Change is the only constant or so they say. Less than two years at our current place, we are moving (yet again) in two weeks! This time undertaking such an endeavour with TWO kids in tow. (Have I used enough twos in a paragraph yet?) Crazy huh?
No, we are not off to the Burbs, well not for another 2-3 years anyway. Earlier in the year Mr. P and I revisited the Burbs idea; we spent (too many) weekends out in the usual commuting towns checking out open houses.
There was a NYTimes article on the cost effectiveness of moving out to the Burbs. The bottom line: it makes financial sense if you have at least 2 school age children. Herein lies our challenge; Ava is not. While infant care is ($3-500) cheaper out in
Timbaktu the Burbs, real estate taxes* are also higher.
*I think about RE taxes as an offset to school fees. I don’t quite mind higher taxes if the public school system is good.
Then there’s the dilemma of downtown versus quality of schools. I love Montclair and Maplewood, not so much their school system. (I don’t care what everyone says about the lack of creativity in Singapore’s curriculum, I enjoyed my childhood and schools I went to.)
Back to the drawing board. Should we sell our 2 bed / 2 bath apartment and stump up the cash for a 3 bed? Should we buy a 1 bed for rental and maybe even a weekend place up in the Catskills?
In the end we bought another 2 bed / 2 bath 8 blocks north of where we are! We closed on Tuesday but will only take possession next week because of a sale and lease back agreement with the seller.
The new apartment will be our primary residence. We are on the top floor, there’s a skylight above the open kitchen and many windows. It has a handicapped parking spot right next to the lift, a gym, a resident lounge and a courtyard in the middle of the building. It is also uptown, closer to the supermarket and the beer garden.
The even better news was leasing our current place two days after listing. We had multiple applications! The rent covers mortgage, interest and HOA fees. Could we have gotten a couple of hundreds more? Possibly. Would we have to wait longer for a tenant? Maybe. The tenants are a professional couple with an 8 month old baby girl; I don’t even have to repaint the girls’ room to a neutral palette! Win-win!