Sunday, January 31, 2010

Real Estate Trials

Richard and I have lived in our condo for just over 2 years. When we purchased this place, the bank approval was based on my income alone, and we didn't have intentions of having kids so soon. Now that Richard has a steady income and we have a kid... yeah, space, an extra room, and a yard would be great. Also, our property taxes raised drastically and our HOA fees increased, so we are paying a significant amount more than when we first moved in.

We put the condo on the market almost 5 months ago. In that time, we've only had 2 people come in to look at the place! The neighborhood is okay and we're on the 2nd floor (added safety & security). We've done a lot of work (painted all rooms, added ceiling fans to bedrooms & living room, removed popcorn from main rooms' ceilings, the carpet is 2 years old, and completely remodeled the bathroom) and we get compliments from visitors all the time. We are priced around the same as comparable condos and we're listed through a large company. So, what is the problem? Well, with all of the crap that happened with the real estate companies, forclosures, bank bail-outs, and etc, the regulations have changed. It is harder for people to get approved for loans on condos!

We've been pre-approved for another mortgage and if we don't sell the condo, we have to have 6 months of payments in the bank (do-able) and the down payment for a new house (also do-able). We'd also have to have tenants with a 2-year lease AND receive enough rent to cover the mortgage and HOA fees (not likely). We can afford these payments ourselves, but it really is just too much for this place! Especially when you crunch the numbers and realize that if somebody bought the condo for our asking price, their mortgage payment would would be about 1/3 less than what we're paying!

The worst (or best) part is that there are SO MANY awesome houses in nice neighborhoods--that we could actually afford! If it weren't for us being stuck in this condo, we could be looking at 3-4 bedroom houses with 2 car garages and nice yards! I don't even want to look, though, because it would be hard to find something that I really love and not have all of our other "ducks in a row." Now we're starting to look at other options... so, hopefully we'll be able to figure something out soon.


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