Author Topic: To move or not to move?  (Read 3125 times)

JBizzle

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To move or not to move?
« on: August 03, 2017, 07:15:38 AM »
Hello...a little back story. I posted on here about 2 years ago and since then have not been back😣 Not for any reason really. Anyway....I have 3 small children and a spouse and living in NJ. My husband has 50k of student loan debt (we've already paid off the other 50k). We are struggling. When we bought our house in 2007 we both had full time jobs that grossed about 100k. In 2015 I was laid off from my job. And then 6 mos later, my husband was laid off. Thankfully, unemployment kept our necessities running. My husband was able to gain another job this past March and also got his real estate license. He also paints on the side now and then it found it to really mess his shoulder and neck up so he does it when friends need it done instead of actively looking for customers. I also got my EMT license and just got a part time job on weekends (it only pays $13/hr however).  The problem is that my husbands full time job nets him about $50k/yr. Our mortgage is half of that and then the minimums for his student loans are about $4-5k which we always put at least an extra $100/mo on. We have no car payments and no consumer debt. We use credit cards sometimes for groceries but always pay it off and set a budget for it at $500/mo for a family of 5. We are drowning though. We talked about moving to CO back when I got laid off and my husband tried to have his company transfer him there but he couldn't find any open positions. We put the move on the back burner for that reason and because of the family pullback we have here. However, we are revisiting it again. I'm just tired of feeling stuck. Our property taxes are between $7300-$7400/yr. I just think that's crazy for a 3 bed, 1.5 bath 2000 sq ft house on .25 acres.

Do you all think it is crazy to move? Or is it crazy to stay?? What about our family? Do we even take that into consideration?
« Last Edit: August 03, 2017, 07:20:24 AM by JBizzle »

2Cent

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Re: To move or not to move?
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2017, 02:26:48 AM »
Seems your house is costing more than you can afford. So either earn more or move. If earning more is not in the cards anytime soon, just start looking for jobs elsewhere where there is good demand in your fields but not too high cost of living. The longer you stay, the harder it will be. Especially with kids.

JBizzle

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Re: To move or not to move?
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2017, 10:57:20 AM »
Thanks for your reply! My husband has started looking for jobs elsewhere and said he's applied to a lot so far in areas where COL is less. He really only wants to move to CO if we're going to move because the COL is lower, unemployment rate is low and the lifestyle fits ours.

Would you fix up your house at all to sell? It's so outdated and he thinks we should do a little bit just to be able to sell it for more.

Dave1442397

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Re: To move or not to move?
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2017, 11:50:58 AM »
Would you fix up your house at all to sell? It's so outdated and he thinks we should do a little bit just to be able to sell it for more.

I would talk to some of your local realtors and get their opinion on whether it's worth updating things. My neighbor spent months painting and cleaning her mother's house to put it up for sale. The couple who bought it happen to be FB friends with my wife, and the first thing they did was paint every room.

slappy

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Re: To move or not to move?
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2017, 12:00:19 PM »
I'm in a very similar situation and we are also considering moving. We are now single income (dual income when we bought the house) and our mortgage takes up a lot of our income. Our taxes are quite high as well. Similar to you, with a 3 bedroom home, 1600 sq ft and $7k worth of taxes. We do have a small amount of debt, including a car payment, so I am working on paying that off and seeing how much breathing room it will give us.  I am also focused on increasing income, which unfortunately means overtime for now.   I am still researching other locations though, and I'm not sure what we will do yet. My husband wants to move to CO, too.

NeonPegasus

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Re: To move or not to move?
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2017, 12:05:28 PM »
Thanks for your reply! My husband has started looking for jobs elsewhere and said he's applied to a lot so far in areas where COL is less. He really only wants to move to CO if we're going to move because the COL is lower, unemployment rate is low and the lifestyle fits ours.

Then get looking! Your mortgage + taxes ARE ridiculous. For that amount, I'd expect your DH to be making a lot more (based on the much higher COL). In the greater Atlanta area, you could get a house like yours for around $200-250k with property taxes of around 1/3 of that. So right off, you'd be saving $400/mo on taxes alone.

Would you fix up your house at all to sell? It's so outdated and he thinks we should do a little bit just to be able to sell it for more.

In your position, I would preserve your cash and simply take a lower price for your house. The best return on renovations is on kitchens and that usually is only 80% of what you spend. I'd only update something if you can DIY, do it cheaply and it is the difference between selling or not (not just the price).

Felipe

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Re: To move or not to move?
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2017, 12:21:16 PM »
The NJ area is mentioned by name in this article.
https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/09/28/get-rich-with-moving-to-a-better-place/

25k/yr in mortgage is more than most here spend annually for a small family (yours seems larger than the median). There's renting if it makes sense based on math or buying a smaller house or buying a house in a lower COL area and moving there.

It seems you're a living example of the high COL in the area. There's a lot of people in Silicon Valley getting eaten alive too. I'd move.

Working yourself to the ground to spin your wheels instead of buy your freedom is what NJ sounds like from how painted it.

JLee

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Re: To move or not to move?
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2017, 12:39:05 PM »
The only reason I live in NJ is because I was bribed with a significant increase in income (and I'm still in an apartment with a roommate).  Otherwise, I would still be in AZ.  I vote move - it's really difficult to get ahead here without high incomes, especially with a family and a house (well, the property taxes).

JBizzle

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Re: To move or not to move?
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2017, 12:52:17 PM »
Sorry my daughter's bday was this weekend so I wasn't on here much!

My husband is a realtor, ironically. It's his side job not his full time position. He thinks we should do the bathroom, at least by changing out the vanity and reglazing the tub and painting over the wood paneling downstairs just to make it look brighter.

I've also brought up other locations but CO seems  to be the only one he is interested in.

Has anyone with small children moved away from family? Does it get easier once there?

2Cent

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Re: To move or not to move?
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2017, 10:19:45 PM »
Sorry my daughter's bday was this weekend so I wasn't on here much!

My husband is a realtor, ironically. It's his side job not his full time position. He thinks we should do the bathroom, at least by changing out the vanity and reglazing the tub and painting over the wood paneling downstairs just to make it look brighter.

I've also brought up other locations but CO seems  to be the only one he is interested in.

Has anyone with small children moved away from family? Does it get easier once there?
It gets easier once they make new friends. Expect the first half year to be a struggle at least. But the longer you wait the harder it becomes. Family is of course great to have around, but you can make up for the loss by joining a community like church or some school related thing.

For selling I always feel that if a house looks sloppy and worn on the outside, I assume there are a lot of hidden problems as well. So a bit of cleaning and painting may go a long way. First impressions matter. But don't do things that drive up the price. Sticker shock is also a first impression.

Villanelle

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Re: To move or not to move?
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2017, 02:11:08 AM »
How young are the kids?  I'm surrounded by military kids, and was a military kid myself, and my observation is that they younger they are, the easier it is. 

I would definitely move in your situation, and I wouldn't limit myself to CO, either.  Why not open up the job search to Just About Anywhere, and then look at the local COL to see if specific jobs would be forward progress for you.  You sound very stuck and very unhappy, so it's time for some hard choices, and to evaluate everything, ditching all assumptions and non-negotiables, to see what best serves your needs.  Your husband is "only interested in CO"?  Why?  What is it about a place just across the boarder (or across the country) that doesn't give him something he gets from CO?  And whatever the answer to that questions is, if he even has an answer, is that thing worth more than your family's financial security and future? Is it worth more than being able to afford to put your kids in Little League or dance class or piano lessons?  More than being able to help them with college if you choose to?  More than giving them the gift as adults of not having to worry about taking care of their elderly parents who are still required to work full time jobs in their 70s? 

He loves CO.  Okay.  Does he love it more than those things?  And can he find the things he loves about CO somewhere else?

JBizzle

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Re: To move or not to move?
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2017, 01:50:32 PM »
The kids are 7,5, and 3. He loves it because the COL is lower than ours, the unemployment rate is very low and the overall lifestyle of outdoorsy-ness and being laid back. I've mentioned places like NC and VA but NC's unemployment rate is right around ours and I'm not entirely sure his beef with VA. It's only a 2 hour drive and we have friends that live around there.

bognish

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Re: To move or not to move?
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2017, 02:08:47 PM »
One opposing consideration for staying.

With 3 little kids about to go into school you might be getting the benefit of the higher property taxes in NJ. I had a friend move from UT to NJ and their smart kids were held back a grade because the kids in NJ public schools were so far ahead. I grew up in CT and the public library, school systems and community resources are so much better than what we have available in UT. I don't know that a LOC community in Colorado would be much different.

That being said I turned down an offer to relocate to NJ and haven't considered moving back to CT. I just know we have to be more involved in my kids education and work harder to provide extra curricular enrichment opportunities. That and my wife can't take all the bugs on the east coast.

Linea_Norway

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Re: To move or not to move?
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2017, 02:20:34 PM »
About preparing the house for sale, fix all the things that unfixed could  cause a negative first impression during a viewing. Like replacing a punctured window, fixing a concrete floor that is half desolved, oil peeping doors, remove a lot of furniture so that it looks emptier, paint those things that are ugly, remove a dirty shower curtain. Buy nice flowers, different sets ans put put them together well. Check the broker and choose a good one! Read his  or her selling brochures and choose a broker that makes good ones. In Norway they recommend painting and not doing expensive things.