Monday, November 14, 2011

The Panic Is Setting In

I am officially in panic mode. I don't know how my DrH can be so calm at a time like this. He is the one with all the faith and patience and I am the logical, I don't see how this is going to work, one. We have 230 days until he starts fellowship, and about 100 days until we need to put our house on the market. That means 100 days to finish all the projects that have been waiting for us to have the time/money to do. News flash: we won't have enough money to finish everything and when we do spend that money we will probably never see it again.

But what really has me in a panic is our neighbors house that had a for sale sign put up this week. Normally, not a big deal. Houses in this neighborhood have been selling, although not for as much as I would like. But this house was foreclosed on several months ago and I looked up the list price and, while ours isn't the same house, they are asking $20K less than we paid for ours 5 1/2 years ago. I've already done the math. I know at exactly what point we break even with the cash we've put into the house and I know the exact price that we can take and walk away with nothing. The price the house next door is selling for is $10,000 less than our walk away price.

I keep telling myself our house is much better. It has been taken care of, fixed up, updated, and loved. Their house has been neglected, empty, is dated and needs a face-lift inside and out. Our home has one more bedroom and one more bathroom. That's a bid deal, right? I remind myself that we bought this house (big mistake) and all we need is 1 person who loves it (and is willing to make a big mistake).

Oh, and to add pressure to an already stressful situation. We are putting the house up for sale March 1st (nobody really goes looking for a house in the snow) and need to sell it and close so we can be out 4 months later. Not too soon, not too late... just right. The timing has to be just right.

And then this is where my mind immediately goes: we shouldn't be having this stress right now! See the plan was that my husband would finish his 6 years residency and start a JOB, not a fellowship. Our decision to buy a house was made on that model. His particular speciality usually secures a job in the later part of PGY5 or early PGY6 (that would be us - we should already have a job). Those jobs usually have hefty signing bonuses of $50K or more. Selling our house and breaking even, or perhaps taking a small loss, was something we were prepared to do under that scenario. See, we are going to be rich doctors (how silly)! When DrH decided to change the game and add a fellowship the pressure was on. Now we have to sell the house and make a little profit, and make that happen with less money than we thought we would have at this point.

I refer to this house as our big mistake, and it is, but this will always be our home. This is the first purchase we ever made together that actually cost more than a couple hundred dollars. This is the home that we brought 3 of our 4 children home to. This is the home we have been able to experiment with and try out our DIY skills. In some ways I will miss it. Considering the investment we've made in blood, sweat, tears, and lots of cash - we won't be forgetting this place any time soon. We have a relationship. It is complicated.

Buying a house is an individual decision, and not everyone has the same variables, but I would still try to talk you out of it. Maybe it's a good move for you. If I were really ambitious I would figure out what the exact impact has been including the tax deductions, etc, but can't bring myself to work on that equation. Maybe I will work on that once we sell the house and I have a clearer head. I wish we were renting and could just call the landlord and let them know when we would be moving. No stress, no throwing money away trying to fix up a house to sell fast knowing that we may never see that money again. I don't like wasting money. I don't like being stressed.

My DrH tells me to not worry about it. It will all work out. Really? Please tell me how you know.

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