Stuck In The Middle?

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mrcaddy
Posts: 44
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2006 4:58 pm

Stuck In The Middle?

Post by mrcaddy »

I am not looking for sympathy of any sort as I know I'm not the only one going through this. I'm just looking for some advice. My wife and I are trying (for nearly three years) to sell our 1900 era house and move 15 miles away to where we both work. It just makes sense since gas is going higher and higher. Trouble is: this place won't sell. We owe too much to lower it. We can no longer really even afford to maintain it. We are not behind in the mortgage at all. We have thought about renting it out, but I'm concerned that since we can't afford to fix anything that might be a bad idea. We can't afford to fix the garage roof and it is leaking.
Just looking for some ideas. No sympathy. Anyone else like this? Anyone have any ideas? I know I should feel fortunate, and I do, just to be able to have a home right now. Thanks,Scott

rehabbingisgreen
Posts: 892
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 10:26 am

Re: Stuck In The Middle?

Post by rehabbingisgreen »

More economical car maybe?

I'd think the rental idea would be a no go if you can't make repairs because honestly things do get broken and you have a small time to repair them with a tenant in place.

I don't know if you could qualify through a bank to buy another home and keep the one you have now or if your house is large enough you could rent out a room for some extra income or what boat you would be in if you went through a forclosure if you could no longer afford this house and to repair it. I suppose there is always renting a house if need be till you are in a position to own again if that is an option. I don't know what situations you are looking at.

We're in a major fixer and having to do a tiny bit at a time right now because we are having a tough financial situation too and I know it's frustrating.
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raymanretro
Posts: 845
Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2006 2:34 pm
Location: Tn.

Re: Stuck In The Middle?

Post by raymanretro »

We got Oldhousedreamer to list ours on her site. Thats where the buyer first saw it. We also had a very good and ageressive realestate agent who did a lot of photos online.
http://oldhousedreams.com/category/arch ... er/page/3/

lupinfarm
Posts: 934
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:55 pm
Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: Stuck In The Middle?

Post by lupinfarm »

I agree with Ray..you need a specialist in Period homes to promote your house, they will do a much better job and will
in all likelyhood already have a list of clients who are looking for a historic home and will come with the right kind of cash.
I have found your average " house hunting Joe " doesnt have an appreciation for history or period homes and would probably
offer a "Low Ball" price for your home. Perhaps a specialist realtor could market your home nationwide or atleast to the right
demographic. Its all about targeting the right buyer.
Good luck and keep us posted.
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putting the 18 back in my 1872 Victorian farmhouse.

pqtex
Posts: 1319
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:03 pm
Location: Beaumont, Texas

Re: Stuck In The Middle?

Post by pqtex »

Moving to reduce a 15 mile commute doesn't sound cost effective to me, especially if you would lose money on the sale. Actually, a 15 mile commute doesn't even sound bad to me.

Buying a new property would have loan/closing fees, moving costs, and no matter how perfect the new house was, you'd have some expenses with it, either some repair cost or decorating expense. I would look for other ways to reduce expenses and stay in place, especially if I liked my home and neighborhood. For instance, we eliminated our land line telephone and don't have cable or satellite television. Perhaps there are other reasons you want to move that add to the equation, though.

I don't know what to tell you about the repairs you need to do on your existing home. The longer they go unfixed,the more they'll cost to repair in the long run; but when the money isn't there, it just isn't there. Do you have any friends or family who can help with the repairs, even if a temporary fix? What about bartering services for roof repair?

Are you and your spouse taking separate cars on your commute, or riding together? Is it feasible (as someone else suggested) to trade for a more economical car? Anyone else in your community that has the same hours/commute you do that you could carpool with? Any chance on finding a job closer to home or finding a job that pays more? Maybe even a part-time job to supplement the regular job?

What are your ages...close to retirement age, or young enough to have expectations of increased earning potential?

Money is tight here, too. We work on things as we can afford to, and don't live on credit.

Good luck with your decision.
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My great-grandparents' 1913 farmhouse

Too bad the spam got so bad. Some of us have been spending time at the new community for folks with a love of old houses at wavyglass.org

lisascenic
Posts: 922
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2009 10:17 am
Location: Oakland California
Contact:

Re: Stuck In The Middle?

Post by lisascenic »

Moving to save fifteen miles? I'm voting for examining your car costs, as well.

mrcaddy
Posts: 44
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2006 4:58 pm

Re: Stuck In The Middle?

Post by mrcaddy »

All good thoughts and suggestions, thanks! I am soon to be 40 and my wife 39 so retirement is not real close. We do both commute and have fairly efficient cars; between 20-25mpg. We really couldn't ride together as we have different hours. I just don't want this house to get worse. It isn't a grand Victorian, but it is a neat and unique 3 bedroom home with a 2 car garage. I may try that place mentioned on here. Some say that maybe our Realtor isn't doing enough. Maybe that's true. It's hard to say. Where we live almost nothing sells, but where we want to move to things seem to sell well. We actually had thought about.....getting an apartment (I know that hurts to hear) as I don't feel like we are able to keep up with a house anymore. I know there are certainly drawbacks to that, but I wouldn't have to worry about fixing things.
Thanks, Scott

Josiecat
Posts: 550
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 11:51 am
Contact:

Re: Stuck In The Middle?

Post by Josiecat »

Apparently this isn't a 15 mile commute problem, no? A 15 mile commute is nothing. I commuted 2 hours EACH WAY when I lived in Washington DC area. It sounds like you cannot afford this house and you are trying to justify selling the property.

Has your income been reduced? Why can you no longer afford they home? There are many repairs you can do yourself.
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The Wellcome House
1892 Queen Anne Victorian
Topeka, Kansas

pqtex
Posts: 1319
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:03 pm
Location: Beaumont, Texas

Re: Stuck In The Middle?

Post by pqtex »

This is one of the reasons I advised someone on another thread to keep the mortgage on their home as low as possible, even if it meant postponing some of the repairs they wanted to roll into the amount of the mortgage. You have a lot more freedom in your decisions when debt isn't looming over you. However, it isn't always easy to get there, and I totally understand. It also sounds like you might actually be happier without old house ownership and old house problems, and that is also understandable, even if you love your home. There is nothing wrong with that. Personally, I would enjoy living in an easier life than I have right now, but my old house takes all of our time and money. I wouldn't change my choices because I made them out of love, based on family needs (89 year old parents, father has alzheimers, I moved here to be next door so they could remain independent) and I'm trying to make the best of it. Still, even though I like my house and I have a lot of family history in this home, I would never have moved back here and taken it on if not for the needs of my parents. I admit it has been a huge money pit and I no longer have time for most of my outside interests.

If you would be much happier with a simpler situation, in terms of upkeep as well as financial, then there is nothing wrong with trying to mitigate your losses and trying to figure out the best way to sell and move. I don't know much about selling real estate, but I think the key would be making your home more desirable than the others, and I think standing out from the others is more important than a cheapo price. Your house has to have what the right person is looking for. It means putting the best face on the house as possible. That also means taking care of any repairs that would turn off a buyer who could choose from a number of other houses in the same price range. Kind of a catch-22 because if you could afford to do all those things, you might not even be thinking of selling it.

On the other hand, if you really like the house, and would love it if the cost of upkeep and repairs were not an issue, then you should find a way to get through this slump.

I wish you all the luck in the world and hope you find the right solution that will make the both of you happy.
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My great-grandparents' 1913 farmhouse

Too bad the spam got so bad. Some of us have been spending time at the new community for folks with a love of old houses at wavyglass.org

melissakd
Posts: 3468
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2007 4:29 pm
Location: Indiana

Re: Stuck In The Middle?

Post by melissakd »

If you're pretty close to the line between being able to afford your house and being unable to afford it, I guess it's better to be proactive and downsize than to slip behind and have the bank gunning for you. I shopped for my house both before and after the Great Real Estate Bubble burst, and beforehand, the guideline for what you supposedly could afford on a given income was scarily high.

Avoiding a 15-mile commute makes sense but luckily for you, isn't a pressing situation. You have time to plot and plan and wait for a buyer.

Could you scrounge scrap materials for a temp fix on the garage roof, like a tarp, or an odd stub of OSB from a construction site? It might hold the damage to a minimum.

There's tons of free advice out there on debt reduction, thrift, prepping a home for showing, DIY repair, etc. Cutting back is good, but you alone know what is and isn't worth it to you. My daily lunch at McDonald's maintains enough morale to keep me going.

I feel for ya, believe me, as my kitchen has been on hold for a year waiting for the cash to buy countertops. And countertops don't even cost that much. :?

MKD
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The Thaddeus W. Bayless House
Built between July 1863 and January 1865, major add/reno between 1890 and 1902
Style = Mutt

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