OMG you guys. You would not believe what happened when Ben and I went to our bank (where we keep all of our money and send all of our mortgage payments) to find out if there was any way they could help us get the frick out of our upside down (but only a little upside down!) townhouse.
At first the manager didn't know what the hell we were asking him. "You mean like a short sale?" he asked. We were all no dude, we can afford our payments, we just want a bigger house. He started at us, not able to believe our stupidity. We went on to explain that we have enough money to either lose it on the sale of our home or make a down payment on a new house, but not enough cash on hand to do both of those things, and he still looked at us slack-jawed.
"Is there any program available to help people in our situation?" I asked. "An unsecured loan, even?" He seriously almost laughed at me. Then he asked us how much we made and how much we wanted to spend on a new house. We told him, and he waved his hands at us. WAVED HIS HANDS AT US. He waved his hands at us as if to dismiss our problems.
"We'd approve you for that mortgage no problem," he said. "You could keep your current house. Maybe rent it out?"
WTF? First of all, why the HELL would we want to compound the very worst financial decision we have ever made (buying a house) by DOUBLING it (buying a house on top of our house)? Second, does he KNOW how much money we have contractually agreed to pay for fancy schmancy preschool? Third, WTF, bank? How does it make any sense for us to have 2 houses when we could have one? Why is there no help for people like us who were victims of the market in the best sense-- can afford our house and would actually like to buy
another one-- but may never be able to unload House A because we overpaid for it and even if the market rebounds 1 or 2%, we'll still owe more than it's worth and will have to pour buckets of money onto our mortgage or bring buckets of money to the closing table or will have to own this house for the entire 30 years of our mortgage?
Then I spent a few hours looking at the MLS and was pretty much ready to call a realtor immediately. But still. 2 mortgages sound like half the fun and twice the worry. And tenants? I don't know if we can handle the responsibility. We might just leave this house empty, I guess. Which seems really wasteful, even for us.
Anybody have experience with either of these scenarios? Advice? Should we just suck it up and keep saving, so we can lose money on both ends of the deal (depressing thought)? Foreclose on our house out of spite (not really an option, but I kind of think that if every consumer who is upside down on their house just said fuck you to the banks, it'd be pretty awesome. Also devastating). We'd like to move before H starts kindergarten for a whole host of reasons, but we don't *have* to move. We just want to real, real, real bad.
In other news, I need to relax and step away from the appliances (I was "taking a nap" with all of these devices last weekend).
And Ben and Harry are adorable.