Author Topic: To Sell or Not to Sell House - New baby on the way.  (Read 4708 times)

dinkhelpneeded

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To Sell or Not to Sell House - New baby on the way.
« on: December 31, 2015, 09:00:44 AM »
Hi,

We are a DINK couple in the San Francisco bay area, and I am trying to assess if I should sell my home, to save more.

Stats
Home in nice neighborhood with parks, and strong community.
Mortgage: $3813 including property taxes (10K/yr)
Stupidly we bought a house with a pool we dont use and utility bills are high.

Wins:
Utilities and property taxes are my main reason to want to move. Rent is $3000 (same as mortgage w/o property taxes) if we were to move out.
Based on my calculations $500 savings per month on utilities and 10K property taxes, will be a 16K savings right off the bat (if we go back to renting)
We come up on the 2yr mark of purchase, equity in the house is probably ~150K, but after paying realtor ~70K, that will probably be ~80K tax free gain.

Losses:
Backyard: we have a dog, and the freedom of letting the dog out in the backyard will be gone! Also pacifying the baby outdoors (in the first few months) maybe useful?
Neighborhood: I can take the stroller and go for a quick walk round the block to a park. Very safe neighborhood, cant say the same with apartments.

Bottomline: It feels like I can keep my sanity in a house with a new baby, but I dont know how much of that is just fear of the unknown.
I would like some new or old parents to weigh in, to see if beyond the monetary benefits of renting, if there is any real reason a house is better to bring a baby home than an apartment? or even convince me otherwise.


« Last Edit: February 18, 2016, 11:49:07 PM by dinkhelpneeded »

COlady

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Re: To Sell or Not to Sell House - New baby on the way.
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2015, 11:51:20 AM »
I don't have any advice re: whether to sell or not but I can tell you that a newborn baby knows nothing about where they're living. All a baby knows is: Are they fed? Are they warm/comfortable? Are they given the attention they need? They don't care whether they're in a condo or a 4,000 square foot house. Newborn babies really don't take up much space at all.

COlady

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Re: To Sell or Not to Sell House - New baby on the way.
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2015, 11:55:18 AM »
I think your concern should be more about moving when you have a baby.  I have 9 month old twins and moving sounds terrible. I'd say get settled somewhere you want to be for the next five years while the baby is still cooking, whether that be a rental apartment or a cheaper house.

brandino29

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Re: To Sell or Not to Sell House - New baby on the way.
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2015, 12:08:03 PM »
If you all are happy where you are in the home and really like your neighborhood/community, and assuming it's in a reasonable location easily accessible to work and what not, I'm going to go against what is likely the general sentiment of this forum and say I don't see the need to sell and move.  Based on your income, and assuming that the income is safe for the long-term future, the home should be easily affordable while continuing to save a crap ton of money on top of it for early retirement. 

However, if there is any uncertainty of your income moving forward, serious potential for a future downturn in the value of the homes in your neighborhood that's going to put you underwater, or better housing options nearer to work, then it may be worth considering a move. 

KittyFooFoo

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Re: To Sell or Not to Sell House - New baby on the way.
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2015, 12:17:45 PM »
It doesn't matter whether a baby lives in a house or an apartment.  We lived in both a house and an apartment (we moved) during year 1.  Baby didn't care.

The most important thing is that your life is set up to minimize stress and free up time and energy.  Which do you think would do that better--your current house, or a new apartment?

soupcxan

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Re: To Sell or Not to Sell House - New baby on the way.
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2015, 12:26:47 PM »
No way would I sell in your situation. The pool is an extra expense but it's not that much in the grand scheme of things. You will pay 50k in commissions to sell your house, that covers decades of pool water/electricity use.

Expect that 3k rent to go up every year vs a fixed mortgage payment. And you still have to pay for water/electricity in an apartment, maybe not as much as with a pool but it's not zero.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2015, 12:28:27 PM by soupcxan »

pompera_firpa

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Re: To Sell or Not to Sell House - New baby on the way.
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2015, 12:40:25 PM »
Everything I've heard about the rental market in the SF area indicates that if you have the good luck to own a house, especially one that you like in an area you like, then FOR GOD'S SAKE STAY PUT. Skyrocketing rental prices are not something you need.

The most important thing is that your life is set up to minimize stress and free up time and energy.

Seconding this. The more freed-up time and energy, the better. I love my daughter like nothing else in this life, but damn, that first year was insane.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: To Sell or Not to Sell House - New baby on the way.
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2015, 01:01:55 PM »
I would wait until after the baby is born to make substantial life choices. You don't know how it will affect you yet.

little_brown_dog

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Re: To Sell or Not to Sell House - New baby on the way.
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2015, 01:02:18 PM »
We have only cared for our daughter in our single family home, but I remember living next to a couple who had a young baby when we lived in an apartment. It was terrible. Our bedroom shared a wall with the babyís room and she howled loudly between midnight and 4am. It was so loud, we spent many nights sleeping in our living room. I felt badly for the parents, but we were spending 1800/mo on a very nice apartment and couldnít use our own bedroom for a solid 3-4 months without hearing wailing. Itís a small thing, but you donít need to worry about your colicky child keeping the neighbors up in a single family home.

TomTX

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Re: To Sell or Not to Sell House - New baby on the way.
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2015, 01:10:50 PM »
Drain the pool and shut down the system. That should save you a few hundred bucks a month.

Really, given your incomes I wouldn't bother with moving since you seem to like the house, yard and neighborhood.

MsPeacock

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Re: To Sell or Not to Sell House - New baby on the way.
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2015, 01:24:05 PM »
No way would I sell in your situation. The pool is an extra expense but it's not that much in the grand scheme of things. You will pay 50k in commissions to sell your house, that covers decades of pool water/electricity use.

Expect that 3k rent to go up every year vs a fixed mortgage payment. And you still have to pay for water/electricity in an apartment, maybe not as much as with a pool but it's not zero.

+1

It is really nice to have a fenced backyard with children. As they get older you can set them loose out there while,you sit in a yard chair, host play dates, do yard work, read, etc.

Is it possible to shut down and drain the pool and put a sturdy cover over it? Personally I don't trust pools and children in the same household, aside from whatever cost savings there may be. What is the cost of just removing the pool entirely, since you don't use it (although that may change with baby. ) ?

TomTX

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Re: To Sell or Not to Sell House - New baby on the way.
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2015, 02:09:06 PM »
No way would I sell in your situation. The pool is an extra expense but it's not that much in the grand scheme of things. You will pay 50k in commissions to sell your house, that covers decades of pool water/electricity use.

Expect that 3k rent to go up every year vs a fixed mortgage payment. And you still have to pay for water/electricity in an apartment, maybe not as much as with a pool but it's not zero.

+1

It is really nice to have a fenced backyard with children. As they get older you can set them loose out there while,you sit in a yard chair, host play dates, do yard work, read, etc.

Is it possible to shut down and drain the pool and put a sturdy cover over it? Personally I don't trust pools and children in the same household, aside from whatever cost savings there may be. What is the cost of just removing the pool entirely, since you don't use it (although that may change with baby. ) ?

Either cover or fill with something relatively easy to remove (sand?) - I wouldn't go to the trouble of actually ripping out an inground pool when you may well want one again when the kid(s?) are bigger.

mm1970

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Re: To Sell or Not to Sell House - New baby on the way.
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2015, 02:22:22 PM »
Drain the pool and shut down the system. That should save you a few hundred bucks a month.

Really, given your incomes I wouldn't bother with moving since you seem to like the house, yard and neighborhood.

+1

If you don't want a pool, get rid of it.  Drain it, cover it, fill it in with dirt.  This, of course, if you otherwise love the house and hood.

Astatine

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Re: To Sell or Not to Sell House - New baby on the way.
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2015, 02:26:23 PM »
If you do stay, please please ensure your pool has a childproof fence and gate. My country makes this mandatory to reduce the risk of children drowning but I'm aware that this is not the norm in other countries. Small children can drown fast and quietly.

Midcenturymater

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Re: To Sell or Not to Sell House - New baby on the way.
« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2015, 02:44:21 PM »
I would stay put. Here in LA rents rose 11 per cent. I suspect the bay area will beat that.
Baby won't care but you might living in a space where your neighbours may hear the baby crying. You may miss the yard.
Just make the pool safe. Sadly I know of two pool related tragedies so that would be my concern about the pool.You can always sell in the future.

We rented a home here in LA for 5 years. I kept trying to persuade my husbAnd to move to an apartment for half the cost.We would have saved 12 k a year. 60 k in those 5 years.

But

It was lovely living in a detached house, not worrying about sound, private, pulling a rug into the yard and lying under the trees watching the clouds with each of my kids....water fights etc....space for my guests when they came.
It was a slice of heaven my husbAnd insisted we have as I was to be home for the period of my kids being little. Now I would have deprived myself of that to save and I think my choice would have been the wrong one.

The thing I hate about renting is rent going up and landlords not being ethical. We had raw sewerage coming up our baths. Our landlord insisted it was our problem both I and our son got very sick with hospital stays...We cannot be sure it was caused by a blocked main waste pipe ( we kept snaking) which meant waste was coming g back up our baths and sinks. We moved in the end because of that. Now we own we sort out prob a that arise. Our mortgage is May be 200 less than rent would be so it may cost us more in the end but it is worth it. We have seen rents rise from 2000 a month to closer to 3500 a month for a 3_4 bed home in this city.
We at least know our mortgage will not rise.
You have an amazing income most of us will never realise.
Suck up the pool cost. Rent your home out on airbnb. When you next wave it and put that money towards the pool cost.
You have the most special times ahead as parents. Set up your life to be as comfortable as you can to make the 
Inevitable tiredness of always being on, more cushioned.

jac941

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Re: To Sell or Not to Sell House - New baby on the way.
« Reply #15 on: December 31, 2015, 02:47:52 PM »
If you like where you are, don't move.  Having a dog + no yard + baby is kind of a pain. Bringing the baby and dog out for potty breaks every few hours is just annoying.

That said, young children and pools are an awful mix. Even with the best fence, I wouldn't want a pool at my house. I second (or third) the recommendation to look into filling it in or draining and covering it with a deck or walkable surface at least while your kid(s) are little.

pbkmaine

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Re: To Sell or Not to Sell House - New baby on the way.
« Reply #16 on: December 31, 2015, 02:51:12 PM »
As long as the schools are good, keep the house. There are many things you can do with the pool. You can fence it, or alarm it, or drain it and put a platform over it, or fill it in. Someday the kids might appreciate it.


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ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: To Sell or Not to Sell House - New baby on the way.
« Reply #17 on: December 31, 2015, 03:06:38 PM »
Yes, the pool does need to be addressed. When we were looking at houses I excluded any sort of water feature.

lbmustache

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Re: To Sell or Not to Sell House - New baby on the way.
« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2015, 03:17:37 PM »
It sounds like your main complaint is utilities, so I agree with the others. Drain the pool, turn it into part of the yard w/ grass or pour cement, whatever you need to do. Absolutely zero idea as to how much this costs but it will be far easier than packing up house and moving!