OP here-to answer a couple ?s recently asked-
My father in law is putting the new house in his name as an investment. He is almost paid off on his apt of 30 years & for tax purposes (retired NYC school teacher) it will be better for him to continue to have a mortgage under his name. We will be paying him the "rent" & he has stated he will help us out a little each month because he can & wants to. Again, we are using the very bit we have left in savings to do the down payment. It would only take us another few months or so in this current house. The new home is more than half the mortgage & taxes & we will be able to get by right now while we get our careers back on track or create new career paths. The new home will never be worth less than it is now. It is a really good deal.
Moving anywhere else but my hometown is not an option. My entire family is there & that is the support we need ongoing. We are willing to commute if necessary in order to have the huge difference in overall budget. We own a Prius so commuting costs are not a concern.
We are moving out of the NYC suburb zone (huge taxes, huge home prices, but 45 minute commute to NYC) but to the rural Northwest NJ area where renting is hard to find & is not a bargain. We can still drive daily to the major job markets including NYC, BUT we will no longer be paying the price to live closer to those job markets. It's also my hometown which again, means more resources & more contacts for career/future.
We had a bunch more showings this weekend, another one tomorrow. I am increasing the buying agents commission rate a half point and keeping the bonus paid to the agent in the form of a gift card (so they don't have to share it with their broker). We just keep praying & praying that we can get another buyer in here soon.