Saturday, April 10, 2010

21 Reasons Why We are Selling Our House

This morning the sale ad for our house hit the internet and within an hour we had a realtor who wanted to bring his clients over to check out our home. That was fast!
Fortunately, hubby is warming up to the idea of selling our home and aside from a few (hourly) wisecracks about ending up homeless, he seems to see some of the possibilities that will result from the sale of our house. As I was trying to encourage myself to go through with actually selling this house that I love, I came up with a list of why it is a good idea to sell now:
  1. The people who buy our house will get an $8000 tax credit which is one of the many reasons that so many people are out and about looking at homes this month (the credit ends April 30th).
  2. If we find a place we like and sign a contract on it by the end of the month, we will get a tax credit as well.
  3. No more yard work. We aren't yard and garden people and we have a big yard. Obviously this creates a problem. I am either resenting the extra money I spend to have someone else do the yard work or doing it myself and resenting the time spent doing yard work when I would rather be doing something else.
  4. We will be debt free. With the proceeds from the sale of the house, we will be able to pay off our remaining debts and become totally debt free. Yipeee!
  5. We will have money left after paying off our debts that will allow us to travel, put a big down payment on a smaller house, or both.
  6. Our house it too big. We literally don't use half of the house (the formal living room, one of the bathrooms, the guest bedroom, the bonus room) and it just seems so wasteful to take up so much space on the planet and not actually use it.
  7. We will have an excellent reason to downsize/minimize all of the junk we have collected over the course of 20+ years. The average person does not need so much stuff to live a happy life and I aim to prove it (with a couple of the biggest garage sales our neighborhood has ever seen!).
  8. We will be able to afford higher quality decor/carpet/tile/etc. which we are planning to put in our new place because there will be less space to decorate (ie: carpeting 2500 square feet is a HUGE expense as opposed to carpeting less than 1000 square feet).
  9. It will be much cheaper to heat/air condition a small home than a larger home.
  10. It will take MUCH less time to clean a smaller place.
  11. We will also have the option travel for a year or two before settling down again, something we have always wanted to do.
  12. We are preparing for getting older. I have seen way too many people hold on to farms/huge houses/houses with expensive upkeep way into their old age and it seems like nothing but a burden to them. Big houses and big land is great when you have a big family to help you out but after the kids have grown up and moved away (which ours have), you are left with only one or two people doing the work that you used to have a whole family doing. It is tiring and expensive and it keeps you from doing stuff you want to do like traveling or just hanging out at the library and reading on a quiet weekend because there is always so much work to be done.
  13. We want super manageable payments (which means that we may even be able to make double payments on the mortgage and pay it off super fast). Now our payments are pretty big so it really curtails the things we can do. Vacations need to be planned way in advance and making double payments are out of the question. With a tiny mortgage and the corresponding tiny payments, we will easily be able to travel for an extended period of time while still paying the mortgage or stay home and hammer away at the mortgage until it is gone. Of course, when we buy a new place we will get a 15 year fixed rate mortgage which is what we have on our current house.
  14. We are looking for a newer house which should need much fewer repairs. Our current house is 20+ years old so if we stay here, we are eventually looking at a new roof, new siding, and some other repairs (such as replacing our 20+ year old hot water tank, 20+ year old appliances, etc.) Those are expensive things!
  15. We are looking to the future and the possibility of living on one income. Currently it takes two incomes to support our lifestyle. Hubby has his retirement and soon will receive social security as well. I have a business which provides us a good amount of money, however we want to minimize our bills to the point where we can easily pay our monthly bills on just hubby's income. A couple year sabbatical from my business/community/social responsibilities/etc is looking really nice right now.
  16. We want lifestyle options. Literally ALL of the people we know have no lifestyle options to speak of. They (we) are like hamsters in a wheel when it comes to our lifestyle because, due to being typical Americans, we work, we buy stuff, we work more, we buy bigger stuff, we run up debt, we have big mortgage payments, we can't leave our jobs for fear of going bankrupt... So you end up with one lifestyle option (working and spending). Bummer. We want the option of working because we want to not because we have to, being able to take off at a moment's notice to go to Europe for a month, being able to set aside large chunks of time to work on big projects (for me, writing a book), spending time with the grand kids, etc.
  17. I occasionally worry about natural disasters. In our area, it is not IF an earthquake will happen, but WHEN. If we put all of our money and soul into our house (which BTW doesn't have earthquake insurance) and a major earthquake hits, we really will be homeless. If we have a tiny home and a lot of money in savings and a lot of options for vagabonding around the world, such an event will have much less impact on us.
  18. I am kind of looking forward to it being like when the hubby and I first met. We had absolutely nothing (me because I was a college student at the time and hubby because he had just been divorced and his wife got literally everything) but we were very happy when we made a cool thrift shop find, when we had to slide the ironing board out of the way to get to the washing machine, and when we had exactly four plates, four forks, and four cups in our entire tiny apartment. Don't get me wrong, we are very happy now, and we certainly aren't planning to live as minimally as we did years ago, but I think that by downsizing significantly we may just end up even happier if that is possible.
  19. I'm looking forward to a wonderful new adventure. We have had the same house for over a decade. Same neighbors for over a decade. Same scenery for over a decade. I am looking forward to a whole new life!
  20. I have no idea what the economy will do but I suspect it may tank even more in the upcoming months then take a decade to recover. I would rather not have a significant amount of money invested in real estate at this time.
  21. I don't want to be normal. Normal is keeping up with the Joneses, working like a maniac, and being in debt. So you can see why I don't want to be normal. Selling our home at a point when most people would think we are crazy since "everyone" needs a nice house is maybe the first step in being abnormal. Hooray for us!

So that's it...the reasons that keep me moving forward with selling our home and getting out of debt when most everyone else will think we have lost our minds.


  1. karen peissinger-venhausApril 11, 2010 at 7:36 PM

    Fabulous idea! We've toyed with the same idea, for similar and different reasons. We are in the outer reaches of the suburbs and have only one hourly bus to choose from. We would like to have people over for dinner or visits more often but recognize it's usually a gallon or two of gasoline to get to us--not good for their wallet or the environment. Kudos to you for pursuing downsizing on a large scale. Best of luck on selling before 04/30!

  2. Unless you priced it way below market value, it seems unlikely that you will close before the April 30th deadline.

  3. It is my understanding that the contracts need to be signed by April 30th not that the process needs to close in order to get the tax credit however I will definitely check on this! Thanks!

  4. There are tax benefits to owning which is SO boring yet true and you have more control over what you can do to your home. I still think many people are under the impression that owning is always better and that certainly not true all the people who are now selling their homes at a loss.