Friday, January 11, 2013

Moving House for the first time in 9 years

When we built our house 9 years ago, we told ourselves we would only be living here for a maximum of 5 years. I never wanted to move back to this area that I grew up in, but it was all we could afford and we were desperate to get into the housing market.
Love my home, hate my area
I had deep issues with renting, and I believed then (and kind of do now) that my self worth was tied up in being a property owner. Rationally I know this is not true, and it certainly isn't a standard I hold anyone else to, but renting and it's sometimes nomadic tendancies is deeply tied to alot of childhood issues for me.

I also always wanted a certain amount of permanency for my kids. I don't want them changing schools and homes every year, I want them to be able to put posters on their walls and have the paint and curtains reflect their personality. 

So with other priorities preventing us from making real inroads in a new home savings plan (oversea's holidays, maternity leave etc), we have found ourselves living in this home for 9 years, and slowly but surely growing out of it. When we sent Maddy to an out of area school, we told ourselves we would be moving to that area soon, so short term hassles with getting her to school could be managed. Well, she is about to start high school, and we still find ourselves sending her to an out of area school and managing travel issues. Who knows how much money we are wasting each year on the extra travel to and from school and dancing.

With husband off for two weeks over Christmas and New Year, we were energised to start doing odd jobs around the house. I also found that as I was more relaxed having hubby home, I got stuck into our finances again, and again the issue of where we live came up.

Finally I have pulled my finger out, and we organised for a couple of real estate agents to come to our home. Our original intention was to sell, invest the available funds after paying off a term deposit, and rent closer to my daughters school for a short time while we looked for another property and added to to the savings. 
But the agents were all giving me some astonishing numbers. Our property is worth far more to us as an investment property than it is to sell. I was so surprised by the rental return we can achieve, that I am convinced now the best thing to do is to hang onto this house.

So our house is on the market for rent, and I am looking for a home for us down the road from my daughters school. We intend to stay in a small 3 bedder, I suspect that if we make the move to a 4 bedder I won't have the incentive to buckle down and save for our own place again. I'm happy for the babies to be sharing a room for now, it makes life easier since they share so much - toys, change table, bibs, etc.
I'm nervous about the timing of it all - naturally I don't want our house vacant for long, not even a few days if I can help it, but if I don't find us a place we run the risk of getting a tenant before we have anywhere to go! Catch 22!
There have been so many things to think about in turning our home into an investment property, things that didn't occur to me when we initially made the decision:

1. Changing our home/contents insurance to landlords insurance
Very girly, not so good for
tenants with boys!
2. Making our home tenantable - smoke detectors need checking, a plumber needs to certify us if we want to charge our tenant for water usage, we need to put curtains on more windows (some have roller shutters so  we never bothered). We also need to neutralise the colours a bit, my kids bedrooms are distinctly girly. 
3. Restructuring the mortgage and bank accounts so that personal finances are not tangled up with a tax deductible loan
4. Understanding the tax implications! I think I might need to use an accountant this year instead of doing it myself
5. Coordinating open houses, having the house kid free, clutter free, and tidy.
6. Affordability - how does this affect our finances, especially while I am on maternity leave and we need to be reducing costs.

So much to do! So little time. We want to try and make the move by the first week of February. We have visitors coming for a week the last week of January, so coordinating it will be tricky but we think its doable. We will gain so much by living closer to school and dancing, my petrol and car running costs will go right down. Not to mention all the time we will get back each day. So I feel like it is right, but only time will tell.

Life changing decisions. For the good. Have you made any recently?


  1. You certainly did a lot of thinking on your decision to rent out your home. The processing of documents is a bit troublesome, but once everything’s approved, it’ll be easier to prepare the other things concerning the rental. The important thing here is finding a tenant that would cherish this home almost as much as you did. Anyway, has somebody moved in already?

    Von Madison

    1. I agree with you, Von Madison. Document processing may take time but once they are all set, it would then be easier to proceed with other requirements. The house looks fantastic indeed.

  2. Moving house is a busy, stressful and expensive exercise. Check your goods before and after they are moved.



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