Author Topic: Would you downsize at a loss in this situation?  (Read 3258 times)

Zero Degrees

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Would you downsize at a loss in this situation?
« on: January 14, 2017, 04:38:41 PM »
Hello All,

Long  time reader,  first time poster.  I need to change my current living situation within the next few years,  but I would take a loss on selling my house. I don't want to make an irrational decision, yet feel I have no other choice.

I am a female in my 40s, single, two kids still at home (junior and senior in high school).

 My house is two story with an unfinished basement,  2800 finished square feet. 4 bed 3 bath.  It's becoming difficult to maintain and is more space than we need.  After the nest is empty, it will really seem like a huge waste.

I love my house and thought I would be here forever.  The bigger issue is my ability to live in the house safely.  Without going into too much detail,  I was diagnosed with a progressive, incurable neurological  disease a few years ago. It is slowly robbing me of my mobility.  At my last MD check, I was told it's progressing faster than he thought it would.   I already have difficulty with the stairs and have had some falls due to poor balance and muscle weakness.

There is no bedroom or bathroom on the main level.  I've checked into remodeling to change that and the layout will not work.  I've also checked into a chair lift for the stairs.  Also a no go.  Not to mention HOA rules.

If the day comes I have to stop working, I don't want to be in this expensive house. I know this is not the MMM way, but I also don't want to save all my money so I can travel 10 years from now.  I need to do those things now, while I can still somewhat get around.

My plan is to rent a single level small home or a condo/apt with elevator.  I don't expect my kids to bathe and feed me either,  so going from renting to assisted living  would be best.

I owe 309,000 on my house.  I bought at the top of the market.  Today I could get about 300,000.  I hope to just break even after commission 2 or 3 years from now.

I'm trying not to make emotional decisions. What would you do in my situation?   

Thank you


  • Bristles
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Re: Would you downsize at a loss in this situation?
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2017, 05:11:26 PM »
In your case, it's obviously more than just the numbers, it's your worsening mobility + falls and the untenable layout of the house. 

In your place, if I had the cash to bring to the table or the expected rent on a condo is less than your current mortgage & expenses, I'd sell and move as soon as the kids are out or sooner if feasible.

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  • Bristles
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Re: Would you downsize at a loss in this situation?
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2017, 05:13:47 PM »
I'm so sorry to hear about your illness.  It sounds like you are facing the reality of your situation head on and with great courage. 

Have you considered taking on a room mate?  It could bring in some income.  The room mate could also potentially help with yard work and snow removal (if that applies to you).  It's good to think about these things and the possible approaches to dealing with your situation.  On the other hand, I would try to live life one day at a time and see how your illness develops and don't make any decisions before you have to.


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Re: Would you downsize at a loss in this situation?
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2017, 05:25:00 PM »
I would take the loss and sell. You aren't losing all that much on the house - if you downsize, you will still come out with cash from the deal. I'd put health and safety above profits.

Heck, one bad fall that takes you out of the workforce could wipe out any potential savings you might make from waiting for another turn in the market anyway. That's obviously a worse case scenario, but day to day functioning in an environment that makes you feel unsafe? That's not worth the cost if it's avoidable.


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Re: Would you downsize at a loss in this situation?
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2017, 09:17:01 PM »
I agree w/ PP that moving sooner rather than later makes sense. I am also a single mom in my 40s with two kids (a little younger than yours) BUT my house is very small 1200 sq feet with an accessible apartment in the basement. My thoughts have been that if something were to happen to me, either sooner or over the course of aging, I can move into the basement and rent out the main part of the house. Currently I have a tenant for the basement apartment. Your house sounds very large that having a tenant isn't going to be much help and you have no sleeping room on the main floor.

I think sooner is also a good idea because if something happens where it becomes urgent to move you'll have less time to make arrangements and decisions.


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Re: Would you downsize at a loss in this situation?
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2017, 01:47:36 AM »
I'd still look into the roommate thing until the kids are up and out. Sadly, there are a lot of early middle aged women who don't have a lot saved who could be of great assistance to you in exchange for reasonable rent. Interview and check references carefully and trust your gut.

What about a house swap with a young family that has outgrown their house? Could be perfect with no money lost.


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Would you downsize at a loss in this situation?
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2017, 05:41:08 AM »
In your case , no doubt I would move on and take the loss. For not the same reasons I had to make the same decision and it was the right thing. My knees are so bad the stairs were killing me which was only one of many reasons. Roommates and other options don't help with the benefit of enjoying your own house/home/rental but if anything more a pain in the ass.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2017, 05:43:31 AM by soccerluvof4 »


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Would you downsize at a loss in this situation?
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2017, 05:51:28 AM »
I'd sell now.

You already aren't keeping up on maintenance. You are already falling.  The value of the house may or may not go up in 2-3 years.

Zero Degrees

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Re: Would you downsize at a loss in this situation?
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2017, 07:53:01 AM »
Thank you all for taking the time to read and respond to my post.

I think I know I really have to sell. If the money folks say it's a necessary move, then I can trust my initial thought.   

A bit more info - I do have a powder room on the main level,  just no tub or shower. This cannot be added.  I also live in an HOA community which takes care of lawn and snow removal. YAY.

The house itself is well maintained. It's the daily cleaning that is difficult.  I'm a neat freak and cleaning is a hobby for me.  I really enjoy it and it frustates me that I can't do it all like I used to. My kids participate too and that helps. Now, I vacuum one level and then have to take a break.   I will never learn to deal with a dirty house.

I do plan to rent something that will decrease my expenses by about 1,000 from mortgage to rent.  Not to mention heating costs will go down.  It can run close to 300 a month.   Eek.


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Re: Would you downsize at a loss in this situation?
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2017, 08:02:25 AM »
First, I'm sorry about your health situation. I think your individual situation falls pretty far outside the MMM "norm."

As others have stated, I'd be looking to sell now and move on to something that is going to fit your lifestyle today.