I desperately want to rent out our house and rent another one for us to live in. DH is fighting me on it. The backstory is that we've owned this house for 5 years, I hated it to begin with but thought it was a short(er) term issue. As the years have gone it, it has become increasing worse. We bought at the height of the housing market in our area, houses similar to ours are selling for 75-100K less then what we owe. We are to the point where we either need to embark on an extensive remodel project to fit out family of 6 in a 3B2B house (the house has enough sq, it is just very poorly laid out to the point where entire rooms or unfunctional) or just move. I don't want to remodel, remodeling does not solve the location issue.
We live 7 miles out of town. it doesn't sound like much, it takes me 15-20 minutes to get anywhere, until you add up all the daily trips I make. Due to varying special needs, my children are not routed to the closest elem school (15 minutes away and with bus service) but instead will ALWAYS for the rest of their schooling, be 20 minutes away with no bus service. I have kids ages 1-9, I will be doing pick up and drop off for many years to come. One drop off takes about 45 minutes. In the winter, add 1/4-1/2 time onto that number because of bad roads.
Today I dropped the girls off at school at 8:20am, was home by 8:45 to attempt to put DS2 down for a nap, drove back in 10:30 for DS1's therapy appointment, drove home at 12pm so DS2 could nap again (unsuccessful this morning), will leave home at 2:30 for school pick up at 3pm. Sit in the car in front of gymnastics until 4 while DD1 eats a snack, drive home, and then pick her up again at 7pm tonight. Repeat every single day of the week! A regular day would be 3-4 trips back and forth, a good day would be 2, I don't think I ever make just one. I spend hours sitting around between events and we have MANY between sports teams, school, 7 hours of therapy a week for DS1, and everything else. If it is less two hours before the next event, we just sit in town waiting. When I work (very part time) I only go in for 1-2 hours at a time due to the type of work I do. Dh just drives to work in the morning, parks,a nd drives home at night. He seriously does not understand how I consider it a pain to live in the car.
It is small town, I could rent a house in a central location and be to any of our regular haunts in 5-10 minutes. 10 minutes would get me all the way across town almost. Not to mention, DD1 could bike herself to practices on the many bike paths. I could swing the kids by home after school, eat a snack and still make it to practice. Or run to get DD1 at night be be back home in 10 minutes instead of 45.That seem so amazing to me!
We used to own investment properties that we have since sold. They were a pain to deal with renters and I am not jumping up and down with excitement over doing it again. We could rent out our house for about 200.00 less then our mortgage is. I usually spend 100.00 a week in gas alone...I keep mentioning it and talking to DH about it but he is so resistant.
You'd need a large amount of leeway in your budget/savings just in case you couldn't get a renter, or they didn't pay up, or whatever. Can you rent a good place cheaply to live in there? You're familiar with renting out places so you know what comes with that better than I. If you had that savings already just in case renting your current house doesn't go quite right then maybe it's a great idea. It's a shame you're underwater on the house because selling and buying another could go far more smoothly. Sounds like a high priced area you live in, where a house could drop 100k in value like that! I wouldn't put much additional money into remodeling a house you owe more on than it's worth, especially if it won't solve much of your problems. If you do have the room in the budget, can you add to your payments for a while to speed up principle going down? With a little market recovery in your area and fast paydown maybe you could unload it and be on your way soon enough. You might be able to use the new refi programs for those underwater on mortgages to fix the situation instead. Or if you don't mind the credit problems, a short sale might be possible.
DH can't affect his credit, he is a business owner. We could swing paying for both here and there as need be. Cheap is not a word used here! A house will sell for 400K that needs a lot of work, think 1950's, some remodel, small lot, no garage, not even 1800 sq ft. I keep looking for a really old, crappy house in town that we could gut and redo ourselves, we've done that previously and I can't find one for under 300K, even ones that are 325K+ need everything redone.
My sister in law and brother are in a similar situation. Well, a little different. They live in a great house now (bought at the height of the market) but are unhappy with the school system and are considering renting out their current house so they can rent a house elsewhere, that is more centrally located. Heard this through my mom, so not sure how far down the decision making path they are with this. My first reaction was that it seemed nuts...their neighborhood seems so idyllic - and ALL the public schools where they are are terrible, so it's a question of moving closer to a different private school. Seems like a lot of upheaval and inconvenience (who likes moving?). But I don't know the details, so yeah, my reply is not helpful at all. hehe.