Is the right financial choice always the right choice? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 01-08-2010, 01:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The past year has been really hard for us. We made some poor decisions and just had some kind of bad things happen to us. I hate to complain, I am so very aware that things could be MUCH WORSE and I am greatful for our life.

We are in a house that is too big for us, with too much upkeep, and even though we did our homework, it's just sucking up a lot more money than we can afford. My husband and I are not attached to it, but our daughter is. Very much. She LOVES our home.

I don't know that we could sell, but if we could it would be the right financial decision. CONSERVATIVLY it would save nearly $1000 a month. My husband works from home so we can live anywhere. I'd like to rent in a town about an hour away (so we're not obligated to live there if we hate it) in a house about half the size of this one with a much small yard. Less upkeep, less money. Less room, but we have lived in MUCH smaller places and if we get rid of our packratty excess, totally liveable space. We'd have lower bills, no lawn maintaince and pool to pay for, fewer things to break, and free public school (the public school in our town is not great, we'd have to go private). We spend so much on gas because we don't even have a grocery store in our town, EVERYTHING is a minimum of 30 minutes away.

My daughter has also had some health issues and I think she'd get better care and services in a better school district. This place we would move has the best public schools in our state.

It seems like the right choice would be to (TRY to) sell, but I just do not trust my decision making ability anymore. It seems like no matter how careful or conservative we have been, for the past few years we've made every decision DAYS before more info comes in and it turns out we've obligated ourselves to the wrong thing. We have a small piece of land we've been trying to sell for two years because of that kind of situation. We're going to take a big loss on it, IF anyone will ever buy it. So I'm not super confident we could sell this house. We know they had two offers on it before we bought it, but in both cases the financing fell through.

WHY isn't there a do-over button? WHY can't I just give the keys to the bank and say ya know, changed our minds, you have it.
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#2 of 16 Old 01-08-2010, 01:23 PM
 
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Actually you can hand the keys abck to the bank. It is called a voluntary surrender. It shows on your credit similar to a foreclosure but slightly better. If the home is worth less than you own on it you could do a short sale where the bank agrees to accept the current value as a sale price. We are going to put our home up for short sale next month. This still looks bad on your credit, but is much better than a foreclosure.

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#3 of 16 Old 01-08-2010, 01:38 PM
 
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Actually you can hand the keys abck to the bank. It is called a voluntary surrender. It shows on your credit similar to a foreclosure but slightly better. If the home is worth less than you own on it you could do a short sale where the bank agrees to accept the current value as a sale price. We are going to put our home up for short sale next month. This still looks bad on your credit, but is much better than a foreclosure.


Deed in lieu of foreclosure. Some companies will want to handle that differently though, depends on who you have I think. For our company we have to have the house on the market at fair value for 90 days before they will consider a deed in lieu. Sometimes they will accept it and sometimes not. If all else fails, you could go the foreclosure route.

OP, I am currently in the middle of this if you want to PM me.
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#4 of 16 Old 01-08-2010, 03:32 PM
 
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The only way to know if it will sell is put it up for sale.


You can say no to any offer if it turns out to be wrong.

Resistance is futile Matey
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#5 of 16 Old 01-08-2010, 03:33 PM
 
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Anychance you could go live on your land?


Build cheap or free ala "Mortgage Free" by Rob Roy? Or put a trailer or modular home on it? Since you already own it?

Resistance is futile Matey
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#6 of 16 Old 01-08-2010, 03:41 PM
 
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Deed in lieu of foreclosure.
Thank you! I knew that was the wrong name for it. The voluntary surrender is for vehicles.

Cheryl, wife to an amazing man, homeschooling SAHM to Gavin 12/03, Rhys 09/06, and Ian Aug 11, 2010.

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#7 of 16 Old 01-08-2010, 05:27 PM
 
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I think you need to weigh your options. If you are not behind in your payments, your lender may not accept a "deed in lieu". It might be best to consult with some real estate agents and your lender to see what your options are at this time. From what you posted, it sounds like your situation would be better off in the other location financially and health wise for your DD, but only you guys can decide that. I've been through something similar to this recently and am OK with my choice. I don't like it, and the short term sucks, but I am OK with it in the long run. I wish I didn't have to make it, but it's not up to what anyone else thinks - only us.

I recently changed my username, but I still say "Hello" to all those who know me in real life! Hi P, S, T and K!
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#8 of 16 Old 01-08-2010, 09:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We are not behind on anything and should be able to manage for the next while. It's things like keeping up a pool and the yard, which we have to do if we want to sell, that suck. Chemicals are expensive. All those flower beds? What were we thinking? I am allergic to everything. When we moved here, we could afford it but things happen and situations change and suddenly you're in over your head.

I think today, I've sold myself on the idea of listing. It may not even sell. But if it does, it would be a huge financial burden lifted and we could move somewhere close-ish that still offers a LOT more. I wouldn't have to organize a whole day trip to take my daughter to a park, y'know?

We would have to get rid of a LOT of stuff (we're in the process of doing that bit by bit already) and it would be an adjustment for my daughter, but in the end I think we'd be better off. IF someone will buy this place.
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#9 of 16 Old 01-09-2010, 01:12 AM
 
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Just some notes on my family's experience...

We recently sold our home for a loss. We're in an apartment that is less than 1/2 the size. And, well, it's awesome! We "had" to sell because we're relocating, but I saw it as an opportunity to undo a decision that looked really great a few years ago, but started not looking so good when housing and jobs in our area declined. We're saving a lot of money each month between rent and utilities. And, we don't have the headaches/worries of home ownership. We haven't been to the local home improvement store in months - wahoo! Sure, the apartment is a bit noisy, but it's no biggie. It's super easy to clean, easy to keep track of stuff. When we do relocate, I'm in no hurry to buy. If we are ever convinced to marry a house again, it will be smaller with less yard maintenance (not that we just sold a McMansion or anything).

Before we went forward, we spent a lot of time talking about the possible consequences. For example, we calculated that the improvement in monthly cash flow would likely recover the "lost" equity faster than if the market started recovering. We interviewed several realtors to get a picture of the local housing market. And, in the end, we agreed that listing a house and accepting an offer are 2 different things - nothing was a done deal until we had a signed contract!

I should note that our kids are pretty young and don't need much space. Most friends and family thought we were off our rocker. I was actually relieved to sign the house over to someone else (nice house but, gracious, did it suck time and money!), but I did feel bummed about leaving a neighborhood and town that I truly love. That said, we landed better than expected and we're looking forward to the next adventure. And, I sure do love seeing the accounts grow with all our savings!

Best of luck to you. I know how you feel, wondering if you can ever make a good decision. I reminded myself that we made a solid decision at the time given the information we had. The best we can do, right?

~ Lemur , mum to Mr. Fishy (5, ASD) and Froggy (3) ~
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#10 of 16 Old 01-09-2010, 01:19 AM
 
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Do your homework then put the house on the market. See what happens. Worst case scenario- you don't get an offer and you're right where you are now.

Best case scenario- you get an offer and can make this decision without as many "What Ifs" or "If... Thens..."



I don't know how you can move past the doomed feeling that you have of "Everytime we make a decision it turns out to be the wrong one." I know how cursed stuff like that can make you feel, and how hard it can be to shake that stuff off.

Good luck with whatever you decide!

Sleepy mama to Colin Theodore 8-12-08 and Trevor Arthur 7-17-12.

 

 

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#11 of 16 Old 01-09-2010, 03:09 PM
 
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I just wanted to comment on the school systems issue. If your child has special needs, make sure you do lots of research about how special needs children are handled in potential school systems because it may well be that the most highly rated schools overall might not necessarily be the best schools for your child.

We are in an excellent school system by many measures. My kids don't have special needs and are thriving there. We are also in a fairly low tax but quite affluent suburb, and while I don't love everything about the schools, for us it has been very positive.

But this district is awful when it comes to special needs kids. They fight tooth and nail not to provide services, and they cut every corner they can. The mediocre school district where my husband teaches does a much better job than our district does.

I'd try to find a support group of special needs families in the areas where you are interested in moving and ask around about schools.
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#12 of 16 Old 01-09-2010, 03:50 PM
 
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Your posts only include the "pros" and not the "cons"... so maybe you need to give yourself permission to make the decision you feel is correct!

Also - if you list the house, you will be able to feel how the possibility of moving feels to you. If you determine that moving doesn't feel right, you don't have to accept any offers.

Trust your self! Do you research, and Don't let fear stop you.
Good luck mama!
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#13 of 16 Old 01-09-2010, 03:54 PM
 
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You could sale your house and rent a house or apt until you are sure you like the area.
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#14 of 16 Old 01-10-2010, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I saw it as an opportunity to undo a decision that looked really great a few years ago
This is exactly how I feel. We got sucked up in the idea that it's always better to buy than to rent, and you do that no matter what. This not the right time in our lives, this is not the right place, and this is not the right house. It's a lovely house, but it's too much for us. The idea of selling makes me feel like I'M FREE! Anyone wanna house in rural Mississippi?

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I'd try to find a support group of special needs families in the areas where you are interested in moving and ask around about schools.
Thanks. There's just so little anything where we live. It seems like every time I ask for suggests, I then shoot everyone down with "we don't have that here" - I feel awful. I am not being difficult, I promise there is just NOTHING here. We're not within an hour of "something" so support groups and such are hard to find. But I shall keep looking.
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#15 of 16 Old 01-10-2010, 07:08 PM
 
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Your posts only include the "pros" and not the "cons"... so maybe you need to give yourself permission to make the decision you feel is correct!

Also - if you list the house, you will be able to feel how the possibility of moving feels to you. If you determine that moving doesn't feel right, you don't have to accept any offers.

Trust your self! Do you research, and Don't let fear stop you.
Good luck mama!
well said! yes yes & yes.

Grace Comes.

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#16 of 16 Old 01-10-2010, 07:23 PM
 
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another thought I'm having...

something that has worked for me in healing that "doom" feeling around the way I handle money is to make those small decisions that feel correct (as I define it).. for example, putting a 20 dollar bill aside in a special box for a future pleasure. That's just one example, but I find that it is in these small choices that I return to a sense of empowerment around finances. I really didn't learn these things growing up & our culture gives us so many conflicting messages about money & abundance etc. When I make these small empowered choices & *acknowledge* them too, it builds on itself. The result is that I am actively changing my beliefs around money & how I handle money.

Grace Comes.

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