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Wow! Suddenly, some clarity

April 12th, 2014 at 12:28 pm

Today, we have a very different perspective for the foreseeable future.

The WV land deal is still uncertain.
Prospective career/income changes are still just pipe dreams.

BUT ...

An uncertainty much bigger than either of those has been settled: We're staying in the U.S.

AS's trip to London was first and foremost to represent her publishing house at a book fair. But we all acknowledged that it was also for her to network, suss out the British publishing industry, and think about the possibility of getting a job in it.

She came home with a very definite sense that a long-term future in the UK publishing world would not be good for her -- or us. It was mainly a lifestyle thing; most of the people she talked to had chosen publishing over having children. Or having a social life outside of publishing. Or (if they worked for a small press) having a decent income.

It also bothered her that the culture itself seemed to be everyone's obsession. She got into publishing because she loves books, loves editing, loves experimental fiction writing. All that seemed secondary to gossip, careers and faux glamour, with most of the people she met.

She doesn't want to pursue that path, and that was the only clear path we saw into the UK. We didn't have to discuss much after that -- NT had already prepared himself for that eventuality and is just ready to head in a concrete direction, and so am I. So we now have one path -- fixing up our condo for sale and saving up for a down payment on a house in Minneapolis.

There's a wistful feeling giving up the UK dream -- at least for the next 5-10 years. But there's a great deal of excitement having something definite to work toward.

I of course immediately rejiggered the numbers to focus just on moving within Minneapolis. And I'm figuring them with a 10% down payment, because we want to move as soon as possible but without having to sell the UK flat to raise funds.

These are my very rough estimates, which we'll use as our benchmarks unless or until we have more concrete numbers:

Upgrade US condo for sale: ($13,500 total)
- Kitchen $5,000
- Bathroom $5,000
- Floors $2,500
- Misc. (painting etc.) $1,000
Total UK flat reno $19,200
Down payment (10% on $425K home) $42,500
Closing costs $4,500
Moving $1,000
So that would mean we'd need $80,700. If we count every liquid asset (including the emergency fund), we have $32,874. That leaves $47,826 we'd need to raise. (Would probably take us over a year to raise that, depending on whether career and income changes happen, and which direction they took our take-home pay.)

Interestingly, my estimate of what we'd clear if the WV land deal goes through is $48,000. Which means if that went through tomorrow, we'd have enough money to start the ball rolling immediately!

Of course this assumes we wouldn't lose any money on the sale of the condo, but that's more likely if we wait a year. So even if we were to get that windfall sooner, we'd probably wait longer anyway. And, it would be nice to pull this off without draining every bit of our medical and emergency funds, so that's another incentive to wait and save up money.

Very exciting stuff to contemplate.

6 Responses to “Wow! Suddenly, some clarity”

  1. Kiki Says:

    It is always interesting to read your thoughts, plans, and amendments as a family. The thoughtful way you plan for the future is sadly lacking in many families. I always appreciate reading your thoughts because it is great for me, also a planner, and often makes me think in a different light about my own plans, and often poses thought provoking questions for me.

    I am sorry about the change in plans away from the UK, as that was a long time plan/dream. But the experiences AS had while there may have saved some heart ache down the road.

    Here's to looking ahead!

  2. Carol Says:

    Wow, what a difference a week made. It must feel good to have things clarified, at least for now, and have a clear goal to aim for. I hope your dreams come true!

  3. creditcardfree Says:

    I'm happy that you all have clarity on your future plans! That has to feel better from a planning standpoint.

    Do you HAVE to do all the upgrades you are planning? Will your recoup the money when you sell? Check with multiple real estate agents to get opinions. I know we fixed up our first home, for us, but then moved (due to job change) not long after nearly finishing everything. I think some things helped, but I think we would have spent les if we were doing it for someone else!

  4. ceejay74 Says:

    Thank you kiki for the compliment! I'm glad my rambling does resonate with you. And thanks to all of you for the congrats. The plus side of having some definite plans balances out the disappointment we feel in not being able to move to the UK!

    CCF, the numbers I'm budgeting (while they feel high to me) are likely on the low end of what it would take to get both places marketable (the UK one for renting, the US one for selling). But we'll try to cut costs wherever we don't see that an improvement would add much value. We'll talk to the UK management company later this month to see what we could accomplish for $3K less. It's hard because they'll be carrying it out for us, so in some ways we just need to take their word. Maybe NT could become involved in speccing lower-cost supplies/appliances, but it would be very difficult with the distance, time difference and his lack of experience vs. theirs.

    For the US one, I do think this is about the minimum we'll need. We might get the floors done for less than $2500, but I'm afraid other costs might run over, so I'm keeping that estimate. We'll look at what we might be able to keep, and what we can get for cheap (Ikea cabinets for the bathroom, for instance).

    And there's a good chance we could get a home for less than $425K; that's at the top of our budget. Good deals do crop up from time to time. There are four places we'd consider right now if we were able to move; two are bank owned or short sale, so I'm sure that's a headache, but the other two are just for sale. There are also two or three just a couple blocks out of our desired neighborhood that are in the $250K to $350K range, so I have hopes that we'll be able to come in for less than that.

    So much to consider! Yet it feels much more manageable because it's only half of what I was trying to take into account before today. Smile

  5. CB in the City Says:

    Well, it's actually kind of nice that AS validated the more inexpensive option! I think you can get a nice house in Minneapolis within your budget.

  6. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    That's great that you now have a solid direction to head on!

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