Author Topic: Move or Stay Put  (Read 4757 times)

Yankuba

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Move or Stay Put
« on: March 01, 2015, 07:48:01 PM »
Fellow Mustachians, Yankuba needs your help.

Our family is expanding - Mrs. Yankuba is expecting our second child. I was not in favor of having a second child due to the added responsibilities, cost and risk but Mrs. Yankuba really wanted two children, so I capitulated - like the French.

We currently live in an 1100 sf co-op (it's like a condo but slightly different) in Long Island, NY. Our mortgage is almost paid off and the monthly common charges are $1000. $500 of the $1000 consists of property taxes. $100 is parking. The remaining $400 is heat, water, landscaping, snow removal, the salary for the super, maintenance on the common areas, insurance (common areas) and the mortgage on the complex. $1000 is extremely low for the neighborhood and is why I chose to buy in my building many years ago. Monthly maintenance for comparable 2 bedroom co-ops in the neighborhood is 20% to 40% higher.

Mrs. Yankuba would like to move to a larger home so that each child could have their own room (we have a boy and the baby will be a girl). Today we saw a 1600 sf co-op across the street with extremely low maintenance - $1300. Half of the $1300 is taxes. This monthly maintenance is approximately 40% lower than comparable three bedroom co-ops on the market. If we were to buy a house in our neighborhood, the taxes alone would be a minimum of $12K per year which is why we are sticking to co-ops.

I could get approximately $450K for my co-op less the remaining mortgage ($23K), broker's fees ($27K) and closing costs ($10K?) - so a total of ~$390K in my pocket. The new place would sell for maybe $480K, but we would want to gut the place because it hasn't been updated in more than 20 years. We would tear up the carpets and finish the floors, gut the closets and install modern closet systems, replace all the doors, remodel the two bathrooms and kitchen, install a bunch of ceiling fans, replace the ancient air conditioners. All in it would probably cost $75K - although my broker said closer to $60K. So the new place would be $555K ($480K plus $75K renovations plus closing costs). Most three bedrooms in our neighborhood sell from $480K to $600K but the cheaper units all could use some work.

So the bottom line is that moving to the bigger place would cost me about $165K ($555K for the new place minus the $390K I get from selling my current place. In return for this $165k I get a roomier apartment, including one extra bedroom and much more storage space. The renovations would bring the new apartment up to speed with my current apartment, so I would not be getting enjoyment from two new bathrooms and a new kitchen because my current bathrooms and kitchen are remodeled and equivalent. I would also lose a patio/terrace and trade an indoor parking spot for an outdoor parking spot (there is a waiting list for an indoor spot in the new building). I would also switch from laundry machines across the hall to laundry machines in the basement.

We can afford the $165k. Additionally, mortgage rates are low and 80% of the renovations would add to the value of the home so spending $165k on a bigger place and remodeling it is a lot different than spending $165k on electronics, restaurants, cars and trips.

The whole idea of gutting the apartment and dealing with contractors while working, attending graduate school at night and raising Little Yankuba gives me anxiety. Mrs. Yankuba volunteered to handle the contractors and she does the brunt of the parenting, so it wouldn't be too bad if the contractors are decent. But is it crazy to take on the $165k in return for 500 square feet, more closets and an extra room so the kids don't have to share? Is it that terrible for a boy and girl to share a room 'til college? (the kids will be 4 1/2 years apart) In Manhattan it is quite common and everyone in my parents generation shared rooms in NYC in the 40s, 50s and 60s.

What say you?

Many thanks!

-Yanks
« Last Edit: March 01, 2015, 07:54:27 PM by Yankuba »

Ricky

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Re: Move or Stay Put
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2015, 08:08:01 PM »
I don't think square footage is the issue. I'd say very few on this site are worried about storage space, so you won't get sympathy there. More room is subjective. Making an efficient use of space is much more useful than adding room.

Can you partition off for a 3rd bedroom? Kids rooms could be 100 sqft each, with yours being 150 sqft. That leaves 850sq ft in living space. Sounds like plenty to me. You'll save a lot of money by remodeling and making what you have work. I wouldn't be as concerned about the extra $165k (because that is cheaper square footage than your current home if the numbers hold true) as I would the extra $300/mo. I don't know your salaries but I'd still strongly suggest making your current situation work on any salary.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2015, 08:14:11 PM by Ricky »

Yankuba

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Re: Move or Stay Put
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2015, 08:14:46 PM »
I don't think square footage is the issue. I'd say very few on this site are worried about storage space, so you won't get sympathy there.

Can you partition off for a 3rd bedroom? Kids rooms could be 100 sqft each, with yours being 150 sqft. That leaves 850sq ft in living space. Sounds like plenty to me. You'll save a lot of money by remodeling and making what you have work. I wouldn't be as concerned about the extra $165k as I would the extra $300/mo. I don't know your salaries but I'd still strongly suggest making your current situation work on any salary.

Thanks for the tip. We have thought about partitioning but the current configuration doesn't lend itself well to that. The master bedroom is way too big but not big enough to split. And the living/dining rooms are too small to split. I was thinking of putting the kids in the bigger room down the road if we stay.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2015, 08:23:14 PM by Yankuba »

mozar

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Re: Move or Stay Put
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2015, 08:30:34 PM »
Can you really not renovate your current co-op? I have a 920 sq ft co-op with three bedrooms. I think that at 5 or 6 for the oldest they should be seperated. Is the girl older or the boy? It might be ok if the girl is older to keep them together. There are guidelines for this. You dont want cps being called on you. Yeah it didn't used to be a big deal back in the day, but back in the day incest wasnt a big deal either.
Oh, I reread. Older boy, no way.

Yankuba

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Re: Move or Stay Put
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2015, 08:52:57 PM »
Can you really not renovate your current co-op? I have a 920 sq ft co-op with three bedrooms. I think that at 5 or 6 for the oldest they should be seperated. Is the girl older or the boy? It might be ok if the girl is older to keep them together. There are guidelines for this. You dont want cps being called on you. Yeah it didn't used to be a big deal back in the day, but back in the day incest wasnt a big deal either.
Oh, I reread. Older boy, no way.

Thanks but carving out an extra room won't work. I also Googled the issue you raised and the consensus was that sharing a room was fine until the oldest becomes a teenager.

Mommyof2

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Re: Move or Stay Put
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2015, 08:59:02 PM »
I have two kids, 5 months a part in age (they are 10).  When we adopted the second, we were not allowed to let them share a room - they were 5 at the time.  Now at 10 they are definitely aware of gender differences and would not be comfortable sharing a room.  We also live in 1100 sq feet and are on top of each other and I'm loosing my sanity.

caliq

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Re: Move or Stay Put
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2015, 09:03:35 PM »
I think you also need to be prepared for there to be personality/lifestyle type issues that prevent them from amicably sharing a room beyond toddler-hood.  My sister is 3.5 years younger than me, and my parents tried to have us share while a family member in need lived with us for awhile; I think we were 9 and 6 or so.  It only lasted a few months -- we have exact opposite interests, preferred schedules, cleanliness preferences, everything.  Maybe we were spoiled by not being forced to work it out (there was a spare room/office that became my sister's room instead), but we're still exact opposites to this day and are really bad at sharing space with each other.  There's really no way of knowing about stuff like that until they're older though...

I don't think you need to worry about this RIGHT THIS SECOND though, like Mrs. Yankuba seems to.  The new baby is not going to care for quite awhile -- don't a lot of people in NYC sleep them in large closets and such? 

That said, if the co-op across the street is a screaming deal that you're unlikely to replicate in the next 5 years or so, maybe it's worth jumping on?

The Beacon

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Re: Move or Stay Put
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2015, 09:04:15 PM »
First congrats on having the second child. I have 2. I would not trade them for anything, let alone FIRE.

Anyway, one solution here is that they can share a room before they are teenagers.  By that time, you can share a room with your son, your wife with the girl.  Problem solved. 

cakie

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Re: Move or Stay Put
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2015, 09:13:25 PM »
Even if it is a 'good deal' now, it sounds like you've got several years until you have to worry about needing extra space. There will be more good deals in the future too!

For reference, I slept in the master bedroom with my parents and baby brother until I was 3 or 4, and later shared with him for a year or two when I was about 7/8. He is 2 1/2 years younger. Not guaranteed to work, it depends on the kids, but we got on just as well/badly regardless of sleeping arrangements. It's not like kids spend much time in their bedrooms unless they are sleeping??

caliq

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Re: Move or Stay Put
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2015, 09:13:56 PM »
First congrats on having the second child. I have 2. I would not trade them for anything, let alone FIRE.

Anyway, one solution here is that they can share a room before they are teenagers.  By that time, you can share a room with your son, your wife with the girl.  Problem solved.

......that "solution" seems like it would cause so many more problems?  Do you make the kids rotate on who gets kicked out of their bedroom when it's time for mommy and daddy to do their thing? 

The Beacon

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Re: Move or Stay Put
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2015, 09:18:04 PM »
First congrats on having the second child. I have 2. I would not trade them for anything, let alone FIRE.

Anyway, one solution here is that they can share a room before they are teenagers.  By that time, you can share a room with your son, your wife with the girl.  Problem solved.

......that "solution" seems like it would cause so many more problems?  Do you make the kids rotate on who gets kicked out of their bedroom when it's time for mommy and daddy to do their thing?

With some careful planning, I am sure you could do it. I grew up with my sister just like that in a 2 bed room apartment.

I am much more spoiled now. Look back how I grew up. I was a bad ass. There was no heat and air conditioning.  Every day it was a struggle to get out of bed in the morning because it was just cold.   
« Last Edit: March 01, 2015, 09:24:16 PM by Sharpy »

AlwaysBeenASaver

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Re: Move or Stay Put
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2015, 09:49:18 PM »
As others have said, you don't need the additional space right away. Why not wait until you've finished grad school since you mentioned that as a concern of yours.

Yankuba

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Re: Move or Stay Put
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2015, 05:41:21 AM »
That said, if the co-op across the street is a screaming deal that you're unlikely to replicate in the next 5 years or so, maybe it's worth jumping on?

This is key. There are only three buildings in the neighborhood with super low maintenance. Finding a three bedroom apartment in one of these buildings for under $500K is extremely rare - it happens every three years or so. And if you do get the unit at that price it needs to be gutted. But I don't have the stomach to deal with the headaches involved in renovating the entire unit. Plus, there's work that I could do myself (demo, installing the closets, painting) and I'm dreading having to do it. Obviously I could pay someone to do that stuff but that wouldn't be very Mustachian.

I'm just feeling shell shocked at the moment. When we were "negotiating" about having a second child my big hangup was that I didn't want to move to a bigger, more expensive place and take on all the financial costs of a second child. Mrs. Yankuba said the kids could share a room (although I wasn't keen on the idea) so I relented - because housing is the big cost driver for people living in NYC/Long Island. Then - three days after we find out we're having a girl this great deal comes on the market. Almost as if it's a sign from above.

Nobody mentioned the idea of giving the kids the bedrooms and having the adults sleep on a pullout in the living room. All I need is a place for my clothes - I can sleep anywhere. I would be willing to do it but Mrs. Yankuba said "no way." My father said that's what most people with big families did when he grew up in the city. But today everyone is too fancy for that.

Yankuba

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Re: Move or Stay Put
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2015, 05:43:14 AM »
First congrats on having the second child. I have 2. I would not trade them for anything, let alone FIRE.

Anyway, one solution here is that they can share a room before they are teenagers.  By that time, you can share a room with your son, your wife with the girl.  Problem solved.

My wife proposed this solution as a joke. But I wouldn't be opposed to it. I'd also be willing to sleep on the couch in the living room.

NCGal

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Re: Move or Stay Put
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2015, 06:03:18 AM »
I grew up in a Brooklyn coop. I shared a bedroom with my brother until I was 8 years old. The parents of a friend put in a room divider in the master separating it into 2 rooms. Could you do that?

I don`t like the idea of your wife doing laundry in the basement, assuming she`s the one who does it. There are usually hidden corners with compactor room, etc. Also one tends to neglect to lock the apartment door when running up and down. I would feel insecure about her safety.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Move or Stay Put
« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2015, 06:07:16 AM »
Basement laundry sounds like an enormous inconvenience.

MayDay

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Re: Move or Stay Put
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2015, 06:23:52 AM »
Stay where you are, divide the master bedroom into 2. It doesn't have to be an actual wall, use a couple expedit shelves in a row or something like that.

Then in 3 more years when another good deal comes on the market you can reevaluate.

PatStab

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Re: Move or Stay Put
« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2015, 04:38:30 PM »
My kids shared a bedroom till they were 11 and 9, neither complained but it was a good sized bedroom each had half.  And we kind of partitioned it off with furniture but I wouldn't have wanted them to share it any older.  In fact then I was not wanting it that way but we really couldn't add on to that old house very easily.

But its doable for a long time, ours was around 1000 sq ft too.