Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Topic Author
topofthebellcurve
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Location: Boston

Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by topofthebellcurve » Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:16 pm

Hi BH!

Big news on my end is that I'm expecting my first child in two months. All of a sudden, our lovely open floorplan 2-bed (functionally 1 bed and office) is feeling a bit small!

I'm back in the market for a house, and I'm settling on a budget of +/- $1MM (Boston area, so this gets you +/- 2,000 sq.ft. in a reasonable location). I want to stay closer in to be near family vs. going 30-45 min out and getting more bang for your buck.

Age: 32
Liquid assets: $1.5MM
Additional assets: +/- $500K post-tax paid out over next 2-3 years from real estate project regardless of continued employment
Combined income: $400-450K (big bump in last year - wife was making peanuts prior)
Special circumstances: My job ($275K/yr) is potentially unstable. May transition into new line of work 1 year from now and/or be out of work for an unknown period of time. First baby on the way. Wife very set on continuing to work, and is highly employable
Cost to rent comparable place: ~$4,000/mo. Wife and I both work from home, so we lose a bedroom and have future noise issues to worry about.

I've found Watty and KlangFool to be particularly helpful / conservative with regards to housing advice. I think I may meet their affordability standards, though I know it'd be better to have $3MM in the bank instead of $1.5MM (generally true).

I'm comfortable staying in our current place for another year, though it won't last much longer than that.

Roast Me, housing budget edition.

Thanks!
Last edited by topofthebellcurve on Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

random_walker_77
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Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by random_walker_77 » Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:46 pm

State of Emergency fund? Other debts? Typical expenditures? i.e. what is your cash flow like?

I ask because you've got 2M, and are talking about spending 1M. You can afford it. It's your prerogative whether you even want to take out a mortgage. That's an amazing position to be in! On the other hand, money is a tool, and you can use it for multiple things. At your rate, you could have enough money in 5 years to downshift to a low-stress lifestyle in a lower COL area. At some point, money starts replicating on your behalf...

But if your answer is that you'll own a house outright (or equivalent), have 0.5M in the bank, have 0.5M owed to you, and still have a healthy income that's much more than what you're spending, it's hard to argue that you're in trouble. The only other risk is what your spending floor is, in case of misfortune/hardship.

Congratulations on your first child!
(note, your life is about to completely change)

mega317
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Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by mega317 » Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:00 pm

It seems not the best time to buy. Your income could be cut by more than half for an indefinite time? I'd stand pat. You can fit 3 people in a 2 bedroom just fine.

spammagnet
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Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by spammagnet » Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:00 pm

topofthebellcurve wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:16 pm
Big news on my end is that I'm expecting my first child in two months. All of a sudden, our lovely 2-bed is feeling a bit small!
Congrats on the kid. Hope all goes well.

While you might be justified in getting a bigger home, there's no rush. Take your time to find something that fits your needs and budget.

KlangFool
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Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by KlangFool » Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:17 pm

topofthebellcurve wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:16 pm
Hi BH!

Big news on my end is that I'm expecting my first child in two months. All of a sudden, our lovely 2-bed is feeling a bit small!
topofthebellcurve,

Financially, you can afford to buy a house. But, this is probably your first baby. Having more room in a new house with a new baby is going to make your life harder. Not easier. So, why would you want to do that? You should solicit more opinion from folks that had been through this. It is hard enough to handle the baby in the first 2 years. You do not need to mix a new house into this. And, smaller space is better in term of raising baby. You have less room that you need to look for your baby once he/she start crawling around. Plus, you will not have the time to deal with a house.

Buy the house after the kid is 4 to 5 years old.

KlangFool

Topic Author
topofthebellcurve
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Location: Boston

Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by topofthebellcurve » Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:19 pm

Thanks for the responses!

I should have mentioned: no debts, annual spend ~$100K/yr (can live off of just wife's salary, though with little savings; could downshift lifestyle if needed but not likely below ~$70K/yr). I don't foresee heading to a lower COL area, since (1) I'm prioritizing being near family and (2) my wife's work requires a more central location unless she wants to commute an hour each way.

Also big bit of missing information: my wife and I both work from home, so our 2 bed is really a 1 bed plus office. And, it's all on one floor which will make sound management an issue.

I've been looking at the market for about 1.5 years and understand that what we need/want is going to be in the $900K-$1.1MM range. I understand waiting and seeing, but it would be nice to be settled -- there are enough upcoming variables in my life that housing does not need to be among them. My feeling is I either find a place I really like in the next month, or I wait until when the kid is 6+ months old and we've started to adjust to our new life.

Topic Author
topofthebellcurve
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Location: Boston

Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by topofthebellcurve » Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:23 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:17 pm
topofthebellcurve wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:16 pm
Hi BH!

Big news on my end is that I'm expecting my first child in two months. All of a sudden, our lovely 2-bed is feeling a bit small!
topofthebellcurve,

Financially, you can afford to buy a house. But, this is probably your first baby. Having more room in a new house with a new baby is going to make your life harder. Not easier. So, why would you want to do that? You should solicit more opinion from folks that had been through this. It is hard enough to handle the baby in the first 2 years. You do not need to mix a new house into this. And, smaller space is better in term of raising baby. You have less room that you need to look for your baby once he/she start crawling around. Plus, you will not have the time to deal with a house.

Buy the house after the kid is 4 to 5 years old.

KlangFool
Ah, I knew I'd fail the KlangFool's "buy a house" requirement in some way (kidding -- I deeply respect your thinking, hence the post title). This is indeed our first baby. I'll take your advice and talk to a few other recent parents. My big issue is that the wife and I both work from home. If we don't buy, we may just upsize our rental, at which point we can expect to pay $3.5-4K / month in our area. Perhaps I'm being optimistic that we could close on a house in 3-4 weeks, have another month before the baby to get some basic things in order, and then settle into the house over the next X years.

Snuffycuts99
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Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by Snuffycuts99 » Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:35 pm

The only real concern that I see is your employment and your spouse's employment. You say that you can afford the house while living on just your wife's income. That is clearly a must given that your job is unstable, as you say. So I would say that your wife needs to be quite certain that she will continue working. Is she sure that she won't want to stop work to be home with the child/children (if you have more) while they are young? If she ends up desiring that and can't bc you are unemployed, that is the only concern I would have.

After re-reading your post, I see that your wife is 'very set' on continuing to work...so if that is the case, great!

Olemiss540
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Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by Olemiss540 » Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:45 pm

4k/mo? I personally would rather pay that for the next year or 5 and keep my Mil.

I also tilt on the conservative side, but am looking at 2500/mo on a measly 415k place so 4k doesn't seem like a bad rental price.
I hold index funds because I do not overestimate my ability to pick stocks OR stock pickers.

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Watty
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Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by Watty » Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:50 pm

topofthebellcurve wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:16 pm
Big news on my end is that I'm expecting my first child in two months. All of a sudden, our lovely 2-bed is feeling a bit small!
Congratulations! You are in for adventure that will be amazing.

It would be good to just put the house on the back burner until six months after the baby is born.

After that a lot depends on your job situation. In addition to money factors you could buy a house then get a great next job on the other side of town that would be a terrible commute from the house, or you could even have a fantastic job opportunity in some other city.

If your job situation is still not clear next fall then you could just rent a larger place for a year while your job situation get settled. Even when you get your next job it would be good to rent for a while after you start it to make sure that the job will work out OK.

(The next part is predictable if you have read my prior posts on housing. :D )

If you don't have strong family ties in Boston it would be good to keep an open mind about moving some place that is less expensive when you look for your next job. There are lots of nice places where you could buy a $500K McMansion for cash which could allow one of you to be a stay at home parent or work part time if you needed or wanted to.

Another factor to consider is that in 20 years or so your kid(s) will be moving out on their own and being able to afford to live near you in an expensive area like Boston could be difficult for them especially if they don't have high incomes.

I have posted about this before and you might have seen it but when I was younger I lived in Silicon Valley which has always been expensive and some of my older coworkers had grown kids that were well into their 20s who were still living with their parents because they could not afford an apartment even with roommates.

I an in Atlanta now which still affordable and I have a son who is in his late 20's. He and his college friends were all able to easily afford to buy nice houses here and his family, including my grandkid live about ten minutes away which is nice. In contrast some friends of ours have a son that is very dyslexic and barely graduated from high school. At one point he was working in a chain muffler shop which is an honest job but it likely did not pay a lot. Even on his income he was able to live with his parents for a couple of years to save up to buy a modest older house of his own, and it is not in a terrible area.

Of course when your kid(s) grow up there is no telling where they will settle.

At one point I was toying with the idea of retiring somewhere else and there are a number of college towns that looked interesting. Typically they have a good economy, a lot of cultural and sports events, good healthcare, and often affordable.
Last edited by Watty on Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Mlm
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Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by Mlm » Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:53 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:17 pm
topofthebellcurve wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:16 pm
Hi BH!

Big news on my end is that I'm expecting my first child in two months. All of a sudden, our lovely 2-bed is feeling a bit small!
topofthebellcurve,

Financially, you can afford to buy a house. But, this is probably your first baby. Having more room in a new house with a new baby is going to make your life harder. Not easier. So, why would you want to do that? You should solicit more opinion from folks that had been through this. It is hard enough to handle the baby in the first 2 years. You do not need to mix a new house into this. And, smaller space is better in term of raising baby. You have less room that you need to look for your baby once he/she start crawling around. Plus, you will not have the time to deal with a house.

Buy the house after the kid is 4 to 5 years old.

KlangFool
Oh my, I have too agree 100%. Slow down and take a deep breath. There are wants and then there are needs and this is not the time to be throwing additional stress into your life. Your life is going to change tremendously over the next 3 to 5 years. Take a step back and enjoy it
Congrats.

random_walker_77
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Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by random_walker_77 » Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:54 pm

Thinking more about it, I think Klangfool is on the right track. Closing a house, moving, and settling in is stressful enough. You don't want to be juggling that, work, and a newborn at the same time. Or worse, trying to close and move with an early newborn!

You'll probably find that your lifestyle and the things you value are different after you are parents. Also, given the high expenses associated w/ real estate, when you do buy, make sure it's a good school district, commute situation, etc. You don't want to have to move again within 7 years, b/c of the 6% you lose to sales commisions.

Are you in an apartment, townhome, or standalone house right now? How old? You might want to pay special attention to whether there's lead paint around.

Cycle
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Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by Cycle » Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:57 pm

topofthebellcurve wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:16 pm
Hi BH!

Big news on my end is that I'm expecting my first child in two months. All of a sudden, our lovely 2-bed is feeling a bit small!
Are you planning on having triplets? For the life of me I can't figure out why u would need another bedroom.

My wife and I are trying to have our first non-dog child, and are planning to stick it out in our 2br/1ba unit until the situation becomes unbearable or child is at school age in which case we'll likely move a district or two over. Babies are small, as are toddlers.

Extra bedroom for family? We have an inflatable mattress ($20).

Also, we aren't poor, fwiw, net worth 1.2M, age 34/35.
Never look back unless you are planning to go that way

BeneIRA
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Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by BeneIRA » Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:14 pm

I am assuming you are referring to the Boston area and not Boston itself. My question for you is, if you both work from home for now, why do you need to live close to Boston? The farther out you go, the cheaper it gets unless you have a need to be close to Boston. I agree with many of the comments that your priorities, needs and wants now will not be the same as they will be in three to four years. For right now, I would go a bit farther out, rent a townhouse or bigger apartment for a year or two and re-evaluate then. I would consider for this first year a 2-bedroom with a bigger den area that you can make into an office. See what your job situation is then. You don't have to care about the schools for a few years, so as long as it is safe, it would be fine for now. Or stay in your current place for the next year, as you stated, and re-evaluate then.

As an aside, people in Mass tend to care way, way too much about being in the best schools and think they live in a vacuum. Compare the schools in Mass to schools throughout the country and Mass's are extremely competitive.

msk
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Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by msk » Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:18 pm

1. You can afford it (< 2.5x combined income)
2. Buying a home is normally a mediocre investment, but it is nevertheless an investment that with reasonable luck will keep up with inflation. In a HCOL area it can even be a fabulous investment.

If you both feel like buying, do so and call it splurging (much more sensible than a Ferrari!). YOLO! I would just pay cash and move on.

KlangFool
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Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by KlangFool » Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:18 pm

topofthebellcurve wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:23 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:17 pm
topofthebellcurve wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:16 pm
Hi BH!

Big news on my end is that I'm expecting my first child in two months. All of a sudden, our lovely 2-bed is feeling a bit small!
topofthebellcurve,

Financially, you can afford to buy a house. But, this is probably your first baby. Having more room in a new house with a new baby is going to make your life harder. Not easier. So, why would you want to do that? You should solicit more opinion from folks that had been through this. It is hard enough to handle the baby in the first 2 years. You do not need to mix a new house into this. And, smaller space is better in term of raising baby. You have less room that you need to look for your baby once he/she start crawling around. Plus, you will not have the time to deal with a house.

Buy the house after the kid is 4 to 5 years old.

KlangFool
Ah, I knew I'd fail the KlangFool's "buy a house" requirement in some way (kidding -- I deeply respect your thinking, hence the post title). This is indeed our first baby. I'll take your advice and talk to a few other recent parents. My big issue is that the wife and I both work from home. If we don't buy, we may just upsize our rental, at which point we can expect to pay $3.5-4K / month in our area. Perhaps I'm being optimistic that we could close on a house in 3-4 weeks, have another month before the baby to get some basic things in order, and then settle into the house over the next X years.
topofthebellcurve,

<<My big issue is that the wife and I both work from home. If we don't buy, we may just upsize our rental,>>

Why do you think more space is going to help you? It does not work that way with a baby in the house. In fact, the additional space will make your life harder. This is your first baby. So, you have no idea as to how life is going to work when the baby is around. So, do not move to any new place. After the baby is born and wait for at least 6 months to a year before you move. Then, you will have a more realistic idea of how it is going to work.

KlangFool

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topofthebellcurve
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Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by topofthebellcurve » Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:57 pm

Thanks again to everyone for the thorough and thought-provoking responses.

To summarize the main feedback (in reverse order of severity):

Financial: Should be fine, though having more clarity as to my work would be helpful (though the uncertainty isn't a deal-breaker by itself). This is, strangely, seems to be the "smallest" of the issues for me buying a $1MM house in the near future.

Location: Changing work may result in changing desirability of various locations. Plus, if we both continue to work from home, there are much better values to be had further away from the city. Longer term, I may want to consider living in a place that is affordable to my children and extended family. I moved back from Shanghai to Boston to be near family, so I don't want to get too far away (walking distance would be a huge plus), but I understand the challenges.

Upcoming Baby: I'm not seeing anyone saying it'd be a great idea to upsize (and become a homeowner) in advance of a baby, and that I'm best waiting 6 months (earliest) to 5 years from now (that seems a bit of a stretch - may have 3 kids by then). My wife wasn't 100% in agreement with the idea that more space is necessarily more of a problem (baby gates exist for a reason), but I understand the general point about adding stress/logistics/uncertainty into an all-consuming transformative time. My wife is worried about the continued viability of our both working from home in a 2-bed (functionally a 1-bed), but that could be solved by moving into a larger rental.

When I consider why I want a house, I think a big part of it is the psychological nesting instinct related to having a kid -- the concept of being "settled" is very appealing at a lizard-brain level. And, if I'm being honest, there's a component of "I have $1.5-2MM, I can buy a dang house". This is not a particularly solid bit of logic (if it can even be called that), but it's there.

Again, appreciate all of the food for thought! And the place I'm in is a very recent renovation and shouldn't have lead issues, thankfully.

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Watty
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Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by Watty » Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:26 am

topofthebellcurve wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:57 pm
My wife is worried about the continued viability of our both working from home in a 2-bed (functionally a 1-bed), but that could be solved by moving into a larger rental.
Even in a decent size house working from home can be a challenge when there are kids in the house. :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkAYIITiFvY

Renting office space is another alternative and there are shared office space options available now.

RatherBeSailing
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Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by RatherBeSailing » Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:34 am

KlangFool wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:17 pm
topofthebellcurve wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:16 pm
Hi BH!

Big news on my end is that I'm expecting my first child in two months. All of a sudden, our lovely 2-bed is feeling a bit small!
topofthebellcurve,

Financially, you can afford to buy a house. But, this is probably your first baby. Having more room in a new house with a new baby is going to make your life harder. Not easier. So, why would you want to do that? You should solicit more opinion from folks that had been through this. It is hard enough to handle the baby in the first 2 years. You do not need to mix a new house into this. And, smaller space is better in term of raising baby. You have less room that you need to look for your baby once he/she start crawling around. Plus, you will not have the time to deal with a house.

Buy the house after the kid is 4 to 5 years old.

KlangFool
+1

gotester2000
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Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by gotester2000 » Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:40 am

It took me 3-5 years to calm myself down and relax my vigil on the kids. The more the space, the more places to guard them against once they start crawling, walking and running.
I would buy after completing the family - a modest house that I wont have to switch again,especially with the job situation - rent meanwhile. Dont give up being FI for a big house.

jharkin
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Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by jharkin » Sat Mar 03, 2018 6:52 am

You both work from home, so is being that close to downtown so necessary?

I live just inside 495, and I can get your 2000sqft, on an acre for like 600k. Commuting to the city for work is a pain, but on the weekend we can drive downtown in 40minutes flat with zero traffic.

raisinsaregrapes
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Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by raisinsaregrapes » Sat Mar 03, 2018 7:10 am

Having a kid is going to completely change your life, but you have the cash to go buy the house you want. The only issue I see is the timeline.
topofthebellcurve wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:23 pm
...close on a house in 3-4 weeks, have another month before the baby...
I wouldn't force a short timeline on something big.

FoolMeOnce
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Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by FoolMeOnce » Sat Mar 03, 2018 8:02 am

topofthebellcurve wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:16 pm
Hi BH!

Big news on my end is that I'm expecting my first child in two months.
topofthebellcurve wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:23 pm
Perhaps I'm being optimistic that we could close on a house in 3-4 weeks, have another month before the baby to get some basic things in order, and then settle into the house over the next X years.
This has nothing to do with money. Do not try to buy a house before the baby is born. The baby could come early. Your wife could be put on bedrest. You cannot schedule drastic moves over these next two months, because that schedule could easily get blown up and you'd find yourself in a terrible situation.

Before our first child, we were in a two bedroom condo and unsuccessfully looked for a bigger house. We ended up being very happy to fail. It was much easier being in a small space, laundry was convenient, in-laws couldn't stay with us 😁, people couldn't gift us unnecessary large toys.

Your situation working from home is different and I understand the greater urgency of more space, but you can't do that two months from the due date. Waiting also means you can be patient to find the right house at the right price, rather than forcing yourself into whatever you can find in a month.

Financially, you could pay cash and still have $1m saved at age 32. You are fine. It would be a financial setback, but just about every home purchase is a financial setback. If it is what you want, you can afford it.

jeroly
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Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by jeroly » Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:50 am

1. Lots of people I know had happy, well nurtured childhoods growing up with multiple siblings in small apartments, so if you buy a house, don't rationalize it by saying that you're doing it for the kid/kids, especially before they're four or so. I'm not saying don't buy a house - but be clear that you're doing it because you want it for yourselves.

2. From an asset diversification perspective, it's not a great idea to put more than 25% or so of your assets into real estate, so I'd put no more than 500k down. It's not like you'll have any problem with getting a mortgage or making the payments.

3. If you do wait 2-4 years you'll have more saved (including that pending payment stream, more than enough to pay cash without dipping into your [currently] $1.5mm stash), more clarity about your job situation, more clarity about whether your SO would prefer to be a SAHM, etc. Even if housing prices jump 50% between now and then you'll still be ahead of the game, so that seems the most prudent course of action.

KlangFool
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Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by KlangFool » Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:14 am

topofthebellcurve wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:57 pm

My wife is worried about the continued viability of our both working from home in a 2-bed (functionally a 1-bed), but that could be solved by moving into a larger rental.
topofthebellcurve,

<< (baby gates exist for a reason),>>

Only a first-time parent is naive enough to believe that it is enough.

It is obvious that this is the first baby for your wife too. There is some basic logistic stuff that both of you have to work out after the baby is born.

1) Who is looking after the baby when both of you are working at home?

2) It is easier with a smaller space and you can keep the baby within visual sight of your workspace.

3) You need a handoff procedure. Aka, who is looking after the baby at this moment while I am taking the conference call?

4) Who do you do when both are you in a separate meeting?

And, so on... The baby will change your life. Don't assume stuff that as a first-time parent that you will not know. After the first 6 months, then, you will know what will work for you after many trials and errors.

KlangFool

H-Town
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Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by H-Town » Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:17 am

topofthebellcurve wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:16 pm
Hi BH!

Big news on my end is that I'm expecting my first child in two months. All of a sudden, our lovely 2-bed is feeling a bit small!

I'm back in the market for a house, and I'm settling on a budget of +/- $1MM (Boston area, so this gets you +/- 2,000 sq.ft. in a reasonable location).

Age: 32
Liquid assets: $1.5MM
Additional assets: +/- $500K post-tax paid out over next 2-3 years from real estate project regardless of continued employment
Combined income: $400-450K (big bump in last year - wife was making peanuts prior)
Special circumstances: My job ($275K/yr) is potentially unstable. May transition into new line of work 1 year from now and/or be out of work for an unknown period of time. First baby on the way. Wife very set on continuing to work, and is highly employable
Cost to rent comparable place: ~$4,000/mo

I've found Watty and KlangFool to be particularly helpful / conservative with regards to housing advice. I think I may meet their affordability standards, though I know it'd be better to have $3MM in the bank instead of $1.5MM (generally true).

I'm comfortable staying in our current place for another year, though it won't last much longer than that.

Roast Me, housing budget edition.

Thanks!
Both $4,000 rent and $1M house are expensive options. You mentioned you and your wife both work from home, then why don't you choose to rent further away to keep the renting down?

Having a baby will put a lot of stress on monthly budget. You'll have to struggle with all FSA/HSA, medical cost, baby cost, etc. I agree that you might need more space if both of you work from home. But try to do more research on the location and cost. See if you can keep the cost the same or lower but you can rent more space.

Don't buy the house yet unless you are absolutely certain that you can flip the house in 3 years with profit. Wait until both your job and your wife job are stable and baby grow up until 4 or 5. Then, you'll need to think about public school district, etc. Those ideas will drive the decision making to where to buy your next house for the next 15-18 year.

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Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by ThriftyPhD » Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:44 am

I'm not sure if the OP has owned a house before, but if not be aware that it can be quite a bit more work than you might think. If something breaks, it's on you to fix it or to call contractors, get quotes, research if it's a good price, schedule the work, reschedule the work when they don't show up the first time, call them to complain that they didn't finish, etc. If there is a bigger issue, like a flood, then you're coordinating insurance claims too. If you're in a hot real estate market, contractors can have so much work that it will be hard to find someone available. This means it's even more work for you to get jobs scheduled. As a renter, you just call the landlord and you don't have to deal with it.

There are obviously upsides to owning a house as well, but those downsides would be particularly bad during the first few months as a new parent. And the first few months after moving is often when a lot of work needs to get done on the house as you discover all of the issues the seller didn't disclose.

Not something I would want to take on as a new parent.

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Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by unclescrooge » Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:46 am

topofthebellcurve wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:57 pm
Thanks again to everyone for the thorough and thought-provoking responses.

To summarize the main feedback (in reverse order of severity):

Financial: Should be fine, though having more clarity as to my work would be helpful (though the uncertainty isn't a deal-breaker by itself). This is, strangely, seems to be the "smallest" of the issues for me buying a $1MM house in the near future.

Location: Changing work may result in changing desirability of various locations. Plus, if we both continue to work from home, there are much better values to be had further away from the city. Longer term, I may want to consider living in a place that is affordable to my children and extended family. I moved back from Shanghai to Boston to be near family, so I don't want to get too far away (walking distance would be a huge plus), but I understand the challenges.

Upcoming Baby: I'm not seeing anyone saying it'd be a great idea to upsize (and become a homeowner) in advance of a baby, and that I'm best waiting 6 months (earliest) to 5 years from now (that seems a bit of a stretch - may have 3 kids by then). My wife wasn't 100% in agreement with the idea that more space is necessarily more of a problem (baby gates exist for a reason), but I understand the general point about adding stress/logistics/uncertainty into an all-consuming transformative time. My wife is worried about the continued viability of our both working from home in a 2-bed (functionally a 1-bed), but that could be solved by moving into a larger rental.

When I consider why I want a house, I think a big part of it is the psychological nesting instinct related to having a kid -- the concept of being "settled" is very appealing at a lizard-brain level. And, if I'm being honest, there's a component of "I have $1.5-2MM, I can buy a dang house". This is not a particularly solid bit of logic (if it can even be called that), but it's there.

Again, appreciate all of the food for thought! And the place I'm in is a very recent renovation and shouldn't have lead issues, thankfully.
For most people, a kid adds enormous complexity to their lives. So does a home purchase. As does a new job.

On the other hand, if you're going to move, doing so before you have the kid is easier.

My wife told me we had to move out of our house of two years ASAP because the commute was getting intolerable. We had a 1.5 year old, and she was pregnant was the second.

We bought a fixer up (more like a drug den) and spent a year fixing it up before we could move in. We sold the first house but carried two million-dollar mortgages for a few months, which was the most stressful part of the whole thing. Especially since one was at 12%.

The second most stressful part was packing and unpacking a entire house with a toddler.

But everything worked out in the end. As I'm sure it will for you, regardless of what you decide.

No one makes that sort of money at such a young age doing conventional things. Go with your instincts.

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Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by topofthebellcurve » Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:06 am

Watty wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:26 am
topofthebellcurve wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:57 pm
My wife is worried about the continued viability of our both working from home in a 2-bed (functionally a 1-bed), but that could be solved by moving into a larger rental.
Even in a decent size house working from home can be a challenge when there are kids in the house. :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkAYIITiFvY

Renting office space is another alternative and there are shared office space options available now.
That's a great clip. Yes, it's an option we're looking into (renting shared office space). Really it's hard to tell what exactly we'll need, so we're planning to see what life is like post-kid and then adjust from there. Crazily, many of the infant day cares around here have waiting lists that are LONGER THAN 9 MONTHS. Talk about putting the card before the horse :D

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Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by topofthebellcurve » Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:09 am

gotester2000 wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:40 am
It took me 3-5 years to calm myself down and relax my vigil on the kids. The more the space, the more places to guard them against once they start crawling, walking and running.
I would buy after completing the family - a modest house that I wont have to switch again,especially with the job situation - rent meanwhile. Dont give up being FI for a big house.

That's an interesting perspective. My wife, who has been actively following this thread, put it to me like this: "If the recommendation is to hold off buying until you're unlikely to have major change in your life (since your needs/priorities will change with it) , then it sounds like (1) if you're planning to have kids at some indefinite time in the future, you should wait to buy until you've had a kid and (2) that you should wait until you've had ALL your kids.

And I added: ideally (3) you should wait until the kids have grown up and gone to college, you've retired, and therefore will have minimal job/life change in the foreseeable future. I'm sort of joking, but you get the idea.

It's a far departure from the typical rhythm of life (as imagined on 1950s TV): get married, get the house, have the babies.

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Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by topofthebellcurve » Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:12 am

jharkin wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 6:52 am
You both work from home, so is being that close to downtown so necessary?

I live just inside 495, and I can get your 2000sqft, on an acre for like 600k. Commuting to the city for work is a pain, but on the weekend we can drive downtown in 40minutes flat with zero traffic.
This is a good question that I should have addressed in my initial post (and will edit to reflect). One reason is being close (ideally walking distance) to my family in Medford. The other reason is that we're both relatively young and just moved from Shanghai where we became accustomed to urban living -- we like the liveliness / density of it. Previously we had lived in Medford itself and found it to be too suburban. I guess our desires will change as our family grows, but all things being equal we're enjoying being closer to town (Somerville at the moment).

But, you're right: we could live anywhere, more or less.

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Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by topofthebellcurve » Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:15 am

raisinsaregrapes wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 7:10 am
Having a kid is going to completely change your life, but you have the cash to go buy the house you want. The only issue I see is the timeline.
topofthebellcurve wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:23 pm
...close on a house in 3-4 weeks, have another month before the baby...
I wouldn't force a short timeline on something big.
I should have clarified: I would only buy now if I found something I love in the next 1-2 weeks; otherwise I'd wait X months post-baby. You're right.

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Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by topofthebellcurve » Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:18 am

FoolMeOnce wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 8:02 am
topofthebellcurve wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:16 pm
Hi BH!

Big news on my end is that I'm expecting my first child in two months.
topofthebellcurve wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:23 pm
Perhaps I'm being optimistic that we could close on a house in 3-4 weeks, have another month before the baby to get some basic things in order, and then settle into the house over the next X years.
This has nothing to do with money. Do not try to buy a house before the baby is born. The baby could come early. Your wife could be put on bedrest. You cannot schedule drastic moves over these next two months, because that schedule could easily get blown up and you'd find yourself in a terrible situation.

Before our first child, we were in a two bedroom condo and unsuccessfully looked for a bigger house. We ended up being very happy to fail. It was much easier being in a small space, laundry was convenient, in-laws couldn't stay with us 😁, people couldn't gift us unnecessary large toys.

Your situation working from home is different and I understand the greater urgency of more space, but you can't do that two months from the due date. Waiting also means you can be patient to find the right house at the right price, rather than forcing yourself into whatever you can find in a month.

Financially, you could pay cash and still have $1m saved at age 32. You are fine. It would be a financial setback, but just about every home purchase is a financial setback. If it is what you want, you can afford it.
Appreciate the perspective. Yes, bad idea to force the timeline, and excellent points about early birth -- she could have a (hopefully) viable baby later today, since she's due in 9/10 weeks. My thinking was, if we did find a place we love, we'd buy, close over the next month or two, and keep our current place until the lease is up in September (another motivating factor behind our search). I don't mind carrying two places.

Funnily enough, it'd be easier to have my in-laws stay with us than hers. I'm hoping to cut down on the unnecessarily large toys with a registry, though I'm sure we'll get far too much redundant/useless stuff.

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Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by topofthebellcurve » Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:24 am

jeroly wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:50 am
1. Lots of people I know had happy, well nurtured childhoods growing up with multiple siblings in small apartments, so if you buy a house, don't rationalize it by saying that you're doing it for the kid/kids, especially before they're four or so. I'm not saying don't buy a house - but be clear that you're doing it because you want it for yourselves.

2. From an asset diversification perspective, it's not a great idea to put more than 25% or so of your assets into real estate, so I'd put no more than 500k down. It's not like you'll have any problem with getting a mortgage or making the payments.

3. If you do wait 2-4 years you'll have more saved (including that pending payment stream, more than enough to pay cash without dipping into your [currently] $1.5mm stash), more clarity about your job situation, more clarity about whether your SO would prefer to be a SAHM, etc. Even if housing prices jump 50% between now and then you'll still be ahead of the game, so that seems the most prudent course of action.
1. Good point. I'd feel differently if we had a 3 bed, since that would leave one bed for the office and one for kids to share. But generally true -- and in fact I'm more concerned from a macro perspective of raising kids that have too much privilege than too little.

2. I'd only put 20% down; I'm happy to have the 1-way bet on interest rates that is a 30-yr fixed. Plus, as discussed elsewhere, I'm OK to borrow at sub-4% to put money elsewhere.

3. Very much agree. That said, I think this will always be true to some degree -- more time will always give greater clarity and money (hopefully). I am not driven by a fear of further-rising prices as much as a greater sense of stability and general nesting instinct. But, optionality is an extraordinary (and, in my opinion, highly undervalued) thing, and that is preserved by renting.

Unless there is a large cost savings vs. renting, would this forum ever recommend buying? That's not a criticism, just an observation.

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Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by topofthebellcurve » Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:27 am

KlangFool wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:14 am
topofthebellcurve wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:57 pm

My wife is worried about the continued viability of our both working from home in a 2-bed (functionally a 1-bed), but that could be solved by moving into a larger rental.
topofthebellcurve,

<< (baby gates exist for a reason),>>

Only a first-time parent is naive enough to believe that it is enough.

It is obvious that this is the first baby for your wife too. There is some basic logistic stuff that both of you have to work out after the baby is born.

1) Who is looking after the baby when both of you are working at home?

2) It is easier with a smaller space and you can keep the baby within visual sight of your workspace.

3) You need a handoff procedure. Aka, who is looking after the baby at this moment while I am taking the conference call?

4) Who do you do when both are you in a separate meeting?

And, so on... The baby will change your life. Don't assume stuff that as a first-time parent that you will not know. After the first 6 months, then, you will know what will work for you after many trials and errors.

KlangFool
All fair questions (and ones that we have discussed). We're planning to wait and see what works and then supplement with paid help as needed. Probably going to spend to much in the first year or so figuring it out, but so it goes.

Not meanging to be flippant, but how do people ever reach sufficient certainty/stability to buy a house? Or are they all just being irrational vs. continued renting and preservation of optionality?

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Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by topofthebellcurve » Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:32 am

thangngo wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:17 am
topofthebellcurve wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:16 pm
Hi BH!

Big news on my end is that I'm expecting my first child in two months. All of a sudden, our lovely 2-bed is feeling a bit small!

I'm back in the market for a house, and I'm settling on a budget of +/- $1MM (Boston area, so this gets you +/- 2,000 sq.ft. in a reasonable location).

Age: 32
Liquid assets: $1.5MM
Additional assets: +/- $500K post-tax paid out over next 2-3 years from real estate project regardless of continued employment
Combined income: $400-450K (big bump in last year - wife was making peanuts prior)
Special circumstances: My job ($275K/yr) is potentially unstable. May transition into new line of work 1 year from now and/or be out of work for an unknown period of time. First baby on the way. Wife very set on continuing to work, and is highly employable
Cost to rent comparable place: ~$4,000/mo

I've found Watty and KlangFool to be particularly helpful / conservative with regards to housing advice. I think I may meet their affordability standards, though I know it'd be better to have $3MM in the bank instead of $1.5MM (generally true).

I'm comfortable staying in our current place for another year, though it won't last much longer than that.

Roast Me, housing budget edition.

Thanks!
Both $4,000 rent and $1M house are expensive options. You mentioned you and your wife both work from home, then why don't you choose to rent further away to keep the renting down?

Having a baby will put a lot of stress on monthly budget. You'll have to struggle with all FSA/HSA, medical cost, baby cost, etc. I agree that you might need more space if both of you work from home. But try to do more research on the location and cost. See if you can keep the cost the same or lower but you can rent more space.

Don't buy the house yet unless you are absolutely certain that you can flip the house in 3 years with profit. Wait until both your job and your wife job are stable and baby grow up until 4 or 5. Then, you'll need to think about public school district, etc. Those ideas will drive the decision making to where to buy your next house for the next 15-18 year.
We want to be closer in for family and a general preference for urban living.

Understood that costs can add up -- we're currently saving a majority of our take-home pay, though that could change with my work. Sadly the market will not allow renting more space for less. I'll do more research to confirm.

If my litmus test is being certain on making a profit after selling in 3 years, then I can never buy a house (nor can anyone else). Perhaps if the house came with a large safe of cash in the basement that was previously undiscovered....You're correct about schools, etc., which has been part of our thought process. I'm imagining that worst case we need to buy a different place when the market is crap and I've effectively lost my 20% down due to frictional costs, etc. -- if I'm OK with that, it should limit my downside to buying now(ish).

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Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by KlangFool » Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:34 am

topofthebellcurve wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:27 am

Not meanging to be flippant, but how do people ever reach sufficient certainty/stability to buy a house? Or are they all just being irrational vs. continued renting and preservation of optionality?
topofthebellcurve,

1) When the kids go to school.

2) When it is cheaper to buy than rent.

KlangFool

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Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by prettybogle » Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:38 am

It is always nice to hear from KlangFool. His wisdom saved us from being enslaved to McMansion that we were almost buying. Thanks KlangFool :sharebeer

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Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by wrongfunds » Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:21 pm

Funnily enough, it'd be easier to have my in-laws stay with us than hers.
How would your current apartment will work out if that happens?

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Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by Sandtrap » Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:41 pm

Have lived in an apartment with babies on the way, small homes with toddlers, always had 2 home offices for DW and I, even if a corner space in a bedroom, and, teenagers in various sizes of dwellings.
1 The kids don't care.
2 teenagers in a tiny bedroom don't care.
3 a detached home office works but so does one in the corner of a bedroom
4 upsizing to a larger rental works but is not needed
5 a safe space for babies and toddlers is needed, no railings, no upper floors, no stairwells, etc.
6 If one can afford a home before the baby, then great, less to do later, but a small affordable home is nice too, one can move later.
7 The less stress on DW the better, taking on too much adds stress to everyone
8 babies and toddlers need a lot of attention, all the attention and more, so working at home may or may not be good depending on the isolation one can create. Sometimes I worked on construction project or rental paperwork after everyone went to sleep because it was quiet. It can be challenging.
9 If you can afford it without much risk, getting a home now can be a good thing.
Some random thoughts from a senior parent.
j :D
ps: (suggest including the entirety of the forum to tap into a very very deep and broad range of life experience) :D
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Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by KlangFool » Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:43 pm

topofthebellcurve wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:06 am

That's a great clip. Yes, it's an option we're looking into (renting shared office space). Really it's hard to tell what exactly we'll need, so we're planning to see what life is like post-kid and then adjust from there. Crazily, many of the infant day cares around here have waiting lists that are LONGER THAN 9 MONTHS. Talk about putting the card before the horse :D
topofthebellcurve,

Have you looks at the other cost?

1) You are rich enough. You have the money but you cannot buy time. You only have one shot to be there for the baby during the first 6 months to 1 year of the baby's life. If you enrolled the baby to infant baby care, you have less time for the baby.

The other alternative is to work less. Enjoy the quality time.

My peer is taking a paternity leave of his 3rd daughter's birth.

Life is too short! Spend it wisely.

2) That is the other thing about buying the million dollar house. You could spend the million or work much less for the first year of the baby's life and spend the quality time. Which one is more valuable to both of you?

3) Time is more valuable to you than money. Please take that into account for your decisions.

KlangFool

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Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by gotester2000 » Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:53 pm

topofthebellcurve wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:09 am
gotester2000 wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:40 am
It took me 3-5 years to calm myself down and relax my vigil on the kids. The more the space, the more places to guard them against once they start crawling, walking and running.
I would buy after completing the family - a modest house that I wont have to switch again,especially with the job situation - rent meanwhile. Dont give up being FI for a big house.

That's an interesting perspective. My wife, who has been actively following this thread, put it to me like this: "If the recommendation is to hold off buying until you're unlikely to have major change in your life (since your needs/priorities will change with it) , then it sounds like (1) if you're planning to have kids at some indefinite time in the future, you should wait to buy until you've had a kid and (2) that you should wait until you've had ALL your kids.

And I added: ideally (3) you should wait until the kids have grown up and gone to college, you've retired, and therefore will have minimal job/life change in the foreseeable future. I'm sort of joking, but you get the idea.

It's a far departure from the typical rhythm of life (as imagined on 1950s TV): get married, get the house, have the babies.
I was talking about point (2) - wait until having ALL your kids - ideally!!!

But what you are saying is true - life is going to keep changing all the time and you go by your gut feeling at the time - you need to continuously adapt.

My experience is kids easily adjust to circumstances which adults make a great fuss about - they want parents to be around more than anything else.

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Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by JBTX » Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:18 pm

A lot of great advice in here. Totally agree with KlangFool.

The nesting instinct is strong at this stage and it will likely get stronger over the coming months.

If you get down to it, you really don’t need more space for small children. You end up wanting more space for all the crap that you buy/receive for them. So you spend $1M on a house to make room for $10k give or take worth of stuff. Then the bigger house you buy the more stuff you buy and keep and you eventually still need a bigger house. It never stops. Having a smaller residence may cause you to be more frugal in what you buy and more deliberate in what you keep.

If you get to 3 kids I suspect at some point you will want to upgrade but I’d wait until that point approaches. A lot could change from now and then.

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Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by Watty » Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:41 pm

topofthebellcurve wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:06 am
Watty wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:26 am
topofthebellcurve wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:57 pm
My wife is worried about the continued viability of our both working from home in a 2-bed (functionally a 1-bed), but that could be solved by moving into a larger rental.
Even in a decent size house working from home can be a challenge when there are kids in the house. :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkAYIITiFvY

Renting office space is another alternative and there are shared office space options available now.
That's a great clip. Yes, it's an option we're looking into (renting shared office space). Really it's hard to tell what exactly we'll need, so we're planning to see what life is like post-kid and then adjust from there. Crazily, many of the infant day cares around here have waiting lists that are LONGER THAN 9 MONTHS. Talk about putting the card before the horse :D
As much as you will love your kid there will be times when it will be nice to get out of the house for a while even if it is just to go into the office. Until you are a parent it is hard to appreciate what a 24/7 job it is.

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Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by PhilosophyAndrew » Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:41 pm

Make sure that a nesting impulse does not drive a hasty, large decision that you might later regret; the most conservative course is to stay where you are and move only once you understand your family’s new needs.

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Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by WhyNotUs » Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:52 pm

I am self-employed and have an office in home. When our daughters were little I rented a small office nearby with a shared conference room and worked there when needed. Once they started school I closed the office and returned to home office. I used a laptop to make the transitions easy and cell phones and call forwarding make the phone a non-issue. I had a printer and router in each location. It was a modest expense compared to a move. If you have a second child, then you may need to start looking.
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Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by topofthebellcurve » Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:48 pm

Sandtrap wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:41 pm
Have lived in an apartment with babies on the way, small homes with toddlers, always had 2 home offices for DW and I, even if a corner space in a bedroom, and, teenagers in various sizes of dwellings.
1 The kids don't care.
2 teenagers in a tiny bedroom don't care.
3 a detached home office works but so does one in the corner of a bedroom
4 upsizing to a larger rental works but is not needed
5 a safe space for babies and toddlers is needed, no railings, no upper floors, no stairwells, etc.
6 If one can afford a home before the baby, then great, less to do later, but a small affordable home is nice too, one can move later.
7 The less stress on DW the better, taking on too much adds stress to everyone
8 babies and toddlers need a lot of attention, all the attention and more, so working at home may or may not be good depending on the isolation one can create. Sometimes I worked on construction project or rental paperwork after everyone went to sleep because it was quiet. It can be challenging.
9 If you can afford it without much risk, getting a home now can be a good thing.
Some random thoughts from a senior parent.
j :D
ps: (suggest including the entirety of the forum to tap into a very very deep and broad range of life experience) :D
Thank you for the detailed response! And great to hear from someone that has been through a very analogous set of experiences.

We viewed a house today which is below $1MM, new construction (just finished), very close to family, excellent schools, etc. etc. I think we will make an offer; if it fails (probable), we will put off this exercise for another 6+ months. But, if it's accepted, I think the logistics, paperwork, etc. will not be a significant burden. It helps that we live in a small apartment and own approximately nothing and have no expectation of fully furnishing the place for years.

Or, we'll just stay, rent (maybe upsize, maybe not), and make due.

Topic Author
topofthebellcurve
Posts: 113
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2016 12:11 am
Location: Boston

Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by topofthebellcurve » Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:51 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:43 pm
topofthebellcurve wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:06 am

That's a great clip. Yes, it's an option we're looking into (renting shared office space). Really it's hard to tell what exactly we'll need, so we're planning to see what life is like post-kid and then adjust from there. Crazily, many of the infant day cares around here have waiting lists that are LONGER THAN 9 MONTHS. Talk about putting the card before the horse :D
topofthebellcurve,

Have you looks at the other cost?

1) You are rich enough. You have the money but you cannot buy time. You only have one shot to be there for the baby during the first 6 months to 1 year of the baby's life. If you enrolled the baby to infant baby care, you have less time for the baby.

The other alternative is to work less. Enjoy the quality time.

My peer is taking a paternity leave of his 3rd daughter's birth.

Life is too short! Spend it wisely.

2) That is the other thing about buying the million dollar house. You could spend the million or work much less for the first year of the baby's life and spend the quality time. Which one is more valuable to both of you?

3) Time is more valuable to you than money. Please take that into account for your decisions.

KlangFool
I do not plan on putting a baby in infant daycare -- that was more of a comment of how crazy things can get here in Boston. My wife and I do not work a great number of hours in a week and are planning to be deeply present and involved in our baby's life. I will not need to scale back my work to spent a lot of time with my baby, and that is a blessing. That said, my work may disappear in a year, and then I'll have a fork in the road, one path of which may involve me becoming the primary caregiver. Your point is well taken: time is MUCH more important than a larger home; in this case I think it may be possible to get both.

Topic Author
topofthebellcurve
Posts: 113
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2016 12:11 am
Location: Boston

Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by topofthebellcurve » Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:54 pm

WhyNotUs wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:52 pm
I am self-employed and have an office in home. When our daughters were little I rented a small office nearby with a shared conference room and worked there when needed. Once they started school I closed the office and returned to home office. I used a laptop to make the transitions easy and cell phones and call forwarding make the phone a non-issue. I had a printer and router in each location. It was a modest expense compared to a move. If you have a second child, then you may need to start looking.
That sounds like a solid solution, which may be something we do regardless of what housing arrangement we have. I imagine that having an infant around is not particularly conducive to deep, uninterrupted thought :happy

KlangFool
Posts: 14581
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Housing Budget Check (paging Watty / KlangFool)

Post by KlangFool » Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:58 pm

topofthebellcurve wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:51 pm

Your point is well taken: time is MUCH more important than a larger home; in this case I think it may be possible to get both.
topofthebellcurve,

Please do not underestimate the time and effort required to maintain a large house. Even if you pay someone to do the work, it still requires time and effort to supervise the work.

KlangFool

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