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Monday, June 25, 2012

Decisions, decisions.

On Wednesday, we put an offer in on a house down the street. There was one showing - just one, for brokers or the public alike, and the agent accepted offers that night. We offered the asking price. Our offer was rejected as the lowest of multiple offers received.
That's the uptown New Orleans housing market.

It was tough to even make the decision to make an offer. The house went on the market last week, and after a rushed half hour at lunch we had until 8 pm to submit an offer. Even though the house seemed to fit all of our criteria (except the part about the kitchen with the antique gas Chambers range - very salable but not great to cook on), we are already kind of in an ideal situation. We live in a beautiful apartment in a beautiful neighborhood, and our rent is a mere pittance. Our house is a 100+ year old double and our landlords, who are our friends as well, live next door and pretty much just keep us on as charity (I don't want to throw tacky numbers around, but our rent is less than a quarter of our potential house note on even an affordable home). We did make the offer, since it is rare for a house in our neighborhood to go up for sale, and this one is truly charming. But I'm not heartbroken that we were turned down, because I still can't persuade myself that it would be a smart move to buy. We don't have kids to leave a house to, and our property tax and insurance - let alone a mortgage - would exceed our current rent costs!

The very next day after hearing we did not get the house, my husband got an unsolicited job offer. The offer is from his previous employer, asking him to return to the company for a salary about 165% of what he makes now. However, he left this employer for quality of life reasons: he loves his job now, and his commute is a few minutes on a bike, Plus he works 40 hours a week instead of his many late nights and weekends. To me, that's a no brainer: go for the quality of life job!
But there's a wrinkle. In a year and a half, his current position goes away. He has a temp job, one that is related to hurricane Katrina, and the work will soon be completed. So now we're faced with another tough decision: stay at the wonderful job for another 18 months, and take your chances after that? Or jump ship now, secure a job, but know that you face a much more demanding work environment?

Between these two biggies, we're a little stressed right now! I don't know how I feel about the job question - I don't like being up in the air about his job future, but I also want him to have a job he enjoys. Any advice for others who have gone through similar situations would be appreciated!


  1. I don't envy you the decision making! I hate making big decisions like that--I always analyze to paralysis. Best of luck to you!

  2. whew, tough stuff. we went through this with my husband too (also a lawyer), he left the work a ton of hours job for a lower salary. quality of life is definitely good. and the salary is now back to where it was. but man, it's tough, especially with student loans staring you down. hope you get it figured out. best of luck!

  3. Wow those are some big decisions to make... I don't have any advice other to hang in there, everything will work out!

  4. These things are hard! The responsible side of me says go with the job security, especially with how unpredictable things are. The other side of me says go with the 18 months of "happiness" with faith that the right thing will come along. I am not much help at all, huh? good luck! Hugs!

  5. I do not envy the decisions you have ahead of you... That is a really tough one. I feel like knowing there was an end date in sight for my job would drive me bonkers and stress me out, but at the same time, I don't know that it would bother me enough to exchange my happiness for security... I might hold out a bit longer. But that is a really tough decision.

  6. Tough choices for sure. I would probably let him make the decision while letting him know that I would support whatever he chooses. I can really see pros and cons for both...a tough job market, that loss of identity that comes from not having a job vs knowing that 18 month is a long time and one perhaps has enough time to look and find something better suited. As far as the house goes, it seems to me that you have a sweet deal where you are now:) Good luck!

  7. Ug. I hate those kinds of decisions, especially when they all come up all at the same time! I wish you luck on your decision. I think as far as work goes, if he is great at his job, I think he will have another chance to switch within 18 months. He should stay at the one he likes for now.