Last time Stephanie and I checked in we talked about Living a Two Income Lifestyle on One Income where essentially we came to the conclusion that we might have to negotiate some of our nonnegotiables. Fast forward two weeks: to say we are seriously considering all options is an understatement. Our goal is to update our 52 week money challenge weekly, however as everything was moving so quickly around us, we wanted to nail something down before reporting back, so here we are now, thanks for your patience.
Although we haven't made any concrete decisions yet, we are feeling considerable freedom in exploring all our options. We have decided that nothing is sacred and we are going to do a lot of research before making any final decisions.
Now, this is very exciting news! I am very happy to announce that Tracy Hall, Scott Marit and I have all received promotions with First Foundation this last week. Tracy is now the Vice President of Operations, Scott is now the Personal Lines Insurance Manager, and I am the Vice President of Sales and Marketing. In addition to our regular responsibilities, Tracy and I will be working together as a management team to help free up some time for First Foundation President Gordon McCallum.
What does this promotion mean for our family? Well, that is still to be seen, we have spent the last week in Edmonton as Gord, Tracy and I try to figure out what this new structure looks like.
Jumping back, Let's move to the nonnegotiables. Selling/Keeping our house. When we had our initial conversation with Sandi Martin to help us with our family budget, we listed "Selling our House" as something we weren't interested in doing to save money. At all. Period.
After careful thought and evaluation, taking a couple big steps back, the question we asked oursleves was... is living in Harbor Landing in Regina SK really that important to us? Here is the truth of the matter...
Our house was purchased at a time when my income and workload reflected that of a workaholic rather than a family man looking for a reasonable work/life balance. Not that our house is extravagant by any means, it's just that some of our poor financial decision making has caught up with us and we have a pretty substantial mortgage payment and this mortgage payment takes up a substantial amount of our income.
As Stephanie and I have been working through our priorities, financial responsibility is becoming more important than living comfortably. We still have no idea what it means to sacrifice. We have spent a lot of time living carelessly, maybe swinging the pendulum a little in the other direction for a while might be a good idea before finding a nice balance, I mean it's supposed to be about discipline right?
We have come to the conclusion that a house does not a family make (Shakespearean I know) and we are pursuing the option of downsizing from our current house. As long as we are together as a family, it doesn't really matter where we live.
Honestly, we don't know what the final plan is, as I have mentioned already, our goal is to do a lot of research and to explore all our options before making any decisions. We don't even know if this means we will sell our house, although it is currently listed on MLS, but what happens if the right buyer doesn't come along... well, in that case, we will have to figure out a way to stay in our house. The good thing is... we have options and we are carefully considering all of them!
Right now we are looking at potentially renting in the short term, or downsizing by purchasing a condo or townhouse rather than a detached house.
Public Mental Note
Consider this a public mental note of sorts: This whole experience has given me a renewed perspective of someone looking to get into the housing market. It is not an easy go out there, the rental market is UGLY and a starter house seems to come with a grown up price tag.
Here are some things I will be blogging about from our recent experiences in short order.
- How to prepare yourself to buy a house
- How to prepare to sell a house
- Downsizing... is it even possible?
- How much does it really cost to move?
- Moving: Best Practices
- How to know if buying is actually better than renting
- How to avoid rental scams (we have seen a couple online so far)
- How to make sure you aren't going to be house poor
I guess my reason for laying these out there is straight up accountability! Once this is published, I have no choice but to follow through.
Have you gone through a similar situation? Is there a good way to downsize? We would love to hear your thoughts/advice in the comments section below.
Here is the complete list of blog posts from our 52 Week Money Challenge.