Author Topic: would appreciate your advice - stuck with a house's  (Read 21767 times)

sash

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Re: would appreciate your advice - stuck with a house's
« Reply #50 on: December 10, 2013, 08:57:25 PM »
People are looking at it but not making offers.  That means it's overpriced.
Yes, you all are probably right. It's probably overpriced.

Unfortunately, our realtors have never been able to solicit honest feedback from potential buyers.  They always sell that they really liked the house, it's one of the top houses on their list, they have more questions, but then we never hear back from them.

_JT

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Re: would appreciate your advice - stuck with a house's
« Reply #51 on: December 10, 2013, 09:02:48 PM »
What you feel is justified has nothing to do with what buyers will pay for the property.  Buyers neither know nor care about your costs.  You need to get past this thinking and figure out what buyers will pay or you will not sell this house.

Exactly this. No one gives a flying crap what you feel justified selling it for. It's not worth what you think it is, and I know this because no one has been willing to give you that. So you are going to have to come to terms with that, or continue to live as you have been.

sash

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Re: would appreciate your advice - stuck with a house's
« Reply #52 on: December 10, 2013, 09:14:28 PM »
Maybe that's part of the problem.  I'm convinced that this property is very valuable, one of a kind.

Honestly, I think it should be worth $400-$500K.  It's a quality built large house in a beautiful nature setting - deer play in our back yard, woods, abundance of blackberries, a river down the street.  I think it's a gem, but evidently I'm the only one who thinks so.

Argyle

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Re: would appreciate your advice - stuck with a house's
« Reply #53 on: December 10, 2013, 09:25:38 PM »
It's a gem in some ways, but even you don't want to stay in it because of the commute.  And as you say, everyone else who works in town would also be commuting, and they don't want that hour-long commute.  And the country people don't have that kind of money.  So you probably have town folks seeing it online and coming out to look at it, and they drive the hour out to see it and think, "Yep, lovely property, but could I handle that commute?  And am I going to pay top dollar to get myself in a position where I want to make that commute?"  And they say no.  So that leaves the farmers and other country folks who wouldn't be commuting for work but can't afford that much house.

I've heard that the number-one thing that frustrates realtors is people insisting that their house "really" is worth a certain high amount, when reality shows that no one wants to buy it at that amount.  It sounds as if that's what's happening here.  It's a lovely property but not well located for people who have jobs.  If it were, you'd be staying in it!  So it needs to be priced accordingly in order to sell.

_JT

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Re: would appreciate your advice - stuck with a house's
« Reply #54 on: December 11, 2013, 06:26:30 AM »
Maybe that's part of the problem.  I'm convinced that this property is very valuable, one of a kind.

Honestly, I think it should be worth $400-$500K.  It's a quality built large house in a beautiful nature setting - deer play in our back yard, woods, abundance of blackberries, a river down the street.  I think it's a gem, but evidently I'm the only one who thinks so.

The other variable that you aren't really attempting to mess with is your commute. Can either you or your husband transition into telecommuting? At first just do it on Friday, and then eventually show your bosses how much more productive you are when you're not driving two hours a day, and go full time. Something to consider if you really love your house and don't want to move.

Daleth

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Re: would appreciate your advice - stuck with a house's
« Reply #55 on: December 12, 2013, 07:13:38 PM »
Maybe that's part of the problem.  I'm convinced that this property is very valuable, one of a kind.

Honestly, I think it should be worth $400-$500K.  It's a quality built large house in a beautiful nature setting - deer play in our back yard, woods, abundance of blackberries, a river down the street.  I think it's a gem, but evidently I'm the only one who thinks so.

The property sounds amazing. The location, however, is bad--it's the reason you're selling it, right? Too long of a commute, no great schools nearby? Unfortunately you can't sell only the property; you're also selling the location, and location trumps almost everything else in real estate. That's why a house that's $40k in Cleveland would be $400k in San Francisco. Cleveland effectively subtracts $360k from the value of the house (or SF adds $360k, same difference).

Apparently the difficulties of your property's location are subtracting a lot in the minds of buyers. And there's nothing you can do about that. Accepting the truth of it is your only choice, unless you want to stay there and deal with the lost time and lost money for X more years.

If you're listing it at $360k and not even getting offers, I would say it's listed at least 15%-20% too high. Buyers will make offers 10%-15% below asking in a heartbeat if they like the place and don't think there's a ton of competition for it (and they know there's not, since their realtor should have told them how long it's been on the market).

mm1970

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Re: would appreciate your advice - stuck with a house's
« Reply #56 on: December 12, 2013, 08:11:54 PM »
+1 to Izeve.  If you have been through three agents in 5 years, the house is overpriced and you are not listening.  If you must sell to move to the city, lower your price and sell. 

It's not that we're not listening.  We're just reluctant to lose money on it.
We've been paying mortgage for it for the last 10 years and have invested a lot of money into improvements.

Besides that there's also a fear that the housing market will bounce back to what it was in 2007 and then we'll have lost a 100K by selling it cheaply.

But you bought in 2007.  So, you are most likely going to lose money on it.  It's likely true for almost every place in the country.

That money is SUNK.  You aren't going to get it back.  You should aim for selling it for more than the mortgage, for sure.

I feel your pain.  We are living in a house that we bought in 2004.  Recent appraisal was $143,000 less than we paid for it, not including the $100k we have put into it.  It hurts, but we aren't moving.

mm1970

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Re: would appreciate your advice - stuck with a house's
« Reply #57 on: December 12, 2013, 08:15:59 PM »
Maybe that's part of the problem.  I'm convinced that this property is very valuable, one of a kind.

Honestly, I think it should be worth $400-$500K.  It's a quality built large house in a beautiful nature setting - deer play in our back yard, woods, abundance of blackberries, a river down the street.  I think it's a gem, but evidently I'm the only one who thinks so.
Yep, you can get one of those in my home town for $200k.

needmyfi

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Re: would appreciate your advice - stuck with a house's
« Reply #58 on: December 12, 2013, 08:49:48 PM »
I don't know what buyers are thinking.

Yes you do!!!.


we made a big mistake by buying a home with acerage that's very far out, in a rural area. Our commute is 1 hour. We pay dearly with our time, gas and car wear.
 we must move to a better school zone and closer to everything.

The problem is there are few people want to live that far into the country.  For people who work in Huntsville and can afford it it's too much of a commute.  For local country folks it's way too expensive.

 Plus- "You can build your dream home for $250,000 in a great location"-"gas costs you $400 a month" etc etc etc. They're thinking that "for this price, you could buy a nice house in town". This is what buyers are thinking. 

P.S No disrespect for loving the country-I live on 5 acres in North Ga, 8 miles from a small town. But I am realistic about what my neighbors can afford to pay for a house.

mm1970

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Re: would appreciate your advice - stuck with a house's
« Reply #59 on: December 13, 2013, 07:19:35 AM »
I don't know what buyers are thinking.

Yes you do!!!.


we made a big mistake by buying a home with acerage that's very far out, in a rural area. Our commute is 1 hour. We pay dearly with our time, gas and car wear.
 we must move to a better school zone and closer to everything.

The problem is there are few people want to live that far into the country.  For people who work in Huntsville and can afford it it's too much of a commute.  For local country folks it's way too expensive.

 Plus- "You can build your dream home for $250,000 in a great location"-"gas costs you $400 a month" etc etc etc. They're thinking that "for this price, you could buy a nice house in town". This is what buyers are thinking. 

P.S No disrespect for loving the country-I live on 5 acres in North Ga, 8 miles from a small town. But I am realistic about what my neighbors can afford to pay for a house.

My family all live in a rural area and are used to driving, but they have cheaper  homes.  They love the country, but there isn't much of a "city".

This type of house would likely only appeal to perhaps a large family where only one parent works, so only one parent is doing the drive.

AccidentalMiser

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Re: would appreciate your advice - stuck with a house's
« Reply #60 on: December 13, 2013, 08:57:40 AM »
A few years ago, we bought the perfect house for us for 160k.  We sold it last year for 140k after making payments on it for years.  We had to bring cash to closing.  It was the best decision we have ever made.

You've gotten to live in your beautiful house for years, but it's time to move on.  The things about your property that make you want to sell are the same things that are causing the lookers not to make an offer.

I'd replace the old appliances, slash the price by 40k and move on with life.  A bad piece of real estate will kill your FI plans faster than almost anything.

Good luck to you!

sash

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Re: would appreciate your advice - stuck with a house's
« Reply #61 on: December 13, 2013, 09:11:02 AM »

But you bought in 2007.  So, you are most likely going to lose money on it.  It's likely true for almost every place in the country.

That money is SUNK.  You aren't going to get it back.  You should aim for selling it for more than the mortgage, for sure.

I feel your pain.  We are living in a house that we bought in 2004.  Recent appraisal was $143,000 less than we paid for it, not including the $100k we have put into it.  It hurts, but we aren't moving.

No, no, we bought it in 2001 for 230K.
We're not trying to make a profit on it - just not lose anything. We've been paying for it and investing into it for over 10 years.

sash

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Re: would appreciate your advice - stuck with a house's
« Reply #62 on: December 13, 2013, 09:13:55 AM »
Unfortunately you can't sell only the property; you're also selling the location, and location trumps almost everything else in real estate. That's why a house that's $40k in Cleveland would be $400k in San Francisco.
You're absolutely right.

sash

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Re: would appreciate your advice - stuck with a house's
« Reply #63 on: December 13, 2013, 09:15:25 AM »
The other variable that you aren't really attempting to mess with is your commute. Can either you or your husband transition into telecommuting?
I'm already telecommuting.  I doubt my husband would be able to. But the worst is for our daughter - she needs to go to school and have friends around to come over to playdates.

TGod

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Re: would appreciate your advice - stuck with a house's
« Reply #64 on: December 13, 2013, 11:12:24 AM »
Sash, I understand your dilemma and the emotional investment in a home that raises it's value beyond what anybody else is willing to pay for it, added to that is the price you paid and the money and time you have put into it. We moved this summer to a new city, bought a house here, because commuting an hour each way for both my husband and I wasn't something we were willing to do and we wanted our kids to settle into the new community. We listed our house right away (in July, so we missed the spring market) and it's been sitting there without any offers. We've had a fair number of viewings, our realtors been pretty great about pursuing feedback from the buyers' agents, all responses have been that the price is at fair market value, but it's not the property they want (5 acres, half is wetlands tho so not great for horses or cattle).

 We initially bought for 100K, dumped about 120K over the years (massive renovations to a very old house - really nice work, very detailed) because when my hubby bought the house (pre-me) he intended to die there. We initially listed @ 329K and then dropped to 319K a month or so ago, We currently owe 240K on it (we pulled a 100k out of equity to put down on our new house), and I feel that we're in a pretty good position to be a bit flexible on the price. That said, I have the $310K in my head as the # I want. That will give me 60K free and clear after everything is said and done. But really, after 5 months on the market with no offers, it's pretty clear to me that the # is all in my head.

In a year would I be willing to sell it for $280K...probably. Every month that we have this house it is costing me about $1100, plus the stress on my husband. This sounds the same for you. Yes, you could hold out for another 5 years, and then maybe that one person will come along and fall in love with your property and buy it from you for the price you think it's worth. Maybe. But that is 5 years that you put your life on hold, continue to commute, continue to pay for this home and the wear and tear on your vehicles because you don't want to lose money. You have to let go of the "home" and your perceived value of it, it's a lesson that my husband is having to learn, and to be honest it's a pretty crappy lesson for him, and it will really affect him if we have to take a low offer after all of the hard work he's put into that home.  But I know with a little space and time between us and the old house, he'll get over it (mostly), but it's easier to move forward into the life you want when you can let go of what's holding you back.

It sounds like you want to make some lifestyle changes and this house is the thing that is standing in your way. How much is this lifestyle change worth to you. Put a price on that and consider updating your house price accordingly.
Oh, and get rid of your bloody agent.  You are her client, if she doesn't have the respect for you to bother returning your emails about something as big as selling your main asset, then she's not the agent for you, find a way to turf her.

LadyMuMu

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Re: would appreciate your advice - stuck with a house's
« Reply #65 on: December 13, 2013, 11:30:56 AM »
No, no, we bought it in 2001 for 230K.
We're not trying to make a profit on it - just not lose anything. We've been paying for it and investing into it for over 10 years.
bolding mine

Like you, we had to face some pretty harsh facts when we moved 1.5 years ago. Hardest of all was giving up what I call the HGTV Assumption. Home improvements (for most of us) are NOT "investments" anymore than a purchase of a Birkin bag is an "investment." They are purchases. They do not generate income. It is only in very rare instances that they actually add monetary value to a property.

When we moved we had replaced siding, soffits, redone the bathroom, ripped up old carpet, installed hardwood floors and tons of cosmetic things. We still sold for less than we paid for it 5 years prior. Not only were those "investments" lost but so was a chunk of our cash that we used to pay off the house early.

Let go of the idea that time and a shop/garage have added $100K to your property value in what has been a historic down market. Take a look at how much it is costing you to STAY in the house. Not just commute, but add schooling, property maintenance, energy costs, hauling garbage etc. It sounds like it costs you at least $4800 per year to stay in the house. If you had sold it 5 years ago thats  $24,000 right there. If you could downsize and pay cash for your next home, you need to figure 5 years times the amount of your house note, I imagine you're looking at about another $10,000 there. I'm sure if you put pen to paper you could easily come up with $50K that it's cost you to stay put and wait for better prices to come back.

All that said, it is SO hard to let go for what you think is less than a house is worth. My husband used to serenade me with the Greatful Dead song: Don't You Let That Deal Go Down, to keep my spirits up. In our current home, I will consider myself very fortunate if we sell it for what we bought it for 20+ years from now when our kids are grown and we retire. I no longer see our homestead as an investment. It is a purchase.

TGod

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Re: would appreciate your advice - stuck with a house's
« Reply #66 on: December 13, 2013, 11:59:52 AM »
Quote
I will consider myself very fortunate if we sell it for what we bought it for 20+ years from now when our kids are grown and we retire. I no longer see our homestead as an investment. It is a purchase.

Exactly! Times have changed. There a still people who can make money by flipping houses, but I think for the general public who buy houses to be used as homes, the open ended value increase just isn't there anymore We don't have luxury of buying a house for 60 grand, living in it for 20 years and then selling it for $400,000 with minimal updates.

I think this is just small piece of the bigger picture of the mental shift that many people have to make. HGTV is the worst for building up people's expectations for what these "investments" are worth. That and the fact that most of the homes featured in the shows and in their stories are beautiful, huge homes, which I secretly covet. It's hard to accept a plain, boring old house that keeps you warm and dry and safe from predators. My new house is a boorringgg vinyl sided, A-line roofed building which doesn't aesthetically please me at all. I could drop 60K into it and make it prettier, but it's money that I won't see again, because I can't foresee the house value going up more than maybe 20K.

Sometimes you just need to look at a house as being your home, something that creates memories and not as an investment.

Argyle

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Re: would appreciate your advice - stuck with a house's
« Reply #67 on: December 13, 2013, 01:48:27 PM »
There's also the fact that those bigger, more beautiful, more costly houses are actually harder to sell.  There are fewer people who can afford a costly house than who can afford a cheaper house.  What everyone wants, of course, is a lovely house on nice land in a great location that costs $100,000.  What they find and go for is a moderate house on a small piece of land in a pretty good location.  The people who are trying to sell the $6 million homes are the ones who are having an extreme amount of trouble, because the market for them is so tiny.  But the market for houses costing $300K+ -- in the places where this is not a standard house price -- is going to be smaller than for cheaper houses, even though the cheaper houses are not as desirable.  In that sense, upgrading the house and the price accordingly actually makes the house harder to sell.

Daleth

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Re: would appreciate your advice - stuck with a house's
« Reply #68 on: December 14, 2013, 12:18:52 PM »
We're not trying to make a profit on it - just not lose anything. We've been paying for it and investing into it for over 10 years.

Too bad. Sometimes we lose money. You've been trying to sell it without losing money for years without success, which is your very strong, clear clue that this is something you're going to lose money on. My mom paid $350k for a house that she had to short-sell for $225k DESPITE a fantastic kitchen remodel. It happens. You at least are not in a short-sale situation, so sit with your grief for a moment, acknowledge it, and then quit whining and get on with life.

Also, you may still be coming from the wrongheaded assumption that all the money you invested in any remodeling/updating should come back to you. That assumption is completely wrong. Even a really well done, on-trend kitchen remodel that you just did last week (i.e., that isn't already dated) would not increase the value of your house by 100% of the cost of the kitchen remodel. I've already posted links on this, and you can google it yourself (try something like "return on investment remodel").

sash

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Re: would appreciate your advice - stuck with a house's
« Reply #69 on: January 23, 2014, 10:01:54 PM »
Update: we found a buyer for 325k. So waiting sometimes pays off. And I'm glad I didn't follow the advice to sell it at a purchase price of 230k.

Now a new dilemma: buy an older house with cash or a nicer house with a little bit of debt (50-60k)?

sash

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Re: would appreciate your advice - stuck with a house's
« Reply #70 on: January 23, 2014, 10:10:09 PM »
It sounds to me like you are confusing two concepts.  A house sells at a loss if it sells for less than what you paid for it.  A short sale means a sale for less than the outstanding balance of your mortgage (this is done with the approval of the lender who is agreeing to forgive the difference - there may be tax consequences for you but you would need to check on this).

In your case, it sounds like you may have to sell it at a loss but probably not a short sale.  If the house hasn't sold in 5 years that means it is priced wrong.

What the house was appraised for in 2007 is totally irrelevant.  You need to find an agent who is familiar with and active in your specific area.  Even though it is hard to find comparable sales, an experienced agent should be able to do a market analysis and recommend a realistic price.  If you are motivated, you also need to do price reductions, if the house doesn't sell right away.  So list it, if you don't get any offers in 30 days, do a price reduction, then another after 60 days and so on.  Obviously, you need to decide up front what your bottom line is and what kind of a loss you are willing to take in order to move.  If you reach that level and the house still hasn't sold, then you need to consider other options (stay put, rent it out at a loss, etc.). 

If the house is priced right for the market, it will sell.  It may be just that you are not willing to go as low as the current market requires.

Good luck!
this was good advice. Regarding price reductions.

sash

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Re: would appreciate your advice - stuck with a house's
« Reply #71 on: January 23, 2014, 10:15:56 PM »
Actually now I'm terrified of getting stuck with a house again.  So it's paralizing my decisions.  Should we buy a house in a popular area so that it can be easily sold? Or a house that won't be popular but fit our needs. 

meteor

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Re: would appreciate your advice - stuck with a house's
« Reply #72 on: January 23, 2014, 10:17:40 PM »
I would get rid of the house, take a loss, and pretend that lost money was just "rent" you paid for living there.  It sounds like an anchor around your neck.  Plus you'll save a lot of money once you move (and gas/car expenses).

ZiziPB

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Re: would appreciate your advice - stuck with a house's
« Reply #73 on: January 24, 2014, 05:26:02 AM »
Quote
Should we buy a house in a popular area so that it can be easily sold? Or a house that won't be popular but fit our needs.

What is your plan regarding the new house?  Is it your "forever" house, or are you planning to move in a few years?  How long are you planning to live there?

Greg

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Re: would appreciate your advice - stuck with a house's
« Reply #74 on: January 24, 2014, 09:27:24 AM »
Update: we found a buyer for 325k. So waiting sometimes pays off. And I'm glad I didn't follow the advice to sell it at a purchase price of 230k.

Now a new dilemma: buy an older house with cash or a nicer house with a little bit of debt (50-60k)?

Congrats.  If I were you and had had such a hard time finding a buyer, I'd buy an older home with cash.  At least that way you won't have a debt.  You can always do improvements.

SunshineGirl

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Re: would appreciate your advice - stuck with a house's
« Reply #75 on: January 24, 2014, 09:48:37 AM »
I'd buy in the best location in town, with walkable neighborhoods and the best schools, even if it meant taking on $50-60K in debt.

Better yet, rent for a couple years in the best neighborhood.

TomTX

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Re: would appreciate your advice - stuck with a house's
« Reply #76 on: January 24, 2014, 05:55:46 PM »
Update: we found a buyer for 325k. So waiting sometimes pays off. And I'm glad I didn't follow the advice to sell it at a purchase price of 230k.

Now a new dilemma: buy an older house with cash or a nicer house with a little bit of debt (50-60k)?

You should be walking away from closing with ~$160k, right? It's cheaper to get a $200k house that will meet your needs for 15-20 years than a $150k house that you have to sell again in 5 years.

I would try to find a good neighborhood, with great schools and very close to work. Then try to get a great deal on a house.

sash

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Re: would appreciate your advice - stuck with a house's
« Reply #77 on: January 24, 2014, 09:39:07 PM »
What is your plan regarding the new house?  Is it your "forever" house, or are you planning to move in a few years?  How long are you planning to live there?

Well, my child will be going to a school for the next 10 years so we need a house in a good schools zone.

We own a land lot where my ideal place to live is and would like to build an energy-efficient house there. But the elementary school there is no good. So I don't know.

Daleth

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Re: would appreciate your advice - stuck with a house's
« Reply #78 on: January 25, 2014, 12:56:46 PM »
What is your plan regarding the new house?  Is it your "forever" house, or are you planning to move in a few years?  How long are you planning to live there?

Well, my child will be going to a school for the next 10 years so we need a house in a good schools zone.

We own a land lot where my ideal place to live is and would like to build an energy-efficient house there. But the elementary school there is no good. So I don't know.

It sounds like you do know. Building a house in that "ideal place" with bad schools would only be replicating the situation you just barely managed to get out of. Live in a good school district for 10 years, until your kid finishes school; then sell that place and build your energy-efficient "rest of your life" house.

sash

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Re: would appreciate your advice - stuck with a house's
« Reply #79 on: January 25, 2014, 09:40:21 PM »
It sounds like you do know. Building a house in that "ideal place" with bad schools would only be replicating the situation you just barely managed to get out of. Live in a good school district for 10 years, until your kid finishes school; then sell that place and build your energy-efficient "rest of your life" house.
You're right. Well, only elementary school is bad there, the middle and high school are really good.

Oh, the pain of buying a house.... 

Nice houses run about 300K+.  We got used to living in a really nice house and now it's going to be hard to move downward. Yet I don't want to get an extra 100K of debt.

Blindsquirrel

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Re: would appreciate your advice - stuck with a house's
« Reply #80 on: January 26, 2014, 08:45:56 AM »
   Soooo glad you found a buyer!

MayDay

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Re: would appreciate your advice - stuck with a house's
« Reply #81 on: January 26, 2014, 11:05:15 AM »
I would buy a cheap house in a good elementary, then build on your dream lot once your daughter is out of elementary.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2014, 11:12:40 AM by MayDay »

bogart

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Re: would appreciate your advice - stuck with a house's
« Reply #82 on: January 26, 2014, 11:33:45 AM »

The wood floors may need to be redone - there are some scratches, the appliances are 15 years old, but look decent, the paint looks OK.


As someone who's looked at a few houses recently and is contemplating moving (or not), I can tell you that "some scratches, 15 year old appliances, and OK paint" look just fine in the house I am living in, but not in the house I am thinking of buying.  It's not rational, but it's true.

It sounds to me like you want to be out of, and rid of, the house, and for sensible reasons.  Personally in your shoes I think I'd take what I could get out of it, cut my losses, and move on.  I have no particular wisdom (beyond what's been said above) about how you can make that happen, but I'd guess the market values of the homes you are interested in buying will rise more quickly than will that of your home, based on what you've described about the market, so I don't see a financial argument for waiting.  And I definitely don't see a personal/familial argument for doing so.