will be difficult.

KCM5 - Rent over 10 years would probably be ~$86k. Also, I hear you on the school district thing. I'll consider that more.

Thanks for all the responses. Based on the calculator BicycleB linked me to, it looks like our high end on the price range for our timeline would be about $220k. I'd like to stay under that and actually make money, not lose any or come out even.

YttriumNitrate

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Re: Selling a house: Is my math right or am I crazy?
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2018, 01:34:17 PM »
Interest- It is deductible, so your annual income will be reduced and mean less taxes. I really see it now, since I am in the final downhill swing of my mortgages. Low interest paid= less to deduct.
I would add that only the portion of the interest above the standard deduction is deductible (or makes sense to itemize). With a 200k loan at 5% they'll be paying about 10k a year in interest, but the standard deduction for a married couple filing jointly is now $24,000. That's a lot of ground to cover for itemizing to make sense.

LadyMuMu

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Re: Selling a house: Is my math right or am I crazy?
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2018, 04:01:14 PM »
As someone who lives in an older home with lots of character, I understand  your wife's affinity for them. But maintaining an older home can be costly and we often find things that need to be repaired or brought up to code while making other repairs. It's like a game of whack-a-mole. Perhaps renting an older home first might give you some perspective.

calimom

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Re: Selling a house: Is my math right or am I crazy?
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2018, 08:46:47 PM »
The Fifty Shades of Grey house is gorgeous, and very obviously a flip. Nothing really wrong with that, but it might be possible that the fancy back splashes and other elements are hiding some issues like a sub par  foundation or electrical system needing a complete overhaul. Or not. Old houses are wonderful, and can also be notorious money pits. Overall, your housing costs are seriously a good deal compared to many, many other places.

I hear you on your concern about schools, but needing a top rated middle school is about a dozen years away at the earliest. You may be overthinking. What would happen in the intervening time if you lived in a neighborhood with a great elementary school, meeting new friends/fellow students and then skip off to a "better" school the moment your future child turns 12? It's just really hard to plan for networks and relationships you haven't yet experienced.

While the Forever Home term is so often overused, finding somewhere to live that you'd want to stay for a long while
 and build a family is an achievable goal.

Jon Bon

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Re: Selling a house: Is my math right or am I crazy?
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2018, 05:26:23 AM »
So you are over stressing about middle schools, which I agree is way too far a way to worry about but.... Where is the yard! You dont need much but you need a little for the little person to run around it, kick a ball etc. Kids like yards. Unless there is a park literally next door that is something you are going to want to consider.

Also that is a yuppie/Dink  house which is fine, but its gonna be a lot less nice with a few kids running around it. Just saying a completely renovated house might not really be worth it for you guys. Just be sure to get all the extra paint cans when you buy it for all the inevitable touch ups!

YttriumNitrate

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Re: Selling a house: Is my math right or am I crazy?
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2018, 07:22:25 AM »
Historically I believe real estate tends to appreciate at a 2-3% rate/year nationally, though obviously there are boom and bust periods in different locations at different times.  I think assuming 0 appreciation is pretty pessimistic, though.
While I agree that 0% in 10 years is a bit pessimistic, there are definitely some factors that suggest a lower appreciation rate. First, the house is recently renovated, so in 10 years everything will look a bit dated. Second, LibrarIan mentioned that the area has been hot for a while, so there's a reasonably chance for a correction (or at least a cooling) in the market in the next 10 years. Third, looking at the neighborhood on Google street view, this house appears to be at least slightly over improved relative to the surrounding houses.

Dicey

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Re: Selling a house: Is my math right or am I crazy?
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2018, 07:26:07 AM »
This house sold for $118k just three months ago. It was listed for $280k on 10/22/18 and the price was reduced to $260k just a week later. This is a lipstick on a pig flip.

Given the age of the house, I would run away.

Some obvious flaws:

- Lots of fireplaces, none of them functional. Huge red flag, IMO.

- Lack of counter space on either side of sink is insane.

- Upper kitchen cabinets are idiotic. Every cabinet is a separate box. The new owner is going to be opening way too many cabinet doors to find anything. Cabinets and pulls are cheap. This kitchen looks like someone bought out a Cabinets to Go vignette and forced it to fit into this space.

- Wine refrigerators are unnecessary and are energy hogs.

- The plumbing fixtures look to be base grade.

- No counter space in the bathrooms.

- Closet space looks to be very minimal, which is typical in older houses, but could have been mitigated during the flip. Doesn't look like they did.

- The linen closet shown is too shallow for linens. It's more like a giant medicine chest. Is there other space for linens?

- HVAC ducting is very strange and rather obtrusive.

That's all I have time for now. If you need more dissuasion ping back and I'll have DH look at the photos. He will spot a lot more than I just did.

ETA: Sorry if that sounds harsh, but if I was buying my first house, these are things I would want to know.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2018, 07:27:53 AM by Dicey »

Jon Bon

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Re: Selling a house: Is my math right or am I crazy?
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2018, 10:36:44 AM »
This house sold for $118k just three months ago. It was listed for $280k on 10/22/18 and the price was reduced to $260k just a week later. This is a lipstick on a pig flip.

Given the age of the house, I would run away.

Some obvious flaws:

- Lots of fireplaces, none of them functional. Huge red flag, IMO.

- Lack of counter space on either side of sink is insane.

- Upper kitchen cabinets are idiotic. Every cabinet is a separate box. The new owner is going to be opening way too many cabinet doors to find anything. Cabinets and pulls are cheap. This kitchen looks like someone bought out a Cabinets to Go vignette and forced it to fit into this space.

- Wine refrigerators are unnecessary and are energy hogs.

- The plumbing fixtures look to be base grade.

- No counter space in the bathrooms.

- Closet space looks to be very minimal, which is typical in older houses, but could have been mitigated during the flip. Doesn't look like they did.

- The linen closet shown is too shallow for linens. It's more like a giant medicine chest. Is there other space for linens?

- HVAC ducting is very strange and rather obtrusive.

That's all I have time for now. If you need more dissuasion ping back and I'll have DH look at the photos. He will spot a lot more than I just did.

ETA: Sorry if that sounds harsh, but if I was buying my first house, these are things I would want to know.


Woah woah woah..... You are discriminating against houses due to their age, I think that is illegal!

In all seriousness lots of the things you are commenting on are pretty common in an older house, sealed up fireplaces, strange HVAC (house was built before hvac existed!) Lack of counter-space and closests is pretty common.

At the same time you might totally be right, it could be lipstick on a pig. Just needs a good inspection. All the things you mentioned are mostly cosmetic. Foundation, and structural things would of course be the make or break. I would also check the google street view to see what shape the house was in over the years.

Good Luck


Dicey

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Re: Selling a house: Is my math right or am I crazy?
« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2018, 12:33:40 AM »
This house sold for $118k just three months ago. It was listed for $280k on 10/22/18 and the price was reduced to $260k just a week later. This is a lipstick on a pig flip.

Given the age of the house, I would run away.

Some obvious flaws:

- Lots of fireplaces, none of them functional. Huge red flag, IMO.

- Lack of counter space on either side of sink is insane.

- Upper kitchen cabinets are idiotic. Every cabinet is a separate box. The new owner is going to be opening way too many cabinet doors to find anything. Cabinets and pulls are cheap. This kitchen looks like someone bought out a Cabinets to Go vignette and forced it to fit into this space.

- Wine refrigerators are unnecessary and are energy hogs.

- The plumbing fixtures look to be base grade.

- No counter space in the bathrooms.

- Closet space looks to be very minimal, which is typical in older houses, but could have been mitigated during the flip. Doesn't look like they did.

- The linen closet shown is too shallow for linens. It's more like a giant medicine chest. Is there other space for linens?

- HVAC ducting is very strange and rather obtrusive.

That's all I have time for now. If you need more dissuasion ping back and I'll have DH look at the photos. He will spot a lot more than I just did.

ETA: Sorry if that sounds harsh, but if I was buying my first house, these are things I would want to know.
Woah woah woah..... You are discriminating against houses due to their age, I think that is illegal!

In all seriousness lots of the things you are commenting on are pretty common in an older house, sealed up fireplaces, strange HVAC (house was built before hvac existed!) Lack of counter-space and closests is pretty common.

At the same time you might totally be right, it could be lipstick on a pig. Just needs a good inspection. All the things you mentioned are mostly cosmetic. Foundation, and structural things would of course be the make or break. I would also check the google street view to see what shape the house was in over the years.

Good Luck
A wonky-ass kitchen and no counter space in the bathrooms are not cosmetic problems. And it might be common, but it will always be a pain in the ass. They're also things a first time homeowner might not notice until it's too late.

I am NOT discriminating against the house due to its age;-) I am using visual clues to diagnose a cookie-cutter flip. And don't put so much faith in home inspections. Those things have more disclaimers than Swiss cheese has holes.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Selling a house: Is my math right or am I crazy?
« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2018, 05:18:51 AM »

A wonky-ass kitchen and no counter space in the bathrooms are not cosmetic problems. And it might be common, but it will always be a pain in the ass. They're also things a first time homeowner might not notice until it's too late.

I am NOT discriminating against the house due to its age;-) I am using visual clues to diagnose a cookie-cutter flip. And don't put so much faith in home inspections. Those things have more disclaimers than Swiss cheese has holes.

I agree. A kitchen without place to put things is a PITA. Especially for people who want to be Mustachian and cooking their own food.

And older houses, unless completely renovated, will likely have more challenges than a new house. All elements of a house have a certain expected life time. Like copper piping: 30 years. After that you can expect leakages. Same is probably the case for roofs.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Selling a house: Is my math right or am I crazy?
« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2018, 05:29:52 AM »

Have you Googled "housing rent vs buy calculator"? NerdWallet's nice calculator is the first result when I try it. Please note that the conclusion ("If you stay in your home for 6 years, buying is better than renting") in the opening graph is just based on example data, it's not a generalized conclusion:

https://www.nerdwallet.com/mortgages/rent-vs-buy-calculator

Just for the fun of it, and because we plan to FIRE next year, I used the calculator and chose Norway, WI and all the other US  Norway varietes that the calculator provided. I changed the parameters to roughly reflect my local taxes. The results was that for me, without a mortgage, it will never be beneficial to buy instead of rent.

Reality might be slightly different, because in Norway's tax system, part of your stash only counts very little if it is invested in your own house. But still, it made quite a difference. Maybe I should make some local excel variety of this.

At least, renting should be a lot less stressful in matters of not having to sell it later.

Jon Bon

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Re: Selling a house: Is my math right or am I crazy?
« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2018, 07:49:21 AM »

A wonky-ass kitchen and no counter space in the bathrooms are not cosmetic problems. And it might be common, but it will always be a pain in the ass. They're also things a first time homeowner might not notice until it's too late.

I am NOT discriminating against the house due to its age;-) I am using visual clues to diagnose a cookie-cutter flip. And don't put so much faith in home inspections. Those things have more disclaimers than Swiss cheese has holes.

I agree. A kitchen without place to put things is a PITA. Especially for people who want to be Mustachian and cooking their own food.

And older houses, unless completely renovated, will likely have more challenges than a new house. All elements of a house have a certain expected life time. Like copper piping: 30 years. After that you can expect leakages. Same is probably the case for roofs.

30 years?  I'd say more like 50-100 depending on the type of water you have. I am sure the plastic stuff everyone uses now in new houses will fail way before a copper pipe does. I love pex, but try to google polybutylene. Copper is tried and true and all that.

My point is that it is a 100 year old house (which is what they want) That has been completely redone as much as possible o make it as updated and as comfortable as possible. Not every houses is going to fit in with whatever trend is currently popular.

Also maybe a bit of this?

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/12/26/cure-yourself-of-tiny-details-exaggeration-syndrome/

Dicey

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Re: Selling a house: Is my math right or am I crazy?
« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2018, 07:21:01 AM »
A wonky-ass kitchen and no counter space in the bathrooms are not cosmetic problems. And it might be common, but it will always be a pain in the ass. They're also things a first time homeowner might not notice until it's too late.

I am NOT discriminating against the house due to its age;-) I am using visual clues to diagnose a cookie-cutter flip. And don't put so much faith in home inspections. Those things have more disclaimers than Swiss cheese has holes.
I agree. A kitchen without place to put things is a PITA. Especially for people who want to be Mustachian and cooking their own food.

And older houses, unless completely renovated, will likely have more challenges than a new house. All elements of a house have a certain expected life time. Like copper piping: 30 years. After that you can expect leakages. Same is probably the case for roofs.

30 years?  I'd say more like 50-100 depending on the type of water you have. I am sure the plastic stuff everyone uses now in new houses will fail way before a copper pipe does. I love pex, but try to google polybutylene. Copper is tried and true and all that.

My point is that it is a 100 year old house (which is what they want) That has been completely redone as much as possible o make it as updated and as comfortable as possible. Not every houses is going to fit in with whatever trend is currently popular.

Also maybe a bit of this?

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/12/26/cure-yourself-of-tiny-details-exaggeration-syndrome/
A bad kitchen is not a tiny detail. Also, the slapdash nature of the kitchen reno and short timeline give me concern that other shortcuts were taken.  And, I agree with you completely on the pex/copper pipe. We're doing a foundation-up, studs-out reno on a house that's 50 years old, so we can see everything. The copper pipes are fine.

Boofinator

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Re: Selling a house: Is my math right or am I crazy?
« Reply #19 on: November 08, 2018, 08:04:55 AM »
A couple things to add to the good advice coming from the chorus.

As a general rule of thumb (the NYTimes calculator is helpful for more precision), you'll lose money buy vs rent if you live there for less than five years (on average). The transaction costs (especially real estate agent fees) are the killer, and of course there are home maintenance and upgrade costs which can be difficult to estimate. So as I'm sure you understand, this is a big commitment, kind of like getting engaged versus going steady. Choose wisely.

The only other thing I would look for when buying a house is if it is within my budget to pay the mortgage, still max out all tax-advantaged space, and have money left over for a taxable account (since you've said you are in the accumulation stage). If it doesn't meet those standards, I would reconsider looking for something less expensive. I know it's trite, but a house that you live in is an expense, not an investment.

beekayworld

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Re: Selling a house: Is my math right or am I crazy?
« Reply #20 on: November 08, 2018, 10:46:46 AM »
I agree with the others on that house's deficiencies.
If you get dazzled by new appliances, paint and hardwood floors, you don't focus on the function issues.

Before babies can sit up steadily, they are usually bathed in a baby bathtub.  Yes, you can lay a baby on a towel in a normal bathtub with a few inches of water but it's a strain on the adult's back. 

The back strain is also why most people prefer to put a baby bathtub inside the kitchen sink where the height makes it easy for an adult to bathe the baby. Even beyond the sit-up stage, the kitchen sink is perfect.

Bathing a baby in that kitchen sink will be impossible, and there's not enough counter space next to it to put a baby bathtub.

Washing out bottles, nipples, rings, plus other dishes will require a drying rack next to the sink. You will have a lot more items to wash in the sink.


For any house you look at, besides considering a yard, consider these: Is the laundry room near the bedrooms? Are the master bedroom and secondary bedrooms on the same floor and close enough to hear a child during the night?

It's hard for people without kids to anticipate what day-to-day life will be like with kids. 

clarkfan1979

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Re: Selling a house: Is my math right or am I crazy?
« Reply #21 on: November 08, 2018, 05:53:12 PM »
If you want to buy, but are not sure it will be your forever home, have you considered turning your primary home it into a rental?

I think there are two major advantages to this. One, you lock in a owner-occupied interest rate. Two, because you have lived in a house for a few years and presumably fixed most things, your repairs in the future should be lower than a normal rental. You understand the common problems of the house and give your tenants strategies for managing them or just fix them before you move out.


Penelope Vandergast

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Re: Selling a house: Is my math right or am I crazy?
« Reply #22 on: November 19, 2018, 09:45:17 PM »
Re a couple posts up: you can just put the baby directly into the sink, you don't need a baby bathtub :). Bathroom sinks work great. My mom also had this deepish sink in her laundry room, at counter height, that was perfect.