I left off yesterday talking about my needs and wants for a new place, which is all fine and dandy. But my immediate problem is the current house, and what I do with it. I already have a buttload of urgings to just get rid of it and get the hell out, and damn the torpedoes, take a loss. While I understand from whence these sentiments come, I gotta say it ain't gonna happen.
See here's the thing: if I get out of the Big Broken Box™, I have to go somewhere else. That somewhere else needs to be something that fits my needs better, or it's a real waste of resources and energy.
Yeah, I know that I was renting an apartment when I was down in the Gulag. However, I was working at a job which paid me well enough to afford bot that and the house payment, and I knew that I would be leaving within a year. Now I'm looking at a permanent move to someplace, and that place needs to support the lifestyle to which I need to become accustomed.
Top two choices: Stay in the house, or move somewhere else.
Stay in the house:
If I stay, I need to find a way to make my studio fetish come true. That's not an easy proposition all things considered, but if I were to limit my scope, I might be able to do it.
I would need to get a housemate or two to pay some rent. Probably reduce the rent in exchange for work on the repairs and remodeling, but that's all negotiable. Or I'd have to start making porn.
If I stay, I'd take the time to do the major repairs and some major remodeling, like replacing the roof and extending the second floor to a full story or higher.
The advantages of this are that I do currently have the house, it wouldn't mean financing a new mortgage, and I'd end up with something really nice that I did myself. Some of the work I'd have to contract out (like framing and roofinga second story). It is a nice location, and it is really unlikely that housing prices are going to decrease (if you look at how they have increased over the past 20 years or so, it's actually been fairly constant). It would mean refinancing to cover some of the construction costs, but I may have to do that anyway as part of the title clarification.
This is a long-term prospect.
Move somewhere else:
This breaks down into two subcategories on its own:
Keep ownership of the house and rent it out
This is an option... becoming a landlord. It's probably not my favorite option, as it would make me beholden to fixing the house to bring everything up to code-- which isn't actually that much, but it would be a PITA. And it would mean managing the property, which I could either do myself, or have a management company do for me.
In order for this to be acceptable, I'd have to at least break even on the expenses taking into consideration the costs of managing the property and any downtimes associated with non-active leasing. It's do-able, but again the repairs would need to be made up front.
Sell the house
This is the most popular option by a wide margin. This actually contains the minimum amount of repairs, based on various options in selling. For instance, I'd still finish the front porch and the cosmetic repair to the front and do basic cosmetic repair to the exterior, paint and refinish the interior, fix the broken windows, etc. but not remodel the kitchen or replace the roof. I'd put down new floor coverings in the kitchen (probably vinyl), thoroughly clean the hardwood floors and touch them up where necessary. Repair cracks in the plaster and repaint. I might even re-cover the roof. It's still a chunk of work, but it's relatively light work overall.
I could sell the house as-is to a place like Homevestors. I'd take a major hit in the selling price. But I could still sell it to a place like that after I've made some of the repairs and take less of a hit.
Abandon the house
Probably the single most irresponsible thing I could do. It's been suggested more than once by more than one person. Assume that my answer to this is "No".
A meteor plunges from the sky and destroys the house in its entirety
Umm, okay. I am insured, and could rebuild. Counting on a natural disaster to solve my problems is much like resistance: futile. And an un-natural disaster is frowned upon by the authorities.
Repairing the Big Broken Box™
Cripes, that's probably another huge post in and of itself.
Some stuff has to be fixed. The front porch leads that list. New roofing is due soonish, probably within the next three years. Railings on the porches/decks.
There's a lot more that should be fixed. It's the order in which those things should be fixed that's the issue. It's different depending on the reasons why it's being fixed, whether it's to keep, rent, or sell. The big decision that I have is pretty much based on whether I can find a new place that I can afford that fits my needs. So far, it's looking not very good.
Where's that fucking powerball ticket?