Author Topic: Should I sell my condo--moving in w/SO?  (Read 797 times)

tmitchell

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Should I sell my condo--moving in w/SO?
« on: May 17, 2020, 06:54:15 PM »
Hi all

My SO and I are ready to take the plunge and move in together. He's younger & not FI, but I am. He's mid-career, I'm established. We are in LA so there's a fair amount to consider, but here are our options:

#1 My (mortgaged) condo in Hollywood: $2700/mo all in, 2br, 1.75ba, 1150 sq ft, completely updated/modern, neighborhood is gentrifying slowly (lots of homeless, a bit land-locked traffic wise). Has stainless steel appliances, nicer finishes, no carpet, central AC, only 1 dedicated parking space but we can rent another parking space with no issue for $60 more. Biggest downside is the neighborhood. Hollywood is a bit of a run down area - more gritty than west hollywood - and while we keep thinking it's going to gentrify with Netflix and Viacom being in the area, we haven't seen anything happen over the last 3 years. It's possible to sell this place this summer and break even, or maybe make 10-15k. Or it could rent for appx $2800, i.e. break even-ish.

#2 His rent controlled 2 bed/2 bath, 1000 sq ft apartment in (nicer) West Hollywood for around $2K/mo, which is about 40% lower than market. Downside is only one parking space (with no option for a 2nd so I'll be hunting for parking on the street), carpet floors, window unit AC only in bedroom, no dishwasher, dated 50s kitchen tiles/floors and poor insulation so it gets pretty warm / stuffy in the summer and chilly in the winter. Upside is the location - walkable distance to several high end stores/restaurants/grocery stores and overall a nice area to live in. And it's cheap.

#3 We sell or rent the condo and move into a 2br/2ba in a new neighborhood, gain an in-unit washer/dryer (and maybe building gym), parking solved. Likely $3800-4200/mo (average going rate not rent controlled). The most expensive option, but a fresh start and get all we'd want ideally in an apartment.

So given all that, first of all who wants to move to LA!? ;) It's expensive I know but we both work in media and it's here or NYC (no thanks!). I think emotionally we could deal with any of these options. Long term we'd like to leave LA, but it's not clear yet when/where/how that would happen.

What do you all think?

LWYRUP

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Re: Should I sell my condo--moving in w/SO?
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2020, 06:45:09 AM »
Rent out your condo and live with him in his rent controlled unit.  Do this even if the math is meh.

One year later, reassess. 

Basically, defer any irreversible decision until you've gathered more info.

Dicey

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Re: Should I sell my condo--moving in w/SO?
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2020, 01:06:06 PM »
I'd offer the opposite advice. Keep the condo and move into it together. See if you can actually buy a parking space, as that will make your condo more valuable when you do leave/sell. This step also gives you more protection, should you decide to part ways with your SO. Not saying you will, just that a person is wise to protect themselves, and buying your own property in LA is a big accomplishment. Good housing is hard to find in LA to own or to rent (Hi, @wooljaguar!), so hanging on to something you obviously worked hard for is wise.

I used to work for Max Factor, across from what used to be known as Grauman's Chinese Theater, on Hollywood Boulevard, near Highland. Hollywood was the same pit patchwork quilt you describe, way back in the early '80's. It fluctuates a bit, but it really is quite consistent. I doubt another decade or two will make much of a difference.

Proximity to "high end stores/restaurants" is bullshit unimportant to a true mustachian. Groceries don't need to be shopped for even weekly, and can be obtained from the comfort of home, as this pandemic has shown. And if you think WeHo is somehow more prestigious, maybe start re-reading the MMM blog from the first post.

One thing I loved to do when I lived in LA was ride my bike through rich neighborhoods. So many of them, so much fun, and FREE, save for the cost of the bike, gear and maybe a snack somewhere. Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Rancho Palos Verdes, and my favorite OMG-I'm-gonna-die ride - through Brentwood to the top of Temescal Canyon and back - far scarier than riding PCH, IMO. Then there are the rides to Griffith Observatory, Hollywood Bowl, many parks and trails and of course, scores of amazing beaches. Oh, and both Getty's. I would posit that LA is one of the best places to live in "not the best area", because so many great places are easy to get to.

wooljaguar

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Re: Should I sell my condo--moving in w/SO?
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2020, 02:27:56 PM »
(Hi, @Dicey!) There's always an option #4, which is move him into your condo for the time being (hunting for street parking is no small thing in L.A.) and keep your eye out for a below-market-rate #3—if one appears that is too good to turn down, you could rent out your condo THEN. But I agree with Dicey that if you can afford to own here, it's better not to lose that edge if possible, and especially in the current situation where no one knows what's going to happen even in the near-ish future, having that one bit of security and surety makes sense. :)

I get the ugh about Hollywood—I lived there for 2.5 years recently BUT it's so centrally located that at off-peak traffic times, it's 30 mins to almost anywhere! And, as Dicey said, great location to bike from—West Hollywood from Hollywood, if that's where you like to hang, is, what, 20-30 mins by bike? :)

tmitchell

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Re: Should I sell my condo--moving in w/SO?
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2020, 05:07:52 PM »
Thanks for your perspectives. I do agree owning in this town has its benefits.

I think what we've decided is I'll try living at his place for a couple weeks and see if we prefer his place to mine. If not, then we'll move him in here and wait things out.

I DO wonder about the housing market turning south for a couple years after Covid and am tempted to sell this summer if I can still break even...so if we are happy at his that might be the way to go. Still thinking....

LWYRUP

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Re: Should I sell my condo--moving in w/SO?
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2020, 06:58:27 PM »
This step also gives you more protection, should you decide to part ways with your SO.

It also requires SO to give up a rent controlled apartment, just to potentially get kicked out and back on the street.   

I suggested the other option so that both housing options could be preserved in the event of a breakup.  Or, after a year of living together, both options remain open for the long term depending on preferences. 

Dicey

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Re: Should I sell my condo--moving in w/SO?
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2020, 07:03:27 PM »
This step also gives you more protection, should you decide to part ways with your SO.

It also requires SO to give up a rent controlled apartment, just to potentially get kicked out and back on the street.   

I suggested the other option so that both housing options could be preserved in the event of a breakup.  Or, after a year of living together, both options remain open for the long term depending on preferences.
Not arguing with your advice, just offering another opinion, based on what I know from living and working in LA. I also looped in wooljaguar, who recently completed a successful apartment hunt in LA.

Hmmm, who said the SO was ever on the street?

LWYRUP

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Re: Should I sell my condo--moving in w/SO?
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2020, 07:45:39 PM »
This step also gives you more protection, should you decide to part ways with your SO.

It also requires SO to give up a rent controlled apartment, just to potentially get kicked out and back on the street.   

I suggested the other option so that both housing options could be preserved in the event of a breakup.  Or, after a year of living together, both options remain open for the long term depending on preferences.
Not arguing with your advice, just offering another opinion, based on what I know from living and working in LA. I also looped in wooljaguar, who recently completed a successful apartment hunt in LA.

Hmmm, who said the SO was ever on the street?

Lol, that was my mistake.  I think I was conflating rent controlled with subsidized and assumed SO would struggle to rent someplace without the subsidy.  But no basis to assume that. 

Anyways, a rent controlled apartment is a valuable commodity that shouldn't be given up easily.

Rent control is also terrible public policy.  There are many more efficient ways to subsidize housing.  But that's beyond the scope of this thread. 

spartana

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Re: Should I sell my condo--moving in w/SO?
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2020, 09:03:00 PM »
Originally I agreed with @Dicey and felt your SO should give up his/her place and move in with you. While this would benefit you from a security standpoint if you broke up,  it also lowers your costs while retaining 100% of the equity and ownership of your property (depending on if you decide to put SO on the deed or not). But it could leave your SO out in the cold if he/she gives up their rent controlled place and you guys break up. Assuming your SO has no ownership they would leave with nothing while you retained their share of "rent" in your condo equity.

So given that, maybe it is best to rent out your place and move in with your SO. It not only.protects both of you, but also alleviates some of the headaches around who pays for what when one lives with an SO who is the owner of the property but they other has no stake in it and is just a renter.

I'm moving in with BF and we both own homes - mine paid for and his mortgaged. Ill rent mine out (or maybe just get another roommate to cover expenses) and just pay him a monthly rent.

Dicey

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Re: Should I sell my condo--moving in w/SO?
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2020, 11:01:51 PM »
This step also gives you more protection, should you decide to part ways with your SO.

It also requires SO to give up a rent controlled apartment, just to potentially get kicked out and back on the street.   

I suggested the other option so that both housing options could be preserved in the event of a breakup.  Or, after a year of living together, both options remain open for the long term depending on preferences.
Not arguing with your advice, just offering another opinion, based on what I know from living and working in LA. I also looped in wooljaguar, who recently completed a successful apartment hunt in LA.

Hmmm, who said the SO was ever on the street?

Lol, that was my mistake.  I think I was conflating rent controlled with subsidized and assumed SO would struggle to rent someplace without the subsidy.  But no basis to assume that. 

Anyways, a rent controlled apartment is a valuable commodity that shouldn't be given up easily.

Rent control is also terrible public policy.  There are many more efficient ways to subsidize housing.  But that's beyond the scope of this thread.
LA has one of the better Rent Control policies, if there is such a thing, because I completely agree with you on this point. However, in LA, while annual increases are capped, when a property is vacated, the LL can raise the rent to whatever the market will bear. Therefore, the LL does get some return for making improvements, unlike the more Draconian Rent Control that exists in nearby Santa Monica, which is a nightmare.

There could be a catch, depending how SO's lease is written. I would thoroughly check that out. In my case, I moved in with a roommate and the lease was in both of our names. Two years later, she moved out to get married and i wanted to stay. I had to convince the LL to put the apartment in my name only. The only way they would agree to that is if I doubled the deposit, which I did. Basically, they gave her my money and left the original amount on the books. (See: pea under shell.)The beauty of that arrangement was thereafter, i raised each subsequent tenant's "share" of the rent.  I made sure to be an excellent tenant and the LL didn't increase my rent every year, which they could have. By the end of a decade, i was paying about 35% to my roommate's 65%, and both parties were below market value. On the flip side, the LL got ten years of uninterrupted, always-on-time rent checks and quiet tenants..

Just for grins, the rent for our 2+2+2 car parking, with fireplace and balcony was $800/mo. when we moved in in 1980. It was only $1162 when I moved out at the end of 1989. I can't imagine what it would cost now, lol. I know the same couple still own the building. I hope it is affording them a comfortable retirement.

tmitchell

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Re: Should I sell my condo--moving in w/SO?
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2020, 07:36:12 AM »
This step also gives you more protection, should you decide to part ways with your SO.

It also requires SO to give up a rent controlled apartment, just to potentially get kicked out and back on the street.   

I suggested the other option so that both housing options could be preserved in the event of a breakup.  Or, after a year of living together, both options remain open for the long term depending on preferences.
Not arguing with your advice, just offering another opinion, based on what I know from living and working in LA. I also looped in wooljaguar, who recently completed a successful apartment hunt in LA.

Hmmm, who said the SO was ever on the street?

Lol, that was my mistake.  I think I was conflating rent controlled with subsidized and assumed SO would struggle to rent someplace without the subsidy.  But no basis to assume that. 

Anyways, a rent controlled apartment is a valuable commodity that shouldn't be given up easily.

Rent control is also terrible public policy.  There are many more efficient ways to subsidize housing.  But that's beyond the scope of this thread.
LA has one of the better Rent Control policies, if there is such a thing, because I completely agree with you on this point. However, in LA, while annual increases are capped, when a property is vacated, the LL can raise the rent to whatever the market will bear. Therefore, the LL does get some return for making improvements, unlike the more Draconian Rent Control that exists in nearby Santa Monica, which is a nightmare.

There could be a catch, depending how SO's lease is written. I would thoroughly check that out. In my case, I moved in with a roommate and the lease was in both of our names. Two years later, she moved out to get married and i wanted to stay. I had to convince the LL to put the apartment in my name only. The only way they would agree to that is if I doubled the deposit, which I did. Basically, they gave her my money and left the original amount on the books. (See: pea under shell.)The beauty of that arrangement was thereafter, i raised each subsequent tenant's "share" of the rent.  I made sure to be an excellent tenant and the LL didn't increase my rent every year, which they could have. By the end of a decade, i was paying about 35% to my roommate's 65%, and both parties were below market value. On the flip side, the LL got ten years of uninterrupted, always-on-time rent checks and quiet tenants..

Just for grins, the rent for our 2+2+2 car parking, with fireplace and balcony was $800/mo. when we moved in in 1980. It was only $1162 when I moved out at the end of 1989. I can't imagine what it would cost now, lol. I know the same couple still own the building. I hope it is affording them a comfortable retirement.

Wow I HOPE SO doesn't end up on the street! LOL. We've been together 6 years and traveled extensively long term, etc, so I think we've tested the waters enough. Of course there IS eternal work-from-home on deck, so that could make that a little annoying!

Dicey your $800/mo story made me cry. I do need to figure out the parking situation if I move over to his in Weho since there's only 1 spot there and I'll be hunting for spaces & moving for street cleaning :/.

I hear the call to keep both places as an experiment. I just don't know if it's worth keeping the condo in case I'm the one who gets thrown out on the street since it's not going to cash flow and I can rent a similar place for what I pay ($2700). I could actually get a 1br for even less if times were tough. The idea of having a permanent pied a terre in Hollywood is attractive on some level, but I also think since my goal is to get out of LA in the next 2-5 years I'm not going to want to come back.

Have you guys been land lords? Sounds like such a pain. Also when we do leave LA I'm going to want the equity in case I decide to buy again.

Dicey

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Re: Should I sell my condo--moving in w/SO?
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2020, 09:28:02 AM »
Context: I was earning $14k a year + a company car and expenses. My $400 rent + utilities was still expensive to me. But enough memory lane, let's get serious:

How long have you owned the condo? What did you pay for it and what are the current comps? What made you decide it was the one to buy? When did you buy it and what is the interest rate on your loan? Also (and I'm afraid to ask) how much are your HOA dues and what do they include?

Searching for parking every day in LA totally blows. And you might as well add a line item to your budget for street sweeping tickets.

ETA: Yes, I'm a landlord.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2020, 09:53:43 AM by Dicey »

LWYRUP

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Re: Should I sell my condo--moving in w/SO?
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2020, 09:45:09 AM »
I've never been a landlord, and it's possible if you did the math it wouldn't seem like a great choice. 

I realize I didn't really explain my reasoning in my first post.  I was basically relying on a form of decisionmaking theory.  If you are facing a big decision and aren't sure what to do, it may be worth it to simply defer the decision while gathering more information.  Then, armed with more information, you'll have a more concrete idea of what you want to do.  The common wisdom saying behind this is basically, when in doubt, if you can keep your options open, do that.

Now, there's a corollary that sometimes you can only keep the doors open for so long and at some point you need to pick one and walk through it.  So if you do decide to keep both, you should reassess after a year and at that point will probably benefit from making a firm choice and moving forward. 

tmitchell

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Re: Should I sell my condo--moving in w/SO?
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2020, 11:39:11 AM »
Context: I was earning $14k a year + a company car and expenses. My $400 rent + utilities was still expensive to me. But enough memory lane, let's get serious:

How long have you owned the condo? What did you pay for it and what are the current comps? What made you decide it was the one to buy? When did you buy it and what is the interest rate on your loan? Also (and I'm afraid to ask) how much are your HOA dues and what do they include?

Searching for parking every day in LA totally blows. And you might as well add a line item to your budget for street sweeping tickets.

ETA: Yes, I'm a landlord.

Purchased in May 2016 for $590k (20% down, 3.375% interest)
Mortgage/taxes/escrow: $2366 (I make an extra payment per year so loan is down to $420k)
HOA: $405 (just covers gardening & cleaning. No pool or anything else)
Last unit in building sold for $650k about a year ago. Zillow estimates mine going for $670k now. If I can get $650k I'd break even after 6% real estate fee and what improvements I've made (AC, electric).

Since you know LA this is in Franklin Village.

What do you think?

tmitchell

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Re: Should I sell my condo--moving in w/SO?
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2020, 11:40:55 AM »
I've never been a landlord, and it's possible if you did the math it wouldn't seem like a great choice. 

I realize I didn't really explain my reasoning in my first post.  I was basically relying on a form of decisionmaking theory.  If you are facing a big decision and aren't sure what to do, it may be worth it to simply defer the decision while gathering more information.  Then, armed with more information, you'll have a more concrete idea of what you want to do.  The common wisdom saying behind this is basically, when in doubt, if you can keep your options open, do that.

Now, there's a corollary that sometimes you can only keep the doors open for so long and at some point you need to pick one and walk through it.  So if you do decide to keep both, you should reassess after a year and at that point will probably benefit from making a firm choice and moving forward.

Ya this all makes sense. My concern is getting out of the housing market in case there's a Covid crash (which of course we cannot know!)

spartana

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Re: Should I sell my condo--moving in w/SO?
« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2020, 11:45:41 AM »
I've never been a landlord, and it's possible if you did the math it wouldn't seem like a great choice. 

I realize I didn't really explain my reasoning in my first post.  I was basically relying on a form of decisionmaking theory.  If you are facing a big decision and aren't sure what to do, it may be worth it to simply defer the decision while gathering more information.  Then, armed with more information, you'll have a more concrete idea of what you want to do.  The common wisdom saying behind this is basically, when in doubt, if you can keep your options open, do that.

Now, there's a corollary that sometimes you can only keep the doors open for so long and at some point you need to pick one and walk through it.  So if you do decide to keep both, you should reassess after a year and at that point will probably benefit from making a firm choice and moving forward.
I always follow that advice - if you aren't sure what to do then don't do anything drastic or irreversible yet.

In the OPs case it is less about potential break up but more about where both of you guys want to live long term. Trying something out first, for even a month or 2, before making an irreversible change is the best way imho. That gives you options and doubt it will be too financially impactful in the long run. Even if you lose some money now, it will give you a lot of emotional comfort knowing you can be flexible to change things if you want. Sometimes what sounds great on paper doesn't always workout as you imagined.

There is also the FI thing. Since you are FI and SO isn't there could be some issues around that that may come out once living together and perhaps sharing finances too. The imbalance and expectations in the relation may shift. Are you RE too or planning to be soon? That could also cause some emotional and practical issues in a (unmarried) relationship that may crop up. Although since you guys have been together 6 years you've probably talked about all that already.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2020, 11:48:26 AM by spartana »

spartana

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Re: Should I sell my condo--moving in w/SO?
« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2020, 11:50:53 AM »
I've never been a landlord, and it's possible if you did the math it wouldn't seem like a great choice. 

I realize I didn't really explain my reasoning in my first post.  I was basically relying on a form of decisionmaking theory.  If you are facing a big decision and aren't sure what to do, it may be worth it to simply defer the decision while gathering more information.  Then, armed with more information, you'll have a more concrete idea of what you want to do.  The common wisdom saying behind this is basically, when in doubt, if you can keep your options open, do that.

Now, there's a corollary that sometimes you can only keep the doors open for so long and at some point you need to pick one and walk through it.  So if you do decide to keep both, you should reassess after a year and at that point will probably benefit from making a firm choice and moving forward.

Ya this all makes sense. My concern is getting out of the housing market in case there's a Covid crash (which of course we cannot know!)
If you weren't with SO would you still want to get out of the housing market now and rent elsewhere? If not then it might be best to keep your place. If you'd want to sell regardless of SO situation then you should sell.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2020, 11:52:58 AM by spartana »

tmitchell

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Re: Should I sell my condo--moving in w/SO?
« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2020, 01:01:30 PM »
I've never been a landlord, and it's possible if you did the math it wouldn't seem like a great choice. 

I realize I didn't really explain my reasoning in my first post.  I was basically relying on a form of decisionmaking theory.  If you are facing a big decision and aren't sure what to do, it may be worth it to simply defer the decision while gathering more information.  Then, armed with more information, you'll have a more concrete idea of what you want to do.  The common wisdom saying behind this is basically, when in doubt, if you can keep your options open, do that.

Now, there's a corollary that sometimes you can only keep the doors open for so long and at some point you need to pick one and walk through it.  So if you do decide to keep both, you should reassess after a year and at that point will probably benefit from making a firm choice and moving forward.
I always follow that advice - if you aren't sure what to do then don't do anything drastic or irreversible yet.

In the OPs case it is less about potential break up but more about where both of you guys want to live long term. Trying something out first, for even a month or 2, before making an irreversible change is the best way imho. That gives you options and doubt it will be too financially impactful in the long run. Even if you lose some money now, it will give you a lot of emotional comfort knowing you can be flexible to change things if you want. Sometimes what sounds great on paper doesn't always workout as you imagined.

There is also the FI thing. Since you are FI and SO isn't there could be some issues around that that may come out once living together and perhaps sharing finances too. The imbalance and expectations in the relation may shift. Are you RE too or planning to be soon? That could also cause some emotional and practical issues in a (unmarried) relationship that may crop up. Although since you guys have been together 6 years you've probably talked about all that already.

So I am hoping to RE yes, and I've just joined the 2021 cohorts! I do think I'll keep doing some kind of work after a sabbatical but we'll see. My SO on the other hand is younger than I am and wants to keep working & earning. He got laid off a few months ago and is looking at a change in careers. Just this morning we were discussing how great it would be for him to segue into a situation that allows for some more flexibility location-wise. We both work in media so it's LA or NYC, but if he can shift out to another field (which he's willing to do) then we can turn our attention to working remotely or even move to a less annoying city. I would still be able to RE in LA, but would just prefer not. I'd love to be in a place that's close to nature that doesn't require a slog through crappy traffic to get there :)

Financially we are very in tune with one another. While I have more and often chip in more when, for instance, we travel, he always pays his own way and contributes to the level he can.

I'm going to stay over at his place this weekend to start getting a feel for what it would be like to make the move and see how we go.

tmitchell

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Re: Should I sell my condo--moving in w/SO?
« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2020, 01:03:12 PM »
I've never been a landlord, and it's possible if you did the math it wouldn't seem like a great choice. 

I realize I didn't really explain my reasoning in my first post.  I was basically relying on a form of decisionmaking theory.  If you are facing a big decision and aren't sure what to do, it may be worth it to simply defer the decision while gathering more information.  Then, armed with more information, you'll have a more concrete idea of what you want to do.  The common wisdom saying behind this is basically, when in doubt, if you can keep your options open, do that.

Now, there's a corollary that sometimes you can only keep the doors open for so long and at some point you need to pick one and walk through it.  So if you do decide to keep both, you should reassess after a year and at that point will probably benefit from making a firm choice and moving forward.

Ya this all makes sense. My concern is getting out of the housing market in case there's a Covid crash (which of course we cannot know!)
If you weren't with SO would you still want to get out of the housing market now and rent elsewhere? If not then it might be best to keep your place. If you'd want to sell regardless of SO situation then you should sell.

I think if he weren't in the picture I'd be looking at either getting out of LA completely or doing a bunch of slow travel (whenever that becomes possible again)! But for now I'm happy to put the relationship first since it brings me a lot of happiness.

spartana

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Re: Should I sell my condo--moving in w/SO?
« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2020, 01:34:06 PM »
I've never been a landlord, and it's possible if you did the math it wouldn't seem like a great choice. 

I realize I didn't really explain my reasoning in my first post.  I was basically relying on a form of decisionmaking theory.  If you are facing a big decision and aren't sure what to do, it may be worth it to simply defer the decision while gathering more information.  Then, armed with more information, you'll have a more concrete idea of what you want to do.  The common wisdom saying behind this is basically, when in doubt, if you can keep your options open, do that.

Now, there's a corollary that sometimes you can only keep the doors open for so long and at some point you need to pick one and walk through it.  So if you do decide to keep both, you should reassess after a year and at that point will probably benefit from making a firm choice and moving forward.

Ya this all makes sense. My concern is getting out of the housing market in case there's a Covid crash (which of course we cannot know!)
If you weren't with SO would you still want to get out of the housing market now and rent elsewhere? If not then it might be best to keep your place. If you'd want to sell regardless of SO situation then you should sell.

I think if he weren't in the picture I'd be looking at either getting out of LA completely or doing a bunch of slow travel (whenever that becomes possible again)! But for now I'm happy to put the relationship first since it brings me a lot of happiness.
I hear you. I'm in OC, don't like it (although better than LA imho),  and basicly stayed in the area because of my relationship. While he is FIRE (with a cool and fun seasonal side gig) he is attached to the area and not interested in leaving permanently. Otherwise I'd be outta here myself! At least he is free and willing to travel long term and so that's the plan.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2020, 01:36:38 PM by spartana »

tmitchell

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Re: Should I sell my condo--moving in w/SO?
« Reply #20 on: May 23, 2020, 01:35:24 PM »
Oy, we're in the same Socal boat it sounds!! LOL

FINate

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Re: Should I sell my condo--moving in w/SO?
« Reply #21 on: May 23, 2020, 02:29:56 PM »
If things don't work out with your SO then there would be nothing really keeping you in SoCal and you could (even prefer) RE to another city of your choosing, is that correct? Then why keep the condo? To me this isn't really about the potential for a COVID crash (an unknowable future), but rather your goals for long term property ownership. A fear of a short-term housing event strongly suggests that you're not invested long-term...totally fine, but good to be aware of.

tmitchell

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Re: Should I sell my condo--moving in w/SO?
« Reply #22 on: May 24, 2020, 12:27:13 PM »
If things don't work out with your SO then there would be nothing really keeping you in SoCal and you could (even prefer) RE to another city of your choosing, is that correct? Then why keep the condo? To me this isn't really about the potential for a COVID crash (an unknowable future), but rather your goals for long term property ownership. A fear of a short-term housing event strongly suggests that you're not invested long-term...totally fine, but good to be aware of.

That's a fair assessment. I'm also realizing I just don't like the neighborhood I moved into, which I did for $ reasons. It seemed like a good idea at the time because it was within my budget and I THOUGHT would be an ok commute. Also it seemed like the neighborhood was up & coming due to the huge amount of investment pouring in. But that hasn't really manifested and the commute has gotten much worse due to the influx of people.

I think I always wanted to own a place after being a life long renter, and in some ways that's been really nice (albeit much more expensive). But after this 4 year long experiment I'm not sure where I stand on the issue anymore, except I just can't really afford to own the kind of place I want in a city this expensive....

So ya, maybe not fully committed!

peppermint

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Re: Should I sell my condo--moving in w/SO?
« Reply #23 on: May 24, 2020, 12:39:36 PM »
What about renting out your condo, getting another parking spot there for $60 and leaving your car there when you move in with SO? I don't know how realistic 2 people sharing 1 car is for you, but that could be another option to consider.

FINate

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Re: Should I sell my condo--moving in w/SO?
« Reply #24 on: May 24, 2020, 01:19:13 PM »
That's a fair assessment. I'm also realizing I just don't like the neighborhood I moved into, which I did for $ reasons. It seemed like a good idea at the time because it was within my budget and I THOUGHT would be an ok commute. Also it seemed like the neighborhood was up & coming due to the huge amount of investment pouring in. But that hasn't really manifested and the commute has gotten much worse due to the influx of people.

I think I always wanted to own a place after being a life long renter, and in some ways that's been really nice (albeit much more expensive). But after this 4 year long experiment I'm not sure where I stand on the issue anymore, except I just can't really afford to own the kind of place I want in a city this expensive....

So ya, maybe not fully committed!

Here's a thought experiment you may (or may not!) find useful: Imagine for a moment that you don't already own the condo. Whatever equity you have in it is instead sitting in your bank account. Really put yourself there. Now, this condo comes on the market. Would you want to buy it?

If you answered "yes" then I would, without hesitation, say keep the condo and rent it out. Even if you don't love the neighborhood, you may decide that it's a good value with good income potential. And/or you decide that you really want an option to fall back on if you can't find a decent rental in the future, i.e. a way to ensure you can remain in the area long-term even if this means potentially riding out an extended housing downturn (as has happened before).

If "no" then this strongly suggests selling, and that status quo bias is the likely explanation for your uncertainty in the matter. Taxes and transaction costs may complicate the equation, but the general idea is that every day you hold an asset is an implicit choice to "buy" it each new day.

ETA: Just to be clear, I don't think there's any reason to rush! Waiting several weeks or several months to see how things play out is probably a good idea.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2020, 01:28:01 PM by FINate »

Dicey

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Re: Should I sell my condo--moving in w/SO?
« Reply #25 on: May 24, 2020, 02:45:38 PM »
I have a feeling 2020 is going to have a miserably hot summer. That alone would give me pause about moving. As a SoCal native, I appreciate a reasonable degree of climate conditioning. When I first viewed my apartment on the Westside, I noticed a lack of A/C vents. When I asked about it, I was told we were close enough to the ocean to catch the ocean breezes, which turned out to be mostly true. The Valley is an order of magnitude hotter in the summer. Just something to think about.

tmitchell

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Re: Should I sell my condo--moving in w/SO?
« Reply #26 on: May 25, 2020, 02:52:05 PM »
That's a fair assessment. I'm also realizing I just don't like the neighborhood I moved into, which I did for $ reasons. It seemed like a good idea at the time because it was within my budget and I THOUGHT would be an ok commute. Also it seemed like the neighborhood was up & coming due to the huge amount of investment pouring in. But that hasn't really manifested and the commute has gotten much worse due to the influx of people.

I think I always wanted to own a place after being a life long renter, and in some ways that's been really nice (albeit much more expensive). But after this 4 year long experiment I'm not sure where I stand on the issue anymore, except I just can't really afford to own the kind of place I want in a city this expensive....

So ya, maybe not fully committed!

Here's a thought experiment you may (or may not!) find useful: Imagine for a moment that you don't already own the condo. Whatever equity you have in it is instead sitting in your bank account. Really put yourself there. Now, this condo comes on the market. Would you want to buy it?

If you answered "yes" then I would, without hesitation, say keep the condo and rent it out. Even if you don't love the neighborhood, you may decide that it's a good value with good income potential. And/or you decide that you really want an option to fall back on if you can't find a decent rental in the future, i.e. a way to ensure you can remain in the area long-term even if this means potentially riding out an extended housing downturn (as has happened before).

If "no" then this strongly suggests selling, and that status quo bias is the likely explanation for your uncertainty in the matter. Taxes and transaction costs may complicate the equation, but the general idea is that every day you hold an asset is an implicit choice to "buy" it each new day.

ETA: Just to be clear, I don't think there's any reason to rush! Waiting several weeks or several months to see how things play out is probably a good idea.

This is really useful, thanks. Knowing the neighborhood & commute as I do now, this would be a "no." Really appreciate the input!