My advice is sell what you have and downsize into a good neighborhood/smaller house. You should find a realtor you trust and get a market analysis of your home. You should also spend $500 and talk to a financial/tax planner for tax advice and estate planning. You might even want to hire an accountant to manage your funds for a while, if it is a considerable influx of cash. You don’t want to free up lots of money only to fritter it away. Nor do you want your husband to blow through the money either, since your original post implied that he’s made serious mistakes in this area before. Plus, if you make a profit on your house you might be subject to income taxes on that amount. You must buy a new house to avoid that situation. You don’t want to spend your limited money on taxes! And if you sell, there are strict timelines for buying a new house: I think the IRS gives you two years until they tax your capital gains as income. Under no circumstances should you rent. You will not be in a position to save for another down payment to purchase a home for a long, long time. For many people, their home is their only asset. Don’t be foolish, figure out some way to own a home. And if your husband is careless with money, make certain that your name appears on each and every document that you sign and that you know where to find copies of all of this paperwork.
You should also determine with your husband exactly where the money would go, should you sell your home and size-down. Would it be to pay off credit card debt? Car loans? Don’t use it to pay for Christmas or a family vacation or college. Sparkle, once the money is gone, it’s gone forever. You can only bail out your finances like this once. Next time, you would probably have to rent. And you still might have to work full time anyway.
After you decide where the funds should go, you should establish a realistic budget for your household. Finally, you have to make certain that your husband handles the money as the two of you agreed upon. This is critical for the stability of your finances and your family. You might need to take over the family finances. Are you prepared to do that?
In the thread title, it seemed like you and your husband were making the own/rent decision for the first time. You and your husband have already made the decision to own. Now it’s time to adjust things so you can keep living in your own home. Please consider hiring a tax accountant or financial planner to guide you through this process. Many financial and tax issues are far to complex for most people to understand at first. Staying home is a good thing. Owning your home is a good thing. These are not mutually exclusive objectives. God wants you to trust Him, but he also wants you to use your money well, like the servant and the talents. You are wise enough to see that you need a major change in your finances, just don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Please talk to some professionals for accurate, legal advice so that you don’t wind up in deeper trouble down the road. Have you considered declaring bankrupcy? I know this is a terribly difficult time, Sparkle, I just want you to understand the ramifications of whatever choice you make. God bless you, dear forum friend.