January 21, 2009

The Not-So-Moving Monroes

For the last year or so, Anny and I have been seriously considering, even banking on, a move to the mid-west to be closer to her side of the family.  Now just seems like the right time to move for a variety of reasons.  We have done all sorts of research - home searches, job searches, school searches - toward making a move this summer.

But last week all of those plans came to a grinding halt.  We met with a realtor that my brother and his wife are using in their current house search.  She is very experienced in our town and area, and is very frank with her comments.  She came one afternoon when my sister was in town.  This gave us a little bit more freedom to talk with her while Abby and Michelle got to spend some quality time together.  Win for all!

After seeing our home she showed us some pretty simple math:
We owe X
We could maybe-possibly-on-a-chance-only get X+about $8,000
The buyer would ask that we pay closing, legal, et cetera, meaning we would come out with X-$20,000.

Yeah, I don't know many people that can afford taking a $20,000 loss on a house, and I know that we can not.

That means a change of plans, though a stay of scenery.  This works for us, and at least we know that due to the economy and the ability of buyers to be picky about their housing choices we have a place that we will be for the forseeable future.  We have answers that we so desperately needed.

The problem with our house is evident when you first walk in - there is a slope of about 3 inches over 20 feet.  The house has not shiften in my memory, and I've lived in the house since I was 11 years old.  It was built on the top of a recently-closed quarry.  That means it was built on fill, and settled very early on.  It's obvious on your first visit to our house, but we've ignored it for so long that we hardly notice it anymore.  Most people can hide a flaw with their house - a leaky faucet or hole in the wall - but you can't hide our slope!

We are in a good situation - we have a good, fairly sturdy house.  We both have jobs that are not in doubt in these hard economic times.  We have wonderful friends and family surrounding us.  It just felt right, you know?

What now, though, for the hopeful travelers?  Well, we buckle down and figure out what exactly we want our life here to be.  We have a lot of friends, and we need to strenghten those friendships.  We can more firmly commit to things that are more than six months away, both at home and at work. 

So, with all of that being said - do you want to be our neighbor?  The house next door is for sale, and they have reduced the price recently!  (Not helping our sale, mind you, but could help you!)  We live in a wonderful little town just outside of several wonderful big towns.  HERE is our neighbors house.  We're nice neighbors, and I'll even cut your grass once in a while with no hesitation!


  1. It sucks when something derails your plans BUT we're glad to have you around! And, like you said, there's something to be said for just having come to a conclusion at least for now. Speaking of strengthening friendships, I haven't talked to N & J in forever. I don't exactly know how that happened.

  2. We had always planned to stay in our "starter house" for about 5 years, and recently I spoke with a realtor and found out that our situation is pretty much the same as yours - we could sell our house for more than we bought it for, about $30K more than we owe, but after all the closing costs, etc, we wouldn't have enough for a downpayment on something bigger. So, we're stuck too.

    One of the things I do every month is round up my mortgage payment - so if I owe $934, I pay $1000. Those little amounts add up over 30 years, and we'll probably pay off our house a little earlier (maybe a year) than expected.

    We're thinking about refinancing into a shorter term mortgage (a 15 year fixed instead of 30) or something, but then we'll be stuck here, anyway. What we'll probably do is pay down debt, then buy some land out in the country, get that paid off, and then re-mortgage it to put a downpayment on a construction loan. Unless we hit the lottery between now and then, of course...

    Being a grown up sucks. I wish I'd known when I bought my house what I know now. Water is the enemy! We've had more leaks... Ugh. And our bathrooms and closets are tiny and suck, and we only have a one car garage. I have my floorplan for my house that we're going to build all picked out - now I just need about $400,000. *sigh*

  3. In this market, who can even think of selling! I wish we could sell our house at a good price and have the pick of the neighborhood int he area we want to move into! But alas, no houses have sold in our neighborhood in months, and there are about a dozen on the market :(

  4. "It just felt right, you know?"

    Yes, I know! And I still hope it can happen someday. :)