Author Topic: First Post: Big life change opportunity  (Read 1635 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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First Post: Big life change opportunity
« on: May 23, 2017, 01:34:28 PM »

This is my first post, having been a reader for several weeks now. 

I have an opportunity to make a very large life choice, in an effort to clear debt and start saving significantly.

I live outside of DC - Falls Church.  My mortgage and spending is such, that my net savings is fairly low.  I still have a 401k, and small other general savings, but I am nowhere near the 40-50% that it takes to get to FI.

My opportunity is that I can sell my current home in Falls Church, clear ALL debt (including student loans, car payments, credit cards, and a few other).  My family (wife and two children under 4 y.o.) would buy my wife's grandparents house.  It is 2.5 hours from where we currently live (in Staunton VA), but about 1/3 of the price.

The result is that we could increase our savings to 25-30% per month.  We would move closer to in-laws, and clear ALL debt.  Obviously a huge pro.  The con is that I would likely need to spend most weeknights renting an apartment, AirBNB and would have to travel back and forth Monday mornings and Thursday evenings.  It would be a grind.  But I have no idea how taxing it would be unless we do it.

We are targeting about a year from now - for lots of reasons.  We want to get our house in condition to sell.  We want our son to finish pre-school with his current school, and it would take that much time to get everything else lined up.

I guess I'm just looking for feedback - has anyone pursued something like this?  Regrets?  I'm guessing we don't know until we try it. 

Clear debt
Increase savings
move close to in-laws
Nothing is really permanent

I'm further from my extended family
I don't see my wife or kids most week nights
Strain and stress of commute and nights away from home


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: First Post: Big life change opportunity
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2017, 01:48:53 PM »
i would think there are many other ways to down size your lifestyle vs this. 

its very extreme.

you should post a case study and be honest, i bet we can find many many things to get you to that savings rate and keep your current home should you choose to.

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  • Magnum Stache
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Re: First Post: Big life change opportunity
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2017, 02:18:49 PM »
Two children under 4 is 1) stressful 2) time consuming and 3) expensive.  Living 2.5 hours away from where you work makes each of those issues more difficult.  How many years were you proposing to keep up that schedule?  Until your kids leave home?

I'm thinking this solution is more about your wife's grandparents and what happens to their house than it is about your family of 4.  I'm sure there are other options for you that might be better.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: First Post: Big life change opportunity
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2017, 02:21:48 PM »
Personally, I would hate that.  You would be missing a lot of quality time with the wife and kids.  No amount of cost savings would make that worth it to me.

Have you considered bailing on NoVA entirely?  The Richmond area has quite a few good companies and jobs, plus the cost of living is worlds lower.  Salaries are lower, but you could probably buy the same house you have now for half as much.

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  • Pencil Stache
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Re: First Post: Big life change opportunity
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2017, 02:50:54 PM »
Money isn't everything. It sounds like this opportunity to wipe the slate clean financially would come at a steep cost on the personal life side of things. Only you can make the decision about whether or not erasing all of your debts at once is worth doing what you've proposed - personally, I would say no, but that is only my opinion.

I see two ways forward:

1. Make the move in question, but ALSO change jobs so as to eliminate the need to be in two places. This of course depends on the ability to find comparable work near the new house, but would enable you to "have your cake and eat it, too", so to speak.

2. Stay in your existing place, and take a hard look at your income/expenses with an eye toward optimization. We'd all be happy to help you do that if you post a case study, the hive-mind here is very thorough.

It sounds like you're determined to change course and are already thinking outside the box about how to move forward. Let us know if we can help!


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: First Post: Big life change opportunity
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2017, 02:57:00 PM »
really helpful feedback.  i will follow-up with more details to seek other alternatives.


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: First Post: Big life change opportunity
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2017, 03:12:00 PM »
Could you potentially buy the grandparents' house, rent and cashflow on it? If you can get it for 1/3rd of the price, it sounds like that might be 1/3rd less than current market value (in other words, they would sell to you for what they bought it for or maybe a little more but not current market value), and if that's true your ROI/COC could potentially be really high if you rented it out; especially if there's no deferred maintenance or major repairs that need to happen. Then use that cashflow to help subsidize your current mortgage and cut expenses in other areas to increase savings rate. Or, sell the current home, pay off all debt, and use the cashflow from the rental to pay for a place to rent in your current location. You'd of course want to run the numbers with any of these given scenarios. Is your work open to allowing you to telecommute at all? It sounds like you really like the job you're at, so if you can keep it AND have them be flexible, why not?
« Last Edit: May 23, 2017, 03:14:07 PM by jeromedawg »