I've been a bit antsy over making a decision about what we're going to do with the house over the next few years and what our 5 year plan is. As I've mentioned before on here, I bought this house in 2003, before I met my husband and when I worked about 5 minutes away, it made perfect sense and it's in a very nice, safe area of town along the Rocky Mountain foothills.
A lot of things have changed in the following 5 years. I went from being single and fabulous with roommates, to meeting my husband and getting married and from having a cushy local job to now both of us working in a nearby university town, 45 minutes away. We're also not near our family who live in another large town 1.5 hours south of Denver. So currently we're comfortable but neither close to work nor to family, and not in a place where we would want to raise a family long term, hence all the speculating about what we should do.
While our home is nice, roomy and a great couple's home, it doesn't meet our main requirements for when we start a family hopefully in the next couple of years:
*being closer to family
*being near a park so the kids don't have to play in the street like all the neighbor kids do
*more backyard privacy, currently we on a low-maintenance, but very small lot, and can hear our neighbors sneeze because we're so close, and have no place for a garden.
*a larger kitchen with more counterspace
I also have a dream of downsizing to a smaller home, putting the sizable equity we have in our house now (approx. 70K) towards the smaller mortgage and paying it off in 5-10 years. It that case it makes sense to plan to sell the house soon and start saving money. To throw a wrench into that plan is the fact that this house would make a good rental over the next 5-10 years too.
*It is near major roads and close to I70. You can be isolated in the mountains in 10 minutes, or downtown in less than 30.
*it is very close to a large Federal Center compound employing approx. 8000 people
*a huge new hospital is currently being built approx 3 miles away which will employ close to 2000 people
*a lightrail station is slated to be built and operational by 2012 within a 5 minute drive of the home, allowing people to commute into downtown and tech center of Denver with ease.
*current rental prices for comprables (via craigslist) would cover our 30yr 5.5 mortgage payments.
I am definitely not in a bad position, the homes in our neighborhood are selling within a few weeks and for almost full asking price, and the home would also make a good rental should we decide to go that route. I think I need to research more on what renting and being a landlord would entail, from other posts on here it sounds like no walk in the park and we would have to prepare to do it over long term, since the house will get trashed and will be harder to sell. While we have no plans to move out of state, I'm not sure we're cut out to be landlords. Decisions, decisions!