Author Topic: At a crossroad, looking for outside advice  (Read 2909 times)

Lordy

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At a crossroad, looking for outside advice
« on: August 03, 2015, 03:48:07 PM »
Hello fellow Mustachians,

I am currently dealing with two decisions that I have not been able to commit on yet. I currently live in a flat that I have been living in for almost 10 years with a car (6 years old, 37K miles) in the garage. Here are the options I am currently looking at:

1) Buy a small apartment inside town as base, sell the car and go for a more "nomadic" lifestyle. I travel pretty much weekly for my job so I am not at home that much anyway. I have felt inspired by some hotels I have stayed at that had the the essentials combined nicely into a small, effective space. I would not have to take any mortgage to get such a place.

2) Rent a similar sized apartment (~700 sqft) outside of town to have a calmer, nicer surrounding. I imagine it would be nice to not life inside the city and be a bit outside with less noise and better air quality. If I went for this option I would definitely have to keep the car and my rent would probably go up, likely delaying FIRE.

3) Buy a nice apartment outside of town. After living in one place for 10 years, this timeframe does not seem that long any more and buying has lost a bit of its scare. On the other hand this would probably limit my options down the road and would definitely have to keep the car too.

Looking at what I just wrote it seems like I lean towards #1 but I am not sure if I am ready for this change and scale down from 3 rooms, 800 sqft to probably somewhere around half and loose the "freedom" the car promises me.

Am I just scared or am I overlooking something? Your comments are appreciated.

Cheers, Lordy
(35, single)

justajane

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Re: At a crossroad, looking for outside advice
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2015, 03:59:55 PM »
I personally would choose #2. Why would your rent go up? Would the apartment outside the city be larger than your current flat?

Lordy

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Re: At a crossroad, looking for outside advice
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2015, 04:04:42 PM »
The rent at my current place has not been raised since I moved in but rents in general, of course, have. Plus, the area out of town is a little nicer, posher which makes it more expensive.

Both things added up I would probably look at a rent increase of ~30%.

thedayisbrave

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Re: At a crossroad, looking for outside advice
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2015, 05:12:19 PM »
What would make you happiest?

Mother Fussbudget

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Re: At a crossroad, looking for outside advice
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2015, 05:47:59 PM »
What happened to:
4)  RENT a smaller apartment (~700sqft.) INSIDE town, and sell the car for the more "nomadic" lifestyle.

If you're in a HCOL area, renting probably pencils in better than buying - as MMM pointed out in his most recent blog entry.

Q:  What are the Walk Scores (walkscore.com) for the two areas you're interested in?

Lordy

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Re: At a crossroad, looking for outside advice
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2015, 06:12:39 AM »
What would make you happiest?

That is a very good question. My self-perception thinks that renting outside of town would be the way to go but the mustachian in me is looking more at the buy small, eliminate rent option.

After being away from home for three weeks I feel the need for change even more, I am just not sure which way to go.

Lordy

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Re: At a crossroad, looking for outside advice
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2015, 06:17:22 AM »
What happened to:
4)  RENT a smaller apartment (~700sqft.) INSIDE town, and sell the car for the more "nomadic" lifestyle.

I would likely want/have to do some remodeling to fit my ideas, plus I have too much cash at 0% interest that I could put to use to eliminate rent. This was my thinking here.

Quote
If you're in a HCOL area, renting probably pencils in better than buying - as MMM pointed out in his most recent blog entry.

Q:  What are the Walk Scores (walkscore.com) for the two areas you're interested in?

I would say this is a HCOL area and real estate prices are a bit inflated but so are rents. Both are keeping step in that you have to pay about 20 yrs worth of rent to buy.

My current area gets a 77 but I am outside of the supported countries so I am not sure what to make of this. Moving into the city would definitely increase it, moving out most likely decrease it but that would also depend on the new location (4 possible towns in the metropolitan area with different profiles).

ShortInSeattle

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Re: At a crossroad, looking for outside advice
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2015, 06:04:02 PM »
I think it's hard for someone on the outside to guess what choice might make you happier, but as someone who did your "option one" I can tell you a bit about what that was like.

We bought a Sub-500 square foot studio a year ago, after selling our bigger and fancier place. We wanted to lock in a low cost of living for early retirement, while staying in downtown Seattle. We paid cash (using the proceeds from our big house sale) and spent about 10% of the home's value on improvements, including new floors, new paint, some cabinetry and nice furniture including a fold-down bed to avoid the "bed in the living room" problem you get with studios. Extravagant perhaps, but if we were going to live in a tiny house we wanted it to be comfy and nice.

Then recently we sold our car. So we're car-free and living downtown in our itty bitty condo.

The Good: The financial benefits were huge. We cut our time to FIRE by at least five years, locked in low housing costs in an expensive city, and get access to all the fun/free stuff to do downtown. Having less stuff and no car has been really liberating. We're a 45min train ride from the airport and buses get us pretty much anywhere we'd like to go. Parks are our backyard and the Central Library is our bookcase. It's a fun and chill way to live - being so close to everything but not needing to own/mow/maintain stuff.

The Bad: Making these changes was pretty stressful. I was freaked out about going car free and losing my freedom. It hasn't been a big deal at all, once we made the leap. But that didn't stop me from freaking out.

I don't think this would work so well if we weren't in such a walkable city, or if we needed lots of square footage to stay sane, or if we disliked being downtown. The finance stuff is great, but there is no point in being miserable just to save money.

But we're really happy with "option one." For what that's worth. Let us know what you decide.

SIS