Tuesday, September 21, 2010

stay or go?

We're having a major dilemma at our house.

We love our house.  It's cozy and comfortable.  It's a 50 year old brick ranch with beautifully restored original hardwoods.  There are some charming features, such as the crank out windows, the radio/intercom speakers in every room (mind you, the house is less than 1500 sq. ft, so the intercom system is completely unnecessary...but cute), and the smaller details such as the unique ceiling pattern in every room.  We also love the neighborhood, with its 50 foot tall trees and sprawling yards.  No two homes are the same but they have a certain corresponding 1960s personality.  On top of all this, the location is perfect for usWhat's not to love?

How about the not-so-charming tiny closets...or the single solitary bathtub?  We also don't love the tiny garage that we can barely fit both cars in (forget about the contortionist act that we put on when it's time to get out of the car).  Our closets are so small that I have to put my clothes in dresser and closet of the guest bedroom.  So what are we supposed to do when we have another kid?  Unload both of them in the driveway, take them in, then pull the car in?  Buy a rolling wardrobe rack to keep in the hallway for my clothes?  Take 2 hours to bathe everyone in our family (not to mention how long it already takes when we have overnight guests)? Simply put, we're out of space in this sweet little starter home.

The options:
1. Put our house on the market and wait for a buyer, THEN start looking for a home to purchase.  
2. Find a house we like, make an offer, and hope like heck that someone will buy our house quick.  Two mortgages is really not an option.
3.  Add on to our house - either an upstairs master suite or somehow figure out a sensible way to add on to the back.

This is tough for us.  We have been in our house for over six years now.  We knew we wouldn't stay there forever but it's going to be hard to leave.  It's where we went from couple to family.  We've done so much work and made so many improvements along the way.  The sentimental part of me wants to add on so we can keep living in our little house, but I'm afraid of unforseen costs adding up and subsequently putting more into the home than it would ever be worth.  I'm also a little nervous about living in a construction zone for who knows how long.  My father-in-law could build a house with his two hands and I know that he would help us with every step that we didn't pay a contractor to do, but that's asking a lot.  But we wouldn't have to worry about the very possible financial pickle that I'm so afraid of - buying a house and not being able to sell ours.

If we do make an offer on a home, we have to worry about keeping our current house ready to show at all times.  Hard to do with an infant and a crazy work schedule.  That wouldn't be a problem if we added on.  We also have to think about the money we'd lose to realtor commissions.  If we could sell it by owner, we'd save a lot, but neither of us have the first clue how to go about doing that. 

It's all so frustrating and stressful.  Have you even been in this situation?

the side of the kitchen that faces our big backyard

view of kitchen from the den

the den that we recently remodeled from floor to ceiling

living room

nursery - also recently remodeled :)

What to do, what to do?



  1. You could always just move to TN...

  2. Ooo, I 2nd that emotion!

  3. um, sure but that still doesn't solve our problem.

  4. Yep - move to TN a great option!! :)

    Our house was on the market in NC from 2 months before Lauren was born until she was 3 months old. I was alone during the week, (Jason had already moved to Richmond), and Lauren had colic. SUPER HARD!! Leaving the house for showings was not an option, and keeping baby gear out of the way was nearly impossible. We sold it though! Anyway, is the home you're in now in a good school zone? That would probably be one of my biggest deciding factors. I'm sure you'll make a great decision! Now I must go read all the rest of your blogs...I'm a little behind.

  5. Have you thought about renting your house if it doesn't sell?

  6. I agree with Rhonda!! It's still great timing for buyers so you guys could get a lot of bank for your buck! We currently rent our first home because we don't want to loose so much money on it by placing it on the market as it is, and it has worked out great for the last year and a half or so. Also think resale value... if you add-on to your house now and spend say $30,000 would you be able to get it back if you decide to sell the house??