my "ah-ha" moment and Husband and I decided that 2013 is the year we finally sell this house and move on with our lives. As we draw nearer to our planned listing window, shit's kinda gettin' real and we're basically terrified.
According to all the numbers I'm coming up with, our house is worth between 3-5k less than what we owe right now (and significantly less than what we paid for it in 2003). That's not horrible compared to what a lot of people are looking at these days, but the idea of selling for less than what we owe is a little painful. I mean, a few grand are not worth putting our dreams on hold...but still. That's assuming we can even get what the house is worth in a sale. People don't want to pay appraisal; they want to negotiate.
So our plan is this: Go ahead with all the planned repairs and updates on our list. That includes a few expensive things, like a new roof (though we have "people" who are able and willing to help us with the work), mold eradication in the crawlspace (I know, right? Ew...), and new (cheap) carpet in at least one area of the house. We'll also tackle the relatively inexpensive but necessary "little things," like finishing up trim work, repainting a bunch of stuff, and putting new vinyl down in the laundry room (the floor in there is unacceptable, y'all).
Once we've got that stuff finished, we're going to have an inspection done to head off any further problems so there are no surprises that could cost us a sale. We'll decide what to do about any issues from there. Then we'll have an appraisal done.
We're also going to make a (top-secret) list of things we are willing to offer a buyer in negotiations and set aside a budget specifically for that.
Depending on what the inspector and appraiser say, we may be holding off one more year. I hate the sound of that. I hate the idea of staying here in this neighborhood that I hate, fixing shit while other stuff keeps breaking, putting off our dreams even further. But I hate the idea of financial ruin even more, so we're going to keep taking it slow and do what's best for us, even if it's not what we want to do.
So as of right now, that's kind of our plan. It's a lot of "hurry up and wait," because the big things like the roof cannot be done until March, when we have our tax return in the bank and Husband can take a week off from school and work over his Spring Break to do the work. Until then, we're slowly continuing to declutter, pack, repair things, and hope for the best!