Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Are You Part of the 30%

The other day on Good Morning America they said that 30% of homeowners are underwater. No, I don’t mean literally, but I believe these statistics  might be understated. About seven years ago when the housing market was at an all-time high, the hubby and I bought our house. I’ll never forget spending almost a year looking for the perfect house. When we pulled up in front of this house I turned to my husband and said, “If it looks as good inside as it does out, we’re buying it.”

The house had curb appeal. It was the first house I felt excited by just pulling up. Flash forward to 2012 and I can admit we are in the 30% of homeowners underwater. What it means is that we owe more than what our house is worth. When the market took a nose dive so did the value on all those homes that sold for a mint.

Here’s a scary thing about when we bought our house. There were three couples who bid on the house. Two bid more than us, but because we didn’t own a home and could sign the paperwork immediately, they chose us. The owners had just finished building their dream home and couldn’t afford two mortgages. I’ll never forget our realtor at the closing. He turned to me and said, “Wanna sell your house? I can make you a 26k profit.”

I looked at him and shook my head. “Are you crazy? I love this home.”

And I still do. It’s a great house. We’ve updated the rooms that needed, we’ve put fresh coats of paint on the walls, added a sunroom. We’re really made it a home. We have a humongous yard for our three dogs, a great deck and a relaxing pool. The catch? We could use a larger home. The problem? We can’t sell being underwater right now. We’d be foolish. So we have to stay until it makes sense. The funny thing is the timeline.

It’ll likely make sense that in four years we’ll be in a better position to sell. By then our middle daughter should be off to college and if she lives on campus, we’ll have more room. We might not need to move, but I guess we won’t really know until then. Life has a funny way of throwing us curve balls.

Sometimes I wonder where our life would be had we taken our realtor up on his offer, but then I look around and I’m thankful for what we have. Underwater or not, I love our home.

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