how to plan for a move
November 22, 2007 11:08 AM   Subscribe

I own a home in the mountains of WNC. It is large and old (1895) and in fair condition. Fortunately, (and unfortunately), it is in an area that is experiencing a lot of influx by wealthy folks fleeing whatever. It is time to begin thinking about my next life.

I plan to move to a quieter location in the same vicinity and build a small home in a four years when my son goes to college. I have about (cringe) $8,000 in credit card debt, a $30,000 mortgage, and probably $100,000 in untapped equity in the house. Should I borrow more money to, 1) pay the credit card debt, 2) fix the house up, 3) buy some land before it all gets subdivided.
posted by haikuku to Work & Money (6 answers total)
my $0.02:
1) If you can borrow $8k on the equity of your house at a lower rate than your credit card, that would be good. 2) if it's critical, yes and 3) I don't know your area, but I doubt that now is a good time to borrow for speculation.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 11:18 AM on November 22, 2007

For #3, do you mean to provide a barrier between you and the ticky-tacky coming up to your door, or do you want to get in on subdividing?
posted by dilettante at 11:34 AM on November 22, 2007

Does WNC = western North Carolina? If so, lucky you! If it were me I would hang on to that house like a limpet, work my tail off to pay down the credit card debt, and stay put for the moment. An older house in fair condition can stand to let most forms of expensive maintenance ride (for a few years, anyway) except termites and active water damage. If you've got creatures in the walls or a leaky roof, those are emergencies it's worth borrowing money to fix. Otherwise I strongly recommend sweat equity. Head for the the nearest home improvement place and invest in a ladder if you don't have one, and a bucket of paint and a brush. Now is certainly not the time to think about jumping into the real estate market as a seller, and my feeling is it's also not a good time to be taking on additional debt. Take another look in a couple of years, maybe the crystal balls will have unclouded some.
posted by jfuller at 11:37 AM on November 22, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks, it IS Western North Carolina and I mean should I buy land for my next house while there is still some left?
posted by haikuku at 5:10 PM on November 22, 2007

Talk to some realtors and see how the mortgage crunch is affecting the market. In your location it might not be an issue but it would be worth checking on.
posted by konolia at 6:24 PM on November 22, 2007

I just asked a related question. Check to find out what's happening with real estate in your area, is it gaining or losing value? If it's losing value, you might want to wait for it to slide more. Many people are very pessimistic about the US economy, esp. real estate.

Only borrow on your home to pay off credit cards if you a really disciplined enough not to run up the cards again.
posted by Mom at 9:32 PM on November 22, 2007

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