Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sunday ramblings

We've had a nice, relatively mellow weekend around these parts. S had a soccer game on Saturday, N had his class picnic today. I also did a 5 miler yesterday (in the heat, since I missed my window in the morning taking S to soccer) & took the boys on a 35 minute (hilly) bike ride today.

M & I also went to an open house a couple of blocks away. We came to a couple of conclusions: we're getting a "great deal" on our rent (quotes used because I just can't swallow $5,200 being a great deal, but we're referring to market conditions in this instance, not my own point of view), and it's going to be a LONG time before we can buy here. Even if I worked indefinitely in my crazy job.

Over dinner last night, M was very frustrated about the price of housing (as was I) & said, "what if we just move back to Seattle & move back into our house?" It was a bit of a throwaway comment, but it definitely got both of us thinking about the possibilities.

By this morning, M had built a weighted matrix of advantages & disadvantages with each decision. We each weighted each attribute and then scored each location, and my assessment had Seattle leading by 50%. M's was much more even. His job situation is fantastic - his career is on fire, & he's enjoying it very much.

This entire conversation is based on the timing of selling our Seattle house. Basically, we can avoid $500K of capital gains if we sell by next September. But at this point, moving back is on our radar again. I have a long list of pros & cons (as does M). We'll decide by the end of the school year (and, honestly, probably sooner, given that we need the house listed by March or April to ensure a close by September). We wouldn't move the kids before the end of this school year regardless.

It would mean being closer to my family, a much, much lower cost of living, and moving back into a house we already own + a vacation house. On the other hand, there are fewer career opportunities (particularly for M) & the weather is obviously not as good. ;-)

Deep thoughts aside, I'm about to make a Chinese feast - orange chicken & shrimp stir fry plus rice. Plus wine! Happy Sunday. ;-)

And, because these guys crack me up, here's a great picture from the first day of school. One of my favorites.


  1. Wow! That's a big decision. I would look back on your posts of when you were contemplating moving to where you are. Are those pros and cons still there? Has Cali turned out the way you wanted it to be?

    I'm a huge proponent of homeownership but in some markets the numbers just don't make sense.

    I don't want you to work indefinitely at your crazy job. I want you to have a job you like.

    1. We moved for a career opportunity for M, and to try something new, new experiences. At the time, we decided we'd try it out & see how it went. We actually really love the area, but staying here means making $500K+/year to be able to afford a house. We have to decide if we want a house, or if we want me to be able to find another job & reduce my hours. I don't want another high stress, high paying job, which limits our options pretty significantly.

      Basically, to buy a house within the next 3-5 years, we're going to have to move out of our current school district. If we do that, we may as well consider all of our options.

      Summary - California is great, M's career opportunities are awesome, the weather is fantastic, but the cost of living is significantly than we'd anticipated. We get crushed on state income tax, and it's harder than anticipated being further than my family.

      Nothing is decided *for sure*, but it's something we're considering.

  2. Is the gain on your Seattle house really that much? I'm in the Midwest, but the housing market around here is still in the early recovery stages from the bubble. Are you taking into account you can offset the sale with what you paid for the house, the cost of any improvements you made, and the closing costs from your purchase and when you sell? Maybe you already know this and you do have a big gain, but I wanted to make sure you use the right numbers when calculating the tax impact.

    And yeah, Cali taxes are ridiculous. Especially compared to Washington's zero. ;)

    1. The Seattle & San Francisco markets have both recovered fully &, depending on the sale price, we'd be looking at around $300K of gains. Yep, have looked at all of the factors when calculating the taxes. Or rather, the accountant did, because I didn't trust myself. :-)

  3. Great picture of your boys! Wow, a lot to think about. It does sound awfully hard to live in your area when when both of you have great jobs and still can't think about buying.

    1. Those little guys are trouble makers for sure. Fun, but full of trouble. ;-)

      I can't quite figure out how everyone else buys a house. We are most definitely at the top of the income curve & it's a long ways away. It's just crazy to think about spending $2.5M on a house that needs a bunch of work.

      Most of the people in our neighborhood bought before the market recovered, & paid significantly less. The market is absolutely on fire here, so who knows if there's a correction coming.

  4. Lots to think about. Make a list of priorities of what is most important and hash it out.