You may remember a while ago I posted about a potential strategy that Mr. Cotton Candy and I were considering to allow me to take some time off when baby #2 is born. To recap, because I’m a freelancer, I don’t have a built-in maternity leave, so we had to get a bit creative in order to get us to a point where I could afford to take off for at least six months, and we were considering taking out a home equity line of credit in order to fund my leave. Well, I’m happy to report that we have figured out a solution that doesn’t involve going into more debt; in fact, if everything goes according to plan, we may be able to pay off our current debt in its entirety (except a mortgage). So what did we decide?
The Cotton Candies just after we moved in to our house, about two years ago
We’re selling our house! At first I thought we were crazy. We moved into this home just two years ago. We love almost everything about it. Our location is conveniently located centrally—close enough for Mr. Cotton Candy to drive home from work and eat lunch most days. We love Little Cotton Candy’s preschool, and after almost two years there, he is well integrated and we all feel like a part of the close-knit community. We also love our neighbors, and Little Cotton Candy has made some wonderful friends in the neighborhood.
…But then we did the math. Our neighborhood is on the rise, and property taxes are going up at a super-intense rate. Just that fact alone was making it a little uncomfortable for us to stay put, especially knowing they will continue to rise for the foreseeable future until they catch up to our home’s appraised value. When you add in the fact that I was hoping to take off six months of work (or more), the numbers just weren’t adding up for us to stay here.
Luckily, we have found another part of the city that we also love, and moving there means we will be closer to my mom when baby #2 is born; needless to say, she is very excited about our move. Additionally, the one downside to our current home is that the outdoor space is pretty meager and our backyard isn’t fully fenced. We are currently scoping out homes in our budget with nice big backyards and mature trees—a dream for a growing family! Even more importantly, selling our home, since its value has risen so quickly, should net us a significant profit that will allow us to pay off my student debt, saving $40k in interest over the life of the loan. It’s a no-brainer, right? We’re more than willing to “downgrade” some of the features of our current home (square footage, large master bathroom, brand new kitchen, etc.) in order to get a home that we can afford more comfortably and that we can make improvements to down the road if we so choose.
Now for the crazy part: selling our house and shopping for a new house while pregnant AND starting a brand new freelance gig. Luckily, I’ve hit that glorious second trimester and, compared to a few weeks ago, I feel like I have unbounded energy. We’ve already got our home spruced up and on the market—now we are just waiting for the right buyer to come along.
Don’t worry, I am still fully dedicated to my financial goals for the year, and I promise to keep you guys updated on how those are going. I’m finding the more I meet my goals, the happier it makes me. Paying off debt feels so much better than buying a new throw pillow at Target!