Much as I would like to plug extra money to debt, at this time we have made the decision to pay the minimum.
J and I had a serious talk about the move. He is very much set on moving back and if he can get a job tomorrow, he'd certainly resign from his current job. This certainty that he has does not exactly align to his desire to improve our home. He doesn't think we'd get enough from selling it, if we have to. While I don't agree with his logic, I see the value in improving it nonetheless. If I take into account the interest we paid on the mortgage of this house, we'd probably just break even even if we sold it $20k above its current market value.
We had a plumber look at the current situation of our pipes and he found a leak underneath the bathroom. The wooden floors are a bit damp. I feel that this problem needs to be fixed asap, regardless of whether we move out or not.
Other improvements we have talked about are improving the kitchen including the ugly flooring and the bathroom. However, we could only do minimal in consideration of time and budget; and if we can, do a renovation that rely on professional help at a minimum.
I challenged his desire to renovate the house, because if he strongly felt about it I suggested we stick around for a couple more years. He feels that he can't. He feels the need to be close to his old and sick mom. I truly understand that desire and all concerns about finances tend to take a back seat in my head when family is concerned.
With all of these conflicting desires, we decided to pay debts at minimum and save as much as possible to support our move and to change the look of the kitchen and bath at a reasonable budget.
I need to structure all the changes so we came up with things that we can achieve within the next month. They are:
1. To seek financial advice - we have an appointment next week to talk about potentially keeping our house when we move out of the country. In the economic situation at the moment, we might have to put in an extra $500/month towards keeping the house even if it's rented out. It would cover insurance, rates (property tax), property manager fees, and cover a part of the mortgage. We'll also ask about setting up a trust to see if it makes more sense to do that.
2. Fix the leak
3. Have gutters cleaned - we don't know the extent of what needs to be cleaned but it's in bad shape so I'd rather seek professional help.
4. Have our house assessed - check with a professional who does this for a job to seek advice about what improvements to the house would make sense should we choose to either sell or keep.
5. DIY on what we can - this includes changing the loose window latches, keeping the yard clean, sell/give away unused stuff.
Should we choose to sell the house, we'll start selling or giving away furniture and look for a furnished apartment to rent for the rest of our stay here in this country. We love our house, it's our first house and we feel that we have made a good choice on location. I hope that things play in our favor with all of the things we are choosing to do correctly and reasonably.
J tells me that things will be okay and that he acknowledges my fear and anxiety. He has lived a transient life and I don't know what that life's like. I have lived a very stable life and so here I am trying to put some stability in the life changes that keep on coming. I really hope I'm doing alright here. I'm anxious about potentially living on 1 income for awhile and the stresses of finding a job there. I have been looking at openings but I don't have my residence visa yet so I can't really apply for any jobs that I find. So far I've seen plenty of openings in my skills and experience. You can say that I'm being negative and I'm most likely to argue that I'm just preparing myself for the worst.