Needing reassurance that this is the right move for us. - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 19 Old 12-05-2012, 02:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My husband and I decided a couple of months that we really want to tackle our debt at a faster pace and get more serious about it. We both decided that we should find a cheaper place to live. We moved into our duplex last year and we both LOVE it. It's beautifully remodeled with everything I like in a home, in an urban neighborhood that we love, we are blocks from close friends and church family, and it's close to most everything we do. BUT...it's expensive. We pay $1,500 plus lights. It's 3bed/2 bath and it 1,900 square feet. We have looked and looked at other places in this neighborhood and anything cheaper is beyond my comfort level of living (aka in sketchy parts of this neighborhood). We decided to move out to a suburban area into a large apartment complex. It is a 2 bed/2 bath, 1,100 square foot apartment and is only $885, but you have to pay for water, plus $25 a month for a carport, plus lights. And we will have to pay $88 per month for a storage unit. It also has a swimming pool and workout facility. I felt really good about it at first and was excited about downsizing, but now I'm having second thoughts. I am starting to think about how much we are losing and am wondering if it's worth it. We would be saving $475 per month, which is a pretty big savings, but we are losing a garage, a basement, living space, and a neighborhood we love. We will also be incurring moving expenses (around $500), but we would get a $1,400 deposit back from the duplex. We only plan on staying in the apartment 1-2 years until our debt is completely paid off. I just want to make sure we are doing the right thing. Thoughts?

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#2 of 19 Old 12-05-2012, 03:04 PM
 
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Dont get a storage unit, just get rid of stuff! We are a family of 4, almost 5, we downsized from 1700 sq ft plus garage and shed to 750 sq ft no garage or storage. We got rid of a lot but don't miss it.
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#3 of 19 Old 12-05-2012, 03:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, I thought about this, and I have begun to get rid of a lot of stuff. We even sold our sectional and got a smaller couch. But the one thing I'm having a hard time letting go of is my dining room set. It won't fit in the apartment. It's a 7ft table with 4 chairs and a bench and a matching hutch. We purchased it 3 years ago from World Market. It was expensive and I don't want to have to replace it in a couple of years. I'm sure we would be lucky to get half of what we paid for it it I sold it on craigslist.

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#4 of 19 Old 12-05-2012, 04:19 PM
 
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What's going to happen to your commuting costs if you move?

 

How do you currently get to and from work?  Would you feel you needed an extra car if you moved?  Would you have to pay to park when you drove to work, or came into the city for other reasons?

 

What about childcare?  Is this an issue for you at all?  We've looked at moving to the suburbs occasionally (over school issues), and our research is that daycare in certain suburbs costs about twice as much as it does here, in our lovely but not-without-dodgy-bits urban neighborhood.

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#5 of 19 Old 12-05-2012, 04:33 PM
 
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I dunno, if you love where you live, I'd maybe look for somewhere else in your budget to downsize. If you feel seriously iffy about this move and it's something you couldn't easily reverse, it sounds like you could easily end up really regretting it. 


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#6 of 19 Old 12-05-2012, 05:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Childcare isn't an issue. My daughter does to a private school. School will be closer (she goes 3 days a week, home 2 days) to the apartment, but church and our weekly bible study is a few blocks from our duplex. Kind of evens out so not really an issue. We already have two cars since one is provided from my husband's job.
 

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#7 of 19 Old 12-05-2012, 05:33 PM
 
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Could a relative babysit your dining set? Our spare bed is an antique sleigh bed and is staying at my parents until we move again..

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#8 of 19 Old 12-06-2012, 10:22 AM
 
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What are your plans and financial goals after you pay off the debt?  Is it to move back to where you already are, or go on to something else?  More big financial goals, or ready to settle in?  You could save almost $6,000 per year by moving, but if you ultimately want to get back into your current neighborhood, you might be better off to just stay and pay things off more slowly or with other money.  Also, there might be some smaller places within your current neighborhood (1900 sq ft is an unusually huge place for where I live), that you would fit into if you downsized.

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#9 of 19 Old 12-06-2012, 04:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by erigeron View Post

I dunno, if you love where you live, I'd maybe look for somewhere else in your budget to downsize. If you feel seriously iffy about this move and it's something you couldn't easily reverse, it sounds like you could easily end up really regretting it. 
I agree, if you are able to pay your bills etc. and just looking to 'get ahead' or 'catch up' financially, I'd find some other way to do it, since it sounds like you really love your current place! But if there's nowhere else to cut back & you really need to free up some money, it sounds reasonable to move for a couple years...
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Yes, I thought about this, and I have begun to get rid of a lot of stuff. We even sold our sectional and got a smaller couch. But the one thing I'm having a hard time letting go of is my dining room set. It won't fit in the apartment. It's a 7ft table with 4 chairs and a bench and a matching hutch. We purchased it 3 years ago from World Market. It was expensive and I don't want to have to replace it in a couple of years. I'm sure we would be lucky to get half of what we paid for it it I sold it on craigslist.
Could you trade tables with a friend? Maybe someone has a smaller table & would enjoy using yours for a couple of years.

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#10 of 19 Old 12-06-2012, 04:59 PM
 
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My husband and I moved into the "skinny house on dirty street". It wasn't really called that, we just did. Anyway, we lived there paying off debt and saving like crazy. We didn't love it and it was in a NASTY part of town. In fact, it was embarrassing to tell people our address! We were able to purchase a house in two years:) We could put that skinny thing in our new kitchen two or maybe three times! Seriously! My point is, a little sacrafice makes the rewards taste better!


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#11 of 19 Old 12-06-2012, 07:53 PM
 
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How common are rentals like yours in your area? Would it be really hard to find a similar unit in 2 or 3 years, or are there other comparable units? Also, how much do you like your landlord? Having a good landlord who really keeps the place up is valuable. 


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#12 of 19 Old 12-07-2012, 11:08 AM
 
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I would be cautious about doing this. If you are really truly happy where you are it may not be worth it to lose it for the money. There is A LOT to be said for being in a community, near friends and family.

If it's necessary it's one thing but just to get ahead ... I don't know. Only you can answer that really but as someone who left the city to live in the suburbs I can tell you it's a bigger change than anyone thinks and personally I've never gotten over it. I hate driving everywhere. I hate that everything is cookie cutter and big box stores. I miss just walking somewhere.  

Also, is this going to get you exactly what you want or just a little better than now? The thrill of being debt free wasn't all I thought it was going to be. I'm not downplaying being debt free at all but if you are sacrificing too much to get there it can be a let down when it's all done and you stand there feeling like .. what do I do now?


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#13 of 19 Old 12-07-2012, 07:42 PM
 
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Could you sublet your duplex? Or rent out the basement? Or do childcare? Or get rid of a vehicle? ....any of those three could probably bring in close to $500/mo. Heck, by calling around to be sure you have the cheapest packages for all services (phone, internet, cell, cable, insurance, interest rates, etc) and getting rid of any frills and watching spending, you could probably find $500/mo (....maybe?)

 

Good Luck in whatever your choose. Do you want to be back in this neighbourhood....this house....in two years time, or would your move in two years likely land you elsewhere??

 

ETA: after you're debt-free you build an emergency fund, savings for housing/furnishing repairs or vehicle replacement, invest and give.


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#14 of 19 Old 12-07-2012, 08:18 PM
 
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I understand this conundrum. In the years since we've been a family, DH and I have gone back and forth between living somewhere cheaper and living somewhere we really wanted to live. When we had cheaper apartments in places that weren't necessarily the greatest, we sort of hated it. Yes, it was great to have the extra money every month, but we weren't truly happy. I think a lot of it depends on how important your residence is to you. How much time do you all spend in your home? How often to you get outside? Will you miss having your own outdoor space? Will you miss being able to walk to things you like to do?


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#15 of 19 Old 12-07-2012, 08:25 PM
 
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$6000 a year is a LOT of money. So if you want to get serious about getting rid of your debt, I say go for it! A year or two is really not that long of a time. And I agree on the table-sitting. My parents have had two or three different dining room tables "stored" in their dining room over the years. (Sadly, for my mom, they've never actually acquired one of their own!)


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#16 of 19 Old 12-11-2012, 10:07 AM
 
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$6000 a year is a LOT of money. So if you want to get serious about getting rid of your debt, I say go for it! A year or two is really not that long of a time. And I agree on the table-sitting. My parents have had two or three different dining room tables "stored" in their dining room over the years. (Sadly, for my mom, they've never actually acquired one of their own!)

It is a lot to be able to save by cutting the fat. Thats all I get from my ex in child support.

....course he lives with his mommy and daddy and I paid off his car...but oh well ;)

 

I'd happily move into a smaller place if I could, however the allure of the basement is pretty big for me. They don't make basements here in texas. LOL.

I'd about KILL for one. People up north where I grew up don't know how lucky they are that a 2Ksqft house comes with an additional ### sqft of storage and potential rooms or laundry.

my house is much bigger than my parents footprint wise, but they have 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a large laundry, a HUGE pantry, and a pool table. and the basement is only as big as the original footprint of the house (2 tiny bedrooms, one small bath. orig house was probably less than 900sqft) before the new master and second (small) livingroom was added.

 

One day i'll be able to leave hades, er, texas....and have a basement again. sadly I won't NEED one by then....but meh.

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#17 of 19 Old 12-11-2012, 11:03 PM
 
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$6,000 is a lot of money, but I don't think it's A LOT of money. KWIM? I think that you could easily make that doing odd jobs. If you have a niche for crafting you can make and sell stuff. You can make more than that babysitting, putting your daughter in public school (assuming you pay for private), cut out meals out to eat, or cut the entertainment fund. Now if this isn't possible at all, then maybe you should move. But I wouldn't leave a place that I LOVE before I cut back in every other aspect of my life. 


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#18 of 19 Old 12-12-2012, 03:02 AM
 
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I personally don't think I'd move, I'd just try to cut corners with other expenses and put that towards bills to pay off debt if that's an option. It's nice to have that extra $500/m to save/spend on debt, but on the other hand, if I could pull it off without moving, I wouldn't. I'd assume credit scores aren't ideal with the debt, so having that long-term rent would help boost that if you can manage it as well :)


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#19 of 19 Old 12-14-2012, 04:16 AM
 
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... We pay $1,500 plus lights. It's 3bed/2 bath and it 1,900 square feet.

 

 It is a 2 bed/2 bath, 1,100 square foot apartment and is only $885, but you have to pay for water, plus $25 a month for a carport, plus lights.

 

And we will have to pay $88 per month for a storage unit. It also has a swimming pool and workout facility. I felt really good about it at first and was excited about downsizing, but now I'm having second thoughts.

 

 We would be saving $475 per month, which is a pretty big savings, but we are losing a garage, a basement, living space, and a neighborhood we love.

 

We will also be incurring moving expenses (around $500), but we would get a $1,400 deposit back from the duplex. We only plan on staying in the apartment 1-2 years until our debt is completely paid off. I just want to make sure we are doing the right thing. Thoughts?

If you are really planning on moving back in a few years that would knock savings down another $40 or so a month and  is heating/cooling included in either place or is that part of lights? Also wouldn't the new place have a deposit as well?

 

You already talked about a bigger table, what else would you need to sell or buy new to make the new place work?

 

 

I am starting to think about how much we are losing and am wondering if it's worth it. 

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