Desperate Housing Situation

momto3kidsApril 28, 2010

First time poster - friend recommended that I sign up & post my situation for any possible ideas. Sorry my first post is so long!

First is situation with my home. Purchased at worst possible time (2006)for $207k, which at the time was a good deal; comps were $225 - $235. This was comparables in same development, with same sq footage. This was going to be our starter home, for about 2 years. Now the house is worth $159 according to Zillow. Same house as ours was on market for 6 months beginning asking price of $170, finally sold few weeks ago for $160 to an investor. So as you can see, we are about $30k upside down. To make matters worse, this neighborhood has been hit with a few bombshells that are causing steady decline; one example: county approved "affordable" multi-family apts to be built behind the development.

Second is family situation. 3 kids, twins 6 yrs, & 8 yr old. I lost my job about 3 months ago. We had reserves of 3 months, so I looked for position without too much pay cut. After 2 months, started to look for ANY job that would be flexible to still interview for a better job. Still nothing.

Last week got bombshell that DHs employer will be folding as early June, no later than Sept. Has been told he will PROBABLY get 3 to 6 months severance, but there is nothing in writing yet so we are not depending on anything. Now a little good news: On Monday, DH to city 150 miles away to "talk" to exec that his present employer recommended. They called yesterday evening to tell him that they will be sending him an offer today but let him know upfront it will NOT include relocation package, but WILL hold position until after July 4th to give our kids time to finish school yr & relocate. (July time-frame made me think that exec knows my husbands present employer WILL fold by June).

So now you know our dilemma(s). That means I will be out of work for another 2 months, unless someone is willing to hire me for 2 months. Biggest problem is getting rid of our house. Pretty sure we will not be able to afford two mortgages, or event rent and mortgage. We also donÂt have anymore reserves left to pay the difference between what we could sell house for and what we owe. We have no intention of "walking away" from our house. We donÂt even want to do a short sale. But I would like to know if there are any options at all for us to sell our house and payoff the remaining owed after closing? Like would the bank consider giving us a line of credit or a loan for remaining balance? Since we were living a tad-bit below our means, if I am able to get a job any time soon, we would be able to afford rent or either a comparable mortgage and pay off remaining amount owed on our home.

Although we are estatic about the job offer (while typing this just got email from DH that he has offer but no time yet to read it), I am in quandry as to what to do. We have good credit and donÂt want to mess up anything.

If any body can give any suggestions about ANY of our dilemmas, please feel free. At this point IÂm even open to "woulda could shoulda" because it might help us in the future. We are OVERWHELMED. Thanks!

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Zillow is not too accurite. Talk to a realtor to see what is selling and price. DO NOT sign anything at this time. Talk to several realtors. If you do move, can you rent? How long will the job last? Can you get work where you are/going? Babysitting? Lots of questions and I would suggest starting a journal on these thoughts==put down suggestions, ideas, thoughts etc. And just for your information, you are not the only one in this position. I wish you the best of luck.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 4:37PM
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Zillow can be both wildly inaccurate and scarily accurate, depending on the location. I thought it was really far off when I started selling my house. We had it listed for $305k, got a cash $300k offer the first day, but the deal fell through. Ended up selling it for $255k (incl. about $6k worth of waverunners) three months later. Zillow had it as $248k.

As mariend said, contact three to five real estate agents and get them to do comparative market analyses on your property and interview them in case you want to sell. That will give you a better sense of what's ACTUALLY happening in your neighborhood.

No bank is going to loan you any money without income. Sorry to have to be so blunt about it. Your original mortgagor wants to be paid when the house sells, since it will no longer have collateral to back up your loan. Short sale sounds like your only option, but even then you're going to be tight on time. There are some new laws, but I don't know when they take effect, that should help close the loop on the extended timeline that is causing delays and scaring away buyers.

Call your mortgage company immediately. Tell them ONLY about your job losses, not about any impending moves. Ask them for a workout. There are some federal programs to help with this. At this point you DON'T have a job offer in hand and AREN'T moving anywhere. Don't tip your hand unnecessarily.

Your credit WILL take a hit. While it may not seem fair, it's the way it works. In 3-4 years you will be able to buy another home. In the meantime, rent a home and feel relieved that you don't have to do the maintenance. :)

Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 6:37PM
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Thanks for the suggestions. I had actually tried the babysitting thing, but as luck would have it, it kept interfering with follow-up on job leads. I do have a possibility for a "summer job" though, and it's one that will eliminate need for child care -- working at our church's Christian School summer camp.

I will be calling real estate agents today. Called the bank but preliminary conversations appear that if you have lost your job, there is no chance for modification. We have to follow up on that, though. I like the idea of a journal, too. Also found out from looking at property database that $170k is average sale price since September 2009 -- even though not that many have sold.

DH's job offer was okay - nothing to write home about but if he takes it, it will keep us afloat, if he can find a REALLY CHEAP efficiency or 1 bedroom, and we will probably have to stay here until we sell the house at a price we can afford. Sad indictment that we have to "sell" at a price we can afford rather than "buy" something we can afford. We really don't want to do short sale. It just seems like reneging on a promise to pay a debt, but also for selfish reasons -- we don't want our credit to take a hit. Hopefully, it won't come to that. It will probably take a miracle, though!

Again, thanks for responding.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 8:01AM
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If i were in this situation, i'd have my family stay in the current home, and commute to the job,or perhaps stay in an affordable apartment/room during the workweek..I am certain your H could find a perosn willing to rent a room in a home for a very affordable price, and come home on weekends..Not the best situation,but much better then finding a place for ALL of you and carrying the mortgage..

Best of luck

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 8:13AM
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Sorry to hear about your job loss, but congrats on your husband finding a new job so quickly.

Re Loan modifications - I would call them again and not mention anything about job losses. Your husband has a job right now. If that salary is enough to qualify for the loan modification, you may have a window to try to get something done there. It certainly doesn't hurt to ask.

If that doesn't work, have you looked into renting your house out? If you can find a small temporary apartment for the same as the house rent, that would buy some time for you to get back on your feet.

Most importantly though, you need to get in crisis mode. If your husband works days, get a job at night. Any job. Baby sitting, flipping burgers, 7-11, whatever. Make sure you have cut out every expense you can. Childcare? I hope you aren't still paying for that. Cable? Rice and Beans diet? If your cars are worth more than you owe on them, sell them and get a $1k junker. Have a garage sale. Do whatever you need to do to get some cash coming into the house and reduce your bills to the mortgage, food, and utilities. Every penny you save buys more time for you to get back on your feet.

In terms of "worst case" - you need to keep some cash on hand - enough for first and last month's rent at an apartment. If that means putting groceries or utility payments on a credit card (that you may not be able to pay currently) then you need to do that. Your credit is much less important that a roof over your head.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 9:37AM
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We really don't want to do short sale. It just seems like reneging on a promise to pay a debt, but also for selfish reasons -- we don't want our credit to take a hit.

While I don't reject the "beans and rice diet" approach to saving money, I would explore all avenues including a short sale. Two job losses, three children to take care of and the need to relocate - you do what you have to do. Your credit will "heal" over time.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 10:20AM
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Personally, I would try to rent the house out -- being a landlord is no fun and has its own issues, but if you can get someone in there for anything close to your monthly mortgage, and then rent cheaply in your new location, then you'd be covered.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 11:59AM
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"Most importantly though, you need to get in crisis mode."

I have 3 regrets along that line: We did have to pay out the $150 cancellation fee for cell phones, but we were able to get other phones on other family member's plan for just $20.00/month per phone. We are just not using our phone during prime time only for emergency. We did not want to pay the $360 for Fios/land-line phone cancellation, but since it's been so long since I've been out of work, we're just going to bite the bullet, pay the $360, and move on. April is our last month for cable, and we will be on bare minimum landland as of May 1st.

As far as childcare, our children go to Christian School, with aftercare until 6:00. At about the same time I lost my job, we made the decision to pay their tuition for the 2nd semester so they wouldn't have to change schools, and so that I could be free to job hunt late into the evening. We regret not switching them to public school now; I guess we were thinking one more semester wouldn't hurt, but we sure could use that money now!

The car decision is SO hard. We did cash for clunkers last year for both of our "clunkers". We paid cash for one new car, and 0 percent financing for 36 months, with big down payment for the other. It seemed much better than spending money almost monthly trying to keep clunkers going so we decided to replace both. We even ran out of free Triple A tows! Another decision we kind of regret, because I am paying my car note out of my unemployment. But because there is no public transportation where we live, we are so dependent on cars and hubby was getting tired of both of us breaking down on the road. That's the fear with selling cars and getting another clunker, but that is something we are looking at doing now.

We are down to bare minimum on food for some time. Has anyone heard of angel food? Check out, as you can see, we have cut our food bill drastically using them.

Anymore suggestions would be WELCOME!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 12:08PM
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You sound like you are doing the best you can and I admire you and anyone else going thru this. Is there some jobs at church you could help with? cleaning? at the school, aiding children, but check to see if you need certifications first, Because your husband's job may or may not be secure, if you have church members, friends or relatives to help out, maybe keeping the house would be better. As to the 150 miles, to me, that is not too much, because where we lived before, many people drove that daily, some more, some less. My grandson leaves Mon morning returns Fri night/Sat morning to keep his job. He is in the oil fields and his wife works but has to maintain everything. They have a child that requires medical help so that is hard to, but with friends and relatives they are surviving. Several mentioned renting, personality, I would not because after renting a house to friends, when we had to have them evicted, we spent hundred's repairing the damage. If you have the rooms, maybe someone at the church or at a local hospital could rent a room, prefer a young woman. But have the references checked out. Just a thought. As to phones, my grandson carries a trac phone. His dad was calling too much and ran up a big bill. Do wish you the best.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 3:02PM
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"The car decision is SO hard."

This is what I mean by you having to get in crisis mode. This is not a hard decision. Pretty new car vs roof over your head. If you have a 1 year old paid for car, sell it and buy a cheaper/older model.

And, not to kick you while you are down, but you did ask for "coulda, shoulda" earlier. What were you thinking buying 2 new cars when you were already underwater in your mortgage? You are only $30k down on the house. I assume you spent that (or more) on cars.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 3:29PM
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Bill, I guess you are right. What makes it hard is memories of being stranded on the side of the road with 3 kids. Or having to call in and tell your boss you'll be late AGAIN because of car trouble. It gets old after awhile and it was such a relief not having to worry about if you put your key in the car, will the motor start or will the cash register start ringing up another repair bill. I guess we were thinking that we're just about paying a car note anyway. [end whining - LOL]

It honestly never occurred to us to save up our deficit on the house but that would have been a much more prudent think to do. If had an avatar of me slapping myself upside the head it would be here!

Thanks Bill, honestly.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 4:15PM
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1. List the house for sale at a reasonable but on the low side price. You want a quick sale. Once you get an offer, then you go to the mortgage company and ask about options. It is possible that they might give you an unsecured loan for the shortfall. They are more likely to consider it when you have a real life offer in hand.

2. DH should keep looking for jobs in your area. He can take the other job but keep looking. If he doesn't fine one, he takes job in new area and gets a cheap apartment and you stay put with kids selling your house. It is no fun but can be done (I'm currently living in our new house with 2 kids while DH is living in old house while our son finishes high school. We are closer together than you would be but it is not fun).

3. Look for a job anywhere. Get a job at a fast food place or a store clerk, whatever. Those jobs are out there. They don't pay much but it is something. And work a schedule where you can still interview elsewhere.

4. Sell the cars and get older, reliable cars. I wouldn't drive a $1000 clunker that breaks down all the time either. But there are other options that are older cars that are reliable and may cost a little more but still you would get money from selling the other cars and eliminate the car payment on the one.

5. Look for things you can sell on ebay or Craigslist or wherever. Have a garage sale, etc.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 5:31PM
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I'm really sorry for your predicament. Actually, you sound a lot more fiscally responsible than many young people going into it. When you bought your home you were a two wage family and it sounds like you had a good job. You had some savings. IOW, you did all the right things and *S* happened anyway.

I also was a single mom for some years, had a good job and a home and still remember walking around like a zombie from the responsibilities of kids/house/job. It's easy to tell you to get a job, and get one you may have to do....but three kids who are still young enough for child care is an issue unless you have family nearby.......especially if your husband moves and you stay behind to hold down the fort. You won't make enough flipping burgers to pay for child care for three kids. It's not unusual for it to run over $100 per child per week here.

I also know what you mean about the cars. Billl is right about the flags going up when your home started devaluating, but you also have three kids who need a safe car and cars may not be selling any faster than houses in this economy. I dunno. They devaluate as soon as you drive them off the lot. If your husband commutes, even on weekends, he also needs a dependable car.

I have no solutions you haven't already considered, but a lot of people are in this situation. Good luck.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 6:42PM
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Sell the car that is paid off. You don't have to a buy a beater that barely runs. You need to buy something UGLY, but that is reliable. Something that is CHEAP because it's UGLY. It's only temporary. This is Dave Ramsey's advice. Check him out at

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 10:00PM
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I think the first thing you should do is to get a real estate agent to come and give an honest market valuation of your home. Right now, you are basing a lot of your financial woes on what zillow says your house is worth and as others have said, it can be wrong as often as it is right.

First things first...get an idea of what you can realistically expect your house to sell for and then make your financial plans based on that.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 7:07AM
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Here are just some ideas you might want to look into for trying to get the money together to pay off the mortgage.

1. Check for a personal loan now and see if they will give you one. Don't bother with the mortgage company unless they are also a regular bank that does those loans. See if they'll take your cars as collateral.

2. The car that is paid for can you do a loan on it to get some money to put towards the mortgage? Car loans are generally easier to get than personal loans and there are lots available with low rates.

3. What is the value of the car with a payment vs. how much you owe? You said you did a sizable down payment. Can you get a new car loan and get some of that equity out (assuming you have any).

4. Do you have any credit cards that you can ask for an increase in the limit and also get a good rate for a same as cash deal?

Maybe the combination of all of the above to raise the money you need, Assuming Zillow is accurate.

BTW I only posted these as options for you to get the mortgage difference to preserve your credit assuming you can make the payments. However it is not something that should be done without looking at if you can also afford the payments and really not the best way to do things in general, just gives you some other options to raise the money if you need to sell.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 9:15AM
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I know someone in a very very similar situation...They purchased their home in Sept 06 for $216,000. Hubby lost his job in January and wasn't able to find a new job until a few weeks ago. The job is 3 hours away. The wifey is a nurse and has free daycare in town for their 2 year old with her parents. So she's working in town, grandma is caring for child, hubby is sharing an apartment with two other guys in new location and drives home on Friday nights and drives back to his new locale on Monday mornings. They currently have their house on the market for $210,000 which is way overpriced (it would probably sell for $160 - $170 right now). They're in a situation where they also cannot afford the hit on the house, unfortunately market conditions aren't cooperating with their financial situation.

It may be better in the end for your hubby to take the job and commute back and forth on weekends for now until the situation changes. As long as you're able to find something locally for employment for you.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 12:24PM
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Well, so much has been going on since I last checked on here that it seems like it's spiraling out of control! LOL!

1. We spoke to a realtor last night. We've never sold before so I didn't know what to expect, but to me it was a total waste of time. She had done no homework and left with the promises of doing what I thought she would have done before she met with us.

2. We're meeting with another realtor this evening who is actually bringing a potential buying who is trying one last gasp to get a contract before midnight for the housing credit. This is the realtor who sold the last house in our development, to an investor. Her client had looked at that house but it had a few cosmetic deal-breakers, one of which was apparently hideous wall paper throughout. Anyway, this potential buyer is familiar with the layouts here and likes the area. She says that the comps around here, the last tiem she ran them, was around the $160 to $170 mark. The realtor was noncommital about what her buyer's price range is. Somehow, I don't see this being a good thing (bringing a buyer trying to do a contract before midnight). It seems to rushed, but DH thinks it could be do-able.

3. Speaking of DH, he has presented his list of solutions (mostly taken from you guys -- thanks SO MUCH!) that are acceptable, negotiable, and non-negotiable. Guess what the non-negotiables are? Absolutely not to selling the cars at this stage of the game. No part-time job for me flipping burgers at any time. He thinks it's not worth paying child care to do that, and he thinks our tax situation will be better with him being head of household at this point, unless I can get close to my prior salary.

3. He ended up telling his present boss all about the offer and our housing dilemma. The boss said to go back and ask for corporate housing for a minimum of 90 days. Both me and DH knew vaguely that some companies have this as an option, but had no idea in this case. He asked, and they are considering, and will let him know sometime today or Monday. They wanted to know if this was agreed to if he would accept the offer, and he said yes.

4. The offer - there are some hidden things in that that I don't like, but DH things he can live with them. I won't even get into them here.

5. Last but not least, DH has a plan for housing deficit if we selle. When I can stomach it a little better, I'll post it. The only thing I will say here is, it's not illegal, it's not immoral, but it has strings attached. Suffice it to say, I love my in-laws dearly, but .... you can fill in the blank.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 12:26PM
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So you've ruled out all the things that might realistically decrease expenses or increase earnings?

The new solution to get out of debt is to borrow more money?

I just don't know how we've got to this point as a country. A grown man would rather borrow money from his mommy then drive a used car? Seriously? Nobody likes to make the hard choices, but at some point, you just need to man up and do it.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 1:42PM
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Bill I can appreciate what you're saying, but remember, these are DH's choices not mine, so you're preaching to the choir.

Also, I know that based on what I said, you think that you have correctly "filled in the blank" to the solution to the house deficit, however you are, in fact, incorrect.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 2:24PM
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Maybe I'm being rude, but I think you need someone to fire you up so you really attack this problem. This is really not a ton of money in the grand scheme of things, so if you are willing to take action, you can dig yourself out of this hole.

Re your husbands plan with his family - I'm sure he's got some complicated way of spinning this. If you structure the deal as rental or sale or whatever, you are still using someone else's assets instead of your own. If that is your last resort and you've done everything you can and your family is willing to step in to save the day, then you dodged a bullet. That isn't the same as being unwilling to make the sacrifices necessary so you don't get to that point in the first place.

As for the choir - if I was pulling the stuff your husband is, my wife would walk down out of the choir box and smack me upside my head. I'm sure the last thing you want to be doing is fighting with your husband a this point, but it sounds like he could use a good thump on the noggin.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 3:00PM
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"The new solution to get out of debt is to borrow more money?"

Nothing the government does not do.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2010 at 12:41PM
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What ever you and DH does, I hope things work out. Just writing things down does help, but If you do write many negative things, shred/burn papers. Postive/negative thoughts ok. Is there someone you can run things by? like a Church pastor, IF he/she is trained? A professional financial person, who is licensed/bonded/certified--just for additional ideas.
Anyway, GOOD LUCK. one day at a time.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2010 at 2:05PM
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You know there is a way out of this, Have you asked God for help? The secret is believing in Christs absolute ability to provide!

You have to help yourself too, There is nothing wrong with a 2-3yr Honda! VERY dependable.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2010 at 9:30PM
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"He thinks it's not worth paying child care to do that, and he thinks our tax situation will be better with him being head of household at this point, unless I can get close to my prior salary. "

I guess I am missing something here. Don't you file taxes as married filing jointly. I thought to file as head of household you couldn't be married? I thought the only way to file as head of household would require you to not live in the household for an extended period (I don't know the details so maybe there is stuff I don't know).

    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 12:08AM
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'Head of household' is for a single parent with children.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 11:01AM
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The car situation is a little mind-boggling to me. Getting a little older car is not the same as buying a clunker that breaks down all the time. And it will save you a ton of money. Get two three-year-old cars and see your monthly nut shrink enormously. If DH can't see this, I don't see how you are serious about saving money. Anyway, good luck to you.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 12:57PM
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"'Head of household' is for a single parent with children."

I stand corrected, by both GW and DH. I'm not even going to try and explain what he meant about the taxes, because it's obvious I don't know a thing about taxes. It doesn't make sense to me that our tax picture could be better without me having a low-paying job, maybe somebody can explain it to me in "taxes for beginners" terms.

We do have a contract on our house from the buyer the realtor brought over. She is using the $8 first time home buyer credit but she also has in the contract that she can get out of it after inspection.

I thought the contract had to be binding in order to get the credit. The contract states she can withdraw after inspection but it doesn't even specify that it would have to be for problems found withe the house. And she doesn't have to say why. That doesn't seem binding at all. Anyway, it is for $165k and closing is June 15th.

After much "discussion" we have decided to swap both cars to my in-laws, for cash and their cars, which are O-L-D but well taken care of. One good thing that came up is my estimation of our closing costs on the house were way off, in our favor. After we pretty much empty our remaining reserves, we will be able to bring enough cash to the table at closing.

If this closing goes through, I will be truly grateful that we can just move on. I can't shake the feeling, though, of practically giving our house away, and PAYING to complete the transaction. I won't bother me a bit if the buyer walks away from the deal. DH would be devastated. Surprisingly, he is excited about relocating and moving away from this area. I hope he keeps his excitement while we are living hand to mouth for the forseeable future!

By the way, to the poster who said the answer is Jesus Christ: we are with you on that.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 1:48PM
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I stand corrected, by both GW and DH. I'm not even going to try and explain what he meant about the taxes, because it's obvious I don't know a thing about taxes

Since you sign the tax return, you really should learn more about taxes and what you are signing.

As far as the buyer being able to walk after the inspection for any reason - that is a pretty standard contingency, just like loan approval. If the buyer does back out, they would lose out on the $8000 tax credit, so I would think that you have a pretty good chance of making it to closing, unless the buyer is a complete flake.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 5:16PM
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"As far as the buyer being able to walk after the inspection for any reason - that is a pretty standard contingency, just like loan approval."

But wouldn't the contract usually state something about giving the seller the opportunity to repair anything found in the inspection? It seems like we're the one's taking the risk and she has none. I wanted to put something in there about not taking the house off the market but the realtor seemed to think THAT was a no-no for getting the credit, so why wouldn't the "walk-away-after inspection" clause be a no-no as well?

    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 6:12PM
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A contract is just a piece of paper until both parties agree to it and sign it. They (or you) can write down whatever they want on that piece of paper. A typical inspection clause is something like the buyer has X days to get the home inspected and Y days after inspection to terminate the contract. During those Y days, you'll negotiate about any items they found and either agree to fix them or not. Depending on what you decide, the buyer then gets to decide if they want to opt out of the contract or not.

In the overall scheme of things though, it is about impossible to protect yourself completely in a RE transaction. If the buyer wants out, no judge is going to force them to buy the house. You could take them to court and try to get some sort of damages, but that just doesn't make sense for a typical home purchase. It is an inherently risky process. That is why people generally pay agents and lawyers to represent their interests as best as possible and limit those risks.

As for the taxes, it sounds like your husband is listening to some bad advice (talk radio??) Lots of people seem to think something along the lines of "the more you make, the more you pay in taxes, so it isn't even worth making a little bit of extra money." The reality is that , yes, if you make more money, you pay more taxes. However, except in a very narrow range of circumstances, if you make $1,000, your taxes go up way less than $1,000, and you net out something positive. An easy way to check is to use one of the big online tax programs. They are free up until the point where you file, so you can plug in a variety of numbers and see what you would net out.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 9:56AM
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As far as your husband's argument that it's not worth your time to work for minimum wage when you are paying for child care he might be right, depending on his salary. If he has a high salary any extra money you make is added on top and taxed at the same rate as his is when you are filing jointly. Someone on their own making minimum wage is not going to be paying taxes on it but you would. You would have to do the calculations.

I hope your house sale goes through and this all works out for you. Do start getting involved in your tax filings though. It's only sensible to know what's going on.


    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 12:49PM
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Re: minimum wage jobs - Don't work during the day and then you don't have to pay for daycare. Many of the service sector jobs are working nights and weekends anyway.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 12:57PM
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You bought this house in '06 for $207,000 and are now selling it for $165,000. How much are you paying you real estate agent? It's got to be at least $5,000?

You couldn't have built up very much equity if this is your first home, first mortgage?

I don't understand why it's worth it to you to sell now, it looks to me like you're gonna end up losing something like $47,000 on this. Not to mention the money you've paid in mortgage interest over the past four years... this just doesn't make sense to me.

Am I missing something here?

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 1:13PM
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Thanks for all the info on the tax situation. I know I've had my head in the sand about taxes, so this is a good wakeup call, too.

DH emailed me that he officially accepted the offer to relocate. They are goinig to give him one month of corporate housing with possibility of extensions.

I know it would pretty much depend on the company, but is anyone familiar with the nuances of corporate housing?Isn't it usually pretty much room for just one person? I believe when he asked them to include it, the reason was because we didn't know if he would have to move there alone while I stayed here at the house. Now that it looks like we might sell the house, it could possibly be the whole family needing temporary housing, but I'm sure the company wasn't looking at that possiblity. I can't reach DH until late this evening, but I didn't want the company to set something up and then have to change it, or even if they have "family accomodations" for corporate housing.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 1:41PM
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Cryptandus, our posts must have crossed. We paid $207k for the house back in 2006. But we did put money down on the house, and we did pay an extra house payment in years 2006-2009 to reduce the principle. Anyway, bottom line is we will owe $178k on mortgage at closing, we are selling for $165, so that is $13k deficit, plus closing costs and commission. Realtor has agreed to take reduced comission because of huge deficit.

But that's what I was talking about to say it seems like we are giving the house away, and paying out of pocket to give it away at that, but I don't know what else would work for us. We could rent it, but frankly I would rather give the house away than be a long distance landlord. And how do we know when the market would rebound to the point that we would get our money back that we have put in the house? Out of over 100 houses in our development, only four have sold since September 2009, so the comps is what it is. Thousands of people have had to face this reality, that much I know. But outside of renting it, there is no way we can afford this house and rent/mortgage for another house at the same time.

I do realize that if we couldn't sell the house, or couldn't pay the deficit, we would have to live apart as a family. But since we CAN sell it, and CAN pay the deifict, we're just going to sell it, take our losses and move on. It's just not worth splitting the family up unless we don't have another choice. But it still doesn't stop my ambivalent feelings about how much we are losing.

Oh -- some other good news I meant to share -- DH WILL get severance! AlleluiA! He didn't have a chance to get into the package, but he sure did sound much lighter and happier!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 2:00PM
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I'm in temporary corporate housing right now. It's for the whole family, but isn't spacious by any means. It's a 900 sq. foot apartment for 4 of us, plus our 4 cats. All of our stuff is in storage still, since our house hadn't sold yet and I didn't want to leave it vacant. Our corporate housing includes all furnishings and kitchen stuff, plus towels and linens, electric, basic cable, water/trash/pest control for about $1500/month. This apartment complex runs for about $750/month for just the apt.

We originally had 2 months of corp. housing approved, but then got them to agree to 1 more. We decided to build, so it will be a total of 5.5 months for us when all is said and done. Originally, since I could only commit to 2 months, I was having a difficult time finding a company that had that set up -- most wanted 3 month minimum. I finally found a company that would do 30 day minimum. They have several apts already set up and just move people in. I hated that it was on the 3rd floor (walk up) with an infant and a 3 year old, so after 2 months we moved to another apt, but rented through the same company. This time I picked out a 1st floor apt, which was fine with the housing company since as long as it was 3 months min. they could go wherever I wanted.

We liked not having to pay connection fees for utilities, plus no deposit on the apt. Of course, different companies may work different ways.

The company I use, ACRS ( operates in the Carolinas primarily. There are LOTS of companies doing this, so start checking around online. The prices vary WIDELY, so call lots of companies. Also, apt complexes have relationships with these type of companies, so you might start there. There are usually brochures in the rental office.

Find out if there is a relocation coordinator for your husband's new company -- they may have some relationships or preferred vendors already. Also find out if the billing can go directly to DH's company instead of charging you and getting reimbursed. PITA if you have to go the reimbursement route...

Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 2:09PM
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Xine -- THANKS THANKS THANKS!!! Wow I hope my husband's company has something similar. One thing we do know is that they have the relationships already set up, but you have to go with who they have. I really don't care if it's a one room hotel, as long as it's a roof over our head, at LEAST a microwave and fridge, and it gives us time to find a good neighborhood with good schools.

I was worried that they didn't allow kids or something like that. I guess I was thinking of corporate housing as for when an exec has a pro-longed stay in another area or something (like lawyers when working on a case out of town).

Thanks again, and thanks for responding so quickly.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 2:59PM
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We've had corporate housing for transfers a few times. It varies so much from relocation to relocation. One time they paid for the entire 6 months of temp housing as long as my hubby paid for his meals himself and shared the apartment with another guy who was also being relocated. Another time it was 3 months in a corporate condo and the whole family could have moved into it if we wanted. One time was two months in an extended stay motel! It all depends on what your hubby can negotiate and what the company policy is on relocation. Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 4:00PM
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Re: minimum wage jobs - Don't work during the day and then you don't have to pay for daycare. Many of the service sector jobs are working nights and weekends anyway.

And she is going to leave an eight year old babysitting a set of six year old twins home alone through the night by themselves?

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 6:38AM
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calliope - if you've read the thread, you would know her husband is going to be there to July, and didn't want her to take a temp job in the meantime. It's no fun to work opposite shifts as your spouse, but it is something that many americans have to do to make ends meet sometimes.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 8:58AM
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