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Declutter challenge? What was that again?

April 21st, 2014 at 03:20 pm

This weekend I didn't get much decluttering done. Tried without success to get the old carseat picked up by a Freecycler (hopefully my backup person will come today, but she sounds like a bit of a flake too). Got rid of an old box and some other recycling. That's about it. Most of the time I forgot about the challenge entirely, with everything else I've got going on!

First off, we ran our 5k on Saturday! I didn't exactly set the world on fire with my time, but I'm just proud of myself because I didn't take a walking break the whole way! (NT and AS did MUCH better on time.) We all had a good time and agreed we'd like to do more of them in the future.

Sunday of course was Easter, so we hid eggs and put out baskets of treats for the girls to find. What with grandparents and daycare, we had so much stuff that the only things I bought were two $1.99 baskets at CVS. They had a great time, and we had our friends (the girls' godfathers) over in the afternoon just to hang out and catch up.

The past week or so, we've been getting more and more amped to start shopping for a new home. At first we were thinking we'd definitely fix up the condo and sell it before we moved, but now we're starting to seriously consider buying and moving before we sell. So everything is up in the air right now. Many things to consider:

- Deciding if it's a good idea to move before we sell. I spoke to a friend Friday who did it, and he said he and his wife just couldn't contemplate trying to stage the home and keep it neat (they have 3 young kids ranging from newborn to kindergartner). He said it wasn't that hard to do, and that you don't need that much of a down payment (they did about 7%) despite rumors that you need 20%-30% these days. He said the biggest consideration was you have to prove you have enough money in the bank to cover both mortgages.

- Making sure we have enough money in the budget to pay two mortgages for a while. We would, if we cut back on a few things, but it would mean our salaries need to stay stable for a while. That would mean NT can't take a lower-paying job unless AS gets a higher-paying job. (Oh! That's the other thing I haven't talked about. AS gave a preliminary sort of notice to her job; she's not leaving anytime soon, but she told them she needs to start transitioning out of her current role over the next few months or so.)

- Do we pull the trigger sooner even if we don't get the land-deal windfall? At first we thought no, but it is actually possible. I don't think of us having any money in savings, really, because all our money is earmarked and bucketed out for various uses. But when I added up everything we have in US checking and savings, we actually have over $21,000! It's all earmarked (EF, vacation fund, medical fund, extra student loan payments, etc.) but none of it is specifically needed at this time. And more is coming in May. So that's kind of interesting.

- We've mostly been thinking we want a single-family home, though I've had this vague dream for a while that if we got a duplex, one of our friends might move into the other unit and help us out with the mortgage. She's a really good friend and has a small apartment; would love something bigger but wants to keep her costs down and not commit to a mortgage.

She has a small dog and we have a cat and two kids; the potential for helping each other out with pet and child care, plus keeping each other's living expenses down, is really enticing! So when our other friends (a married [soon-to-be-legally] male couple), were over Sunday, I told them of this dream of mine. They immediately jumped on it, saying THEY would actually be open to an arrangement like that! They also have a dog, and as I mentioned are the kids' godfathers, and don't want to have a mortgage again (walked away from their home during the housing crisis), so the same arrangement could work with them!

We're really excited at the prospect. I'm even going to an open house tomorrow with one of them to check out a tempting prospect in our neighborhood; it is single-family but really big, so I want to see if it has potential to turn multi-family.

This concept of putting all my other money goals on hold in order to pursue house-ownership early feels very daring and strange to me. I'm still thinking about it. I wouldn't do it unless I felt confident we could pull it off financially without sacrificing too many of our other short-term (and NONE of our long-term) goals. So we'll see. I'll be crunching lots of numbers over the next few days/weeks/months, trying to see what this new scenario might look like.

2 Responses to “Declutter challenge? What was that again?”

  1. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Sometimes I think life has a way of working things out. Maybe putting your financial focus on one goal, instead of spread out over multiple goals, would be a good way of going. Good luck with whatever you decide!

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    Exciting to be considering a multi-family type home. That sounds beneficial to all.

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