Friday, May 4, 2012

Decisions Part 1: Home

After all the upheaval of the past 6 months, everything about our lives seems very much undecided.  Mainly where I will work, where we will live.   

Our house is on the market and it will sell soon, no doubt.  Although we are still not 100% sure we want to sell.  Lots of pros and cons.  We put it on the market because, after all the many tornado-induced  repairs (new ceilings, new paint, new hardwood floors), it’s never looked better.  But also because I was mad at it (as you can see from my 11/22 post).  I’m pretty much over that but after living in the condo, I don’t miss the house at all.  That tells me a lot.    
The condo is small and low-maintenance - really ideal for someone like me who probably isn’t genetically predisposed to be a homeowner.  It’s felt like a vacation living here the past 5 months (even though it is furnished with my in-laws', bless ‘em, outdated and mismatched furniture).  And it’s a good size for 2 people with a stinky little dog.  But having said all that, we are still undecided. 
I have 2 primary objections to buying the condo from John’s sibs and moving in: 1) the unit next to us is vacant and on the market – I’d like to see who we would be sharing a wall with before we commit and 2) John really likes the house and I don’t want to take that away from him (though he tells me as long as I’m happy, he’s happy anywhere).  We are hoping objection 1 will be resolved before we are forced to make a choice. 

OTOH, the things we might miss about the house are the doggie doors and covered parking. 

One of the biggest advantages to selling the house is that I can probably finally get my RV.  And with no house to tie me down, I could travel much more.  For one thing, we’d have more money!  You homeowners know what I’m talking about.    

Then there is my up-in-the-air work situation which I will leave for another post .…

Have any of you faced this kind of decision?  Wanna share?


  1. Everyone's lives are different, and I don't want to be a downer - but...

    I've owned condos, just short-sold one, and I have to say I'd rather live in a one room shack than in a condo. NEVER AGAIN. There is always a Home Owners Association and sometimes a Management Company. Make sure you know who controls your HOA, ask for copies of recent meetings, and talk to the residents about their opinion of how things are being run.

    If things are bad, you can always run for a seat on the board, but at my latest condo, no one wanted to run, and I couldn't have made a difference by myself. If they don't keep up with the maintenance and repairs needed, values go down and sales in the future are harder.

    I just don't like giving someone else that much control over my biggest asset. You have to pay dues, so it's not like you're saving any money.

  2. Are you going to want an RV to fulltime in or just take adventures in? That could possibly determine what you may want to live in - house or condo. Maintenance or no maintenance. What about just renting till you really know what you want to do -- that is, if you decide to sell the house.

    I guess this also partly gets determined on your job/work situation. Some folks live in their RV's in parks & continue working full time jobs. That way, they save money & can still take the RV out for weekends or vacations.

    But fulltiming is not for everyone, as is living in other arrangements such as houses or condos. We have to be happy with our decisions. And our lifestyles.

    Of course, you know all this already! ;-)

    Just don't rush into any decisions until you are sure of what you want to do.

    Any condo around you is prone to being sold at any time, so you'd gain/lose neighbors at any given time. Same for houses, but those you don't have to share walls with, so that is a consideration too.

    It sounds like John is open to what you want, so at least that helps! Maybe?

  3. Might it make a difference if there are a lot of open units? Harder to sell later, if you wanted out.

    Does John want to travel, too? If so, I think the idea of buying a combined dream RV and living in a park might be great. If not, you pulling off down the road leaving him in the lawn chair might be a problem. For him.

    The Good Luck Duck

  4. Wow! What a pleasant surprise to see you posting again. To once again see you name up top on my bloglist was a highlight of the day. You have been missed around blogland. Congratulations on your PhD. Sorry that you didn't get the position you desired. You have been through quite a bit the last six months. Things have to be looking up. Still hope to meet you somewhere down the road. Take care.......

  5. Kim, I've had a condo on a lake in town, a house in the country, and I've rented.

    Our condo fees skyrocketed back in the 80's. More than doubled in three years. Then there were all the rules: no barbeque on the patio due to fire danger; no bird feeders because they attract rats. And we lost $10,000 when we sold it.

    My sister bought a condo in Jacksonville, Florida two years ago and it is now worth exactly half what she paid for it.

    Houses are, as you know, money pits. I think the days of their being good investments is past, at least for a few years.

    I am retired, and at this stage of my life I would rather not have to worry about new roofs and all the other home owner expenses that rear their heads.

    If I could sell my house and lease a place that had room for my Casita and be free to take off on long or short trips as the mood hit me, that would probably be the ideal solution for me.

    Since you will be going back to work at some point, you probably need more of a permanent home base than that.

    It will be interesting to see what you decide to do. I'm sure it will be a well-thought-out and satisfactory solution! :)

  6. It's not an easy decision, and you have to come up with something that works for both you and your husband. And looking for a job at the same time as trying to decide where to live can't be easy. Good Luck with your decision.

  7. Again, we have been through much the same discussions! We sold our home to go full-time but when we return (prematurely) we first leased an apartment. We then discovered that we could own a home (much smaller than before) alot cheaper than an apartment or townhouse. So we purchased a really nice home (cottage style) in the city near the college. Very nice neighborhood. We are happy and now waiting for the right time and rig to come along and we'll be RVing once again.

    It will all fall in place for you as well. It isn't easy and you have to weigh all the options and decide what works best for you all. Life doesn't follow the "one size fits all" rule!! Good luck on your job hunt as well. Hang in there!!

  8. Good to see you posting again.

    Have you thought about renting? Might be the best of both worlds for you.

  9. We have had several homes. We sold when we moved from state to state. It has never been quick or easy. Right now we are being dragged down by a large house that we don't agree on how much to repair. I long for being free of the burden of ownership. I would rather rent.

  10. Kim, I also own a Condo and like Barbara and I'm sure many others it has been a gawd awful experience !! There are NO Condo Laws or By-Laws to protect the Owner.

    I also don't want to own a house anymore so down the road it will be renting for me.

    This is a huge decision for you and John so take your time.


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