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Old 10-27-2011, 08:36 AM
 
12 posts, read 36,234 times
Reputation: 22

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What sort of things should one consider? We have two children in elementary school. We have relocated to a much more expensive town where the schools are above average. The house we purchased was a buy, a good investment but we have down sized considerably as well as taken on another batch of home improvement projects which sucks the life out of my 44 year old body as well as drains our family time. Any major changes to the house will hike up our property taxes to the point that it could become unaffordable. Our live style is more pinched. I don't necessarily feel equal in my surroundings (ie: majority of folks are very wealthy, we are average). On the plus side, there is more for our children, although we can't partake too much as everything cost $$ naturally, but still we have more options. Things are closer to get to since we are much closer to Boston.
BUT...
Sometimes I consider lifestyle and age, and just how much am I trading off or giving away and for what.... Is is worth it?
We could technically profit 200+K if we sold our home right now. In a hot market, yes we could make a bit more but because of the funky style of the house and its small size, I'm not sure if we really could make THAT much more. We could move to another, more average town, still a desirable town with good schools, but not a high end community. It will be further away from Boston. But when I look at the financial aspects I wonder if it's the way to go?
I am seriously very confused and thought of speaking with a life coach. There are many factors involved. Our ages for one and taking on house remodeling (when the money permit) just overwhelms me. Been there did that and left a house that was totally finished, where the weekends belonged to us. We could have a much lower mortgage with a much larger, finished house. Possibly bank a considerable amount too.
My husband and I debate this constantly. He wants to stay, struggle, and "live" later on retirement. I want to live a good life now but still have a secure future.
what would you do?
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Old 10-27-2011, 09:31 AM
 
Location: MA
155 posts, read 293,568 times
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Interesting question. My husband and I have been discussing this topic as well. There are many factors to consider and no "right" answer because each family has it's own goals and what is important to one may not be so to another.
I have come to learn that life is far too short to spend it trying to keep up with the Jonses. You are spending money and a lot of time fixing up this house...is it worth it to you? Is it worth the time you are losing with your children? They are only young once, for a short time. Do you want to look back and regret pouring extra money into a house when you could have taken them to Disney World and made memories that will last a lifetime?
Yes, we all want to have a nice house in the best area that we can AFFORD. We all want our kids in the best schools. But what are we willing to trade off for that?
When you are done renovating this house, will you have enough money for maintenance? Will you have the money when the boiler breaks?
Do your children have to be in the BEST schools or are you ok with GOOD schools? If you were to move to a more affordable, larger home, would you be able to send them to a private school?

These are questions that we have been struggling with as well. But something happened recently that reminded me how very short and fragile life is. You said your husband want to stay, struggle and "live" later. But what if there is no later? Not to sound like a cliche, but nobody is guaranteed a tomorrow. LIVE today because in the end, it won't matter where you lived it will matter HOW you lived.
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Old 10-27-2011, 10:21 AM
 
12 posts, read 36,234 times
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These are my exact feelings Makolly. Though I really didn't want to make that too clear in my initial thread. I would like the best of both worlds, and because we made this initial investment, we have the chance to have exactly that. I would like to do as much as we can with our children young. As you said it's only once and for a short while. I told my husband tomorrow is never guaranteed and G-d forbid your "investment" that you waited for retirement to enjoy, has to pay for health costs. Where are you then? What was it all for? I can't get my husband to see my points. He's too hung up on the town and the future. I worry about my kids in the school system here. It's very driven, lots of AP students. He thinks it's important for the kids to be more challenged in school. But I worry about the pressure they face. There are two very driven cultures in this town and school is everything to these kids at a very young age. We all want successful children, but at what cost? You could have a child that rises to the top or sinks under the pressure. Just because your child is in tops schools doesn't mean they'll turn out as top students. Sometimes it goes the other way.
Perhaps a child in a more average school has a greater opportunity to rise to the top 10% of their class. I don't know. At any rate, these are the thoughts that are rolling around in my head on a daily basis.
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Old 10-27-2011, 12:24 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
31,468 posts, read 70,274,558 times
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With kids in the equation: The "buy the worst house in the best neighborhood" axiom applies.
For retiree's it can vary more.

hth
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Old 10-27-2011, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts & Hilton Head, SC
8,426 posts, read 12,777,898 times
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What are the 2 towns?
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Old 10-27-2011, 12:27 PM
 
Location: North of Boston
3,339 posts, read 6,018,879 times
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Our family made a similar move in 2005, from a custom built colonial home in an upscale development in Newbury to an older, modest cape on a side street in Lynnfield. Our current house needs plenty of work and I am strapped for both the time and the money to complete the projects.

However, for us, the better schools and closer proximity to family and jobs makes it worth it. At least that's what my wife keeps reminding me! ;-)
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Old 10-27-2011, 01:09 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
31,468 posts, read 70,274,558 times
Reputation: 37733
Quote:
Originally Posted by gf2020 View Post
However, for us, the better schools and closer proximity to family and jobs makes it worth it. At least that's what my wife keeps reminding me!
Mortgages are (mostly) deductible... tuition isn't.
It's really no more complicated than that.
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Old 10-27-2011, 02:49 PM
 
349 posts, read 999,639 times
Reputation: 307
"....taken on another batch of home improvement projects which sucks the life out of my 44 year old body as well as drains our family time. Any major changes to the house will hike up our property taxes to the point that it could become unaffordable. Our live style is more pinched. I don't necessarily feel equal in my surroundings (ie: majority of folks are very wealthy, we are average)..."

Just read again what you have written ... this does not sound like a happy and healthy living situation. You need to do some realistic soul searching on what you are spending your time in life doing. I think it may be useful to discuss with a life-coach who can help you work through your decisions.
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Old 10-27-2011, 04:02 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
244 posts, read 522,347 times
Reputation: 71
Breezy1 is right...
We are moving from MD to the MA area with 3 children (one in high, middle and elem school). Our house in MD, only 40 years old, has sucked up about $65000 in the last 10 years for a new roof, siding, windows, patio, fix a leaky bathroom, update two old ones, replace 15 year old carpet, finish a basement to have more liveable space and then we'll be spending about $5K more just to sell the darn house b/c everyone wants HGTV like homes (new counter tops, different kind of foyer floor, repaint etc).
Sooooo...we are looking in MA at towns we can afford with schools that are good, and a house that is as updated as we can afford. My husband will be taking the train into the city and while we discussed living in metrowest, we decided to look at the Reading/Wakefield area b/c the train ride will not suck anymore than 40 minutes, roundtrip, out of his day as opposed to an hour and 20 minutes living in, say, Westborough. Right now, his commute from MD to VA is 1 hr and 20 minutes each way which takes away his ability to coach soccer or go to a scout meeting. Living where we will in MA will help bring him back into the kids lives.
Your children will do well in school with your support; parents are the key to their child's success at school and it sounds as if you are able to help your children reach their potential. In my opinion, a moderate house in a moderate neighborhood with good schools (let's say 7+ on the greatschools.org scale) is the way to go. Don't you want to give your kids the memories of Disney? A week long vacation at the ocean? Trips to a museum to see traveling exhibits? Memories of helping you do projects around the house that are fun and don't seem like a burden are fine (like my 9 yo daughter helping dad pull up carpet. She learned how to use new tools and got the satisfaction of helping dad with a large project). It's not fun when the kids have to hear, "I can't play with you right now b/c I'm still working on the ___." Think of the song "Cat's in the Cradle". Play it for your husband and maybe it'll drive home a point that while he is busy with HIS life, his kids and you are living yours and one day, the kids will be gone, the house will NOT be done (because, are they ever?) and he'll have missed 20 years in a blink of an eye.
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Old 10-28-2011, 08:17 AM
 
392 posts, read 819,712 times
Reputation: 330
I agree with previous poster, think about the time you want to spend with your children... Besides, would you consider a condo? Everybody seems to want a house, but with the amount of work there is involved, would a nice condo be an option? True, you pay your condo fee (and it's not cheap in some places), but you also pay for your freedom that way, no worries about any maintenance, lawn mowing etc. You have many more towns to choose from if you consider a condo. Plus, if you want to live in a suburban town (say metro west), there usually are nice complexes or townhouses close to town center and train...
Just a thought. I feel like I want to already downsize myself Kids are still little, our house is wonderful, in nice "moderate neighborhood" with good schools, but with minimalistic tendencies in me I see things differently...
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