The wife and I are seriously considering moving home. We decided that much as we like the location, the place is just too big and too badly configured for our needs and I’m getting less and less able to carry out the maintenance work it needs. I like the idea of moving to a place with acreage… but with a smaller, more manageable house. Having said that, the wife would just like to move somewhere cheaper. 🙂
To be fair I see her point, the mortgage repayments on this place are more than some people earn. It’s a bit on the high side to put it mildly. To be realistic, much as I’d like a few acres to play with, it just ain’t gonna happen. We don’t want to disrupt the kids schooling so we have a relatively small area in which to search for a new home, say up to 30 mins drive time… maybe inside a circle with 50 k radius?? Houses with acreage within that radius, yet close to the school have gone recently for sums in excess of $3.5 million and *all* have been huge mansions. They’re just too big (and expensive! :)).
The alternative is to cross the road and the social divide between one suburb and another.
It wasn’t until we moved here that we learned there is a real snob value in cash terms living this side of Windsor Road which is the main artery in this area. We are in ‘Baulkham Hills Shire’… across the road is ‘Blacktown Town Council’, which for reasons beyond my ken is substantially cheaper than here. By the way, when I say ‘across the road’ I mean it quite literally. Prices are up to $200,000 lower by virtue of being 500 yards or so away over the border! And it’s not because their ‘services’ are somehow less well provided there. It’s just considered ‘a ‘cheap’ area! Question is… would we want to live there. It is after all, still ‘suburban living’ and I’m not a suburbanite by nature. I either like country… or city. For personal choice, give me London any day!! 🙂
Anyway, the wife’s next suggestion made a lot of sense… as it would coming from her… why not sell up, rent somewhere, consolidate, and buy from a position of strength? We’d not have to buy first and then risk all on an expensive bridging loan sucking the lifeblood out of our finances. We might even find somewhere we could pay off entirely! Ok, this might be unlikely but still possible – maybe more so if we sold off our house in Queensland as well?? Who knows?
At the very least a move to a smaller house would mean we’d end up clearing out the accumulated detritus gathered over years and reduce our possessions to those that are *needed* instead of just kept out of habit. And I must admit there is the added advantage of knowing *exactly* what assets we have! 🙂
So. To set us off, I’ve invited a Real Estate Agent around to give us a basic valuation. and some advice.
Yes the place is still untidy. It even has cobwebs here and there with our ‘pet’ spiders happily ensconced in them… but that’s ok, the purpose of the visit is to get some sense of the current state of the market… and what we might do to enhance the value. For example, to save some embarrassment, we might feel it worth spending $50,000 on the place to have it painted and put down new carpet. However, if the resultant increase in ‘value’ was only $20,000 then there would be no point in doing it here… we may as well do it for whichever new house we eventually bought.
I suppose we *do* have to rent some storage space to clear out furniture etc that clutters the place, but otherwise it would go ‘as is’ and see what happens. It might be a buyers market, but we aren’t desperate to sell at all so wouldn’t just take whatever was offered..
Thinking on a little… one last plus point occurs to me. in that we’ve already decided any new place would be single story. A single story house would have advantages when the oldies come to stay as my mother won’t have problems manoeuvring her wheelchair around!