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Old 02-08-2016, 09:08 AM
 
38,329 posts, read 14,998,477 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beer belly View Post
Sell the house.....rent in a better neighborhood till you're ready to retire....retire where it is more affordable
I echo this advice.

Everything goes in cycles. So before your home loses any more value, get it on the market. March and April are good months to do this in many areas.
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Old 02-08-2016, 09:14 AM
 
7,823 posts, read 4,412,856 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GotHereQuickAsICould View Post
I echo this advice.

Everything goes in cycles. So before your home loses any more value, get it on the market. March and April are good months to do this in many areas.
I'd list it NOW; you might find the market in your neighborhood glutted come "official selling season" in the spring, if others are seeing what you're seeing.
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Old 02-08-2016, 09:28 AM
NCN
 
Location: NC/SC Border Patrol
21,135 posts, read 21,913,756 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bungalowdweller View Post
I love my 1920's brick bungalow located in an inner-ring suburb outside of Chicago. My husband and I paid off the house and will retire in less than five years. We have one child in college who will be finished next year. The problem is that our town has a poor reputation which is reflected in the property value. The house is worth less than $200,000. We're saving like crazy but I can't imagine where to go after being here over 22 years. My network of friends likewise have homes in the inner ring although not in my town. As a white woman I'm a racial minority now that my town has turned to majority Mexican and I am uncomfortable with the idea of retiring in place. Crime is a definite issue and I fear that one day it will be too dangerous to even take my dog for his daily walk. I have ONE good neighbor & friend on my street but she's older and may not remain in her home if her health deteriorates.

I'm really torn about what to do. This spring I'm replacing the roof but there are constant repairs to a property this old. Neither of us have any family except for our only child so my friends are very important. I have no idea what to do. Illinois is a fiscal mess and I don't want to make a bad financial mistake. I feel strongly that given the present economy it is not a time to sell or buy in the Chicago area. Every house that is in a decent community is at LEAST $100,000 more with taxes in the $7-8000 range. I don't pay anywhere near that now. I know that we have time as retirement won't be for a few years yet but this is troubling me.

Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated.
Does your child's college in any way make it necessary for you stay in Chicago? Is your retirement in any way connected to your job? Go to Zillow and you can find the cost of new homes in other parts of the country if you can relocate some day. What will your child be doing and where is she likely to relocate. I think that is your key. You may be able to get a good restart for the whole family. What is the square footage of your home? And what square footage will you need for retirement? Sounds difficult but I don't think it is impossible.

You can make new friends. We live in the same area we worked and still connect with our old friends when they have a birthday, anniversary, etc. and want a present but our daily friends have almost completely changed.

In the meantime, I would be making cosmetic changes to the house spending as little money as possible to make it sale faster at a lower price. Keep a list of the improvements.
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Old 02-08-2016, 09:28 AM
 
1,199 posts, read 668,645 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverBird View Post
I echo all of the above. I watched in disbelief as the solidly mid- to high-mid class neighborhood that I grew up in, where my mother stayed alone in that house till she was 89 and we forced her to move, went to the dogs. Crime—break-ins, drug deals, prostitution, etc right under her window. A house that in a better area would have sold for 5 times the amount she got was sold for peanuts. A large bungalow type home, with some stained glass windows, built-ins, all the charm of that kind of home. When housing prices drop, they tend to fall quickly.

I agree with whoever said sell now, move and rent for a year or so while you find a new place, maybe a townhouse.
And I echo RiverBird . . . when city neighborhoods start to tank, they seem to go down very quickly.

If you consult with a realtor, check to see if a new roof is a necessity to sell your home. New roofs are very expensive and you might not get your money back.

So sad to see these old, solid neighborhoods declining but I also saw it happen where my MIL lived.
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Old 02-08-2016, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Chicago area
14,444 posts, read 7,951,594 times
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Howdy neighbor. I think I have a pretty good idea of where you live as we are in the next outer ring and about 20 minutes from the loop. I understand how attached you are to your house, but that being said, if you can't walk your dog without feeling unsafe, then it's time to go.

Come here where I live and yes you will pay more in property taxes and more for a house, but there are a lot of bungalows here with those beautiful stained glass windows and Chicago style wood work. I walked my boys at midnight last night and never felt a twinge of danger.

It's unfortunate that scum bags take over a town and turn it into crap, but I guess they have to live somewhere. I say get the H out of there before it's too late and your house is only worth half of what you paid for it. Or you wake up one night to someone you didn't invite in your bedroom.

It is what it is and you need to think logically about what you need to do and leave emotion out of it lest you stay in a dangerous town forever. Please feel free to DM me if I can help you. We're actually a very friendly town and I can introduce you to one of my friends that I met one night while we were walking our dogs in the middle of the night.

You might even find that the increase in the quality of your life was worth the extra money here. There are still some bargains around and some really nice condo's close to the train. You can walk to pretty much everything you need as well.
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Old 02-08-2016, 10:15 AM
 
7,823 posts, read 4,412,856 times
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There you go; problem solved. Isn't CD great?
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Old 02-08-2016, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Eastern Tennessee
2,547 posts, read 1,837,646 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beer belly View Post
Sell the house.....rent in a better neighborhood till you're ready to retire....retire where it is more affordable
This is exactly what I was going to recommend.
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Old 02-08-2016, 10:40 AM
 
Location: Florida
4,379 posts, read 3,720,561 times
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I would move and start life over. You are lucky you have a little time to make up your mind. You might consider selling your house now and renting until you retire. This would give you time to get your price. Also the value will probably be going down.

For the long run I would look at over 55 communities. First pick the part of the country (weather) your would like. Then start looking at costs of living, then pick a state, then look at a few communities. When you are picking a community pay attention to how easy it is to get to shopping, medical care and how well suited it is as you grow old. You will have to depend on your neighbors for help, not friends across town.

I can tell you that you can find nice homes under 100,000. Use the internet for most of your searching but in the end you have to visit the community for as long as you can.
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Old 02-08-2016, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
7,312 posts, read 4,180,834 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otterhere View Post
It's better to get out earlier rather than later when a neighborhood starts to go down. O
nce it has, you're good and stuck with your property! "Location-location-location." Stop pouring money into it, put it on the market, and don't let it linger there being picky about the price (take the first offer you can afford to take). If you can't decide on a destination, rent until you do. We had only one "problem neighbor" (unfortunately, right next door on a shared driveway), and we had to practically give the place away after nearly a year on the market. The longer you wait, the worse your prospects will become. Best of luck to you!
Very good advice. My former father-in-law lives in a neighborhood so far gone he'll never be able to get what he could have gotten 15 or 20 years ago. The same thing happened where my first house was located. I could see the neighborhood was changing and I was able to sell just as the homes peaked in value. A few years later I ran into an old neighbor. He said crime was epidemic and it just wasn't the same place as it used to be. The OP's situation is probably closer to my former father-in-law's situation than mine, so they need to sell now and get out while they can.
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Old 02-08-2016, 10:55 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,007,999 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjm1cc View Post
I would move and start life over. You are lucky you have a little time to make up your mind. You might consider selling your house now and renting until you retire. This would give you time to get your price. Also the value will probably be going down.
I would disagree on renting out her house. The type of people who might rent could well bring in many family members and others and once in, it's impossible to get them out even if they don't pay their rent. Plus they could well trash the house. Plus you need additional insurance when you rent out a property.

Spring is here. Empty out the house, slap a fresh coat of paint where needed, stage the place with green plants, and list it. When people talk about high-risk investments, this is one that many here think should be shed.
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