Wednesday, June 29, 2011


(continued from part 1 here and part 2 here)

Everyone tried to convince us not to sell our house in California. My dad. Our CPA. Even our real estate agent asked us if we were sure.

Because (little financial tip here) it generally doesn't pay to buy a house and sell it again just over a year later. The money we spent in closing fees when we bought the house, plus as sellers we pay the commissions to the real estate agents ... that tends to eat up any potential profits.

Also, they told us, if ever splorp! and I wanted to move back to California - well at least we would have a house to which we could return.

Oh! And had we considered that we would gain income from the rental property? It's not as if we would be paying a mortgage in California plus rent for a Texas apartment completely out of pocket - we would have income from renting the house!

Plus (as the CPA pointed out) you get to deduct the home ownership as a depreciating asset through the magic of tax laws. So really it was to our benefit to keep the house.

Another thing to throw out there - that little thing known as the $8k Federal tax credit? The one that we got for being first time homeowners? Yeah, to keep that, you have to live in the house as your primary residence for 3 years, or you have to pay it back. And we were looking at selling the house after owning it for just over one year. Ouch.

But to rent the house, and be landlords from over 1500 miles away? That was a prospect we just could not make work. We didn't (still don't) want to be landlords from even across the street. It just seemed like too much.

Plus we would have to put a new roof on the house in a couple of years, and that would eat up any potential "income" from rent plus the magical tax depreciation. So we would be breaking even on the mortgage, at best.

And we would still be paying a mortgage in California and apartment rent in Texas. It was just too much to consider.

So we put the house on the market, I gave my 2-week notice at work, and proceeded to pack. And pack. And purge. And donate items. And pack some more.

And in the mean time I came down with a nasty cough, and went to the doctor for some Rx-strength cough syrup. This turned into a horrible stomach bug of some sort that had me holed up in bed for more than a week. (The short version of this illness - 4 doctor visits in 2 weeks. X-rays of my lungs to rule out pneumonia. X-rays of my head to rule out sinus infections. Swab up the nose to rule out whooping cough. Pregnancy tests to confirm I was not pregnant. Blood tests to rule out parasites like Giardia, or amoebas. And no final idea why I was so sick. Yeah, Dr. House it was not. The final decision was inconclusive ... *maybe* it was the side effects of the cough syrup that had me losing my lunch every time I coughed. But they weren't sure.)

Anyway, with the help of my family (mom, dad, and aunt) plus splorp! and me (once I was well enough) we got packed.

And set out with my parents on our road trip to our new apartment home. And the house still was on the market.

(to be continued)

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