Author Topic: Job/Home/Lifestyle changes, Chicago to Denver  (Read 4371 times)

cbr shadow

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Job/Home/Lifestyle changes, Chicago to Denver
« on: October 02, 2013, 02:00:24 PM »
Fellow Mustachians,
My wife and I, who are both 29 years old living in a Chicago suburb, have always wanted to move to the Denver area.  We like the mountains, hiking trails, and general outdoor culture.  We both grew up in the general area that we currently live, have family here,  jobs here, and a house.

More recently my wife’s job (consulting/software sales) expanded her region to the Denver area, so she could work there just as easily as she could in Chicago.  I’ve realized that at my job (3D Modeling, Autocad/solidworks/Revit) is likely to keep me in the same position/pay for a long time, so I updated my resume and am ready to look for a new place to work.  If there ever was a time to try living in Denver, it seems now is it.

There are a few complications though.. We bought our home 3 years ago for $221,000.  It was appraised 1/1/13 for $210,000.  We owe $197,000 in a 3.25% 15-yr mortgage.  I think we’d likely break even if we decided to sell the house, but I think it may be a better option to rent the house out while we are “trying” Denver instead.  This would keep us in this nice low interest rate and pay the principal down in the meantime.  The plan would be to move to Denver, rent a place out there, and revaluate if we want to move back in a year or two.

To add complication, we have (2) Rottweilers, a 65lb female and an 85lb male.  I assume finding a place for us to rent in Denver will be difficult.

A few background stats:
Salary
Her: $125,000
Him: $50,000

Current Savings Rate: ~60-65%

No kids, none planned

Just a few questions:
1)   How do I come up with a reasonable estimation of what we can rent our house out for?
2)   Does this plan sound reasonable?

Numbers Man

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Re: Job/Home/Lifestyle changes, Chicago to Denver
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2013, 02:04:42 PM »
Sell your house. As they say in poker, are you in or are you out? If you're really moving to Denver, then sell you house. Boom, thread over.

cbr shadow

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Re: Job/Home/Lifestyle changes, Chicago to Denver
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2013, 02:26:32 PM »
LOL "Boom thread over" I wish it was so simple, but I did laugh out loud at the library.

Ideally we move to Denver for a year or two and then decide if we want to move back or not.  We have other ties here (family) that might be hard to move away from.  If we decided we dont like it after a year it would be nice to have our house availble to come back to, and to still have the super low interest rate. 

I guess the main question is: How do we figure out how much we can rent out our house for?

Boom thread reopened :)

willn

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Re: Job/Home/Lifestyle changes, Chicago to Denver
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2013, 02:31:18 PM »
I'd sell.  It'll be a psychological and financial burden.  Even if it pulls some positive cash flow, you guys make enough it won't change your life and being a long distance landlord is a big hassle.

Cut the tie, focus on making a great life in Denver. 

Boom.  Thread closed.

iamlindoro

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Re: Job/Home/Lifestyle changes, Chicago to Denver
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2013, 02:36:32 PM »
Well I won't "thread close" you ;) but I have to agree-- if you dip your toes in, you'll consciously or subconsciously deny yourself a real chance at making a go of it in Denver.  There will always be more houses in Chicago, and if you're moving to Denver then your focus should be on making a true home there, not on hedging your bets.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Job/Home/Lifestyle changes, Chicago to Denver
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2013, 04:27:24 PM »
THREAD PAUSE.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Job/Home/Lifestyle changes, Chicago to Denver
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2013, 04:33:21 PM »
Ok go again!

ShavinItForLater

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Re: Job/Home/Lifestyle changes, Chicago to Denver
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2013, 05:14:53 PM »
I haven't tried to rent a place before, but I think if you want some quick estimates, I'd suggest the following:

1) Go to Zillow and see their rent Zestimate.  They claim that for big cities like Chicago, the majority of places are listed for rent for within 10% of their Zestimate.
2) Ask a realtor.  They find renters as well as buyers.
3) Interview a few property management companies and ask them for a rent estimate.  You may need one anyway to be a long distance landlord, and they should know the local market particularly since a big part of their job would be to find you a tenant.
4) Check the local rent listings for comparable places in Craigslist, the local newspapers, your local rental finder/assistance type places if they exist (they do in my Chicago suburb).

If I were doing what you're doing (and I actually may, been considering Colorado as a place to live), I would sell my house.  I could always rent or buy coming back, and I am just not that attached or in love with my house.  And if I was that attached or in love with it, and wanted to make a go of it in Denver, all the more reason to sell and break free of those sentimental chains.

Daleth

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Re: Job/Home/Lifestyle changes, Chicago to Denver
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2013, 07:02:23 PM »
Just a few questions:
1)   How do I come up with a reasonable estimation of what we can rent our house out for?
2)   Does this plan sound reasonable?

Congratz on taking the plunge and moving somewhere you've dreamed of! Denver is an awesome place to live. You will not miss Chicago winters!

(1): Look on Craigslist for houses in your area and see what they rent for and how your house compares to them in terms of size, curb appeal/interior appeal, amenities, and convenient or otherwise desirable location.
(1a) You didn't ask this, but also look on Denver's Craigslist and search for houses that will rent to people with dogs. What's available?

(2): Moving sounds awesome. Keeping the house and renting out could be good, depending on the results of your Craigslist research (i.e. how much you could rent it for).

Also, you MIGHT consider a rent-to-own situation, but you'll need a real estate lawyer to help you with that.

sassy1234

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Re: Job/Home/Lifestyle changes, Chicago to Denver
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2013, 08:42:57 AM »
Wow!  I am strangely in a similar situation!!!

My husband and I live in a Chicago suburb as well, and having been trying to move to Denver/ Boulder area for the past 3 months.  I can work anywhere, and my husband started looking for a new job.  I make a lot, he does not and does not have too much room to grow. 

We love the outdoors, hate Chicago winters, and do not want to have to buy a house in Chicago, too expensive. 

We have found that it is really, really hard to get a job there.  A lot of people want to live there.  Jobs pay terrible there because they can always find someone to work for nothing.  He found an assistant director position he was perfect for, but then found out it was an hourly position! 

We also moved to Chicago 3 years ago, and have been renting our out of state home since then.  It is so stressful, harder that we thought it would be.  The good thing is we are in drivable distance, and this allows us to manage the property.  A property management company will eat up all your profits.  Think really hard if you want to rent it out.  Being a landlord is not easy! 

Best of luck. 

SunshineGirl

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Re: Job/Home/Lifestyle changes, Chicago to Denver
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2013, 12:16:43 PM »
Although...with a 15-year-mortgage, your tenants will be paying a heck of a lot of your principal for you. I don't necessarily agree with all the sell advice. As long as you eventually move back to that house for two years before you sell it, you wouldn't even have to pay capital gains tax, assuming there is a capital gain. Meanwhile, you could have a paid-off house by the age of 45.

As far as what to rent it for, search Trulia, Zillow and Realtor to see what homes nearby rent for.