Tuesday, January 19, 2010

To Sell Or Not To Sell

I'm really struggling with what to do with my house. Part of me is ready to move on from it. It's small and we are crowded in it. But on the other hand, it's my house and I love being at home in it.

After spending a significant part of the past month in hotel rooms with decent sized bathrooms, I'm ready for a house with an actual counter in the bathroom as well as linen storage. Living in a home with a single bathroom doesn't bother me. I've never quite understood people who live by themselves saying definitively "I couldn't live in a house with only one bathroom". However, I really would love to have a bigger bath room then I do now. The bath in my house is only as wide as the bathtub is long and as long as is needed for a bathtub, wall attached sink, and toilet. No cabinetry need apply as there is no room for it.

Over the past ten years of owning the house (I can't believe it's been ten already), we have improved it significantly, adding a closet here, a new window there, landscaping (which still has a long way to go) and other general improvements. There are lots of things yet to do, including refinishing the wood floors and putting up a fence to block my crazy neighbor's back yard and her dog who is dead set on attacking my poor old men dogs.

Another few doors up from the crazy neighbor, a house just went up for sale. Unfortunately, the house is a direct comp to mine and she is listing about $15K under where I would like to be for my house. It's not that I mind walking away with no money, I just don't want to do a short sale or take money to the table.

Also, a very good friend whose opinion I respect immensely, especially when it comes to money matters, once told me that real estate is something that you should always hold onto as long as possible because it builds wealth. While I don't have a ton of equity in my home, it's probably the only positive I have on my balance sheet right now so it makes sense to hold onto it until I need to move or can afford to buy/build my dream house.

Between the current housing market, the need for a modicum of financial stability, and the fact that I have too much upheaval in my life already, I think I'm going to hold off a couple of years before making a decision. In the meantime, I will keep updating the house and make it a great place to live. Just wish I had room for a counter in my bathroom.

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