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Friday, July 4, 2008

Downsizing the House

When my husband passed away, we had been in our new house only a couple of years. I was 40 at the time, and we still had a $110,000 mortgage on a $145,000 home. The house needed a tremendous amount of maintenance, including foundation work.

As of August 1st, someone is buying the house for $240,000. I've put about $50,000 in maintenance in it over the past 8 years, and had $20,000 down when we purchased it, have to pay a real estate agent, settle some of the cash on my daughter who is a co-owner of the home, so I'm taking about $30,000 in profit out of it. Sounds great, except that it took 10 years to do it! I learned to keep a maintenance journal, which contractors to hire, what can be done on your own, all subjects for another post.

Now I have to conquer Moving....a huge emotional task considering that my daughter considers this house her home and her last tangible connection to her father.

Watching my female peers hand money to their bankrupt elderly parents has taught me a lesson, though. I believe giving my daughter a mother who is financially stable is a greater gift than a house with a mortgage that still sits at $105,000, after 10 years of full payments.

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