Selling townhome but not sure what to do next

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zoeydog's picture
zoeydog
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 5 2010
Posts: 5
Selling townhome but not sure what to do next

I am a new member but I watched Chris' Crash Course last year.  That's part of the reason why I'm selling my townhome. I am thinking of buying a very small house in a nearby town where there is a Transition group.  But prices are still high and I'm uncertain.  I would really appreciate some input.  I am semi retired and have a large trust fund that I live on. It is invested about 50% in stocks and since it is a family trust I don't have a lot of control over the investment allocation.

Advantages of buying the house

yard for garden

small house 1100 sq ft

good southern exposure

fireplace

Large garage for preparation storage

Extra bedrm and bath for housemate

Privacy

Biking distance to business district

 

Disadvantages

Buying at high price (the major disadvantage)

Taking on another mortgage

Suburban neighborhood, car necessary to get anywhere else

 

Thanks for any help.

 

 

 

 

 

zoeydog's picture
zoeydog
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Joined: Apr 5 2010
Posts: 5
Re: Selling townhome but not sure what to do next

I should have mentioned that I don't live in one of the major bubble states and the listed price of the house I'm considering is $295K.

suesullivan's picture
suesullivan
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Joined: Oct 6 2008
Posts: 305
Re: Selling townhome but not sure what to do next

What's the life you'd like to live in this future we're moving into? I've seen valid arguments on post-peak oil blogs for living urban and rural both.  How much economic pain is the city you live in suffering and projected to suffer?  Where would you feel most comfortable living?

If you felt a passion to grow as much of your own food as possible, then even the suburban lot won't be enough for you (sigh. My passion did not rear its head until after we bought our quarter acre lot on the north edge of town. You're lucky that you get to explore how you want to live in this differently pictured future before you make these big choices.) How long do you want to continue to work at your job? The commute might not be too expensive, fuel-wise, over the next year or three but after that it could get pretty bad. (No bus service from the suburb to the city? Is your city in such trouble that bus services might be cut?)

Real estate values, on a national average at least, are slated to drop further (I don't retain numbers well, but I think I read somewhere that the national average homeprice could drop to $110k from I think $170 today and $220 peak). Even if you're not in a bubble-area, you'll still probably see downward pressure on prices, so that's an argument  to rent.  I think one of the most compelling reason to buy now is to put in infrastructure that you might lose as a renter - permanent food plantings (trees, berries, etc), solar/wind power.

I like the approach that I think Chris is advocating -- envision a sustainable, satisfying, healthy life for yourself and the people you want to share your life with, given what you now understand to be the larger societal parameters, and work towards that in your decision making. There doesn't seem to be any one hard and fast answer as to what location will be most adaptable. Your preferences and needs are going to decide that.

Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 13 2009
Posts: 1982
Re: Selling townhome but not sure what to do next

suesullivan suggests either rural or urban - I chose semirurul suburban, on the edge of a small city I could get to if I had to by bike, but with farms nearby. Since I moved here last June I've spent a little time on community building, and it does not happen over night, but we are getting to know our neighbors. When the zuccinni and tomotoes overproduce I can visit them again. There are not a lot of established Transition groups in the South, but we are trying to start one!Laughing

We're in South Carolina near Columbia, in an area renowned for it's agricutulture and forestry - it also has a lot of manufacturing; even in this clinate they are builing new plants. Some are laying off, it's true: like Michelin's automotive tire plant, but the tractor and mining vehicle plant is expanding. We have an 1100 SF house on a 1/4-acre, with a forest behind us where we're putting a forrest garden.

Taxes should be a big consideration wherever you go, and ours are less than $400 a year. Private-message me if you want to know more, and best of luck whatever you do.

Tycer's picture
Tycer
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Joined: Apr 26 2009
Posts: 601
Re: Selling townhome but not sure what to do next

Rent for a year and keep your ear to the ground.

earthwise's picture
earthwise
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Joined: Aug 10 2009
Posts: 846
Re: Selling townhome but not sure what to do next
Tycer wrote:

Rent for a year and keep your ear to the ground.

+1        

By renting you keep your powder dry until you need it. Real estate is projected to take further hits. You might find some bargains in the next year or two.

zoeydog's picture
zoeydog
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Joined: Apr 5 2010
Posts: 5
Re: Selling townhome but not sure what to do next

Thanks so much to all of you for your input. This is a hard decision.  I really am resisting renting, but my head tells me that is the best choice right now. 

Tycer's picture
Tycer
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 26 2009
Posts: 601
Re: Selling townhome but not sure what to do next

My wife Nancy views renting as a failure. She violently resists it. Hence when we moved Feb 1, we are buying a home with a creek, arable land, lower ceilings, less square footage and half the mortgage (morte + gage or death grip). I fully understand the possibility that buying this home may break us financially as the EEEs unfold, but Nancy's current happiness allows me the freedom to plan for the chance we are driven from our home. If I had the choice, I would be renting. As it is, I'm installing pretty, stained fir doors today in our new home. Tomorrow will be planting an Asian Pear tree....

Try to get over the past mental image that owning a home equates with the American dream. It does not. The American dream was to escape serfdom and political or religious persecution and to be part of a Republic that espoused inalienable rights granted by our Creator.

Today's financial oligarchy is close to driving us all from our land or keeping us captive as serfs. These next years might be best observed from a fluid stance and renting is pretty fluid.

joemanc's picture
joemanc
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 16 2008
Posts: 834
Re: Selling townhome but not sure what to do next

Zoeydog - I am a year ahead of you. I sold my condo last year at this time to go rent, figuring prices would drop some more,0 and they have. One bit of advice I would give is if you do rent, get a lease where you can easily get out from under, in case you do find a nicely priced home with good land. I looked at a nice property late last year, but didn't move on it as I had 7 months left on my lease and I didn't want to pay the penalty. Here I am 5 months later and am still looking, although prices keep dropping so it hasn't been all bad. Good luck!!

Full Moon's picture
Full Moon
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 14 2008
Posts: 1258
Re: Selling townhome but not sure what to do next

 In our area,  a  2000 sq ft.   Beautiful ,newer, burm home ( huge central stone fireplace W insert  ) on  4 acres ,new barn  landscaped , fruit trees and garden ....   with creek .  1 1/2  miles from town went for $220K     . Guess it depends on how badly you want to be close to a city .   It is 1 1/2  -2 1/2 hour for us to get to an large airport  but if you have your own little plane you can leave out of town here.  Go with your heart if the  place whispers~ Home sweet Home ~  go for it .

 FM

 Oh and they get to have me for a neighbor !

Subprime JD's picture
Subprime JD
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 17 2009
Posts: 562
Re: Selling townhome but not sure what to do next

To give you some encouragement:

I currently live with my parents in southern california, orange county. I dont have my own income and have to depend on my parents support. My wife works for $13 per hour. The state of California is on the verge of bankruptcy and has been in that state for the past year. Moreover, Los Angeles has 30 days of cash until the city can no longer pay its bills. Santa Ana, the largest city in Orange County is also running a $46 million deficit. San Diego to the south has a $176 million budget deficit. With the state and its cities being hit so hard in the housing crash city revenues from residential property taxes are collapsing. In addition, because southern California is sooo spread out rising oil prices will further decimate the economy. I truly believe that California will quickly follow the path of Detriot, Michigan.

Imagine how I feel, knowing what I know, and having almost no power or financial freedom to do anything about my current situation. Granted im not stuck in a mortgage (even though many can simply walk away) I have no savings and no income to make the right moves. Perhaps if things go horribly wrong I could always squat with CM on the condition that I help with the plants and animals lol.

zoeydog's picture
zoeydog
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Joined: Apr 5 2010
Posts: 5
Re: Selling townhome but not sure what to do next

I am so sorry that so many have been negatively affected by this economic downturn. I have a son who is basically in the same position as bearmarkettrader and, although he doesn't live with me or his father yet, he may end up doing that if things get worse. This is one of the factors I am concerned about.  Since I have financial resources and have the ability to control my situation, somewhat, I am hoping that I will be able to help family members if they need it.  Buying a house with a few bedrooms would help accomplish that end.  But not if my assets decline and I'm stuck with another mortgage on an overpriced property.  I don't know how people make these mportant decisions, especially in one's 60s, as I am, when there aren't many years left to rectify a bad decision.

 

Montana Native's picture
Montana Native
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 17 2009
Posts: 162
Re: Selling townhome but not sure what to do next

Zoey.

This very issue has been at the forefront of my concerns for over a year now. I am very antsy to get settled in a place and start living a more sustainable lifestyle. With that said, there is also great concern that if I buy now  housing prices could plunge even more and leave me underwater on a mortgage. Conversely, if things were to precipitously decline in the economic system (devalued dollar, higher interest rates) , it might be difficult to get into the right place in a timely matter.

I personally felt much more urgency to buy last spring. After having a few rejected bids, weve seen houses fall another 10%-15%  since then. The fact that I seem more comfortable renting this year has me concerned from the contrarian veiwpoint. I think the advice offered to be flexible with your lease and be able to jump on a good deal is the best.

Because of the questionable information and the massive intervention  our government  perpetrates in the economic / financial arena it is very hard to time something like this. Stay informed and be ready to strike if needed.

Cheers, TJ

zoeydog's picture
zoeydog
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 5 2010
Posts: 5
Re: Selling townhome but not sure what to do next

TJ, you are so very right that the obfuscation makes it very difficult to decipher the true nature of what the government is doing/plans to do, etc. 

After giving up the idea of buying, I felt some real relief.  And today I looked at a rental and was actually very excited about living there. I think this is the right decision for me  at this time. 

This has been a really helpful discussion for me. Thanks to all for helping me think this through.

 

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