Dear Blog Readers,
The last (5) months have been very interesting mixed with excitement, fear, anxiety, MANY highs and lows…and why? When Joey turned 4 in August 2007 we began at that time simple discussions on how to prepare for Kindergarten.
- what school will he attend,
- morning or afternoon kindergarten,
- is he ready emotionally and academically,
- how long will we stay in our house,
- what about daycare and before/after care,
- will he have to ride the bus,
- how much will everything cost
We then deepened our research by exploring the elementary schools in our district and although it is a very good school district (high achieving, great programs arts/music, well funded) we noticed a few important concerns…although the curriculum was in the 2000’s, there were concerns with aging staff and aesthetics of the buildings that appeared to be in the 1970’s (both concerns are come among all districts in this day-and-age). Also, (and more important), the district is land locked....there is no potential for new homes (families with good jobs, increasing property value, increase in educational attainment, aka....the ability to raise the needed funds to meet the above mentioned concerns). This is huge....the district will be lacking for the potential of new funds to be able to not only maintain current buildings, but also for the district to sustain and/or grow it's current high acheiving academic standards and programs (State and National Recognition). It seems that the district needs to be more overt and clear on how they are addressing these challenges. Where's the strategic plan?
Because we were in the exploring and information gathering stage we widened our search to include the neighboring school district and found a newly built elementary and middle school. Upon visiting this school and meeting with the principal (December) we fell in love with the district and school. This school district was on the fast track of success and it had lots of land.....and lots of NEW housing developments…..however there was a catch. Bad news! The school was full…it was beyond capacity and had established a new policy effective for the following school year. No school of choice and all “new” students must live in the school districts boundary. The impact…..in order for this school to be an option for Joey and Ella, the Schavey Family would have to MOVE.
In late January we met with a developer to initially discuss the possibility of purchasing property (lot/site) with the intent to move within a few years….however this was an expensive option that was not very suitable. The developer informed us of their process which considered construction timelines, deposits, mortgage rates, and closing costs. We then discussed the reality of selling our house, the future potential of monthly saving due to lessened daycare expenses, and the agreed upon notion that our next house would be THE house. The plan….we MOVE.
Bad news….in February we met with a realtor who awakened us to the horror of the housing market, which included selling our house for $10,000 less than what we thought, an ungodly amount of money spent on closing cost (realtor commission) resulting in a loss of $20,000. Hmmm…..dreams of moving quickly dying. Okay, to keep the dream alive we bring in another realtor whom was more motivated and had a better salesman attitude who quoted a higher selling price (not knowing the original quote). Do we take a loss now and try to sell....how much projected future money will be dumped into the current house that could be spent towards the new house??? (New rook, sliders, etc)...we would be able to build equity faster in the new house........MOVE.
Late February we signed our purchase agreement with the developer and provided a substantial deposit. Bad news is coming…. our Lender will not be able to cover our second mortgage in the new mortgage....bottom line, we can not close on the Aster/Jenison house until we get rid of the second mortgage. What to do…..ask our family to help move some money around temporarily. The plan..still to MOVE.
We begin preparing the current house to be put on the market ($2,000 worth of fixing up that we will not get back). Joey and Ella go through two weeks of illness consisting of mostly being out of school. More bad news (depending on how you look)……during this period of time, Joey gets tested at Hudsonville and they recommend Pre-K. He then tests at Jenison and they recommend Kindergarten…Ahhh..the delimma. We push forward with the plan to MOVE and reschedule Joey to be retested at Hudsonville.
March 14th, St. Patrick’s Day, the house is on the market…officially. We’ve had an excitingly good number of showings given the housing market. I scheduled a tour at another Jenison School (our "home" school) and on the same day signed Joey up to be retested at Hudsonville….outcome….Joey improves his score, but not enough to be considered for Kindergarten (test results are conflicting due to how the test is set up to be scored....plenty room for second guessing the results). Bad news, Hudsonville can not accommodate Joey and Ella for daycare, thus they will be attending two school districts. But wait….Hudsonville calls and says he is ready for Kindergarten and they have daycare for him…we just keep Ella on the waiting list (but Ella is still at the "other" school district). Plan....MOVE.
We met with the developer and finalized our construction…moving forward. Bad news…..we may have to withdraw a large amount of funds from our retirement account. Still….MOVE.
More bad news…..the Lender states that the original conventional loan was “no money down” and now is requiring 5% down….where do we come up with an additional $11,000? Plan…..we stay. Friday April 4th, we discussed with Fifth Third the option to transfer the second mortgage to an unsecured loan allowing us to close without a loss and giving us the option of not having to borrow money from family.......just another option to keep the candle burning.
On Sunday we had an Open House and most viewers suggested that we lower the price and fix the roof. Upon reviewing all the options, we have decided to stay in Jenison. Hopefully, we take advantage of the house/life we have and better provide more family fun and learning experiences for the kids....perhaps we better plan (save) for a future house...but who knows, we may decide to stay after all.