Author Topic: Case Study: Continue commuting or move?  (Read 5854 times)

NotSantaClaus

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Case Study: Continue commuting or move?
« on: September 30, 2014, 08:33:48 AM »
Hello!  New and nervous but here it goes.  My husband and I have long commutes and ever since I started reading MMM I just can't stand it.

Basics
Married, dual income, with two kids under four.  Early thirties.
His Income $85K (Take Home - Monthly): $4200.00 (he covers our family health/dental insurance)
My Income $78K (Take Home - Monthly): $4500.00
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Total Take Home: $8700.00

My commute: 75 miles (round trip) per weekday.  2004 Toyota Corolla - averages 34 miles/gallon.
Husband: 100 miles (round trip) per weekday. 2010 Subaru Impreza - averages 30 miles/gallon.
*** We commute in different directions, he goes NW and I go E.  Our work places are 58 miles apart.

Current Expenses (monthly)
PITI: $1620 (will be $1520 in 9 months, making up escrow shortage)
HOA: $300
Utilities (gas, electric): $100
Student Loans (min payments): $1320
Daycare: $2350
Internet & Cell Phone(s): $245
Gas: $450 (varies with gas prices)
Insurance (2 cars & condo): $150
Groceries: $500
Kids: $50 (diapers and clothing replacements)
Coffee: $80 (my weakness, a latte on the ride home)
Netflix: $8
Restaurants: $80 (we eat out twice a month)
Car Upkeep Fund: $100 (for things like oil changes, minor repairs)
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Average monthly expenses = $7335

Assets
401(K) - $90,000 (Husband, 6% no match)
Simple IRA - $5000 (Me, 3% with match)
Underwater Condo - $190,000 (my guestimate)
Savings - $7,000
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Total Assets = $292,000

Liabilities
Underwater Condo - Mortgage at $201000
Student Loans - $119,000 at rates between 4% to 6.8%
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Total Liabilities = $320,000


Daycare is the killer in our budget. In our HCOL area and the fact we need it 5 days a week for 10 hours a day.  I will not put my kids with a in-home provider (bad experience), I'd quit my job first.  The silver lining is that in 3 years both my kids will be in public school and we'll just have aftercare costs and summer camp costs.

Next, our condo ... sigh.  We bought just before the crash and suffered for it.  The real kicker is, the condo development isn't finished, it still is developer controlled and the developer is bankrupt.  All the built units are occupied and we've banded together to keep the place up (lawns mowed and snow plowing in the winter). Because of this most banks won't lend on a unit and anyone who does any research won't buy and so selling will be close to impossible.

Before reading MMM we were putting all extra towards our student loans.  But after reading for a couple months I started putting all our extra into savings and exploring the possibility of selling and moving or renting and moving. 

The idea would be to move to biking distance of my husbands job (which he is super excited about) and I would find a new job that's as close as possible as soon as possible.  Otherwise I'd be commuting 116 miles per day in the worst commuter traffic in the state.  Daycare costs near that area are on par with what we are already paying.  The cheapest 2 bedroom apartment I could find was $1450 with most of them being in the $1600 - $1800 range.

We can attempt to sell our condo (save up $25K, 20K for selling, 5K for first, last, security) then move. We can rent our condo at $1500/month (be in the red each month it doesn't rent and become landlords) then move. Or we can stay and drive a ridiculous amount everyday :(

Any advice?  Scenarios I haven't thought of? 
« Last Edit: September 30, 2014, 09:44:00 AM by NotSantaClaus »

RichMoose

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Re: Case Study: Continue commuting or move?
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2014, 09:16:54 AM »
This situation is insane! You didn't break out your earnings vs. your DH which would help with some advice. Regardless, I'm willing to bet that one of your after-tax salaries goes to commuting costs and daycare alone.

I would definitely put together a game plan. Save up money in a "hair on fire" fashion. Sell your condo. Sell at least 1 car, the higher valued one. Move to the area where the highest & most stable employed income earner works. Have the other quit their job. If the lower income spouse also has a high-paying career consider going to work full time, otherwise maybe part time to spend more time with the kids and save a bit on daycare.

Do the math on the income vs expense part. Quitting 1 job, selling the car, and pulling the kids from daycare might actually speed up your timeline to sell the condo and start a better life.

To help with the math, if you drive cheap, economical vehicles in a economical manner commuting costs your $0.25 per mile. That number goes up to about ~$0.60 for a not so cheap F150. Edmunds.com has a helpful calculator to figure this out by make, model, zip code, etc.

zhelud

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Re: Case Study: Continue commuting or move?
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2014, 09:34:39 AM »
If you move to be closer to your husband's work, have you looked into whether there is a bus/train/carpool option to your current work from there?  Could you telecommute a day or two per week, or switch to a 4-day week schedule, with longer days?  Just some ideas.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Case Study: Continue commuting or move?
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2014, 09:45:26 AM »
I know moving sounds good, but renting out an underwater place for less than cost (negative cash flow), or trying to sell a place with questionable marketability can be pretty slippery...

Have you considered getting jobs closer over time?  Is your surrounding are much of an employment center?

NotSantaClaus

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Re: Case Study: Continue commuting or move?
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2014, 09:58:35 AM »
Thanks for replying!  I agree it's all insane and I'm kicking myself for not realizing it a bit sooner.  I updated the OP splitting out our earnings.  He makes $85K and carries all our health insurance and I make $78K.  We are both software engineers and where he works is in the middle of the tech zone in our state.  I work ... in the middle of nowhere really.  I also added in our cars.  A 2004 Toyota Corolla and a 2010 Subaru Impreza.

No public transit I can take if we move up to where he works.  It would be soul draining car commuting, easily 1.5 - 2 hours each way ... I've done that commute before.  But there are more jobs in my field in that area.  So I could put up with it for a short time and get a new job.

I've tried the math for me quitting but could never get it in the green unless we cut all savings and retirement contributions.  It's the student loans that are killing us.  Maybe it's time for me to redo the calculations since we both got raises recently.

I need a game plan desperately.  I would love to sell the condo.  It's my top choice but I'm worried it's not possible.   Sigh ...

Also, no jobs near us in our field.  I've looked and continue to look periodically. 

Thanks again!  All advice is really appreciated.


ragnathor

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Re: Case Study: Continue commuting or move?
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2014, 10:27:18 AM »
I've tried the math for me quitting but could never get it in the green unless we cut all savings and retirement contributions.  It's the student loans that are killing us.  Maybe it's time for me to redo the calculations since we both got raises recently.

How much of a paycut would you take finding another job where your husband works, or vice versa? Doing a conservative calculation of say $0.30/mile I get that you spend over $1000 a month commuting collectively (175 miles/day * 20 days/month * $0.30/mile). That's after tax money, so even if you took a 30% paycut or so you'd still be better off. That's not to mention the 3-4 hours spent in the car by the two of you every day (60-80/hours a month!).

Sorry about the condo, but I would take it as a sunken cost and not let that deter you from moving. I don't know the specifics of your situation, but I would lean towards selling it and put the loss behind you rather than renting out a money-losing property.

Also, why is cell phone/internet so high at $245/month? I bet you could knock that down in half looking at some better providers/good deals out there.

RichMoose

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Re: Case Study: Continue commuting or move?
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2014, 10:38:08 AM »
How much of a paycut would you take finding another job where your husband works, or vice versa? Doing a conservative calculation of say $0.30/mile I get that you spend over $1000 a month commuting collectively (175 miles/day * 20 days/month * $0.30/mile). That's after tax money, so even if you took a 30% paycut or so you'd still be better off. That's not to mention the 3-4 hours spent in the car by the two of you every day (60-80/hours a month!).

Sorry about the condo, but I would take it as a sunken cost and not let that deter you from moving. I don't know the specifics of your situation, but I would lean towards selling it and put the loss behind you rather than renting out a money-losing property.

Also, why is cell phone/internet so high at $245/month? I bet you could knock that down in half looking at some better providers/good deals out there.

+1 on all of this! Finding a job near your husband and commuting together could go a long way to improving your financial picture until you get together enough money to sell the condo.

rugorak

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Re: Case Study: Continue commuting or move?
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2014, 10:43:33 AM »
Cell phones and internet are the biggest area I see you could potentially kill quickly. There is the communication superguide on these forums. In most places high speed internet is $30-$60. So that means you are paying to $175-$215 for your cell phones. Get into prepaid as soon as you can. I go with an unlimited minutes/texts plan that has 500mb of data. It is $30 and with an auto-recharge option drops to $27. But even at $30 you could drop your cost by more than half. Even if you changed nothing else that is an extra $115-$145 a month back.

You may want to dump the condo even with the loss. At least it is done and you know the damage rather than constantly having to worry about it. A debt is easier to deal with than a debt and a property you need to take care of.

Don't forget to factor in costs of commuting, time, clothes, whatever else you you quitting. Maybe if you were home more you could cut your grocery bills or something.




cynthia1848

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Re: Case Study: Continue commuting or move?
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2014, 10:52:33 AM »
In terms of quitting - I wouldn't quit just because it all gets eaten up in childcare + commute.  You are still saving for retirement and furthering your career.

What's the rate on your mortgage?  I would keep a slightly larger emergency fund and then plow the rest into the higher interest student loans. 

Could you move somewhere exactly at the mid-point of where your jobs are?

I would also get rid of the lattes on the ride home.  I eat 3 sour patch kids per day on my ride home and that is gooooooood.

Captain and Mrs Slow

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Re: Case Study: Continue commuting or move?
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2014, 11:28:38 AM »
We were in a similar (sans kids) as yourself 10 years ago and I still remember coming home and telling the wife we had no money, inspite of the fact she made a 6 figure income, it was then we discovered The Simple Dollar. (him and GRS were the MMM of the day)

While it's been quite a few years since I've read his blog there were several posts that I never forgot, one of them from almost 8 years ago "Your True Hourly Wage" very enlightening. it's part of the fix your finances in 31 days.

I would highly recommend spending the 2 dollars to download the pdf and then go through the whole series with your husband. It's better structured and will take less time to read than trying to go through all of MMM's posts. In particular pay attention to step 2 Your True Hourly Wage


http://www.thesimpledollar.com/31-days-to-fix-your-finances/

good luck
« Last Edit: September 30, 2014, 11:36:33 AM by Captain and Mrs Slow »

bonjourliz

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Re: Case Study: Continue commuting or move?
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2014, 11:46:32 AM »
Start looking, NOW, for a part time or telecommute job for you.  Ideally near your husband's but even if not, cutting your daycare & commute costs - and giving yourself more time at home - is an improvement that should cover the loss in pay. 

NotSantaClaus

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Re: Case Study: Continue commuting or move?
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2014, 01:10:11 PM »
I would highly recommend spending the 2 dollars to download the pdf and then go through the whole series with your husband. It's better structured and will take less time to read than trying to go through all of MMM's posts. In particular pay attention to step 2 Your True Hourly Wage

http://www.thesimpledollar.com/31-days-to-fix-your-finances/

good luck

Thanks for the link.  I'll read it and run through the calculations.  I don't think I'll like the number I come up with ...

In terms of quitting - I wouldn't quit just because it all gets eaten up in childcare + commute.  You are still saving for retirement and furthering your career.

I really enjoy working (most of the time) and being a software engineer, it's hard to take a break in this field and then jump back in.  Skills atrophy and technology moves quickly.  My ideal situation would be to work mothers hours while the kids are in school and then spend the rest of the day with them.  One can dream right? 

I've tried the math for me quitting but could never get it in the green unless we cut all savings and retirement contributions.  It's the student loans that are killing us.  Maybe it's time for me to redo the calculations since we both got raises recently.

How much of a paycut would you take finding another job where your husband works, or vice versa? Doing a conservative calculation of say $0.30/mile I get that you spend over $1000 a month commuting collectively (175 miles/day * 20 days/month * $0.30/mile). That's after tax money, so even if you took a 30% paycut or so you'd still be better off. That's not to mention the 3-4 hours spent in the car by the two of you every day (60-80/hours a month!).

Sorry about the condo, but I would take it as a sunken cost and not let that deter you from moving. I don't know the specifics of your situation, but I would lean towards selling it and put the loss behind you rather than renting out a money-losing property.

Also, why is cell phone/internet so high at $245/month? I bet you could knock that down in half looking at some better providers/good deals out there.

I'll spend some time when I get home looking at jobs near where my husband works and see what pay range they are offering.  I don't think I'd need to take a pay cut to move.

I know moving sounds good, but renting out an underwater place for less than cost (negative cash flow), or trying to sell a place with questionable marketability can be pretty slippery...

Have you considered getting jobs closer over time?  Is your surrounding are much of an employment center?

This is what I'm afraid of.  The situation our condo is in, is bad.  No jobs closer to us unfortunately. 

I'll skip the latte today :) and look over the cellphone contract this weekend and see what I can do there.

Keep the advice coming, I'm reading every reply.

MaggieDrsg

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Re: Case Study: Continue commuting or move?
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2014, 03:23:11 PM »
I don't think you're far off from having more options, but I don't know that moving and renting makes sense right now with savings almost entirely being eaten up by a move.  However, from just the phone/internet/latte reduction of let's say $185/month, that's $1550 you have per month to save.

In ~9 months, you'll have 21K in savings.  If you could actually sell bringing 16K or less to the table, you could get out of it and still have 5K for moving.  If selling isn't realistic, you have the option to rent while having a cushion that I think a responsible landlord needs.  Even if you had a vacancy, you would be able to cover it based on your monthly cash flow at this time (1550 + 100 from escrow reduction + gas reduction compared to "current" budget + if it was vacant with low commutes you'd have more time to work on being frugal in variable costs) - though it isn't what you would want to do with your "extra" money each month, knowing you can carry the costs would hopefully help you reduce the rental risk by being able to be more selective about your potential tenants.

To me, it sounds like you gain quite a lot of enjoyment from your job.  Given that you have enough stress in your current situation, I think I'd tread carefully about jumping to a new job that is only a lateral move financially.  Even if it was in the same area as your husband's job, would you realistically both have the same super reliable hours to get back in time for the daycare pickup?  Next year if you sell and move, the crushing commute may lead you to need to quit for sanity until you find something new, but hopefully you can find something without quitting or rebuild savings before needing to make that decision (if demolished from the sale).

lhamo

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Re: Case Study: Continue commuting or move?
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2014, 08:53:18 PM »
Salaries seem on the low side for software engineers.  Are you open to moving to another part of the country?  Might be able to find a better overall situation in a place like Austin, Portland or even Seattle (high overall cost of living but would have better salaries and probably could lose the crazy commute).

Stop buying the lattes.  Bad/expensive habit that probably is also messing with your sleep at night.

Any chance either of you could flex your hours a bit to try to reduce the amount of time your kids are in (and you are paying for) childcare?  Or find a childcare place closer to one workplace (kids in the car longer, but you aren't paying for care for that time)?  If your kids are like mine were at that age they would probably sleep in the car most of ride anyway.


mrsggrowsveg

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Re: Case Study: Continue commuting or move?
« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2014, 07:27:55 AM »
I think you have some really great suggestions about career and moving ideas.  I think the previous suggestion from lhamo about moving both of you to a different state for higher income could be good.  Your daycare cost seems really high.  You could hire a nanny or even better and Au Pair for less.  Here is a breakdown of Au Pair costs:  http://www.aupairinamerica.com/fees/   It would be $361 per week and you would save some time not having to drop off at daycare.  This would also be awesome if you could work out of the home once a week or so.

CPA CB

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Re: Case Study: Continue commuting or move?
« Reply #15 on: October 01, 2014, 07:46:51 AM »
I would say definitely, definitely move - or find something closer to home.

I imagine based on what you've said that you could easily save $750 in commuting costs by getting ride of a car and biking to work...

I recently ran some numbers just on commute costs and here's what I've found.

If you were to cut $750 from your monthly budget and earn 5% on your savings the outcome looks something like this:

10 Year ROI: $127,861
20 Year ROI: $321,473
30 Year ROI: $636,847


This is before factoring in the extra time you will have to enjoy your life and be productive outside the office.


NotSantaClaus

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Re: Case Study: Continue commuting or move?
« Reply #16 on: October 01, 2014, 10:53:42 AM »
So I ran through the calculations last night and it looks like I make $5.07/hour for my 10 hour days.  Yikes.  I really enjoy my career and I think in the long term, for retirement, career advancement and given the lessening childcare costs due to public schooling in a few short years, its worth it to continue working.

Salaries seem on the low side for software engineers.  Are you open to moving to another part of the country?  Might be able to find a better overall situation in a place like Austin, Portland or even Seattle (high overall cost of living but would have better salaries and probably could lose the crazy commute).

Stop buying the lattes.  Bad/expensive habit that probably is also messing with your sleep at night.

Any chance either of you could flex your hours a bit to try to reduce the amount of time your kids are in (and you are paying for) childcare?  Or find a childcare place closer to one workplace (kids in the car longer, but you aren't paying for care for that time)?  If your kids are like mine were at that age they would probably sleep in the car most of ride anyway.
The whole reason we live here is because that's where my family lives.  Me and my siblings, parents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, grandparents ... all 60 of us live in the same town.  So it'll be hard to move to a different state.  Different city?  fine, state ... I'd need to do some soul searching for that choice.

I'll stop the lattes :) I promise.  I even brought a mug from home to work so I can make a cup of tea before I leave.

We have a bit of flexibility with work (my husband more so and does work from home once or twice a month).  I managed to talk my boss into letting me work from home whenever it looks like we are getting more then 2 inches of snow.  I'm hoping if this arrangement works out I can slowly ask for more and more time working from home. 

I don't think you're far off from having more options, but I don't know that moving and renting makes sense right now with savings almost entirely being eaten up by a move.  However, from just the phone/internet/latte reduction of let's say $185/month, that's $1550 you have per month to save.

In ~9 months, you'll have 21K in savings.  If you could actually sell bringing 16K or less to the table, you could get out of it and still have 5K for moving.  If selling isn't realistic, you have the option to rent while having a cushion that I think a responsible landlord needs.  Even if you had a vacancy, you would be able to cover it based on your monthly cash flow at this time (1550 + 100 from escrow reduction + gas reduction compared to "current" budget + if it was vacant with low commutes you'd have more time to work on being frugal in variable costs) - though it isn't what you would want to do with your "extra" money each month, knowing you can carry the costs would hopefully help you reduce the rental risk by being able to be more selective about your potential tenants.

To me, it sounds like you gain quite a lot of enjoyment from your job.  Given that you have enough stress in your current situation, I think I'd tread carefully about jumping to a new job that is only a lateral move financially.  Even if it was in the same area as your husband's job, would you realistically both have the same super reliable hours to get back in time for the daycare pickup?  Next year if you sell and move, the crushing commute may lead you to need to quit for sanity until you find something new, but hopefully you can find something without quitting or rebuild savings before needing to make that decision (if demolished from the sale).

This advice really resonated with me.  As much as I'd love to snap my finger and move/sell right now.  It would be prudent to save up a cushion that leaves us open to options.  20K doesn't seem unattainable.  Finding a new job would be incredibly stressful at this point.  I'm willing to do it, if its the right choice.  But maybe saving up as much as possible over the winter and early spring and then trying to sell in the late spring is a better strategy.  And if it doesn't sell, as you said, we'd have a cushion and can rent to the best tenants we can find.

I think you have some really great suggestions about career and moving ideas.  I think the previous suggestion from lhamo about moving both of you to a different state for higher income could be good.  Your daycare cost seems really high.  You could hire a nanny or even better and Au Pair for less.  Here is a breakdown of Au Pair costs:  http://www.aupairinamerica.com/fees/   It would be $361 per week and you would save some time not having to drop off at daycare.  This would also be awesome if you could work out of the home once a week or so.

I've never looked into a nanny or an AuPair, I never thought we could afford it.  I'll look into it.

So my current to do list:
Stop the lattes
Cut the cable ($65/m) and cell phone ($180/m) down as much as possible
Continue saving (aim for $1500/m)
Research selling a condo (maybe a for sale by owner? would that save me money?)
Research nanny/au pair
Research telecommuting jobs and/or jobs near where my husband works
Talk with husband about maybe moving to a bigger tech hub
Start cleaning out condo and selling what we can to increase savings.

MaggieDrsg

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Re: Case Study: Continue commuting or move?
« Reply #17 on: October 01, 2014, 01:50:53 PM »
Oops, I forgot to include a commission in my calculation - usually ~5-6% of the sale price, paid for by you.  I'm in the process of working on buying a place directly from an owner so we're saving the commission (we're the current renters so us staying until the purchase goes through makes it low risk for the seller), but if market value is 190, the buyer (if they do not have an agent) will likely expect to split that commission savings with you.  You can't control what the real estate market does before next summer so you may or may not be able to afford to sell at that time, but you can control saving to give yourself another option.  For a more "normal" condo situation, I'd say you'd need to check with your bylaws to find out if you will be able to rent out your unit, but it sounds lie you guys may already be in the "buyers can't get financing" area such that a higher rental percentage isn't going to be a big deal.  You still may want to check this out to find out if your plan follows the rules or if there are any additional fees or stipulations to renting your unit out.

Are your kids easy enough that a nanny could take care of them and a family or friend's child as well?  In addition to what you pay a nanny, there are special taxes you pay for a household employee so be sure to consider your total cost. 

These forums are often focused on getting out of the daily job so I think the responses are skewed towards getting rid of it if/when you can, but I'm sure I'm not the only one reading this wishing I had the same enjoyment in mine.  I've had it before, but I need to focus on getting it back after my current devotion to professional exams is over.

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Re: Case Study: Continue commuting or move?
« Reply #18 on: October 01, 2014, 06:52:23 PM »
Your daycare and commuting costs are insane. Either your need to get jobs closer to home or move closer to the jobs.

I'd put the condo up for sale and see what happens.

I personally love spending as much time with my kids as I can. Someone with the smarts to be a software engineer can surely get a job after taking a break or freelancing for a while.

Alternatively, what's the reason to stay in that town if you have no support network? That is, there are no family members willing to watch the kids for you, even a couple days a week? Depending on the flexibility of your daycare facility, that could reduce costs, though I know many places put priority on kids who are there full time versus only a few days.

Captain and Mrs Slow

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Re: Case Study: Continue commuting or move?
« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2014, 12:59:00 AM »

Any advice?  Scenarios I haven't thought of?


Hello Mrs Claus (yes a play on your name)

Yes there are two scenarios you haven't thought of, but before I start a thought. You're both in your early 30's I'm in my mid 50s, so your 20 years ahead of me!!!!! I expect by the time you reach my age 54 you'll both either be retired or only a year or so away from it. It doesn't seem possible now but that you're putting into action a plan that will lead that way. So with out further ado here are two scenarios that haven't been covered.

Short Sale or Strategic Default:

I understand that this somehow feels morally wrong but Mish (blogger) has written quite extensively on this issue (mostly cica 2008-2009) Iíve link to several of his best articles. There is loads of information out there so the only thing Iíd add is if you decide this is the best route to make sure you get good legal advice. More than a few people have done this only to have it come back and bite them in the ass.

Donít Quit


I canít emphasis this point enough, donít quit your jobs but instead engineer your layoffs. A lot of people do take severance packages when the company is downsizing, but it's also possible to a package even when the company isnít ďright sizingĒ.

Sam Dogen has written an excellent book on this, How to Engineer Your Layoff. What he has done in the book is to quantify the process to ensure you get the maximum benefit. Secondly and in your situation is to explain how do get a severance package when the company isnít downsizing. The key (my emphasis) is to find a way that benefits both you and the company. The best example was a former waitress who wanted to paint full time but couldnít quite swing it financially, so she worked out a deal with her boss to be laid off with severance. She left on good terms and still drops by to say hello
.
To put this in context leaving with several months living costs sitting in the bank will make the move to a new location/job way less stressful.

The book is not cheap at $48 but will pay for itself many times over if you follow his advice.

Also sent you a PM

Rob

Walking Away:  A Moral Issue
http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.de/2008/02/businesses-advised-to-walk-away.html

How to Engineer Your Layoff
http://www.financialsamurai.com/how-to-make-money-quitting-your-job-2/




Goldielocks

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Re: Case Study: Continue commuting or move?
« Reply #20 on: October 07, 2014, 02:01:39 AM »
I know moving sounds good, but renting out an underwater place for less than cost (negative cash flow), or trying to sell a place with questionable marketability can be pretty slippery...

Have you considered getting jobs closer over time?  Is your surrounding are much of an employment center?

I would suggest that you only need to rent at a price to cover your new apartment rental closer to work.  Eg your new rental cost plus 10%.  Then hold and sell when possible.  If you keep your size down of your new place, it may be very possible to not cover the MTG cash flow, as you are locked in to that mortgage anyway.

The extra 10% is for a bit more maintenance and for vacancies.