Moving decisions



You were planning on buying a house next summer, but in a recent discussion have considered that two more years of careful saving would make buying a house the summer AFTER next an amazingly easy thing to do (with a heftier amount of savings left over, instead of buying next summer and having smaller savings)…

But you currently HATE your three bedroom apartment and would really enjoy living somewhere with a kitchen that actually makes sense–like, enough cooking space, so you don’t end up using the stovetop as a workspace–and enough food and appliance storage space, so your laundry room doesn’t double as a makeshift pantry and area for storing cookery stuff; a dining room that doesn’t flood in heavy rainstorms (supposedly getting fixed) and a layout that doesn’t maximize space (just under 1200 sq ft but the usable space is not nearly that much). Plus, we don’t have a yard–just a small patio–for dd to play in, and we might be able to find something that would allow for playing outside at home instead of going to the park every time she wants to play. Also, rent has gone up 10% since we moved here two years ago. We might recoup moving costs by finding a slightly less expensive place but similar square footage.

Would you…

Move to a different apartment now.

Just stay where you are at: saving the cost of moving, choosing a new place, the risk of not liking it for different reasons and the hassle of packing and unpacking–but dealing with the above frustrations, especially the kitchen problem.

Wait and see next summer if you are going to end up buying or waiting one more year–and THEN move to a different apartment if buying doesn’t happen at that time (even though you fear that hubby will, ahem, say it’s pointless to move and then move again in a year).

Most likely–we are buying next year, because we really, really are tired of renting and throwing money away and also because it would be most comfortable/ideal for our family. But, having discussed the possibility of waiting an extra year has thrown my tolerance level for this apartment into a tailspin. I just don’t know if I can deal with this horrible kitchen (the worst part of it, for me) another two years!

The other caveat in all of this is that we haven’t decided which side of the state line we want to ultimately buy a house in yet, so moving to an apartment on the other side would give us a taste for that. But, we both feel kind of compelled to stay on this side, so ultimately that probably wouldn’t happen anyway. But it’s another ‘thing’ knocking around in my head to consider.

I’d rather have responses instead of just a vote, so I’m not making a poll.


I’ve done real estate sales, family business for two generations now. To be perfectly honest with you waiting for two more years really isn’t going to improve your buying situation. Down payments are a good thing with cars, they can and do directly impact the interest rates and payment amounts. Thing is there is a huge difference between borrowing $40,000 and borrowing $400,000. So the reality is you really aren’t going to save enough money to seriously impact a real estate transaction in two years. However, 24 months worth of house payments will build equity in a peice of real property. If you can cover the closing costs just buy now, the market conditions are certainly in the buyer’s favor. If you wait two years there’s no telling what the market conditions will be.


We can more than cover the closing costs; the problem is that we want to put 20% down and still have a sizeable chunk of personal savings in the bank. But yes the equity is important to consider. If we put zero down or a significantly small number, I think we’ll regret it in our house payments.


However, there is this. When you buy a house, in the earlier payments, most of the payment goes to interest and only a small amount goes to principal. You can put additional money to the principal and lower significantly the term of your mortgage. Ex: Mortgage payment is $100.00. Of that, $80.00 goes to interest and $20.00 to principal. If you pay $120.00, you can put $40.00 to the principal, effectively doubling your principal payment and lowering the amount of principal owed. We paid off our house several years early by doing this, and saved a bunch of interest. Also helps build equity. I hope this makes sense.



Abby – we are in a similar situation. We’ve outgrown our little townhouse that we bought before we had two dc. We are waiting on a job move for my dh before we move because we don’t know where he’ll be.

This move is dependent on someone who was set to retire last year, but the date has been changed SEVERAL times. The last time that the date got pushed back, both my dh and I reacted by thinking about moving anyway. After all, we are waiting on someone else and who knows when he’ll make his final decision. It is so, so hard to be a small house with growing kids.

After we prayed about it and said a novena to St. Joseph, we both calmed down and were at peace with waiting it out. I don’t know when we are going to move. Hopefully it is this fall, but if it’s not, we can rest assured that God has something better for us and that we are here in this tiny house for a reason.

My only advice is to ask God to give you peace with the decision and that way, you’ll know you’re doing His will. I mean, there’s realtor advice and other practical advice, but God doesn’t seem to work with a pro/con list, ykim? I don’t mean to discount that advice, because certainly your answer may lie in it. I just know that it makes no logical sense from my viewpoint why we are still here, but I trust that God knows what He is doing. :slight_smile:

BTW, here’s the novena we prayed. It’s a really beautiful prayer. Good luck on your decision.


A 20 percent downpayment is just a silly thing to do is today’s lending market. Over the course of a standard 30 year mortage putting down 20 percent is not going to have a signficant impact on your payment. There are just so many other more profitable things that could be done with that money than burying it in your home. As few lenders ever even see an 80 precent mortage these days they don’t make better offers on an eight percent than they do on a 90 or a 95. Even in a low or zero risk investment like government bonds you’d make significantly better earnings on that money than if it rests in your property. In the short term real estate is actually a risky investment. With the current market trend showing the reduced pricing of real estate by putting down 20 percent you’d almost certainly be at a loss and it could mean being stuck in the property for a considerable period before you could recover your losses.

The only reason people ever used to put those kind of down payments is lender’s used to require them, they’re good for the lender not the mortagee. With real estate put down as little as you possibly can. It allows your equity in the property to increase at the stable rate of apperication. When your equity exceeds apperication real estate becomes a risk.

The other issue is if you wait and we find market conditions like they’ve been over the past few years with low interest rates creating a strong seller’s market you’d need your savings just to be in the same buying position or could even find yourself in a worse position.
I’d recommend finding a good financial advisor, don’t have details but just from what you’ve said here you have too much money in savings. Big savings accounts are great for the bank, they’re lending your money on car loans and making 7-20 percent back on it while paying you >1% on it, if they’re paying any interest at all. They aren’t good for you. There are plenty of investment options which are low risk but still have a much higher yield than letting your money rot in savings accounts.


I don’t know the smart thing. But, I really sympathize. Our house feels too small for the eight of us. My husband told me several months ago that it would be three years before he would consider moving, and my tolerance for living here dropped significantly.

Three years!!! I can’t even think about doing another winter here.:frowning:

It’s become a real mental and spiritual block for me. I know that some day I will look back on this time and wish I had been offering it up and mortifying my desire for more space. But, right now, not a day goes by that I don’t have to fight wave after wave of loathing for the house. It is way out of proportion to the problem. So, I’m sure it’s a spiritual problem.

Dave Ramsey says: have no consumer debt, have enough to do a 15 year mortgage, and your housing costs should not exceed 1/3 of your monthly income. I can’t ever imagine us being in this situation.

You can justify doing any of your choices really. Probably all of them are okay for different reasons.

Moving is pretty stressful though, and personally, I’d avoid it if it is only for a year, then to do another move. We moved six times in our first 7 years of marriage. :frowning:


Oh, that apartment sounds horrible :frowning: Flooding dining room? Is there any way you can ask the leasing office manager for a rent discount until the dining room is fixed? I think that’s outrageous that the rent went up and they haven’t bothered to fix the problem! I can’t imagine having something like that with a toddler in the house.

If I were in your situation I would pray hard for guidance and see where God leads me. He’ll take care of you if you follow His plan. A sizeable personal savings account may or may not be necessary. Good luck with discerning! I will pray for things to fall into place for you so that you can clearly see where God wants you to be, and when.


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