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Do I buy a new house?

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cmego posted 12/28/2013 07:18 AM

I bought a house almost 3 years ago. Ex's name is still on the house, but deed is in my name only. I've never liked my house, but it gave me something to do for the last 3 years. I got a great deal on it and I pretty much gutted it, fixed it up, painted it, to the tune of about $30K. It was an intentional investment and I did think to myself, "Well, when I get married again, I'll keep it as a rental."

Well, that isn't happening for me. I think I've resigned that I will probably be alone for a long time. I'm just "meh" about dating, and the last two guys I've cancelled before meeting.

SO, a house came up for sale in my neighborhood that is slightly bigger, and has the bells and whistles my current house is lacking. Like a 1 car garage. Plus, it is in a better (i.e….safer) location for my very active children.

It is a difficult decision to make alone. I will have to jump through a lot of hoops to qualify without ex, but I think I can. My kids are older and messier but seem OK about moving, it is just a block over so they will still see all of their friends. But the thought of moving is horrible as I'm still in grad school, and this house is more expensive.

I think I'm also resolving that I am going to let go of the "I'm just staying in this house until I meet someone, then it would be a rental!" I can't bank on me ever meeting someone, and having that extra income to move into a great house again.

It did hit me last night that part of my hesitancy is that I don't have someone to talk this decision over with. When I S'd from ex, this was a no-brainer. I had to move.

This would be a move purely to better my life. The house has a few negatives, it isn't perfect, but it is much better than my current house. Larger rooms, on a cul-de-sac with a 1 car garage.

But, it would be mine.

Amazonia posted 12/28/2013 07:37 AM

1. Can you afford the extra expense?
2. How's the market in your neighborhood? Do you anticipate being able to sell your current place quickly enough to move on the new one?
3. Do you have flexible enough finances (or a willing cosigner) that you'd be able to consider owning both and using the current home as a rental property immediately? Would it rent for enough to cover the existing mortgage and upkeep?

cmego posted 12/28/2013 07:47 AM

Yes, I can afford the house. I bought well below my means, and the payment on the house in question would be covered with my child support alone. I am very frugal with money.

Housing market is awesome here, many houses sell within 24 hours because of location and excellent public schools. I'm definitely in the "starter home" portion of the neighborhood. So, the low end of the housing range. My house would sell fairly quickly. Most sell within 45 days.

I have collateral that the bank will accept, I don't need a co-signer at this point. I'm just not sure if they will accept that we still haven't finalized the D, just renegotiated the PSA and are filing in January.

I think what is holding me back are emotions, not finances. I feel like I'm letting go of the "future boyfriend" (as my BFF calls him ) Which, I think is OK. I used to think it would be easy to date and find a partner…after all, I deserved that, right? As my 3 year mark passes, I'm reflecting a little that I'm not where I thought I would be relationship-wise, but I kick ass in everything else.

risingfromashes posted 12/28/2013 08:55 AM

Why does the current house and a future boyfriend have to be mutually exclusive? Why, if you can afford to wouldn't you have a home that makes you happy?

Isn't putting our lives on hold waiting for someone else counterproductive to a NB?

You deserve to live in the best place possible for you and your children. Maybe the right person will be attracted to someone who believes in their innate right to a better life!

Take care of yourself and the rest will fall into place.

confused52204 posted 12/28/2013 08:57 AM

Do it if u can financially if it's emotions holding I back then jump in . I just jumped in and feel glad I did it!

cmego posted 12/28/2013 10:28 AM

Yeah, I took a long walk this morning and decided I think I am going to do this. I do deserve a house I am at least a little happier in and I think I'm going to jump with two feet in and see what happens. I'm not one to let fear hold me back.

It is odd that I held onto that "dream". My dream was to buy my current house and hold onto it as a rental when I met a great guy. Odd that I hadn't even consciously realized I had a NB dream tied to my house.

My realtor asked if I "fell in love with the house" when we were looking at it, and I instantly replied, "I don't fall in love with houses any more." She said, "That is kinda sad….". She is also a D female, but left her marriage because she wasn't happy…and had no problem dating and quickly found a bf. So, maybe to her it is a little sad. I dunno. It made me think. I used to fall in love with houses, but now they are just…houses.

Why not?? Why not do this?? It will be a hella lot work, but that never scared me.

So, I'm talking to a lender and going to see if I can make this happen. Just for me

wildbananas posted 12/28/2013 10:31 AM

Good for you, cme! I think this is awesome.

Amazonia posted 12/28/2013 18:10 PM

So are you going to sell or rent your current place?

phmh posted 12/28/2013 18:41 PM

I was going to suggest you buy the other place when I saw you'd already made that decision!

The last house XWH and I owned together we never loved. We bought it because we'd sold our previous house and needed something quick (we should have just rented until we found something good but didn't even consider that as an option!)

Being in a house I didn't like really was a drag on my happiness.

Post-D, I bought my dream house, and every day I walk around, so happy that I'm here. If you can swing it financially (and it sounds like you can), I'm a yes vote for sure :)

cmego posted 12/28/2013 21:40 PM

Ama…I'll have to sell my current house to get the equity out to pay down the "new" house to an easily manageable payment.

I went out to dinner with a friend tonight (also a BS), and we both said that "home" was the husband and the dreams and the kids…the life we planned. Now, we simply live in houses. I'm not sure I'll be any "happier" in a new house, but it will ease some of the frustrations I have with my current house.

I'll know more on Monday after I talk with my lender. Here, the market is so good that no one will accept a contingent offer, I'll need to be able to make a clean offer.

I'm getting more excited, so I feel like it is the right decision.

ChoosingHope posted 12/28/2013 22:03 PM

I'm excited for you.

But I guess I have a question: are you certain this is where you want to live for the unforeseeable future? Depending on when you graduate, and where you get a job (like a slightly larger city perhaps?) would you want to move north (or south)?

I'm just wondering. And maybe I'm projecting. My goal is to buy a tiny place north of where I currently live. But in my heart, I want to move back to my home state in five years. So I worry about buying something and then the equity issues about moving.

I guess I'm resistant to putting down roots right now. So I guess I'm projecting all over your thread, Cmego.

But I wonder about how you'll feel when you graduate and start looking for jobs?

cmego posted 12/28/2013 22:28 PM

I can't leave the immediate area, so I'm here until kids are in college, unless something happens to ex. Job prospects are good, I don't expect a problem.

Once kids are gone, then all bets are off.

I'll probably take a 7 year arm mortgage anyway. In 7 years I'm forced to do something, and most likely sell at that point because I'll be down to just one older teen-ager at home. I'll be 50 and probably looking to downsize with kids gone. I think this will all work out.

homewrecked2011 posted 12/29/2013 02:52 AM

Definately call your atty about this, as on the date of the final hearing both attorneys had to fill out this paper showing there was an equitable distribution of all assets,, they actually had to list property, it's value, had to comparison totals at the bottom of the paper and the judge had to sign off on it...

Amazonia posted 12/29/2013 04:42 AM

Oh darn, I was hoping your earlier response to my earlier third question meant you would get to keep the rental property part of the dream, even without the guy. Even so, sounds like a nice little place to nest and make your own - with even fewer connections to the ex!

monarchwings posted 12/29/2013 07:20 AM

Buy the hous, but skip the arm. Rates are still super low. Keep the variable constant. Maybe this new house could be your rental. Who knows where your life will be in 7 years. Otherwise you may need to spend money refinancing necessarily. If your ready to move then fine.. you'll be spending the money, if not then that could be money in the bank.

Good luck. Its very exciting and nerve wrecking purchasing a house.

neverbeokay posted 12/29/2013 07:56 AM

I would definitely consult with the lender and get the financing lined up. I agree that having a home you love is important. But I wonder if this house is the right house? Would it make sense to look around to see if there are any other houses you might fall in love with? Once you get an idea of what your current home will sell for and what you qualify for you might have other options.

And I agree to go with a fixed rate since rates are still so low. There is such potential downside to an ARM if your plans change. I know a guy who got a 5year ARM and got laid off right when he wanted to refinance.

cmego posted 12/29/2013 08:07 AM

I've almost always taken an arm mortgage since, typically, I can get lower rates and I typically don't stay in houses very long. Since I bought my first house with ex 18 years ago, this will be my 11th house purchase. I'm no newbie to house buying, but this will be the first time without ex on the mortgage.

Without disclosing too much, I have a "cushion" I can liquidate if, for whatever reason, I lose my job.

My community has about 1600 houses in it. Most are well out of my price range. The houses that are really cute, and in great condition, and on a culdesac don't stay on the market long. Some sell in 24 hours. I think the only reason this one hasn't been snapped up is because they put it on at Thanksgiving.

But, since I'm not in love with it, I've already told my realtor to keep an eye out and lets watch the market. I'll get my house ready to go, get the financing lined up and wait.


little turtle posted 12/29/2013 10:15 AM

Very exciting! I hope that this house turns into a home for you.

monarchwings posted 12/29/2013 12:28 PM

11 houses or mortgages? Either way..Wow I am impressed. Then I think dang that is a lot of points and fees paid on those mortgages.

Sounds like you got this one. I'd love to rent my current house in a few years. I'd need to put 20% down though and that's a lot of saving.

Again good luck.

persevere posted 12/29/2013 14:03 PM

Sounds like you have a plan.

I sold the marital home and downsized to a 3 br/3b in more of a starter neighborhood since my kids are over 18, and were out of the house. DS19 has since moved back, and DD21 will be back home next summer, so I'm going to be crowded again. I like the house overall, but I miss the old house and neighborhood.

At the time I bought this house CS was about to end and I closed about a month before I got a stong job offer which would have allowed me to afford the old house. I don't miss the house as much as I miss the neighborhood - it was a great neighborhood and I'm regretting not downsizing in the same area so I could save some $$$.

So, if you've found something in your area that will make you happier and can manage it, I say go for it.

We have a strong market too, and my realtor told me the other day that I could already break even if I wanted to start looking back in my old neighborhood, but I'll think about that again as summer comes.

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