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Should we stay or should we sell? Long!

809 Views 18 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  camprunner
I am a SAHM of 2 boys, 3yrs and 6m. My DH is a teacher.
I am 100% overwhelmed with 2 kids right now, and as much as I should work I just can't right now, so please don't make me feel crappy about it
(2 in full time childcare, plus prescription formula, plus another car payment eats the pay I would make teaching.)

DH teaches and brings home 2880. We purchased our home in 2006 when I was teaching too for 149,500 at 5.99%. We owe 139k.

Mortgage 1281
Electric/water/waste 200 (average)
Gas Bill 40 (average)
Car Insurance 91
Gas (car)*** 150
Food 400 (food intolerances)
Health Insurance* 287
Phone/Internet 49
Home Warranty 38
CC min** 120

This leaves 219 to cover everything else. It sucks. We share a vehicle, I cook from scratch, I bake bread and make our tortillas, we CD, I BF, we don't use paper towels, I make our cleaners. Seriously, I make pennies bleed.

*We are within income guidleines for CHIP for the boys, but they must be uninsured for 90 days to qualify b/c they have health insurance coverage now. I can't imagine going without the coverage for 90 days b/c it could very well bankrupt us. Our current coverage is 2500 individual ded. 6000 family ded. 80/20 split.

**this is a 4100 balance at an obscene rate. It is from my pregancy when we charged food and gas and co-pays in order to pay my cobra so I could try for a VBAC (ended in a c/s so I'm glad we had it). There are med bills on there as well from my miscarriges.

***The bus does not run to DH school b/c the HOA where the school is located will not approve it. He is on a 3day rotation and travels between schools in the middle of the day, so I can't take the car without it being a huge hassle.

DH and I need major dental work, our car needs a timing belt, has no AC(it is a 2002 with 100k) and our computer is end of life and you know, I wish I could go on a date with my DH or by him a birthday or father's day gift. It sounds silly, but we are sooo fricken house poor.

Now here is the question:
DH interviewed for a full time position (no traveling during the day) that is on the bus line only 2.5 miles from our house. If he gets this job, he wants to stay in our house. It doesn't help us financially, but it would let me use the car during the day, which would really be great. But we could still sell our house. We live in a desirable city and our house will sell for enough to leave us with at least 7000 profit after commisions.

I want to take that money and pay off our CC debt (4100) and by another car (2k) and use the rest to move (1k) We would rent a 2/2 apt for 1k a month. This would increase our 'disposable' income from 219 to around 725 when dereased utility costs are taken into consideration plus we would have 2 vehicles.

The problem is that DH is totally 100% overwhelmed by the thought of moving. I am the one that pays all of the bills and carries that weight, so I am sure that has something to do with it. We love our house, even with all of its faults. It is 1400 sq ft 3/2 12 minutes from downtown in a good neighborhood with awesome neighbors. We would have to paint, declutter the gararge, and retexture one of the bathrooms but nothing we can't do ourselves KWIM. DH could work about 6 wks during the summer, but it won't bring in enough. If we stay in this house I HAVE to go back to work full-time when DS1 starts school, that means putting DS2 in daycare, which I will hate. If we move to an apt. I can stay home until DS2 starts kindy (or work half-time). There is the argument of rent going up, but our propety taxes went up this year and we are paying $50 more each month, so eh.

If DH doesn't get the job, I think we have to move.

What would you do?
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I would stay. Even if dh is making exactly the same amount as you are now, I would stay. You have money left over.

The A/C on the car may be an easy fix such as a thermostat or needing more freon(however you spell that).

I understand why you wouldn't want to work, however have you considered tutoring in the evenings?
Have you thought about refinancing your mortgage...if your credit score is decent, you might be able to lower that rate to the low 4s...
I don't think there is a right answer here - you could make it work either way, there are advantages to both ways.

I will say, you can do the move thing, its hard, it sucks but it can be done. We weren't planning to sell our house last year, but we found a house we love and decided to do it. In 3 weeks I fixed that place up amazing, including gutting two bathrooms (to remove ugly tile), refinishing floors, dewallpapering, painting, etc. We did most if it ourselves (we hired someone to put new wallboard and tile in the bathroom after we did the demolishing). I then moved us after the sale. During this, I was taking 3 graduate level classes, and had a 2 week road trip to texas (from MA) in the middle for my brothers wedding and my husband had a 1.5 hour commute to his job which often demands 10 hour days. It was crazy, but we did it. The previous move was cross country with 2 weeks notice with a 2 year old and a 4m old. You can do it too, trust me. It's not fun, I won't lie, but don't let that hold you back from doing what you feel like you need to do.
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Check into the CHIP thing, yes you have to be uninsured for 90 days but if something were to happen during the uninsured period, and you qualify for CHIP, the insurance can be applied retroactively for 3 mo

That would save you almost 300 right there. Then if your dh gets the job, the gas bill will go way down. You would have that car to drive but would try to use it wisely. (I think even if you do sell the house, your income does not justify owning 2 cars)

I think you could pull off staying in the house

You likely qualify for WIC, or do food intolerances make those food items not useful?

Also, your car insurance sounds high at $91/mo for a not-new, high-mileage car. We pay half that a month for 2 old cars. Maybe shop around on the rates. you probably only need liability coverage.
We are right over the line for WIC. I called and asked about the 90 day retro, and they only retro medicaid, not CHIP. The woman on the phone felt bad for me!

That is the best I can do for car insurance, we have it bundled with homeowners and they gave us the best rate out of the major companies. We have high accident rates here. If DH gets the job where he can get to work on the bus, we will drop to liability.
We were in a similar situation last year. DH was working two jobs and we were house poor. He was overwhelmed working all the time, and I was overwhelmed taking care of the kids all the time. He was wishy washy on the idea of selling and moving, but finally I put my foot down and said I wanted more time as a family more than I wanted the house. When the kids are older and I am working we can always buy another house.

We just broke even after selling, which was miraculous in our area. Now we're in a 2 bedroom apartment, and I am so thankful that we made the choice we did because DH's OT hours are gone and there is no way we could afford the house and it's taxes on this income.

I am not trying to sway you one way or another, but in our situation it worked out well.
Persoanlly, I would never choose to be house poor. I think it's...will I get into trouble for saying stupid? Dh and I are weathering this recession and crappy job market fairly easily, simply because we are Is that the opposite of house poor, LOL??
i can't imagine the stress if we had bought "as much house as we could afford"...we'd be homeless, with destroyed credit, both of us working FT+, and the kids in daycare. If that's how you want and choose to live your life, that's great, but we would HATE it.
If I were in your shoes I'd sit DH down with the budget and talk about it some more. He needs to understand your anxiety when you pay the bills each month - he needs to see what you are seeing on paper and he needs to work those numbers himself.

Then, he needs to explain to you why he feels the way he feels. You need to understand where he is coming from and why he feels comfortable staying where you are.

When you both can see each others viewpoint then you'll be able to find the solution together. And, you won't feel so overwhelmed.

Best wishes.
I don't think there is a right answer either. If DH gets the job, I think it may be a good idea to stay put. Moving always costs more $$ than you think, and you may not end up any further ahead in 5 years. If you stick it out, you do have some other options. FOr starters you could do some at-home work, clean houses or babysit just one child and that would ease up some of your budget. Or your DH could do something in the summer (I am assuming he doens't work in the summer) to bring in some extra money. Here there are programs for kids stgarting at age 4, so you are looking at 4 more years of staying at home if you want to stay home with him until he starts school. Look at it that way. Are you willing to live like this for 4 years to stay home with your kids? I know you said you are overwhelmled right now w/ 2 kids, but that will change as the second one gets a bit older. You are still adjusting! Try not to make any long-term decisions based on the way things are right at this minute, try to picture the longer-term. Babies are a lot of work the first year, and the second year they are still a lot of work, but easier. Then your first will be gone to school all day and you may want a PT job anyway just to get out of the house! You never now. Maybe just remembering that all of this is temporary will help your frame of mind in making this decision.
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You are right. It will get easier with my boys! Whew, between reflux and food intolerance and toddler angst I'm whooped! But DH and I talked and we are going to start teaching music lessons from our house (we were always stuck on the idea of having to teach at schools, but people here are willing to go to you, so we will be able to trade off teaching/watching the boys. DUH
) If we each get 2 kids to teach, it will bring in about 240 per month. We can't teach lessons from an apartment. That would be enough to make our life a little easier. We are still waiting on the job decision next week. Thanks ladies.
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Here is something else that I thought of-- what is the tax break on your mortgage?

Also, I would look into re-fi. We just re-fi'd to 4.85% and dropped our mortgage about $250/mo.

Good luck. I remember that age with the kids'-- it IS overwhelming, and exhausting, and just tough to get through the days.
I'd stay. Rather than paying someone else's mortgage payment.
I'd stay, but try to find a way to bring in money- side jobs, daycare- something like that. Also, call to try and get your interest reduced on the cc- if the card won't do it directly- look into credit counseling- it only dings your credit while you're in and if you're cutting it that close, it could really help. We did it and it lowered our interest rates from 18%+ to no more than 5%- now, this was many years ago, before all this recent crap, but it's worth looking into.
Hmm, I'm surprised so many people are saying stay. I literally gasped out loud when I saw how big your mortgage payment was compared to your income. I would absolutely move, as soon as I could. You are on the line of financial ruin IMO.
I gasped when I saw how high that monthly mortgage payment was too. For a 139K mortgage???

You need to refinance.

There are some great rates out there right now and you could easily get that payment under $1K a month.

Go call a mortgage broker today.

Your home sounds lovely and it sounds like you love being I would refinance and stay.
Our rate is 5.99% on 149.5k the rest of the payment is for PMI, property tax(ouch), and insurance. Because we bought this house when it was 2x our income v. the 3.5x it is now, I don't see how we could qualify for refi.

I do agree totally that we are on the edge. We have a small EF of 1400, but in reallity that only covers one house payment. Luckliy we don't have to worry about DH job. Our main concern is having to meet med. deductibles or a major car repair.
If DH gets the job on the bus we could limp along without a vehicle b/c we have a grocery store less than a mile from home and we can ride the bus to the docs office until we could pay to repair it. We also have support, if we need it, from DH parents. They send us a check every month for $400 but we just don't cash them.
I would move.

Mental health is the most important. It doesnt matter how fantastic everything is, if you are overwhelmed than something is NOT working. If there is a fix out there that will give you more money and keep you at home (where you want to be) why not try it?
I would staying the house. You have a plan to teach music lessons from home. You currently have over $200 of income that is not allocated and if you bring in another $200 a month with the music lessons that seems like quite a bit of unallocated money to me. Your husband is likely already contributing to a pension by default for retirement.

When our second dd was born we had $75 per month that was not allocated to bills and necessities. Here it is 3 years later and we are much better. We could not have predicted the good things that are happening for us financially. I would try to allocate half of your unallocated money towards the emergency fund each month and you should be fine.

Also have you checked into tutoring online or working for a virtual school part time? Is it possible that you could find something you could do during nap time? I think if you did part time work from home where you could keep your kids it wouldn't bother you so much to be without the car.
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