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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: spartana on June 29, 2015, 08:52:01 PM

Title: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: spartana on June 29, 2015, 08:52:01 PM
 Deleted
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: deborah on June 29, 2015, 09:02:15 PM
You could still travel with the dog when you wanted to or when she was traveling. The only differences are that you have less money, you still have a house ( and whatever maintenance headaches etc. come up), you have a housemate whenever you wish, and you have options (travel with or without the dog).
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: Ricky on June 29, 2015, 09:28:55 PM
I'm assuming $500/mo is a great deal? Why would you sign anything like that with your sister for 5 years?

I'd either rent it out properly short term or sell.
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: Ricky on June 30, 2015, 07:28:06 AM
I guess it just depends on your priorities then. Sounds like keeping her around is worth more to you than what you need financially. Calculate your return on your house with renting a room to your sister: $2400/(market value of home). Can you live with/afford that? I wouldn't factor the house and pet sitting in necessarily. The invested amounts from the proceeds of your home would easily cover that and much more I'm sure.

I don't know your entire situation, but I would not feel guilty about selling the house (if that's even a possibility).

Tough to say whether traveling 2 months without your dog would be better than 2 years with the dog. I can see pros and cons to both. On one hand you have more freedom, but for a shorter duration and it's without your buddy. On the other hand, you have less freedom, but more time to make up for it, and you have your buddy. Personally I'd rather have the full time travel with dog if your priority is traveling. But, eh, so hard to decide for someone else because only you know how traveling with your dog is.
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: KCM5 on June 30, 2015, 08:07:48 AM
Since you hate traveling with your dog, like living with your sister, and don't necessarily need the money from the house sale, this sounds like a great plan. I'd keep it for a few years. It's nice to have a home base, too.
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: lizzzi on June 30, 2015, 08:44:16 AM
Five years is a long time, and once you're locked in, it's going to be hard to get out of the arrangement. What if she wants to move a significant other into the house with you? That would completely change the social dynamic...could be good, could be bad...impossible to predict. And how old is your dog? If one big reason for this arrangement is so she can watch the dog while you travel...but the dog dies...then maybe in hypothetical retrospect you would wish you had sold the house instead.

Even the best of families can do you in. Just as a completely objective, cold and gimlet-eyed outsider, I'm thinking that at least if you sell the house and take the money, you have avoided tying yourself up for five years to a lot of potential problems.  Your relationship with your sister sounds nice, and mutually beneficial, but I still see potential pitfalls. I'm leaning toward voting for you to stay autonomous.
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: mozar on June 30, 2015, 04:02:33 PM
Can you sell the house and pay your sister a dog sitting fee? That will make wherever she lives cheaper. I don't know where your house, but I hear sales are slowing down because of the drought.
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: FrugalZony on June 30, 2015, 04:03:16 PM
This sounds like a win/win, at the moment, but I'd second that "what if" scenario thinking.
If you find an agreement where you have to commit for a year or so and then both of you evaluate the situation,
that would be much better.

You can both try it out and see how it goes.
Something may happen to the dog or the BF situation or your sister dynamic or the housing market that makes you want to continue or not...

Having a cheap to maintain house is one thing, the other thing to consider is the opportunity cost of not having the cash of this nicely appreciated asset.
But that said, money is not always everything.

Take your time and talk through this with the sis. Be open about your concerns and find a solution where you both have a way out if you change your mind...
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: Dicey on June 30, 2015, 06:56:33 PM
I saw this thread the other day but didn't notice that you were the author. I wish I'd noticed sooner. My impression after reading through the thread is that this could be a really sweet arrangement for everyone, including the Barkinator. Perhaps if you and your sister agreed to review how you're doing on annual basis it might be easier.  The real estate market in coastal Orange County is likely to continue to appreciate. Sure, the market could will dip again, but I believe the dips will be shallower and shorter. Lenders are so ridiculously conservative and so many people/investors have paid cash for their homes that the landscape is truly different these days. My vote is to give it a shot with your sister. You can always sell your house later if it doesn't work out or you meet your someone. Once you sell your house, that super sweet deal may just be gone forever. I can't wait to see what you decide.
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: Another Reader on June 30, 2015, 07:30:48 PM
The real estate market in coastal Orange County is likely to continue to appreciate. Sure, the market could will dip again, but I believe the dips will be shallower and shorter. Lenders are so ridiculously conservative and so many people/investors have paid cash for their homes that the landscape is truly different these days.

When an astute person like Diane C says it's different this time, it's probably time to sell.  It's NOT different this time.  All it takes is the Chinese government to clamp down on the outflow of capital, and transaction volume will fall off the cliff.  Or maybe the tech bubble will burst, and a tsunami of company failures and unemployment will flood the economy.  Whatever the cause, prices will have to drop.  When will the market shift?  I don't know, but it will shift.

Might the OP miss the market top by not selling?  Sure, and that has to be considered with all the other factors in his decision.  If he is happy providing a space to land for his sister, and a home base for him and his dog, that might outweigh having to accept less than peak price or waiting out the next market cycle.
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: desk_jockey on June 30, 2015, 08:29:47 PM
In several posts you've mentioned the desire to travel again as soon as the pets die. This seems like a way to do it sooner without having to put them down. 

I can travel fairly hardcore but I'm one that needs a home base.  So the emotional part of this solution with your sister resonates with me as strongly as the rational numbers analysis. 
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: Dicey on July 01, 2015, 12:17:39 AM
The real estate market in coastal Orange County is likely to continue to appreciate. Sure, the market could will dip again, but I believe the dips will be shallower and shorter. Lenders are so ridiculously conservative and so many people/investors have paid cash for their homes that the landscape is truly different these days.

When an astute person like Diane C says it's different this time, it's probably time to sell.  It's NOT different this time.  All it takes is the Chinese government to clamp down on the outflow of capital, and transaction volume will fall off the cliff.  Or maybe the tech bubble will burst, and a tsunami of company failures and unemployment will flood the economy.  Whatever the cause, prices will have to drop.  When will the market shift?  I don't know, but it will shift.

Might the OP miss the market top by not selling?  Sure, and that has to be considered with all the other factors in his decision.  If he is happy providing a space to land for his sister, and a home base for him and his dog, that might outweigh having to accept less than peak price or waiting out the next market cycle.

Uh, thanks?? Can we companionably agree to disagree on this one? I don't think I'm particularly astute, I just do not think the sky is falling. Even if it does, people still need a place to live, which makes moderately priced beach community property considerably more bulletproof than say, the Inland Empire. Wouldn't it be cool if we could compare notes on this five years from now? That will be me, waving from over there on the appreciation side of the street, for several reasons. First and foremost, besides what's mentioned in my comment above, is that Spartana's home is relatively affordable for her area. Also, I'm not sure the market has peaked just yet. A peak, maybe. THE peak? Only time will tell.

I also think that you may be not clear on what I mean by what "different". Liar's loans? Gone. Interest only loans? Scarce as hen's teeth. Low doc loans? Ha! Just ask anyone who's been in the lending game for ten years or so. Lenders are much more conservative and require more documentation than ever. And homes without mortgages tend not to get short-saled or jingle mailed back to the bank, much less foreclosed on.

Also, pretty sure Spartana, aka OP, is a SHE not a HE.
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: Another Reader on July 01, 2015, 06:17:35 AM
Well, since we have both been here for a long time, we probably can compare notes in five years.

Since you live in the Bay Area, have you heard the radio ads for Impac Mortgage DBA as Cash Call mortgage?  Yep, the payday loan people are in the mortgage business, selling jumbo no-doc loans, along with agency-compliant product.  And then, there is always SoFi, who is not content to crowd fund student loan re-fis.  They have moved into mortgages.   No Fannie/Freddie guidelines with either of those entities.

I agree with you about the people from overseas that bought for cash.  They are used to wild swings in asset markets, have reasons other than a place to live today for buying, and think in terms of three generations from now when it comes to property ownership.  But the market is not and will not in the future be made up of just those folks.  Today, high income people that live and work here can afford to buy.  When their jobs disappear and/or the overseas money dries up, many of those folks will become sellers.  Some because of leverage, some because of new jobs in other areas, and some because of life events.  Like any other economic good, real estate is priced on marginal demand.  That's why the market is cyclical.

And my apologies to Spartana on the gender confusion.
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: partgypsy on July 01, 2015, 06:29:45 AM
Personally I like the idea better of traveling part-time and having a "home base" to return to, especially if it is in an area you like. And you would be doing a "good turn" for your sister, kind of sharing the wealth that way.

My only concern is what others have said, if 2, 3 years down the road you realize you really want to sell the house. Would she and you be OK with it? Maybe at least bring up, my plan is, to travel for 5 years part time and otherwise hang with you. But it is a possibility if I get an offer I can't refuse, I may sell the house. As long as she is OK with that possibility, sounds like a good plan.

I wish I was set up where I could give my sister a place to live and spend time with her (part-time) and do my own thing part time as well.
 
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: norabird on July 01, 2015, 09:26:45 AM
I think having your sister stay in the house and letting you travel dog free is a great situation.
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: Dicey on July 01, 2015, 12:06:59 PM
Well, since we have both been here for a long time, we probably can compare notes in five years.
I hope all of us in this lovely community are still thriving in five years. Just think how many more people would be FIRE'd by then! Let's make a (non-Starbucks) coffee date for five years hence.

Quote
Since you live in the Bay Area, have you heard the radio ads for Impac Mortgage DBA as Cash Call mortgage?  Yep, the payday loan people are in the mortgage business, selling jumbo no-doc loans, along with agency-compliant product.  And then, there is always SoFi, who is not content to crowd fund student loan re-fis.  They have moved into mortgages.   No Fannie/Freddie guidelines with either of those entities.
Agree and hate those @#$%ing payday ads/stores. I'm actually intrigued by SoFi (see below). My point is before the crash, you could get those loans from ANY lender. Now people know they're in trouble when they head for a payday loan and I suspect they aren't homeowners by majority anyway. There are a lot fewer sources of unvetted money and they cost a lot more. Their loans are a fraction of what traditional mortgage lenders write.

Quote
I agree with you about the people from overseas that bought for cash. 
I am gently but vigorously protesting here. I didn't say anything about "overseas" buyers. It sounds way too xenophobic to my ear.

We are not "from overseas" (I don't even like typing that in quotes) and we paid cash for our current overpriced (thanks, Bay Area) clown house because the lender pissed us off with ridiculous minutae and refusal to lock when we asked, resulting in a .75% rate hike. Fortunately, profits from sales of two other houses and years of Mustachiaana living gave us the magnificent freedom to call bullshit on them and just write a check. It was damn fun actually. I'm still a little sorry we don't have a cheap fixed mortgage, so I am quite intrigued by SoFi. The folks smart enough to dream it up and make it happen are not creating bullshit loans for a bunch of fiscal hard-ups. Are they coloring outside the lines? Gloriously so. Dangerously? Too soon to tell. There is a vetting process, it's just less hide-bound than traditional lenders. It ain't free money and SoFi doesn't deserve to be mentioned in the same breathing space as payday lenders.

Quote
They are used to wild swings in asset markets, have reasons other than a place to live today  Like any other economic good, real estate is priced on marginal demand.  That's why the market is cyclical.
I agree that the real estate market is cyclical for everyone, no matter where they call home. Cyclical means it goes down AND up. In the Bay Area, the ups over time always exceed the downs, which is why it's so damn expensive to live here. BTW a lot of that is influenced by geography. We have a lot of (salt) water and thousands of acres dedicated to parks and open spaces, so there is less buildable land and that which is has been built upon. Same thing for coastal communities in SoCal, home of the lovely (I'm sure) and FIRE'd (ditto) Spartana.

Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: Another Reader on July 01, 2015, 12:35:45 PM
Hey Diane:

I think you missed my point.  I'm distinguishing between two groups of buyers in the Bay Area.  Some but not all of the cash buyers in this area are funneling in money from overseas.  The majority bringing in money from abroad are Chinese, some are from India.  A smattering of others.  In South Florida, another overheated market, cash buyers are largely from South America and a couple of places in Europe.  The principle is the same.

Most but not all of the remaining cash buyers here are newly minted tech millionaires cashing out equity.  A few lucky folks like you can thumb their noses at the lenders and step to the front of the line with the rest of the cash buyers.

The foreign buyers depend on the free flow of money.  Capital controls can stop that flow quickly.  Just ask the Greeks lined up at the ATM's.  Tech growth drives the other segment of the cash buyers.  But things are starting to look remarkably like the late 1990's, where every idea was funded.  The reasons are more complex this time, but the result will be the same.  Contraction in that segment of the economy and a lot less completion to buy a place to live.

My guess is we will see a significant downturn sometime in the next five years.  But that's all it is, a guess.  And I agree about the long term prospects for the Bay Area.  Demand for housing began to exceed supply here during WWII.  Even a catastrophic earthquake will not change the desirability of the Bay Area over the long haul.
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: Dicey on July 01, 2015, 02:06:49 PM
Hey Diane:

I think you missed my point.  I'm distinguishing between two groups of buyers in the Bay Area.  Some but not all of the cash buyers in this area are funneling in money from overseas.  The majority bringing in money from abroad are Chinese, some are from India.  A smattering of others.  In South Florida, another overheated market, cash buyers are largely from South America and a couple of places in Europe.  The principle is the same.

Most but not all of the remaining cash buyers here are newly minted tech millionaires cashing out equity.  A few lucky folks like you can thumb their noses at the lenders and step to the front of the line.

The foreign buyers depend on the free flow of money.  Capital controls can stop that flow quickly.  Just ask the Greeks lined up at the ATM's.  Tech growth drives the other segment of the cash buyers.  But things are starting to look remarkably like the late 1990's, where every idea was funded.  The reasons are more complex this time, but the result will be the same.  Contraction in that segment of the economy and a lot less completion to buy a place to live.

My guess is we will see a significant downturn sometime in the next five years.  But that's all it is, a guess.  And I agree about the long term prospects for the Bay Area.  Demand for housing began to exceed supply here during WWII.  Even a catastrophic earthquake will not change the desirability of the Bay Area over the long haul.

Hi, Another Reader, may I first say that I enjoy and appreciate your posts and respect your opinions? Next, I'm trying to master the multiple quote thing, but am finding it exhausting. I hope it's not too confusing, but I'm done practicing it for now. Let me just say I hope this reads as a friendly conversation (over a non-Starbucks non-coffee perhaps?).

"A few lucky folks like you can thumb their noses at the lenders and step to the front of the line."

Uh, we are all lucky in that we were born in the right place at the right time, but achieving FIRE required at least as much skill as luck. Two, we had to outbid thirteen other bidders, so we were not exactly at the front of the line. We were the last ones standing (it was still a short sale, so we did not wildly overpay. At least for the Bay Area. Ahem.)

I have chosen this comment to quote because I believe there is a larger message/lesson here. The reason we were able to buy this home* is because of years of dedicated effort to reach FIRE. We are not high wage earners, we have no trust funds, windfalls or inheritances. We saved and invested over a number of years, enjoyed life's triumphs and sorrows along the way, and finally achieved FIRE. If we can do it, anyone with determination can too. Even if that person acquired their money "overseas". The thing about "overseas" buyers is that they are 1.) Still a minority, despite what it might seem and 2.) They are from around the globe. What you describe could happen, but it would have to happen in a lot of places around the world to have a stunning impact. Greece is a comparative blip on the global financiaal radar. An event that impacted every "overseas" buyer in the Bay Area would be so catastrophic that falling real estate values would be just one of a slew of problems. And worrying about every pissibility (that's a typo, but I like it so STET) in the world is too much for my post-FIRE brain to wrap itself around.

"Demand for housing began to exceed supply here during WWII.  Even a catastrophic earthquake will not change the desirability of the Bay Area over the long haul."

Actually, that's more true in the suburbs, but the demand for housing in SF has been high since the Gold Rush, if not before. With the steep hills, marshy soil, fires and earthquakes it's always been a bitch to build here. Boom and bust cycles are deeply embedded in the history of the City. The second sentence reminds me of an old gag that the best time to buy SF real estate is right after an earthquake. Who knows where or when the next one will strike? That's part of the weird and wonderful (bicycle?) ride that is living in the Bay Area. It's certainly never boring.

*TL;DR- I've covered this before, but for clarity, I'll include that we bought this clown house after my FIL died and we figured out my MIL has Alzheimer's. We sold our right-size-for-us houses and bought one that she can safely live in with us. She's healthy as a horse otherwise, so she could be here a long time. Also, we do not live in The City (though I have before), but in the East Bay, which is comparatively more affordable, by Bay Area standards.
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: norabird on July 01, 2015, 02:33:42 PM
Re: the fear of cash buyers overseas, Thomas Piketty touches on this in my new obsession Capital, and there is a roughly equal balance based on his analysis. So that if the Chinese, Russians, whatever, own 5% of the SF luxury market, Americans own 5% of X foreign asset, and it all comes out in the wash.

I tend to feel that you should sell or stay based on what is best for you, not based on the market per se (who can guess this or time it?) while taking into account whether you can afford to sell for less (which, since you owe nothing, you likely can).
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: Another Reader on July 01, 2015, 04:14:26 PM
I tend to feel that you should sell or stay based on what is best for you, not based on the market per se (who can guess this or time it?) while taking into account whether you can afford to sell for less (which, since you owe nothing, you likely can).

This is exactly my point.  Spartana, or anyone else living in a HCOL, high demand market needs to make real estate decisions based on their needs and wants and should not count on appreciation or make appreciation the reason to keep a property.  Real estate is cyclical.  It will not always go up, it will go down.  Unless your objective is to sell for top dollar, go about your life without considering appreciation.  Just recognize you may have to sell for a lower price if you need or want to sell at some other time in the future.  Unlike a SWR for a portfolio, where you are taking a little bit out every year and the portfolio will vary, a real estate sale is an all or nothing choice.
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: Jeremy E. on July 01, 2015, 04:24:37 PM
I would sell now while the market is up, and buy or rent a house in a LCOL area, since neither of you are working there is a lot less reason to be in a HCOL area. You're missing out on too much opportunity cost by having so much money tied up into your house. You say it is only costing you $300/month, but if you sold the house and invested all the money, or all the money minus the cost of a house in a LCOL area, you could make $X in returns. So it's really costing you $300 + $X.
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: Daisy on July 06, 2015, 12:25:30 PM
Interesting twist in the Spartana adventure...

I also lived with my sister for about 5 years until she got married. She had been living with my parents before. She wouldn't have been able to afford a decent place back then and I was happy to have her company as we have a lot of similar interests. We'd probably still be living together if that husband-dude hadn't come to take her away (just kidding - he's a great guy).

Since I had the cash and the higher paying job, I was the one that bought the place as I was looking to move anyways. She paid me some rent and we shared household expenses. I was definitely putting more money into living there than she was, but it was fine with me because I was helping her out and I had some good company. It was a mutually beneficial situation.

Having your sister available to take care of your dog while you get to travel wild and free is definitely an appealing situation. Plus, you get to help your sister out. It sounds like she'd do the same if the situation was reversed. It isn't all about the money, after all, but having a full life and loving relationships. It sounds like this situation helps you achieve that.

Have you considered selling your expensive house to lock in the profits and then the two of you rent a smaller/cheaper place close by? I'm not sure how the drought situation in LA is affecting home prices, but if it was me I'd like to get that worry off my back. There's no guarantee that your current profits will be locked in 5 years from now.

Sure, you'd be paying some rent for a place you won't be at much. But you also have to consider the opportunity cost of having all of your money tied up in real estate. It sounds like in the plan you've got, you'd still be paying more than your sister for the current living arrangement, so you can decide with her what a fair sharing of costs for rent would be. Just think of how much your money will gain in the market over 5 years - $500k or so will yield some good appreciation in some Vanguard index funds.

I like this idea because it gives you and your sister options if either of you changes your mind in the next 5 years and there will be no resentment if the real estate market crashes or something like that.
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: Daisy on July 06, 2015, 03:19:09 PM
Let's say you walk away from a house sale with $500k. Then assume you can get 7% return by investing in the Vanguard total market fund. You can never be sure if we're about to hit a stock market crash, but I think that's a reasonable assumption for a return on investment.

That's $500k X 0.07 = $35,000 you'd make by investing that money in the market. That's almost $3k per month.

Right now you are missing out on that $3k per month plus you are paying $300 per month plus unknowable maintenance expenses. So in effect it is costing you $3300 per month in costs to keep your house plus unplanned maintenance.

So even in this case of putting in $2000 per month, you are still ahead.

Plus, if the real estate market crashes, rents may go down too and you and your sister can negotiate a better rental rate or move to a new rental with a better rate.
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: Chuck on July 06, 2015, 03:25:32 PM
I don't see any real downside to letting your sister move in with you, and you've mentioned a couple of substantial benefits. You can always change your mind later and sell the house anyway, so why not try the roomie situation first?
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: Dicey on July 06, 2015, 10:32:56 PM
Let's say you walk away from a house sale with $500k. Then assume you can get 7% return by investing in the Vanguard total market fund. You can never be sure if we're about to hit a stock market crash, but I think that's a reasonable assumption for a return on investment.

That's $500k X 0.07 = $35,000 you'd make by investing that money in the market. That's almost $3k per month.

Right now you are missing out on that $3k per month plus you are paying $300 per month plus unknowable maintenance expenses. So in effect it is costing you $3300 per month in costs to keep your house plus unplanned maintenance.

So even in this case of putting in $2000 per month, you are still ahead.

Plus, if the real estate market crashes, rents may go down too and you and your sister can negotiate a better rental rate or move to a new rental with a better rate.
Well when you put it like that in $$ terms I am very tempted to just take the money and run :-)! While I probably wouldn't end up with $500k (more in the low $400K's probably after everything is done) and I don't quite trust to a long term 7% investment return, it's still a nice sum of money without having to do anything to "earn" it. However, my inner cheapskate wouldn't allow me to pay so much for rent over that many years - especially if I wasn't going to be there very often - so think I'd rather stay here and pay almost nothing each month (plus any rent $$'s from sis) and take the chance that values may drop, or stick to the original plan of selling and investing that money for the future, and just using my pension and a small amount from other investments for combined living/travelling expenses outside of Calif and take the dog with me.
As a fellow CA-real-estate-owning, FIRE-card-toting Mustachian, this feels like a good choice. Lather, rinse, repeat until a new solution looks better somewhere down the road.
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: Daisy on July 09, 2015, 08:26:29 PM
How about your sister FIREs, you sell the house and the three of you (sisters and dog) hit the road together? You can make some side money by filming it and turning it into a documentary. Now we just need a good logon name for your sister to turn it into a catchy title.

Spartana, <sister's name>, and the Barkinator Do The USA

(there's gotta be a better name for the movie...calling Kriegsspiel)
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: Dicey on July 10, 2015, 04:01:07 PM
As a native Californian with no plans to retire out of state, would you mind dishing a little dirt about that co-op appartment community your sister has in her sights? I thought they were scarce as hen's teeth in SoCal.
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: Dicey on July 11, 2015, 09:11:42 AM
As a native Californian with no plans to retire out of state, would you mind dishing a little dirt about that co-op appartment community your sister has in her sights? I thought they were scarce as hen's teeth in SoCal.
It's one of those "active adult (i.e. over 55) communities" called (Gag!) Leisure World so you have to be at least 55 to move there (or 45 if you have a co-owner like a spouse who is at least 55). My Mom lived there for over 10 years and it's pretty cool. It's 2 miles from the beach in Seal Beach in Orange County and prices for a one bedroom co-op apt start at around $100K and go up. There is a monthly association fee of around $250 - $300 or so that includes some utilities, insurance, property taxes, etc... There is a similar but more expensive place further south called "Laguna Woods" which is now an actual incorporated city. Both of those places probably not a place for everyone but it is one way to buy an inexpensive place within 2 miles of a very expensive part of SoCal. Here's a link: www.lwsb.com
Oh, spartana, this is funny on so many levels. I used to live in Cypress! My aunt still lives there and my cousin's in Seal Beach, so I have heard of both LW's. (Side note- My very wealthy Cypress aunt has a group of not-so-wealthy lady friends who live in LW. They call themselves the Peanut Butter & Jelly Club because they refuse to let lack of income equal lack of fun.) I now live in Walnut Creek, home of Rossmoor. I also own a retirement home in Sun City Palm Desert, which I bought when I was 47 and rent out. Funny, none of those places came to mind when you said co-op apartment. Roosmoor is all owner-occupied (plus $8K initiation and dues of around $800/month -not a typo. Ack!) and SCPD is all single family homes with just a smattering of duettes. I think I assumed LW was the same. Looks like some research is in order. Thanks for the info.
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: FIRE Artist on July 11, 2015, 09:28:23 AM
I can't get past the fact that it sounds like someone else's FIRE is dependent on your stach, not their own.  So your sister would be RE but definitly not FI.  I wouldn't want the pressure of having my sister be dependent on me, and can't twist this scenario to look any other way.
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: Daisy on July 11, 2015, 11:40:56 AM
As a native Californian with no plans to retire out of state, would you mind dishing a little dirt about that co-op appartment community your sister has in her sights? I thought they were scarce as hen's teeth in SoCal.
It's one of those "active adult (i.e. over 55) communities" called (Gag!) Leisure World so you have to be at least 55 to move there (or 45 if you have a co-owner like a spouse who is at least 55). My Mom lived there for over 10 years and it's pretty cool. It's 2 miles from the beach in Seal Beach in Orange County and prices for a one bedroom co-op apt start at around $100K and go up. There is a monthly association fee of around $250 - $300 or so that includes some utilities, insurance, property taxes, etc... There is a similar but more expensive place further south called "Laguna Woods" which is now an actual incorporated city. Both of those places probably not a place for everyone but it is one way to buy an inexpensive place within 2 miles of a very expensive part of SoCal. Here's a link: www.lwsb.com

We will find a solution to this problem! I'm all for the sister-to-sister help. Why not help a sister FIRE sooner? She will be happier and you will be happier in knowing she is making the most of her life. And she will be more relaxed during FIRE and more able to do stuff with you.

I'm puzzled/intrigued/frustrated with the way benefits are allotted in our country. Why does it always have to be marriage or domestic partnership where all financial benefits from the government or insurance or whatever come from? At one point when my sister was in her late 20s, she lived with me but was unable to get health insurance from her workplace. I am single and was wondering why I couldn't just add her on to my health insurance as a "domestic partner" so that she could buy in. In all intents and purposes, she was my "domestic partner". I'd like to know why a live-in lover would be different from a sister when it comes to adding one person on to your health insurance benefits. But I digress...

The bolded part above made me think of an alternate plan. I'm not sure how far away you are from 55, but if close - maybe YOU can buy the place in the 55+ community and your sister moves in with you. Then, when she turns 55 she can buy it from you. If you look similar enough and pop in and out of your house enough during your travels, no one may even know that you aren't there full time. You can also say you have a part-time consulting or volunteering gig that takes you out of town a lot.

Maybe that will speed up her time to FIRE and she's already living in the community she wants to be in.
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: Daisy on July 11, 2015, 11:53:52 AM
I can't get past the fact that it sounds like someone else's FIRE is dependent on your stach, not their own.  So your sister would be RE but definitly not FI.  I wouldn't want the pressure of having my sister be dependent on me, and can't twist this scenario to look any other way.

Well married people on these forums call themselves FIRE all of the time when their spouse is still working. Would they really be FIRE if the spouse stops working? Or what if two married people are FIREd then divorce? Are they FIRE-worthy on their own?

I see nothing wrong with a single person "doubling up" with someone else - especially a close family member like a sister - to help achieve FIRE.

Sister, are you reading this? ;-) Just kidding because I am actually much closer to FIRE than my sister. She sounds interested in it, but she hasn't articulated any plan to do it. She just listens to me and agrees. She's actually more frugal than her husband so that holds her back a bit. I do notice she starts incorporating a lot of my "life enhancements" that lead to FIRE into her own life.
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: Another Reader on July 11, 2015, 02:05:54 PM
I looked at Rossmoor with my folks in the early 1990's, but my mother said she did not like the "living in a fishbowl" aspect plus she felt the entire community was very vulnerable to wildfires.  My parents were quite sensitive to the fire danger after the 1991 Oakland Hills fire.  After she died, we moved my father down to The Villages in San Jose, an over 55 community with a golf course.  He purchased a brand new townhouse and transferred his indexed 1975 base year value to the new townhouse. Great deal for him.  It is currently rented (rentals are allowed there).  The HOA dues are outrageous, up to $900 or more in some sections, but the dues in his section plus the taxes are less than the taxes would be if the unit had gone to market value when he died.

These places have their pluses and minuses, including nosy neighbors, but are great for aging in place.  You can go from the golf course to the wheel chair and never move.  A lot of the needs of the elderly can be met conveniently.  When someone dies, the caregivers can find new jobs within a few days.  Condos and townhouses sell from the mid-$300's for apartment-style units to around $1MM for large units with bay views at the top of the hill.  Inexpensive by San Jose standards.

It's unfortunate Spartana and her sister haven't been able to come up with a five year plan that works for both of them.  A low cost housing option is key to FIRE for most people anywhere in coastal California.

Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: Bearded Man on July 11, 2015, 03:35:01 PM
Since you hate traveling with your dog, like living with your sister, and don't necessarily need the money from the house sale, this sounds like a great plan. I'd keep it for a few years. It's nice to have a home base, too.

This. Hands down.
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: FrugalZony on July 13, 2015, 03:05:42 PM
Update: Long talk with sis over the weekend and she agreed to the 2 year plan - I keep the house for 2 additional years guaranteed  and she ER's and moves in here full time and watches the dog and house so I can travel longer and easier (cheaper too) without having to always bring the dog.  It'll only be part time travel but will be more enjoyable and unencumbered travel. Then we can revisit the plan again later on and see if we want to continue or not depending on what's going on in each of our lives at the time. She also insists on paying some rent ($500/month all inclusive) even though I don't want or need her to but I won't argue that :-)! So I'm happy with that decision and looking forward to a bit of new freedom (which is more important than money to me).  And I'm happy that I don't have to deal with the hassle of selling the house at this time (just want to play!) or looking for new places. Thanks all for the ideas as they did help me decide what I wanted to do.

ETA: My sister is also planning to continue working occasional on-call at her job (security for a defense contractor) to keep her security clearances active as well as earn enough money to cover all her expenses without having to use her savings or investments and will have extra $$'s for when I'm at home and she wants to travel herself - or go with me somewhere.

YAY!
Sounds like a great compromise!
Glad you ladies worked that out!
Here's to awesome tavels, while the barkinator is well taken care of!!
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: Daisy on August 03, 2015, 12:47:43 PM
Sounds like a great plan. A 2 year commitment is less daunting than a 5 year commitment. Have a great trip!
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: arebelspy on October 31, 2015, 04:07:31 PM
I'll be really interested to hear how this turns out.  Bump this in two years for us Spart!  :)
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: Zamboni on October 31, 2015, 05:00:19 PM
Sounds like a great compromise for both of you. Good luck with it!

Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: DollarBill on November 01, 2015, 09:35:01 PM
I gotta say that I love my dog lots but dang is he putting a damper on my travel plans...lol. I should have left this morning on a trip to Alabama but can't find a sitter who wants to watch an older dog who likes to drink lots of water and has a small bladder...don't know why :). He's 15 now and knowing my luck he'll be 20 when he kicks the bucket. I know I'm horrible!
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: arebelspy on November 08, 2015, 12:44:13 PM
Guess an update is needed here as sis has OMY cold feet now and is waffling about what to do - FIRE or stay working longer? She wants to quit badly but is hesitant mainly due to potential changes in the ACA/insurance costs in the future after election. But she'll decide at the end of the year so will see what happens then.  I've been able to line up some pet sitters recently but like Dollar Bill, sometimes they cancel so it's not ideal.

Have you tried putting your house on trustedhousesitters?
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: arebelspy on November 11, 2015, 01:12:41 PM
Guess an update is needed here as sis has OMY cold feet now and is waffling about what to do - FIRE or stay working longer? She wants to quit badly but is hesitant mainly due to potential changes in the ACA/insurance costs in the future after election. But she'll decide at the end of the year so will see what happens then.  I've been able to line up some pet sitters recently but like Dollar Bill, sometimes they cancel so it's not ideal.

Have you tried putting your house on trustedhousesitters?
I've never heard of that but will check it out. I'm not really open to leaving either my house or my dog (especially my dog) in the care of unknown people for long periods of time so most house and pet sitting situations won't work for me (been there, done that). So it's pretty much down to either my sister moves in as a full time pet/house sitter or  I keep the house and continue to travel in North America a few months a year as I've been doing (which is pretty great btw but a hassle and confining with the dog!) or I'll sell the house and try to piece together some kind of travel/renting thing in different places. I have even checked out taking my dog overseas with me (the EU has a pet passport for instance so no need to quarantine between countries) so if there isn't long quarantines I may be able to do something like that too.  Will make a decision after New Years when I see what my sister decides.

Well my vote is sell it, but if not, Ali and I will come housesit for you.  ;)
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: arebelspy on November 12, 2015, 12:56:12 AM
It's more a long term pet sitting thing I need.

Yeah, that's what I meant.

And that's exactly what trustedhousesitters is for--pets.  :)
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: patrickza on November 12, 2015, 03:19:46 AM
I was also in the sell camp, but for your sake, I hope the housing prices increase!

We have two toy poodles. I love the dogs, but they really are difficult to travel with. Planes and trains are out, and long road trips aren't really their thing. I'll just have to hurry up and buy a boat so we can all sail together :)
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: arebelspy on November 19, 2015, 01:24:40 PM
Guess an update is needed here as sis has OMY cold feet now and is waffling about what to do - FIRE or stay working longer? She wants to quit badly but is hesitant mainly due to potential changes in the ACA/insurance costs in the future after election. But she'll decide at the end of the year so will see what happens then.  I've been able to line up some pet sitters recently but like Dollar Bill, sometimes they cancel so it's not ideal.

Have you tried putting your house on trustedhousesitters?
Just wanted to say thanks for the link as I checked them out and found a couple of free pet sitters in my area (and other's further away who are OK with staying at my house) so am looking into that. While having a pet sitter won't work for a long term trip of many months, it might work for a shorter term thing.

Sure!

Why won't it work for a few months?
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: arebelspy on November 19, 2015, 01:41:39 PM
Gotcha.  Makes sense.  :)
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: arebelspy on November 19, 2015, 02:23:53 PM
Hah, we may take you up on that sometime, if you haven't sold.  The hardest part (for people house sitting, like us) is getting the first sits without any prior reviews--once we've done a few, we've heard it's easier.

I don't know about the baby though...I hear they spew liquids from many orifices.  Maybe once it passes that phase?  :D

Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: arebelspy on November 19, 2015, 03:33:06 PM
Good idea.  I have asked my wife how long it will be until the child is housebroken.  :)
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: Dicey on November 19, 2015, 04:20:18 PM
Hey Spartana,
Just a random thought based on this thread and our conversation. Since I grew up in SoCal, I appreciate the awesome goodness that is represented by a house at the fucking beach, much less one that is paid for, that wasn't inherited. So, every time you talk about selling your house, a little voice in my head screams "Nooooo! Don't do it! KEEEEEP IT!

Now this may have exactly zero to do with you and your life choices. I just wonder if you haven't become just a tiny bit immune to the charms of SoCal beach living. That is all. No insights, just a little pondering.
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: Dicey on November 20, 2015, 11:05:35 AM
Hey Spartana,
Just a random thought based on this thread and our conversation. Since I grew up in SoCal, I appreciate the awesome goodness that is represented by a house at the fucking beach, much less one that is paid for, that wasn't inherited. So, every time you talk about selling your house, a little voice in my head screams "Nooooo! Don't do it! KEEEEEP IT!

Now this may have exactly zero to do with you and your life choices. I just wonder if you haven't become just a tiny bit immune to the charms of SoCal beach living. That is all. No insights, just a little pondering.
Ha Ha - well if I was actually "on" the beach rather than a few miles away I might agree (but then my house would be worth millions so would sell anyways :-)!). But I'm basically in a 1950's tract neighborhood near strip malls and parking lots and traffic. Not a bad place, but not a cozy little beach bungalow either.  SoCal is not an area I would ever choose to move to myself for a variety of reasons if not for family (needed to be near elderly parents who've since passed), friends, and pets (had several when I bought this place) - and having friends and family able to watch the dog occasionally.  Plus I'm not into the work involved with being a homeowner so prefer the freedom of being unencumbered or renting. Cashing in on the rising housing costs are a big motivator too. So if not for the fact that it's so cheap and easy for me here, and for the dog, I would have moved long ago and would never even consider living here longer. I'm more of a 4 seasons New England, NorCal, or PNW type than a SoCal type.
Okay, the strip malls did it. I'm officially letting go of that image I had stored in my head. You are now free to move about the country...(Lol, as if you needed my permission.)
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: Cassie on November 20, 2015, 11:33:09 AM
Spartana, I am with you & would not trust my babies with random dog sitters even with lots of good references. You never really know what people will do.  A long time good friend once volunteered to watch our dogs while we were out of town & never in my wildest dreams did I think she would do the opposite of what she promised. It ruined the friendship & I am just lucky it did not cost one of my dogs their life.  Our dogs are great travelers but the problem is that with 4 it is a hassle. Also we were going to take our smallest with us to Poland because she hAS SEPARATION PROBLEMS -oops caps on- but even asking all the right questions, doing all the paperwork in the end we weren't able to take her.  It is very complicated & when you enter the country they can decide to quarantine if everything is not perfect.  I think if you have cats it is easier because they don't need the social interaction that dogs require.
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: Dicey on November 20, 2015, 12:26:59 PM
Spartana, I am with you & would not trust my babies with random dog sitters even with lots of good references. You never really know what people will do.  A long time good friend once volunteered to watch our dogs while we were out of town & never in my wildest dreams did I think she would do the opposite of what she promised. It ruined the friendship & I am just lucky it did not cost one of my dogs their life.  Our dogs are great travelers but the problem is that with 4 it is a hassle. Also we were going to take our smallest with us to Poland because she hAS SEPARATION PROBLEMS -oops caps on- but even asking all the right questions, doing all the paperwork in the end we weren't able to take her.  It is very complicated & when you enter the country they can decide to quarantine if everything is not perfect.  I think if you have cats it is easier because they don't need the social interaction that dogs require.
Yeah I had some bad luck with a known pet and house sitter (step - brother) and it was awful on both fronts. Had 2 dogs then and I'm extremely surprised they weren't both killed. One (the Barkinator AKA Barks) ended up getting out of his car at some Home Depo far from home because he left the windows wide open, and fortunately was found by the county animal control eventually and was microchip and tagged so she was taken in. Took a few days to find her though and she was pretty traumatized. He also took them out to the desert to a remote area he was RVing with friends and just let them loose.  These are city dogs that aren't trained to be off leash and they ran off into the desert in the middle of summer. Again, someone found them and they were returned.  Another time he left them alone for a couple of days and just threw food on the floor (which ended up being covered with ants. He's let them loose to chase the mail man or fed ex guys truck down the street. He did other things too (left the front door open, gates opened, etc...) as well as would leave the house unlocked when he wasn't there, had a bunch of people over, trashed the front yard by driving his truck on it, etc.... This was a 40-something Y.O. man.  Lots of other stuff. It was pretty bad and kind of turned me off of pet sitters and house sitters. I was gone only about 2 weeks. Can't imagine what 2 months would have looked like.

So yeah, if I go anywhere longer term I'll take the dog.  But I'll probably try a pet sitter from that site Arebelspy gave me for a few days and see how that goes. But for short term trips I can get sis or friends to pet occasionally. As I mentioned in a post above, I'll probably do the snowbird thing with the dog and just rent a house somewhere for a few months each year rather than try to travel full time or even part time. Or sell the house and move somewhere I love and just put off travelling until she's gone.

Oh, gosh, reading about your SB gave me chills and then fleeting, but volcanic anger. OTOH, a professional pet sitter depends on word-of-mouth and repeat business. It's possible that he's an immature asshole who resents responsibility and/or you for your lifestyle. Your experience with him should not color the whole group. Also, in my experience, many responsible people would pet-sit for free in exchange for a place to stay. A librarian where I volunteer does this to keep her cost of living low. She rents a cheap room somewhere and then pet-sits where she has the whole house to herself.
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: arebelspy on November 20, 2015, 02:59:54 PM
Haha, that's when they get the boot outta the house?
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: Cassie on November 20, 2015, 03:53:21 PM
Good luck with that:))
Title: Re: Keep house and travel P/T or sell and travel F/T?
Post by: Cassie on November 20, 2015, 03:54:41 PM
Spartana, I am like you in that I enjoy 4 mild seasons.  No way do I want to live somewhere where it is warm all the time.  Northern CA is beautiful.