November 2011 Moms

WWYD? (House related - Long)

We currently live in a cute little 2 bedroom condo. We've been wanting to sell for a while, and put the condo on the market right before we learned we were pregnant.

Fast forward 3 months, and we have had barely any interest. 4 other units in our circle are for sale, 2 of them for $15k less than ours. We can't afford to go down any further in price without losing our savings for the down-payment on the next house. We are leaning towards renting and buying a new house we've been eying since Jan.

We really cannot fit here when baby comes, because I work from home and am required by my job to have an "office" workspace. DH commutes an hour both ways to work, spending $75 a week in gas...plus we're currently paying $200 a month for a storage unit because we have no room here. If we buy the house we want near DH's work, we'll only end up paying about $200 more a month than we currently do if we rent our condo. To us, it sounds like a no-brainer decision.

BUT the catch-- Our condo board is on a rampage to ban rentals. For the past year, they have been trying to make it so no owners can rent. They thought they passed this rule, but then learned the vote they held wasn't legal. We were supposed to re-vote this month, but that meeting was cancelled. So, since January we have been in limbo on whether or not we can rent.

DH wants to say, too bad they've had enough time, and go forward with renting. Legally, we are within our right. But, I'm nervous that we're going to rock the boat too much, and end up with a backlash. The other part of me is soo sick of being in limbo and wants to just say screw it, let's do what's best for us.

I am SO stressed about this situation it's not even funny and I'd like to get some opinions one what others might do if you were in my shoes. Would you go ahead and rent? Would you make do in the condo until it sells? Would you just keep waiting for the board to get their act together?

Sorry this is long...thanks for reading!  I appreciate anyone's advice! :)

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Re: WWYD? (House related - Long)

  • Oh, wow, what a tough decision. I really don't know what to say. Is there any way you can save up a little more so you are able to drop the price to increase interest? Maybe you could get feelers out there if anyone is interested in renting and/or talk to a real estate agent or lawyer, even, about the repercussions of moving forward with renting when everything is in limbo? I would hate to say wait it out to find out the vote goes against renting and you still can't sell, you know? I'm no help, but I really hope something comes your way or happens to make this easier.
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  • I would go ahead and find a renter. Even if they put in a no renting ban, they may only be able to enforce future rentals, and "grandfather" in the current rentals. Also, you might look into local companies that find renters for you. Or since you aren't able to go down in the asking price, offer a rent-to-own type deal. Hope it all works out for you!
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  • An extra frustrating piece - we put a "test" ad on Craiglist, just to see if we'd have any bites on renters for the price we'd want. We had 5 emails within the first hour! And, DH's parents own an apartment building so they've already said they'd mentor us on the tenant screening/lease stuff.

    And yes, the other option is to continue saving until we have money to put toward the condo and the home we purchase. But, we REALLY don't want to take such a hit if we can help it. Plus, at this rate it wouldn't be until next year that we'd have enough saved...and by then, if we are living here with a baby (and 2 dogs) and I don't have adequate workspace - I could potentially lose me job.

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  • HarperKHarperK
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    Oh wow -- I could have written parts of your post! DH and I are also in a 2-bedroom condo, and both of us have side jobs beyond our day jobs that require us to each have a workspace. We have given up on trying to sell right now -- our next-door neighbors are currently desperate to sell their place, and they've priced theirs way lower than we'd ever want to go. I just don't think the market is right in our area for us to try to sell and buy right now. Our solution is renovating -- we're putting my office in the eat-in part of the eat-in kitchen, and we're building DH a built-in desk / workstation in a corner of the living room. It's gonna be a squeeze! But I figure I have friends in NYC and San Francisco who make do on less space...

    I echo the others who vote for going ahead and renting the place out. And since you already have interest -- yay! -- I say do it soon. You probably won't make any friends within your condo association by doing it now, but they haven't enacted a rule yet, and you have to do what's best for you and your family. By going along with the condo association, who would you really be helping out? 

    A previous condo complex I lived in enacted a similar rule, but legally had to make it apply only to future owners and renters, not current ones. So if you go ahead and get the lease signed before the association acts, you'll be doing something completely within your rights.

    I hope it all goes well!

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  • That's a rough situation.  Would it be possible to keep the baby in your bedroom while you're waiting for a sale?  That way, you could keep your workspace and save up on the house you really want. 
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  • avaleiavalei
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    Yeah - baby in the bedroom if you decide to stay - but really, I'd go with finding a renter. The one legality to look into is what happens if your renter leaves, and the association has made the rule during their residence in your condo. Are you then prohibited from renting, or not?

    It's possible, since the renting rule wasn't in effect when you purchased, you could be exempt. Might be worth checking on... 

    What possessed them to try to pass such a stupid rule, anyway?

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  • Rent it. But to avoid any issues with your HOA trying to get you if your renters ever moved out you could go through a Property Management company so that your contract is with them not the renters? I would definitely talk to an attorney first. My final idea is rent it out, but keep it up for sale. Just make sure they don't smoke and they keep it well kept so that hopefully your value will maintain and not decrease. Good luck!
  • image HarperK:

    Oh wow -- I could have written parts of your post! DH and I are also in a 2-bedroom condo, and both of us have side jobs beyond our day jobs that require us to each have a workspace. We have given up on trying to sell right now -- our next-door neighbors are currently desperate to sell their place, and they've priced theirs way lower than we'd ever want to go. I just don't think the market is right in our area for us to try to sell and buy right now. Our solution is renovating -- we're putting my office in the eat-in part of the eat-in kitchen, and we're building DH a built-in desk / workstation in a corner of the living room. It's gonna be a squeeze! But I figure I have friends in NYC and San Francisco who make do on less space...

    I echo the others who vote for going ahead and renting the place out. And since you already have interest -- yay! -- I say do it soon. You probably won't make any friends within your condo association by doing it now, but they haven't enacted a rule yet, and you have to do what's best for you and your family. By going along with the condo association, who would you really be helping out? 

    A previous condo complex I lived in enacted a similar rule, but legally had to make it apply only to future owners and renters, not current ones. So if you go ahead and get the lease signed before the association acts, you'll be doing something completely within your rights.

    I hope it all goes well!

    Sounds like you can relate!! We're realizing it's just not the right market to sell this condo in... there are 2 other units here that have been listed for over a year now.

    I know there is always the fact that we're going to be keeping the baby in our room at first. But honestly, our room is already cramped as it is... I don't want that to have to be too long-term of a solution.

    We really have no way to renovate our house to include an office for me. I need to have a door to close, because we have 2 dogs who tend to bark at every little movement outside. (Doggy daycare/getting rid of them is NOT an option for us around here.)

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  • image avalei:

    Yeah - baby in the bedroom if you decide to stay - but really, I'd go with finding a renter. The one legality to look into is what happens if your renter leaves, and the association has made the rule during their residence in your condo. Are you then prohibited from renting, or not?

    It's possible, since the renting rule wasn't in effect when you purchased, you could be exempt. Might be worth checking on... 

    What possessed them to try to pass such a stupid rule, anyway?

     

    SERIOUSLY!! 

    We have a neighbor that is pretty sleezy, and they are afraid she is going to rent to a crappy person. Someone's mortgage broker also gave them bad advice and told them that having renters bring down the value of the condo no matter what. But, I work in the mortgage industry and I know for a fact that what this broker said is NOT true.

    I've tried to convince them for almost a year now how bad of an idea this is.

    As far as what would happen if we rented, and then our renter moved out...We'd continue to find another renter at that point, even if they passed the no-renter rule. We'd just tell them to take us to court.

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  • P.S. thank you all for letting me vent. It just feels better to get my frustrations out, and it's nice to know that even internet "strangers" can see that our condo board is out of their mind!!! Smile

    I decided to email them and tell them that they are taking too long, and I need to know what the ramifications will be if we move forward with renting soon. We'll see what the reaction is and go from there!

    (I am too much of a people pleaser, and need to learn to do what is right for me sometimes. Gotta work on that....)

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