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Old 05-05-2015, 12:33 PM
 
4 posts, read 5,473 times
Reputation: 10

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I don't know what to do. My partner and I currently live in a lovely 3bd apartment in Washington Heights (NYC) with our kids (7 and 5) and dog. We love our neighbors, our neighborhood, our friends, and NYC life. Our kids love their school and their friends. My partner is a 4th generation NYer, and neither of us could ever imagine leaving, until we inherited a free house.

My mother recently passed away and left me her fully paid off house in Redwood City near Red Morton, which I only visited a few times, and it was fine - pretty white, good schools, 30 mins from SF, some independent shops. We are considering it because to not have to pay for housing and still live in a relatively urban liberal area would be incredible. But I just don't know if I can give up my life here.

My other option is moving to Oakland. I have a lot of family in the Bay Area and I think we might be better suited to it. I love the independent shops, the diversity, and all of the events going on. It feels more urban and more like us.

A bit about us: we are a biracial (black and Latina) couple and are very far left. We love to travel and bike and hike, and are very non-consumer. We don't own a car and would not want to in the Bay Area. We love to cook. We go to museums every weekend and really try to soak up everything NY has to offer. I work at a nonprofit and my partner works in tech. Do you think we could be happy in Redwood City?

What would you do? Is this area cheaper than where we are now? What would it take for you to leave NY?
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Old 05-05-2015, 12:47 PM
 
Location: Brisbane, CA
238 posts, read 284,702 times
Reputation: 236
the obvious question is why don't you sell it?
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Old 05-05-2015, 12:51 PM
 
Location: Bay Area
3,982 posts, read 8,646,828 times
Reputation: 4723
I'd sell it! It's probably worth a LOT and it sounds like your family has a GREAT life in NY. Why mess with a good thing?
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Old 05-05-2015, 12:52 PM
 
Location: The Bayou State
688 posts, read 1,025,230 times
Reputation: 954
Quote:
Originally Posted by comingbacktocali View Post
the obvious question is why don't you sell it?
Agreed. Why even give it a second thought?

But you asked what others would do - I would give SF a good shot because I have no interest in NYC and I love SF. I am retired, though, and an empty nester, so I don't have to worry about uprooting children or upsetting a spouse.
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Old 05-05-2015, 02:14 PM
 
Location: Kihei, Maui
569 posts, read 741,430 times
Reputation: 1135
Rather than selling it, renting out the Redwood City might be a better option. There's a big demand for rentals and rents are through the roof. It would supplement your income. If you decide you don't like living in Oakland, it can remain a "Plan B" for down the road.
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Old 05-05-2015, 02:39 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
18,517 posts, read 30,514,999 times
Reputation: 12753
Really don't see any good reason for you to move to the Bay Area considering how much you love where you already live. You'll need a car in either Redwood City or Oakland as well. I'd either sell the RWC house now or rent it out. I was under the impression Washington Heights was a lower cost area of Manhattan, so you might just be able to buy a place there with the sale of the house depending of course on how much it's worth.
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Old 05-05-2015, 03:45 PM
 
15 posts, read 35,166 times
Reputation: 19
If you decide to rent, I would be more than happy to rent it from you!

That said, I think you'll like it here. You sound a lot like my family. We are a multiracial family we have kids slightly older than yours and both my husband and I work in the tech industry. We really love it here and feel like there's plenty of outdoorsy stuff to do. There are also good museums and historic landmarks. The climate is perfect for hiking and outdoor activities.

Have you thought about just popping down to visit and seeing what you think?
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Old 05-05-2015, 03:57 PM
 
Location: The Bayou State
688 posts, read 1,025,230 times
Reputation: 954
If you aren't already in the landlord biz, I would not recommend doing it as an absentee landlord clear across the country from your property. You would need to hire a property manager, pay fees, etc., to be a landlord. It is bad enough to be in the same town as your property and your tenant. The long distance thing can really be a pain.

Keeping it as a rental would also depend on the condition of the house. Does it need work? Repairs? Deferred maintenance? In a hot market, buyers won't care about much of that, so let someone take it off your hands and fix it up.

The house is an asset with a market value. Price it right and sell the house, realize the value in $, and use the $ as you see fit for retirement, or savings, or to get a better home in NYC, or whatever.

Last edited by Westbound and Down; 05-05-2015 at 04:17 PM..
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Old 05-05-2015, 04:20 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
98,794 posts, read 97,365,250 times
Reputation: 110267
Quote:
Originally Posted by comingbacktocali View Post
the obvious question is why don't you sell it?
No, the obvious answer is: rent it out for now, since your kids are happy where they are, and all of you seem to love where you are. The rent from it would help cover the rent you're paying, so you'd get to live more or less rent free without having to move. Win-win! And in order to keep a watchful eye on the place, and to be present for the annual inspection you're allowed to do, you can visit family in the East Bay.

I recommend finding a property management agency; it's well worth letting them take 10% of the rent, or whatever, to free yourself of the management headache. They screen renters for you, and take care of any legalities, should some problem arise, which probably wouldn't happen. It's a stress-free way to have extra cash rolling in. Just remember to set some aside for repairs and maintenance; you don't want to be caught by surprise there, without a back-up fund. The agency will also pay your prop'ty taxes for you, from the rental income.

This way, you can benefit from income from the house until you're ready to decide about the relo. You'll be maintaining that option while also earning effortless income. If at some point you decide you want to buy in the East Bay, you can sell the place, and cash in on the appreciated value. You can't lose this way.
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Old 05-05-2015, 04:27 PM
zdg
 
Location: Sonoma County
845 posts, read 1,890,406 times
Reputation: 1143
You will go nuts here. I'm saying this as someone who lived on the UWS and wanted to die there until my wife made me move out to California; only to realize that I love California more than I ever did NYC (which was a lot).

The first six months were hell. Nothing compared to NYC and I couldn't wait to "go home."

Then the first winter hit and I was still sitting on my deck here in a t shirt and light pullover and I slowly started to realize that I loved being a New Yorker more than I loved New York. You sound more like you love New York.

I like the rental idea and stay in Wash Heights.
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