Author Topic: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.  (Read 3723 times)

lookingforadelorean

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Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« on: August 08, 2019, 12:47:04 PM »
We're a very-new-to-Mustachianism family of 5, with three kids ages 12, 10, and 7. I am homeschooling the kids and working on lining up some kind of side hustle that will bring in additional income while allowing me to continue doing that. DH commutes 15 miles to his job M-F, which given Seattle-area traffic, sometimes means a 45-60 minute drive.

We've made some major changes in our financial picture, but at ages 50 (me) and 44 (DH), we worry that things like making our own granola are a bit like putting a band-aid on a gunshot wound. We like the home we purchased in 2016, but it has a yard that requires constant above-average maintenance (which we've paid thousands to outsource in the past), it needs to be painted very soon, and we will probably never be able to afford the cosmetic changes we think it needs (replace old carpet, replace worn-out deck, a kitchen that has a horrible flow with wasted space, etc.). Perhaps more importantly, we feel zero ties to the community even after living here for 3 years. I recently heard a podcast with Mr. 1500 where he talked about a home-buying mistake. The town had not voted to pass a library bond, which indicated to him that it wasn't a good fit for his family. We experienced the exact same thing here shortly after we bought our home.

I'm trying to keep this brief . . . we found an apartment building that feels like it would be a great solution for us. Obviously, it would be a huge adjustment in many ways, but with a walk score of 96, DH and I think it might be a fun adventure that would also allow us to save money for a few years. I'm inquiring here to ask whether our back-of-the-napkin math appears accurate to you all before we make such a huge leap. Let me know if there are more details that would help.

-- Current home:
Original purchase price - $432K. Mortgage amount - $415K. 30-year fixed at 3.875%
$388K remaining
$2525 mortgage payment includes taxes/insurance
Appraised in April 2019 for $510K
Redfin estimated value: $571K
Redfin estimated sale price: $543-600K


-- Additional debt: Student loans - $31K at 3%
Car: $465/month. $21K left to pay (Ouch. I know. I hate this payment. TBD.)

-- Current monthly expenses: ~$6500, including saving $250/month for EF and $300/month for home maintenance fund

-- Income: $172,000 (Salary $150K with annual 15% bonus). Instead of pilfering away that bonus next year, we plan to aggressively pay down DH's student loan.

-- Assets: $3K - second car
401K - $70K
Employer stock (awarded annually) - $20K


-- Potential Apartment:
$2700/month. ~1300 sq ft. 2 bedrooms + study. Includes garage parking and additional monthly pet fee.
Walk score of 96 in a small city
Location allows for DH to take a 23-minute bus ride to his office ($2 round-trip). We would go down to 1 car.
 

AMandM

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2019, 01:31:41 PM »
If the move would mean you can drop the car payment, then financially it looks advantageous. I think the lifestyle change is what you really have to think about, and I say this speaking as a fellow homeschooler.

We moved to a more walkable place (with the subway in easy walking distance and a much shorter commute for DH) when our three youngest were just a little older than your kids. Especially as they grow into their teens, it has made a huge difference to how independent they are, how much socializing they can do, and consequently to how many possibilities opened up for them. It's been great. Myself, I would hesitate about doing this by moving to an apartment, but my reasons may not be reasons for *you* not to make the move, so I offer them just as food for thought.

Homeschoolers are home a lot more than schoolchildren.  Does the apartment have space for your kids to pursue their various interests without getting in each others' way? Do any of these interests involve workspace, mess, or noise that would be nuisances in an apartment (to neighbours or to other family members)? Is there room to leave works-in-progress out, or does everything have to be packed up every time you pause? Will your planned side hustle require more space?

Does losing the yard make a difference?  I've had many days where "Go run around the garden five times" or "Go jump on the trampoline for 5 minutes" averted a meltdown and made learning possible.

Harder to answer, will the new location have any better sense of community than your current location? Are there other families in the building, and are there opportunities to meet them?

All the best--it's an exciting opportunity for sure!

lookingforadelorean

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2019, 01:46:59 PM »
If the move would mean you can drop the car payment, then financially it looks advantageous. I think the lifestyle change is what you really have to think about, and I say this speaking as a fellow homeschooler.

We moved to a more walkable place (with the subway in easy walking distance and a much shorter commute for DH) when our three youngest were just a little older than your kids. Especially as they grow into their teens, it has made a huge difference to how independent they are, how much socializing they can do, and consequently to how many possibilities opened up for them. It's been great. Myself, I would hesitate about doing this by moving to an apartment, but my reasons may not be reasons for *you* not to make the move, so I offer them just as food for thought.

Homeschoolers are home a lot more than schoolchildren.  Does the apartment have space for your kids to pursue their various interests without getting in each others' way? Do any of these interests involve workspace, mess, or noise that would be nuisances in an apartment (to neighbours or to other family members)? Is there room to leave works-in-progress out, or does everything have to be packed up every time you pause? Will your planned side hustle require more space?

Does losing the yard make a difference?  I've had many days where "Go run around the garden five times" or "Go jump on the trampoline for 5 minutes" averted a meltdown and made learning possible.

Harder to answer, will the new location have any better sense of community than your current location? Are there other families in the building, and are there opportunities to meet them?

All the best--it's an exciting opportunity for sure!

Thanks for responding! It's wonderful to hear from other homeschoolers. The particular apartment plan we're considering only has two bedrooms, but it has two floors, with bedrooms upstairs and a LR/DR plus an office downstairs. To your point, that office space feels critical for us because of the kids' crafting/creating. I'm hoping anything I come up with for myself would require a laptop and that's about it.

The loss of the yard is definitely the biggest con as far as we can tell. Not only for the kids to run around in, but also for ease/convenience with the dog. We're trying to keep in mind that people do it every day all over the world, so surely we can rise to the challenge, too. It will take some getting used to without a doubt, though. I don't really have a solution for the kids/yard issue other than trying to be more intentional with excursions to parks, walks, etc.

We've been told the building(s) are family friendly, but during his visit last night, DH saw all young professionals and older couples. He did say that several people seemed to know each other. We seriously don't even get a "hello" from our neighbors around our current home, so it doesn't feel like there would be any less opportunities for meeting people, that's for sure. The city itself is where we think we'd prefer to relocate long-term, so even if apartment living doesn't pan out, we'd be establishing roots in a community that would probably be our permanent base.

Life in Balance

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2019, 02:10:26 PM »
Looking at your original budget (posted on your case study), it seems like close to $700/month expenses (lawn care, car loan, reduction in car insurance, pest control) would disappear in addition to your mortgage.  Since this is also a community that you think you'll prefer long-term, I'd try the apartment. 

lookingforadelorean

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2019, 02:16:04 PM »
Looking at your original budget (posted on your case study), it seems like close to $700/month expenses (lawn care, car loan, reduction in car insurance, pest control) would disappear in addition to your mortgage.  Since this is also a community that you think you'll prefer long-term, I'd try the apartment.

Some of that budget has changed already. For example, we bought a used lawn mower and eliminated lawn care. However, even doing it ourselves, this is the type of lawn/landscaping that will still require some spending. We recently paid $1200 to have a cedar tree thinned out (strictly for safety reasons as it's right next to the house), and other tasks will require equipment rentals at the bare minimum.

Overall, we've decreased our costs, but our budgeted output hasn't changed much because we're trying to allocate those savings to categories like EF and house maintenance. So at least $300/month would be saved with a move to the apartment, and hopefully more.

I think my big fear is that our house would continue to appreciate and selling next spring would be a rookie mistake somehow?

Villanelle

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2019, 02:44:26 PM »
Make sure the building doesn't have occupancy limits that you will exceed.  Some places may not be too keen on renting a 2 bedroom place to 5 occupants. 

AMandM

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2019, 03:00:46 PM »
Make sure the building doesn't have occupancy limits that you will exceed.  Some places may not be too keen on renting a 2 bedroom place to 5 occupants.

Oooh, true. In my jurisdiction, it would technically be illegal for a family with kids of different sexes to occupy a 2-br apartment--though I don't know whether that gets enforced.

Another thought: is the rent likely to rise faster than your budget?

lookingforadelorean

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2019, 03:05:23 PM »
I thought about occupancy rules, too, but we told the management that we are a family of 5, and they didn't bring it up. So I hope that doesn't become an issue.

DH tried to ask about year-over-year increases, and the office staff couldn't tell us. We're not sure whether it's something we should pursue with the corporate office? Surely they CAN provide that info, but maybe they're not willing to?

Villanelle

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2019, 04:34:11 PM »
I thought about occupancy rules, too, but we told the management that we are a family of 5, and they didn't bring it up. So I hope that doesn't become an issue.

DH tried to ask about year-over-year increases, and the office staff couldn't tell us. We're not sure whether it's something we should pursue with the corporate office? Surely they CAN provide that info, but maybe they're not willing to?

Even if they would provide it, which would be somewhat surprising, it's not especially meaningful.  Just because they haven't raised rates significantly in a while doesn't mean they won't. 

Have you looked in to purchasing something somewhat comparable to this apartment in a similar location?  How do prices/costs compare?  What about buying a much smaller place, with less yard, somewhere in between your current location and this place?

lookingforadelorean

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2019, 05:01:35 PM »
Have you looked in to purchasing something somewhat comparable to this apartment in a similar location?  How do prices/costs compare?  What about buying a much smaller place, with less yard, somewhere in between your current location and this place?

All the time. Pretty much since we moved to our current home. In this new target area, homes go quickly (as they do everywhere in this region north of Seattle). I am positive we would never get an offer accepted with a contingency. At least not in our price range. We just saw a home go pending that was priced at $399K. We really liked it, but I don't think we would have been competitive with a home we needed to sell first, which is another reason the apartment for a year or two or three seems appealing. I also am confident this particular house probably went for significantly more than asking.

Gerard

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2019, 06:52:42 PM »
Hey, here are some random disconnected observations that I hope can be useful:

Have you posted in the case study section? You seem to be spending $4000 a month on non-housing stuff... maybe the mustache mind meld could help you find efficiencies there, so that maybe a 3-BR place in your target area might work. That would also let you explain what's happening to the 94 thousand dollars you seem to be earning but not spending ($172K salary minus $78K expenses)... obviously some of it is going to taxes etc., but still, wow, that's a lot of thousands!

Obviously, before deciding, you would plan to spend time with the whole fam hanging out in the target neighbourhood to be sure it works for you.

"Moving from an owned house to a rented townhouse/apt" and "moving to *this* townhouse/apt" are probably usefully treated as two separate decisions.

That's all I got! Good luck with your decision making!

freya

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2019, 07:13:27 AM »
Hi, looking!  Nice to see you've posted in a separate thread.

It sounds like your best argument to move is for quality of life and to find your forever home.  That is reason enough.  As far as family adjustment goes - maybe find out what other families with kids in the complex do and where they can go.  Is there an outdoor common area, or a nearby park that's the standard go-to?  I suspect the kids would be very happy in that new situation, and that the 3 in one bedroom thing won't be a huge problem as long as you are really only there for a year or two.   

On to the finances:

Adding up the monthly savings:
mortgage/insurance $2525
car payment $465
lawn care - let's say $200/month after your adjustments here
gas/car maintenance for commuting - let's say $300/month at 50 cents per mile, commute distance of 15 miles each way.

Total pre-sale expenses:  $3490

Monthly apartment costs are $2700 plus the pet fee...let's say this is $50/month.
Interest on cash realized from the home sale - let's assume you can get 2.5% (put it into a 5 year CD and break it early when you need it) and that you clear $100,000...if the house is in the shape you say it is in, I suspect you'll get something closer to the appraised value than the Redfin estimate.   That would come to $208/month.
Bus tickets for DH's commute:  $80/month
Net savings is $868/month.

This isn't bad actually...except that you also have to factor in moving costs x 2, which will likely be several thousand.  A suggestion:  Keep a lot of your stuff in storage and just move the essentials to the apartment, to make the second move easier/cheaper and avoid cluttering up the space - very key factor in small space living!





cloudsail

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2019, 08:55:09 AM »
We've lived in 2 bedroom apartments before with our two young kids when we first moved to California and it was miserable, despite the bonus of a swimming pool in the complex. If you've never tried it I'd try to find some way of experiencing it before making such a huge move. Maybe an Airbnb?

How big are the bedrooms? How many bathrooms does it have? Our last townhouse was 1300 sq ft and had 3 bedrooms 1.5 baths. Our neighbors who had teenagers complained about the lack of another shower.

From what I remember you don't live close to the downtown area. $2700 seems pretty steep for a 2 bedroom apartment. My giant single family house in Bothell only rents for $2500.

lookingforadelorean

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2019, 10:23:39 AM »
Hey, here are some random disconnected observations that I hope can be useful:

Have you posted in the case study section? You seem to be spending $4000 a month on non-housing stuff... maybe the mustache mind meld could help you find efficiencies there, so that maybe a 3-BR place in your target area might work. That would also let you explain what's happening to the 94 thousand dollars you seem to be earning but not spending ($172K salary minus $78K expenses)... obviously some of it is going to taxes etc., but still, wow, that's a lot of thousands!

Obviously, before deciding, you would plan to spend time with the whole fam hanging out in the target neighbourhood to be sure it works for you.

"Moving from an owned house to a rented townhouse/apt" and "moving to *this* townhouse/apt" are probably usefully treated as two separate decisions.

That's all I got! Good luck with your decision making!

Thank you. Yes, I posted a case study a few weeks ago. Since then, we've tightened our belts tremendously. So, although they are major lifestyle changes for us (me spending three straight days away from the house from 8:00-5:00 and not spending any money on food, coffees, etc.), we're not going to see significant impacts on our debt anytime soon. Exploring an option to cut out one vehicle as well as save on overhead feels like a way to reach our financial goals faster, but I realize I may just need to be more patient with the chipping away process.


Hi, looking!  Nice to see you've posted in a separate thread.

It sounds like your best argument to move is for quality of life and to find your forever home.  That is reason enough.  As far as family adjustment goes - maybe find out what other families with kids in the complex do and where they can go.  Is there an outdoor common area, or a nearby park that's the standard go-to?  I suspect the kids would be very happy in that new situation, and that the 3 in one bedroom thing won't be a huge problem as long as you are really only there for a year or two.   

On to the finances:

Adding up the monthly savings:
mortgage/insurance $2525
car payment $465
lawn care - let's say $200/month after your adjustments here
gas/car maintenance for commuting - let's say $300/month at 50 cents per mile, commute distance of 15 miles each way.

Total pre-sale expenses:  $3490

Monthly apartment costs are $2700 plus the pet fee...let's say this is $50/month.
Interest on cash realized from the home sale - let's assume you can get 2.5% (put it into a 5 year CD and break it early when you need it) and that you clear $100,000...if the house is in the shape you say it is in, I suspect you'll get something closer to the appraised value than the Redfin estimate.   That would come to $208/month.
Bus tickets for DH's commute:  $80/month
Net savings is $868/month.

This isn't bad actually...except that you also have to factor in moving costs x 2, which will likely be several thousand.  A suggestion:  Keep a lot of your stuff in storage and just move the essentials to the apartment, to make the second move easier/cheaper and avoid cluttering up the space - very key factor in small space living!

Thank you, @freya. I appreciate the additional input! There is an outdoor courtyard where DH said they have adirondack chairs set up. No idea how kid-friendly that space is. We agree that our final sale price would be much closer to the appraised value. At least, that's what we'd go in expecting to get. With $100K, we would immediately pay off the $30K in student loans, then are you saying a CD so we would have the remainder for a down payment on another house in that area?

I do cringe at the moving costs. I was hoping to avoid an additional storage fee, but that may be unavoidable. Regardless of whether we stay or go, we plan to spend the fall/winter decluttering our current home and selling lots of stuff we no longer use.


We've lived in 2 bedroom apartments before with our two young kids when we first moved to California and it was miserable, despite the bonus of a swimming pool in the complex. If you've never tried it I'd try to find some way of experiencing it before making such a huge move. Maybe an Airbnb?

How big are the bedrooms? How many bathrooms does it have? Our last townhouse was 1300 sq ft and had 3 bedrooms 1.5 baths. Our neighbors who had teenagers complained about the lack of another shower.

From what I remember you don't live close to the downtown area. $2700 seems pretty steep for a 2 bedroom apartment. My giant single family house in Bothell only rents for $2500.

We lived in a 3-bedroom apartment (without a "den") when we first moved to WA (in Mill Creek). We actually loved that experience. We only had the possessions that fit into our suitcases, so the kids literally made toys out of cardboard boxes. We were in a location that allowed us to walk to the library, my all-time favorite grocery store, the donut shop, a fabulous independent bookstore, and lots more. Now, what I have no way of knowing is whether that situation was so much fun because we all knew it was extremely temporary (three months) and we were exploring this new region the whole time or whether we enjoyed it because we had simplified to such an extreme and the small space forced us to get out and about daily. This is what I wonder and worry about.

Your townhouse sounds pretty similar to this apartment we're considering -- same square footage and BD/Baths. I'm not concerned about one shower because we never shower simultaneously here. However our pipes/system is configured results in major temp fluctuations if anyone runs water anywhere while someone is in the shower!

We currently live 30 miles northeast of Seattle. All of the apartments we've looked at between here and Seattle are spendy! We'd be paying for the location. I don't see the point of making this move if we simply put ourselves into an apartment where we still have to drive everywhere and rely on two cars. So we're only looking at places with really high walk scores. (If we could move to downtown Kirkland, I would. But then we'd be looking at $3200 minimum for a 2 bedroom.)

slappy

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2019, 11:21:47 AM »
Unpopular opinion, but I think you are kind of looking for a quick fix. Not that moving is quick or easy, but it would give you a clean slate without too much sacrifice. I think a lot of people noted on your case study that your situation is fixable with a little bit of effort. I don't think selling the house right now is something you need to rush into. If you decide it's in your best interest, you have plenty of time to find an apartment that you are excited about. I can't remember the age of your kids, but have they expressed any opinions?

lookingforadelorean

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2019, 12:00:10 PM »
Unpopular opinion, but I think you are kind of looking for a quick fix. Not that moving is quick or easy, but it would give you a clean slate without too much sacrifice. I think a lot of people noted on your case study that your situation is fixable with a little bit of effort. I don't think selling the house right now is something you need to rush into. If you decide it's in your best interest, you have plenty of time to find an apartment that you are excited about. I can't remember the age of your kids, but have they expressed any opinions?

I'm 50. We're absolutely looking for a quick fix. In addition to all the changes we're making to categories like food and yard work, we're hoping that, doing the math, we'd also be getting further ahead faster by selling the house. We'd be 100% debt free by 24-36 months sooner. And have money working for us sooner.

These are changes we're only just starting to think about. We wouldn't put the house on the market until May 2020 at the earliest. If we don't put the house on the market next spring, we'll be paying to have the exterior painted next summer. That will be a huge expense and it's not something we can handle ourselves.

We haven't brought this up with our kids, ages 12-7, yet. It's simply too far off and too vague to even mention to them.


frugaliknowit

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2019, 01:46:47 PM »
From reading your post, my thoughts:

1.  Your home is by no means a "stretch", based on your great income.
2.  It seems like you are looking at swapping to an apartment with "rose colored glasses".  $2700 per month rent versus $2525 house payment (plus maintenance) does not seem compelling.
3.  "What the frig" are you spending all that after tax income on? 

Suggestions:

1.  Make do with one car (preferably the beater...).
2.  Do yard maintenance yourself or find a kid to do it.  Your oldest is 12 (that's when I started mowing my parent's lawn, but that's a bit young...).

Good luck!

slappy

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2019, 01:47:59 PM »
From reading your post, my thoughts:

1.  Your home is by no means a "stretch", based on your great income.
2.  It seems like you are looking at swapping to an apartment with "rose colored glasses".  $2700 per month rent versus $2525 house payment (plus maintenance) does not seem compelling.
3.  "What the frig" are you spending all that after tax income on? 

Suggestions:

1.  Make do with one car (preferably the beater...).
2.  Do yard maintenance yourself or find a kid to do it.  Your oldest is 12 (that's when I started mowing my parent's lawn, but that's a bit young...).

Good luck!

She has a case study that answers most of those questions.

lookingforadelorean

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2019, 02:20:49 PM »
Mr. LDL just did a quick comparison looking at staying in our home vs. moving into the apartment we're considering.

-- Use 2020 bonus money to pay off car.
-- Later in 2020, sell the house and net $100K, then pay off $30K student loans.
-- Have $70K to put into a CD?

Simply eliminating debts and decreasing transportation costs (and some housing costs due to zero maintenance in an apartment), results in a $70K chunk from the house plus an additional $40K in savings.

If we stay put, we can/will pay off our debts, but it will be much slower. Again, using the "need to paint the house" example, we'll have so much more overhead as home owners that we won't be able to come close to saving $100K after 24 months.


Also, I don't want to sound contrarian here, but I'm a little bit confused as to why everyone isn't shouting, "Yes! You should sell!" After all the MMM posts I've read and podcasts I've heard, plus considering the opinions of Go Curry Cracker, the Millennial Revolution, and JL Collins, aren't renting and cutting back to one car huge steps in the right direction? I've read arguments from each of those bloggers advocating for exactly what we're thinking about doing. So I'm genuinely confused. Unless someone can show me on paper that our move just doesn't make financial sense??

Kwill

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2019, 04:48:28 PM »
I've looked at this and lurked on one of your other threads. I think you should wait to think about selling until you've given yourself time to settle into the new money habits. At least a year.

One thing it doesn't seem you've accounted for yet is how much of your mortgage payment goes to the principal of the loan each month. It would be worth digging into the details to figure that out. That potential chunk of money from the home equity didn't come out of nowhere.

You're comparing rent costs to mortgage costs and finding a slight savings to renting after maintenance and some other factors. But it's not a huge savings, and when you factor in how much you are currently saving in the form of paying off the house each month, I think the rental may actually cost more now and much more in the future as the rent goes up each year or at least periodically. If renting were half the price of the mortgage payment instead of slightly more, I might be for it.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #20 on: August 10, 2019, 06:55:41 AM »
I've looked at this and lurked on one of your other threads. I think you should wait to think about selling until you've given yourself time to settle into the new money habits. At least a year.

One thing it doesn't seem you've accounted for yet is how much of your mortgage payment goes to the principal of the loan each month. It would be worth digging into the details to figure that out. That potential chunk of money from the home equity didn't come out of nowhere.

You're comparing rent costs to mortgage costs and finding a slight savings to renting after maintenance and some other factors. But it's not a huge savings, and when you factor in how much you are currently saving in the form of paying off the house each month, I think the rental may actually cost more now and much more in the future as the rent goes up each year or at least periodically. If renting were half the price of the mortgage payment instead of slightly more, I might be for it.

+1

Also:  With a family of 5, you need quite a bit of square footage.  For this reason, the cost savings in renting vs. owning is diminished.

freya

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #21 on: August 10, 2019, 08:51:42 AM »
Seriously people?

I agree with the OP - the house is an albatross.  It's a fixer-upper, the mortgage is too big for their income & level of savings (which is near zero), it's way too far from DH's workplace and from the kids' homeschool activities, and they don't even like the neighborhood or enjoy gardening.  In short, it's about as anti-Mustachian as you can get.  I've seen people report selling houses as a result of case studies.  I'd call it going after the highest yield, rather than a quick fix.

The only issue is whether the plan for a two-step process via a temporary apartment rental is the best route.  Paying off debts, jettisoning an expensive car, and starting fresh are attractive features, but there's also having to move a family of 5 twice in a short amount of time. 

I think I would try harder to go directly to a less expensive home in an area that you want to live in, and that enables you to get by with one car.   The housing market has softened a bit so it might not be as competitive as you think.  And you could get lucky and snag a foreclosure.   In the worst case, you can put your house on the market while shopping for a new house, and try to sell your house right before signing a contract on a new place.  There are ways to avoid having to move twice, like paying rent to the buyers of your house to let you stay long enough to close on the new one.  Or in worst case stay in an Airbnb while all your stuff stays in storage.

Kwill

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #22 on: August 10, 2019, 04:19:01 PM »
Well, yes, selling the house to buy a cheaper house that meets the family's needs but is easier to maintain would make sense. Selling the house to rent a small, expensive apartment that will only become more expensive over time doesn't make sense. Maybe if there were a better rental option--cheaper and a bit bigger--it could work out better.

Villanelle

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #23 on: August 10, 2019, 04:59:34 PM »
Seriously people?

I agree with the OP - the house is an albatross.  It's a fixer-upper, the mortgage is too big for their income & level of savings (which is near zero), it's way too far from DH's workplace and from the kids' homeschool activities, and they don't even like the neighborhood or enjoy gardening.  In short, it's about as anti-Mustachian as you can get.  I've seen people report selling houses as a result of case studies.  I'd call it going after the highest yield, rather than a quick fix.

The only issue is whether the plan for a two-step process via a temporary apartment rental is the best route.  Paying off debts, jettisoning an expensive car, and starting fresh are attractive features, but there's also having to move a family of 5 twice in a short amount of time. 

I think I would try harder to go directly to a less expensive home in an area that you want to live in, and that enables you to get by with one car.   The housing market has softened a bit so it might not be as competitive as you think.  And you could get lucky and snag a foreclosure.   In the worst case, you can put your house on the market while shopping for a new house, and try to sell your house right before signing a contract on a new place.  There are ways to avoid having to move twice, like paying rent to the buyers of your house to let you stay long enough to close on the new one.  Or in worst case stay in an Airbnb while all your stuff stays in storage.

I think part of the issue is that this doesn't seem especially sustainable.  And with moving costs, storage (I got the impression that would be longer term, not just for during a transition, but could be mistaken), etc., it seems questionable that they will really save that much, especially if they don't end up staying very long.

lookingforadelorean

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #24 on: August 10, 2019, 05:44:39 PM »
We don't plan to rent storage. The apartment we're looking at is 1340 sq ft, and we think we can make that work if we whittle down our belongings. There is a storage locker on the premises we can use for things like bins of Christmas decorations, our bikes, etc.

You guys all think that square footage is too tight? I realize it's well below the US ideal, but aren't people all over the world living in less space with just as many, if not more, family members?

Ugh. I don't know. Every option has so many pros and cons. And I thought going down to one car was such a big savings? No? @freya seems to be the only one taking that into consideration.

lookingforadelorean

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #25 on: August 10, 2019, 05:50:08 PM »
Also, we'll continue to look for homes for sale in the area, but we are truly convinced it will be a two-step process to buy. Here is an example: One of Mr. LDL's co-workers purchased in the area in April 2016, just like us. He paid $513K. One month ago, he listed his home at $699K. The same day it listed, he got a cash offer for $700K. That's what we're up against. And in the below-$500K-range, it's even more competitive.

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #26 on: August 10, 2019, 11:43:08 PM »
Hopefully if you do sell you can find a flat fee agent who only charges like a $4000 flat fee.

Kwill

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #27 on: August 11, 2019, 01:55:12 AM »
Regardless of whether and when you move, you could sell the expensive car that still has a loan and replace it with something decent but inexpensive that you could pay cash for. Probably the sooner you do that the better the price you can get for the one you are selling.

Moving closer to your husband's job would be good since that's an awful lot of time in the car. It's just that this apartment you're talking about sounds too expensive as a temporary measure meant to save money. When you factor in the portion of your current mortgage that goes to principal as a kind of savings, the apartment rental is actually much more expensive each month than what you are currently paying.

Imma

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #28 on: August 11, 2019, 02:56:48 AM »
We don't plan to rent storage. The apartment we're looking at is 1340 sq ft, and we think we can make that work if we whittle down our belongings. There is a storage locker on the premises we can use for things like bins of Christmas decorations, our bikes, etc.

You guys all think that square footage is too tight? I realize it's well below the US ideal, but aren't people all over the world living in less space with just as many, if not more, family members?


In many European countries 1340 square foot is an absolutely normal size for a family home. All those families are fine. 1340 sq. ft will usually give you 3 or 4 bedrooms and that's more than enough. I would personally not want to go lower than 3 bedrooms due to the age difference but that's a personal choice. During the early part of my childhood I shared a room with 2 siblings, later with 1 and I eventually got a small room of my own when I was in high school. My siblings were quite a bit younger and very noisy and I had to study in my room.

couponvan

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #29 on: August 11, 2019, 04:01:56 AM »
I went from a 3,900 square foot home to a 1,350 square foot apartment and back to a 3,750 square foot home. The apartment we didn’t love because of the transient nature of the tenants and lack of community. However EVERYTHING was cheaper. Utilities, gym membership, lack of yard maintenance and decorating, cheaper holidays because we didn’t host Christmas. My kids never had anyone over in the whole 9 months in the apartment-the house they are willing to bring people too.

I prefer a house, but the apartment was definitely cheaper....

brooklynmoney

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #30 on: August 11, 2019, 06:58:41 AM »
I would think it would be hard to homeschool in an apt. If however you sent them all to school it would probably feel much less of an impact. It would also allow you to work full time. To me that is your biggest luxury right now in your budget.

mistymoney

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #31 on: August 11, 2019, 07:22:39 AM »
were you planning all three kids share a room? That could be a powder keg in the next few years at those ages. I think you missed a window for that (ages < 10).

Why this apt? If you are looking - keep looking for one with more bedrooms.

Villanelle

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #32 on: August 11, 2019, 09:09:26 AM »
We don't plan to rent storage. The apartment we're looking at is 1340 sq ft, and we think we can make that work if we whittle down our belongings. There is a storage locker on the premises we can use for things like bins of Christmas decorations, our bikes, etc.

You guys all think that square footage is too tight? I realize it's well below the US ideal, but aren't people all over the world living in less space with just as many, if not more, family members?


In many European countries 1340 square foot is an absolutely normal size for a family home. All those families are fine. 1340 sq. ft will usually give you 3 or 4 bedrooms and that's more than enough. I would personally not want to go lower than 3 bedrooms due to the age difference but that's a personal choice. During the early part of my childhood I shared a room with 2 siblings, later with 1 and I eventually got a small room of my own when I was in high school. My siblings were quite a bit younger and very noisy and I had to study in my room.

Right, to me it's not the size, it's that it is two bedrooms, and no outdoor space (something they are used to having, and haven't yet figured out if/how they will adjust without it). And that's made even more challenging by the fact that they homeschool, although there is a den that can be used for that. 

lookingforadelorean

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #33 on: August 11, 2019, 09:33:29 AM »
Truly, thank you all for responding. We have so much to consider that it's really helpful to hear about your experiences and opinions.

Unfortunately, almost all of the apartments in urban, walkable areas that work for us are studios, 1 and 2 bedrooms. We do have an inquiry for a 3 bedroom at another location, but that doesn't give us the study/den space. And it's also a further bus ride/commute for DH. We would still have the walkability to places like the library, though, and that is essential to this plan. Again, neither of us want to move to a rental house or random apartment in a location that requires 2 cars. If we did, 3 bedrooms would be plentiful.

couponvan

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #34 on: August 11, 2019, 09:47:05 AM »
What about “hosting” exchange students. You homeschool, but some of those programs pay $2,000/month and the kid is away at regular school during the day. I am considering this option in two years when my younger son goes away to college and we have a lot of extra space.

lookingforadelorean

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #35 on: August 11, 2019, 09:52:03 AM »
What about “hosting” exchange students. You homeschool, but some of those programs pay $2,000/month and the kid is away at regular school during the day. I am considering this option in two years when my younger son goes away to college and we have a lot of extra space.

@couponvan Yes! Someone mentioned this in my journal, and I asked questions, but I don't think they ever responded. We have a private space for a student in our basement, complete with 3/4 bath. But doesn't the payment go toward feeding the student and increased utilities, etc? Is it still "profitable?"

cloudsail

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #36 on: August 11, 2019, 11:43:51 AM »
What about “hosting” exchange students. You homeschool, but some of those programs pay $2,000/month and the kid is away at regular school during the day. I am considering this option in two years when my younger son goes away to college and we have a lot of extra space.

@couponvan Yes! Someone mentioned this in my journal, and I asked questions, but I don't think they ever responded. We have a private space for a student in our basement, complete with 3/4 bath. But doesn't the payment go toward feeding the student and increased utilities, etc? Is it still "profitable?"

It's definitely profitable or very few people would do it. I work part time as an educational consultant and we have international students who homestay with host families. The host is only responsible for giving the child a place to live and feeding them what the family typically eats. If the child wants anything else, like ethnic foods from their home country, they have to buy it with their own money. If they need services like drop off and pick up, the host can also bill the parents for gas and time. There are definitely host families who go above and beyond, but they are not the norm.

lookingforadelorean

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #37 on: August 11, 2019, 11:49:39 AM »
What about “hosting” exchange students. You homeschool, but some of those programs pay $2,000/month and the kid is away at regular school during the day. I am considering this option in two years when my younger son goes away to college and we have a lot of extra space.

@couponvan Yes! Someone mentioned this in my journal, and I asked questions, but I don't think they ever responded. We have a private space for a student in our basement, complete with 3/4 bath. But doesn't the payment go toward feeding the student and increased utilities, etc? Is it still "profitable?"

It's definitely profitable or very few people would do it. I work part time as an educational consultant and we have international students who homestay with host families. The host is only responsible for giving the child a place to live and feeding them what the family typically eats. If the child wants anything else, like ethnic foods from their home country, they have to buy it with their own money. If they need services like drop off and pick up, the host can also bill the parents for gas and time. There are definitely host families who go above and beyond, but they are not the norm.

Hey, thanks. Do you have organizations you recommend working with?

cloudsail

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #38 on: August 11, 2019, 12:03:40 PM »
My boss mostly operates on the east coast so unfortunately  I don't have local recommendations. Our home stays are typically arranged by the schools (private day schools that accept international students) and we facilitate interactions between host families, students, and parents.

Cassie

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #39 on: August 11, 2019, 04:38:36 PM »
Putting kids that old of different sexes in the same bedroom is a bad idea. Also many apartment wouldn’t do it and in some places it’s illegal.  Having 2 kids of the same sex sharing is very different.

lookingforadelorean

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #40 on: August 11, 2019, 05:22:19 PM »
Putting kids that old of different sexes in the same bedroom is a bad idea. Also many apartment wouldn’t do it and in some places it’s illegal.  Having 2 kids of the same sex sharing is very different.

We have three daughters.

Cassie

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #41 on: August 11, 2019, 06:43:35 PM »
Then I don’t see a problem. My friend had 6 kids in a 3 bedroom house. 3 in each room. 2 of my 3 always shared a room.   However, when we were young a apartment building tried to insist we rent a 3 bedroom apartment because we had 2 small boys. We said no and had to rent elsewhere.

Jouer

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #42 on: August 12, 2019, 10:38:39 AM »
Very interesting question, OP.

I don't have kids so I can't speak to that side but my wife and I (plus dog) just moved from suburban sprawl 2000 sq foot house with a large yard to an 800 sq foot urban low-rise condo building. It's been glorious.....wish we did it sooner.

Benefits:
- downsizing our stuff felt so liberating. We felt like we were minimalists but that was bullshit. We had So. Much. Stuff.
- we made money by selling stuff (a car which was paid off so all profit, almost all our furniture, backyard stuff, etc.)
- we used to drive everywhere. Now we walk everywhere. My wife's office is 45 minute walk which she does unless it's shitty out. I work from home so the dog and I walk her halfway to work in the morning and meet her halfway on the way home.
- No more lawn care!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I did it myself so it didn't cost money, but I'm enjoying not having to worry about it.

Our biggest worry was the dog losing her backyard. Turns out our nosy girl enjoys looking down from our patio at people walking by. So she is getting outside time that way. But she actually gets more walks here than she did before b/c we used the yard as a crutch. She also gets more time at the off-leash dog park which she really enjoys.

Imma

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #43 on: August 12, 2019, 11:01:23 AM »
Putting kids that old of different sexes in the same bedroom is a bad idea. Also many apartment wouldn’t do it and in some places it’s illegal.  Having 2 kids of the same sex sharing is very different.

Wow, would it actually be illegal to put kids of different sexes in one bedroom? I thought in the US was less into regulating the details of someone's life than European governments, but that kind of infringement on parental freedom would be unthinkable in my country.

That said over a certain age it's probably better to avoid different sexes sharing the same room, but in this case as we're talking all girls, I think sharing a room would be fine. I didn't get the homeschooling the first time I read, I think that would be a bigger issue. I guess if you are homeschooling you will probably want a dedicated space for that. If that's do-able also depends on the layout of the home. With a few Ikea Expedit cupboards or another type of room divider it's easy to screen off a certain area for school.

The lack of outdoor space doesn't necessarily have to be an issue if there are parks and play areas nearby. I live near a playground and I know the kids in my street rarely play in their yards even though they have one, they all prefer to play together in the playground. And while it will certainly take some effort to transition to a smaller living space, the result might be very positive. My mother and brother lived together in a small 1 bedroom apartment when he was in highschool. While having one bedroom wasn't ideal (they took turns sleeping in the bedroom and sleeping on the couch) they both still have fond memories of that time. Because they shared the same space they got involved in each other's activities way more than before when they still lived in a big house.   

lookingforadelorean

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #44 on: August 12, 2019, 11:13:17 AM »
Very interesting question, OP.

I don't have kids so I can't speak to that side but my wife and I (plus dog) just moved from suburban sprawl 2000 sq foot house with a large yard to an 800 sq foot urban low-rise condo building. It's been glorious.....wish we did it sooner.

Benefits:
- downsizing our stuff felt so liberating. We felt like we were minimalists but that was bullshit. We had So. Much. Stuff.
- we made money by selling stuff (a car which was paid off so all profit, almost all our furniture, backyard stuff, etc.)
- we used to drive everywhere. Now we walk everywhere. My wife's office is 45 minute walk which she does unless it's shitty out. I work from home so the dog and I walk her halfway to work in the morning and meet her halfway on the way home.
- No more lawn care!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I did it myself so it didn't cost money, but I'm enjoying not having to worry about it.

Our biggest worry was the dog losing her backyard. Turns out our nosy girl enjoys looking down from our patio at people walking by. So she is getting outside time that way. But she actually gets more walks here than she did before b/c we used the yard as a crutch. She also gets more time at the off-leash dog park which she really enjoys.

Wow. I loved reading this, @Jouer. Our kids will most certainly add a different dynamic to our experience, but you articulated many of the reasons I would welcome a move like yours. Until we feel ready to commit, I look forward to working on the first two bullet items you listed. We're swimming in too much stuff.


That said over a certain age it's probably better to avoid different sexes sharing the same room, but in this case as we're talking all girls, I think sharing a room would be fine. I didn't get the homeschooling the first time I read, I think that would be a bigger issue. I guess if you are homeschooling you will probably want a dedicated space for that. If that's do-able also depends on the layout of the home. With a few Ikea Expedit cupboards or another type of room divider it's easy to screen off a certain area for school.

The lack of outdoor space doesn't necessarily have to be an issue if there are parks and play areas nearby. I live near a playground and I know the kids in my street rarely play in their yards even though they have one, they all prefer to play together in the playground. And while it will certainly take some effort to transition to a smaller living space, the result might be very positive. My mother and brother lived together in a small 1 bedroom apartment when he was in highschool. While having one bedroom wasn't ideal (they took turns sleeping in the bedroom and sleeping on the couch) they both still have fond memories of that time. Because they shared the same space they got involved in each other's activities way more than before when they still lived in a big house.   

Thanks for sharing this. Yes, the floorplan we're considering only has 2 bedrooms, but it also has living, dining AND den. That office/den space would make a big difference, IMO. Without ever having downsized to this point before, I'm really not sure whether we'd be better suited to 2 bedrooms plus den, or 3 bedrooms with no den. Those seem to be our options.

Unless we move to a house. That has big downsides in our minds. We would lose walkability. We would lose the perceived screening of management -- at least with commercial buildings we can read reviews online before we commit as opposed to blindly signing with an individual landlord. But we would be able to find something less expensive. I'm seeing townhomes and SFH for $2K. That's a huge monthly difference in costs.


Villanelle

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #45 on: August 12, 2019, 11:56:48 AM »
Putting kids that old of different sexes in the same bedroom is a bad idea. Also many apartment wouldn’t do it and in some places it’s illegal.  Having 2 kids of the same sex sharing is very different.

Wow, would it actually be illegal to put kids of different sexes in one bedroom? I thought in the US was less into regulating the details of someone's life than European governments, but that kind of infringement on parental freedom would be unthinkable in my country.

That said over a certain age it's probably better to avoid different sexes sharing the same room, but in this case as we're talking all girls, I think sharing a room would be fine. I didn't get the homeschooling the first time I read, I think that would be a bigger issue. I guess if you are homeschooling you will probably want a dedicated space for that. If that's do-able also depends on the layout of the home. With a few Ikea Expedit cupboards or another type of room divider it's easy to screen off a certain area for school.

The lack of outdoor space doesn't necessarily have to be an issue if there are parks and play areas nearby. I live near a playground and I know the kids in my street rarely play in their yards even though they have one, they all prefer to play together in the playground. And while it will certainly take some effort to transition to a smaller living space, the result might be very positive. My mother and brother lived together in a small 1 bedroom apartment when he was in highschool. While having one bedroom wasn't ideal (they took turns sleeping in the bedroom and sleeping on the couch) they both still have fond memories of that time. Because they shared the same space they got involved in each other's activities way more than before when they still lived in a big house.

Nah, it wouldn't be illegal (anywhere in the US, I think) to have different sex/gender kids share a room.  I have a friends whose sone and daughter (maybe 11 and 9) share a room.  Unusual, but perfectly legal.  What might be illegal is having a lot of people in a home with not a lot of bedrooms.  There are maximum occupancy limits in many (most?) places.  And where there isn't a law, there may be a limit by the landlord.  Five people in a two bedroom is probably borderline.  Some places use "two plus one", which is two people per bedroom, plus one, which would allow 5 people in a two bedroom.  But other places might be more limiting. 

economista

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #46 on: August 12, 2019, 12:55:29 PM »
Putting kids that old of different sexes in the same bedroom is a bad idea. Also many apartment wouldn’t do it and in some places it’s illegal.  Having 2 kids of the same sex sharing is very different.

Wow, would it actually be illegal to put kids of different sexes in one bedroom? I thought in the US was less into regulating the details of someone's life than European governments, but that kind of infringement on parental freedom would be unthinkable in my country.

That said over a certain age it's probably better to avoid different sexes sharing the same room, but in this case as we're talking all girls, I think sharing a room would be fine. I didn't get the homeschooling the first time I read, I think that would be a bigger issue. I guess if you are homeschooling you will probably want a dedicated space for that. If that's do-able also depends on the layout of the home. With a few Ikea Expedit cupboards or another type of room divider it's easy to screen off a certain area for school.

The lack of outdoor space doesn't necessarily have to be an issue if there are parks and play areas nearby. I live near a playground and I know the kids in my street rarely play in their yards even though they have one, they all prefer to play together in the playground. And while it will certainly take some effort to transition to a smaller living space, the result might be very positive. My mother and brother lived together in a small 1 bedroom apartment when he was in highschool. While having one bedroom wasn't ideal (they took turns sleeping in the bedroom and sleeping on the couch) they both still have fond memories of that time. Because they shared the same space they got involved in each other's activities way more than before when they still lived in a big house.

Nah, it wouldn't be illegal (anywhere in the US, I think) to have different sex/gender kids share a room.  I have a friends whose sone and daughter (maybe 11 and 9) share a room.  Unusual, but perfectly legal.  What might be illegal is having a lot of people in a home with not a lot of bedrooms.  There are maximum occupancy limits in many (most?) places.  And where there isn't a law, there may be a limit by the landlord.  Five people in a two bedroom is probably borderline.  Some places use "two plus one", which is two people per bedroom, plus one, which would allow 5 people in a two bedroom.  But other places might be more limiting. 

I don't know if it is actually illegal, and this is totally just an anecdote, but after my parents got divorced we were not allowed to visit my dad overnight unless my brother and I had different bedrooms, since we were different genders. At one point my dad moved into an apartment with 2 bedrooms and our room had bunk-beds. My mom reported it to the court and his visitation was suspended until he had us in separate rooms, so he told them one room was for me and one was for him and my brother to share, using the bunk-beds. Then his visitation was reinstated. At that point we were about 5 and 7 years old.

havregryn

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #47 on: August 12, 2019, 01:25:43 PM »
Apparently in some regions of Belgium it is illegal to have kids of opposite genders share a room...this is something that people often bring up in Luxembourg and demand is a fact (so here it would be really hard to rent a two bedroom with a boy and a girl) but it is definitely not a matter of law here...however when researching this story as I was genuinely curious why people were so fixated on this I came across information that in Belgium, at least in some part of it, it was considered against the law...or some kind of regulation at least.

We are about to get a 3rd kid in a 2 bedroom apartment and I think it will be hard in a few years (they will be boy, boy, girl, ages 6, 3, 0).
Obviously now it's not an issue as the two boys can share (even though they kind of hate each other and have very little in common so I think there will be a lot of fighting, but on the other hand it is an opportunity for them to develop some sense of brotherhood) and the infant will sleep in our room for sure anyway (I never got the idea of putting a baby in a separate room, regardless of how many rooms you have).  But by the time she is 2-3 and develops a personality of her own...I don't know.

I am a great fan of living in apartments vs houses because I think people tend to a) grossly overestimate how much they're actually using the space offered by the house (I think there are some very convincing research studies on this) b) grossly underestimate how much more time and money it takes to maintain a house and c) not be aware how much society shapes their expectation of what they "need", as I used to live in societies where it is much more common for young affluent families to live in apartments in city center than in houses in the outer suburbs (Croatia, Vienna, Stockholm) and I feel genuine culture shock now in Luxembourg where this is not the case and we get  A LOT of weird looks for saying we live in an apartment and are not desperate to leave it.

I do agree though that one bedroom for all the kids would work better if kids were smaller, with tweens I don't know. I would try to get bigger, especially as it doesn't sound cheap.

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #48 on: August 12, 2019, 02:20:39 PM »
When I was a social worker in the 1980’s we wouldn’t let kids return to their home from foster care unless different sexes had separate bedrooms.   Even if neglect was not proved and the state caused the situation. They had separate bedrooms but us intervening caused her to lose her 3 bedroom. The reason is she supported them on part time job, child support and welfare. She lost the welfare and child support so had to move into a studio.  Eventually the dad made enough money to take the kids and rent a 3 bedroom but in the years it took that to happen the kids were damaged. One of the reasons I left the profession.

Hula Hoop

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Re: Does selling make sense? Leaving our home for an apartment.
« Reply #49 on: August 13, 2019, 03:25:29 AM »
When I was a social worker in the 1980’s we wouldn’t let kids return to their home from foster care unless different sexes had separate bedrooms.   Even if neglect was not proved and the state caused the situation. They had separate bedrooms but us intervening caused her to lose her 3 bedroom. The reason is she supported them on part time job, child support and welfare. She lost the welfare and child support so had to move into a studio.  Eventually the dad made enough money to take the kids and rent a 3 bedroom but in the years it took that to happen the kids were damaged. One of the reasons I left the profession.

That is truly horrible.  That poor family.  Here in Italy it is completely normal for siblings to share a bedroom including brothers and sisters.  I really don't get why this would be an issue.  Are people worried about incest?  That seems like a crazy thing to obsess about.

I know several families in which adult children are still living at home with their parents (this being Italy where salaries are incredibly low) and the adult brother and sister (in their late 20s) are still sharing a bedroom.  No one bats an eyelid at this - they just have a very different concept of privacy here as spaces tend to be small.

Havregryn - I also grew up in an apartment and am raising kids in an apartment.  When I read all these threads about how home ownership entails so much maintenance, I just scratch my head.  We own our apartment and do no more maintenance work that when we rented. 
« Last Edit: August 13, 2019, 03:29:33 AM by Hula Hoop »