Is brain dump a vulgar expression? It sounds kind of crude to me. But I wouldn’t know; I was homeschooled. And anyway, a brain dump is what it is. But with a real estate motif:
1. We are probably moving, after all. It’s fun to be looking at houses. We’ll stay in the same town, preferably in the same neighborhood. It’s just time for something a little bigger and with a better layout. And preferably a view!
2. I’m having some inner turmoil over (hopefully) moving to someplace bigger. Our main level is 1040 sq ft, with about 750 sq ft of finished basement. I’m guessing 90% of the people in the world would consider this a HUGE house. Even in this country a few decades ago, this house would be average for a family our size. . . . At least once in the recent past, Pat and I said something to the effect of “We’re never moving again.” We were committed to staying minimal with our possessions in order to fit in our house. But somewhere along the line it stopped working. There’s a voice inside telling me I should just try harder to fit into the house we have. But I tell the voice to shut up. Plus, the layout of the house is a pain. No door leading directly into the back yard. No entry way, poorly-placed doorways and basement stairs. And a tiny kitchen, which makes cooking healthily from scratch that much harder. Anyway, that assuages my conscience a bit. . . . Right now I’m already itching to start throwing stuff out and packing because the clutter overflowing in this little house is driving me nuts. It’s silly because I know that if we get a bigger space we’ll just fill it with more stuff. *sigh*
3. We want to rent out our current home, instead of selling it right away. Current rents are significantly higher than our mortgage payment, so it makes sense to try it out. But being a landlord is a lot of work, I know, even if your tenants pay. And if they don’t pay it’s a long process to evict. . . .
4. What we’re doing first is refinancing our current mortgage, and drawing out some of the equity to use as part of a down payment on the next house. Because the new loan will be at a lower rate, our monthly payment won’t go up.
5. I cannot tell you how weird it is to be typing this, because we’ve been Dave Ramsey-ish, super debt averse for a long time. Borrowing more money against the house, instead of paying the mortgage off as fast as possible, and then getting a second mortgage–these are all things I wouldn’t even consider 6 months ago. I’m not going into all the reasons we’re ready to take more risks, but we think it’ll be okay.
6. We’ve been watching a lot of HGTV on Netflix (currently–Buying and Selling with the Property Brothers). (I want to play a Property Brothers drinking game sometime–one shot every time someone says “open concept.”) The question is–are we watching HGTV because we’re thinking about moving, or are we thinking about moving because we’re watching HGTV? Hmmm.
7. Because of all the HGTv watching, I think of more and more things we “should” do before selling our house. The thing is, our house is worth about half of the lowest-priced houses you’ll ever see on HGTV. So I wonder how many repairs and improvements would make a difference? And even if we could get buyers willing to pay more, would they be able to get enough of a mortgage? We just got the house appraised and I was surprised at how few details the appraisal took into account. Anyway, if we rent it out we don’t have to worry about that for a while. We’ll just have to figure out what improvements to do before renting it out.
Anyone have any moving/buying/selling/renting-out experience to share?
Click over to Kelly’s blog for more quick take posts. Happy weekend!