Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Only Way Out

In 2007, Josh and I were engaged and planning our future. We both lived in apartments, but wanted to buy a house to start our life together, if possible. In those days, lenders would pretty much make anything possible, and we bought our first house. It was a 3 bedroom townhouse on a quiet street just slightly outside the bigger, more expensive city we really wanted to live in {literally across the street the zip code changes}. We were so excited. It was exactly what we were looking for and would get us by until we had kids who needed play space.

I probably don't even need to tell you that by the end of that year we were upside down in our mortgage. Seven years and two little girls later, we still live there and could not sell the house for the amount we owe on the mortgage. That wouldn't be a big deal except that we now have a 4 year old and a 15 month old. The house that that was great for us as newlyweds just isn't working for our family of four.

This year as the weather warmed up we really started feeling the pinch of our lack of outdoor space. I tried taking the girls out front to play {there is a sidewalk between our front steps and the parking lot} but Reagan is too young to understand not to run out in the road and she loves to climb up our concrete front steps- accidents waiting to happen. Keeping an eye on her means that I have no attention to share with Carsen who quickly gets bored amusing herself with just some sidewalk chalk or bubbles and asks to go back inside. With the help of Pinterest, I've gathered some creative ideas for things to do with them outside this summer {that can be done on our front sidewalk}, but that's a band-aid on the bigger issue. Yes, we could make-do. We could get by here. We could totally drive 15 minutes each way to the nice park after breakfast and morning #2s, then have exactly 20 minutes to play before needing to head back home for nap time. But that sucks. And it's not what we want for our girls' childhood. We want them to have a yard of their own where they can run around barefoot and catch fireflies, or have a camp-out with their cousins. We want a driveway where they can learn to ride bikes and a neighborhood where they can take off on them. And if that's something we can give them, we're going to. It's time to move. Past time.

But... we can't sell our house right now. After talking to our realtors, the best {and really only} solution for us is going to be to rent it. I don't love the idea of being landlords, but our realtors have owned a property management company in the past and are very willing to help us out. Even more importantly,  we get to move on to {literally} greener pastures without having to suffer through until the value of this house recovers.  That gets us out of this house, but since this mortgage will still be in our names, our realtor suggested "crashing" somewhere for a few months if we could until our rental income gets established. Thankfully, Josh's parents were willing to let us do that. They have a spare bedroom and full bathroom in their basement, so the plan is to stay there for about 6 months and then  rent a house of our own. We'll rent for about another year and then start looking to buy hopefully our forever home.

It's going to be a little chaotic, but it's very exciting. We've wanted to move for several years now and are so happy that we're finally on our way. It'll be a lot of work, and stressful at times I'm sure {living with another family, and then in a rental, while being landlords... eeek!}, but the payoff is beyond worth it. In fact, when we think about where we could be in 2 years, we feel like we'd be crazy not to do this. So stay tuned for all the crazy details. Our first move {of the 3} is planned to take place in 8 short weeks!

1 comment:

  1. We are almost in the exact same situation. Bought a townhouse in 2006, upside down and can't sell now, we'll have to rent and move in with my mother in law for a little while. Only other problem for us is that our girls will be in 2nd and 6th grade this fall. It's not ideal but sometimes you have to suck it up and do what you have to do to do what's best for your family! Good luck to you, Em!


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