About Me

March 29, 2013

What would you do?


We live in a quiet community where the houses range from starter bungalows to upscale mansions. There are no "bad" areas or shady streets, just families living outside the big city, raising their kids or growing old together. Our first house here we lived in for 2 years before we outgrew the size of it. A tiny bungalow with 3 bedrooms was okay when we had just 2 kids but as we grew our family, we knew we'd need more space. The house we are in now is a decent size but not huge. We've been comfortable for more than 20 years here. As the kids have gotten older and bigger, we are now starting to feel squished. We cannot fit everyone in the dining room for dinner and our living room is tight during celebrations, especially Christmas, with the big tree. Our oldest daughter has now officially become a single mom and her ex-husband is refusing to sell their house, so she's come home to live with us, bringing along our precious 2 year old grandson. Her hope and plan is to go back to school full time for 4 years. Currently, she works full time and goes to school part time.

Our mortgage is almost done and we've been saving for a number of years to either build on our acreage or buy on the coast. We never bought this house to be our "forever house" but it's been a great place to be settled for all these years. Both of us were used to moving frequently as kids - my dad was a realtor, so we were always packing up to move to the next new house he fell in love with and my dh's family rented and moved often. When we first got married, we were flipping houses and that saw us buy, renovate and sell 4 houses in 8 short years. Then we found this house, anticipated it would be another flip but here we are, still renovating and still enjoying our space.

Last week, we started to talk about buying a condo for dd and grandson. They would like to have more of their own living space and we would like some of our space back! It's not affordable to rent on her own with the current market here unless she moves to the big city but she'd likely end up in a seedy part of town. Plus our grandson is in the most amazing daycare that has a 2 year wait list. Moving to the city would mean a change from his very stable childcare to something new and likely not as good. Started to look at what a condo would cost and my heart began to race. Yes, her rent would cover the mortgage payment, property taxes, condo fees and insurance and she would pay the utilities as well. But the tax implications seemed way too complicated and it began to become a very stressful search. Then we found a house with a walk out basement that started a conversation around finding a house to suit all of us for the next 4 to 5 years. Dd has committed to paying the same rent that she would have paid had we bought a condo. Her offer, we've accepted as it will help with the additional costs we could, depending on how we do it, incur.

Hmmmmm.

Now comes the hard part, deciding if this is the right move financially and if we're ready to move forward.

Do we buy a bigger house then sell down the road, once she's done school, then move to the coast?

Do we stay here and tell her she's on her own, too bad, so sad?

Do we sell this house, build on our acreage, live on it for 6 months to get the most equity, then sell?

Do we sell everything and just move to the coast?

I love the last one!! It would mean leaving the stress here and watching sunsets over the ocean every night. The only flaw with that beautiful scenario is no jobs there for us!!

Back to square one. Decisions, decisions .... oh how I hate these types of decisions!

Question of the day: 
what would you do?

4 comments:

softiesplace said...

I would stay put until I was sure where I wanted to retire. When I was ready to retire I would move. I do not like moving often and I do not like depending on having to sell in this economy. I am not sure that I would buy something for one of my kids unless I would be prepared to do the same for all of them someday and I do not see myself ever being able to afford that. Good luck with your decision!

Elizabethd said...

What a hard decision to make. I don't think I would buy for one of our children. I'd be worried about them finding a man who moves in, leaves and wants half of everything. I know that's looking on the black side, but....
I'd be tempted to find a house for you all for a while, if you are happy to continue living together. Maybe there would be a house with a separate apartment for your daughter?

Chy said...

Thanks softie! We know for sure we'll retire on the little island we've come to love as our second home. It's just figuring out what to do with the property we own here now. I'm a big believer in trusting that all will work out in the end.

Happy Easter to you!

Chy said...

We've definitely taken the condo idea out of the equation. I don't want to worry about having to rent to someone we don't know when our dd does move on. Building or buying a bigger house isn't just for her but for us as well. We've expanded our interests and truly need more space than we have to explore them without feeling so cramped. I love to quilt, a new passion, but always have to pack up my sewing stuff at the end of the day so a dedicated spot for that would be heaven! More space for when company comes to town to visit. More space for Sunday dinners. Not huge, not a mansion, just a bit more than we have now to be more comfortable, instead of crowded!

Happy Easter!