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Moving on…

August 21, 2009

Well, our house is now up for sale. I feel pretty good about this. The value has gone down over 30% in the last year, making our mortgage outrageous. I mean, it’s the same it was, but considering the value of the home, well, hopefully you see. We, like many people, used our equity to do some improvements…new deck (since the old one was rotting in the salt air), new flooring, some painting, new water heater; you know, boring shit. The major stuff is yet to be done–repainting the entire house, recarpeting, new lighting, window treatment, etc…it would take thousands and thousands we just didn’t have–even with the equity loan. However, with the loan we did get came a 2nd mortgage for not very much–very doable.

Fast forward a few years–house loses value, payments stay high. JP’s business suffers greatly along w/ everyone else in America…well, you all get the pic. So here’s the kicker–because we have the jumbo loan, Obama’s housing plan won’t help us. We go for a loan mod; the offer is utterly laughable. So, now we are doing a short sale. That’s where you offer your home for a song and people who have either money to invest or are first time home buyers (who, BTW, get a tax credit–bully for them (no offense Sarah & Chris yay you guys!)–if they buy before this December) snap it up for FAR below even market value. And we walk away.

Meanwhile, we are looking in a lovely community close by where we live that has all the amenities of living right next to the ocean. However, this time we will lease. I want a one-story home with a yard–almost unheard of in the OC. But where we are looking? Tons of ’em. Pool, beach, clubhouse, parks. And all for WAY less than we are paying here with our ridiculous mortgage.

Now, my cute little worrywart parents want us to move inland, where it’s cheaper. And they’re right, it is. But for us, it’s also about the quality of life. (Yes, we realize we can save over $5,000 a year, Dad.) I think they don’t understand a few things, though. There’s a certain allure to living in a beach community that I don’t think they get…when you’ve lived within spitting distance of the ocean for 14 years and now have the opportunity to actually dip your foot in everyday, one must DIP. (One must SKINNYDIP if you know what I’m sayin.) There’s also a sense of community in the area where we want to live–it’s been around since the early 1970s and there’s a real sense of history there. THAT’s what we want to be a part of.

Staying here in this area is also close to our kid’s school, our fave haunts, friends, etc. So we can make a move without disrupting their lives too much. All very important. And finally, even a move 1 or 2 miles inland means a temperature increase of as much as 10-15 degrees–sorry, but homey don’t play that. I’m very happy with my 70-80 degree summers, thank you very much.

Now this HAS all been stressful–I’ll give you that. It’s been a great way to lose weight–the anxiety diet. And leaving a house where we’ve raised our two children with love and great memories will be hard…or will it? I wonder…given the difficulties of the past year, I think I’m ready to cut the cord, make the move, and say goodbye.

Now if only somebody else could be the one who has to do all the cleaning, packing and unpacking…

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