punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

The pressure valve lessens a bit, but trouble is lurking ahead

I don’t want to jinx this, but what the hell, I am tired for being afraid of “jinxing” anything like I’m some playground shaman. I did the bills again last night, and thanks to the tax refund and some other saving I was doing, we might go into this year doing financially okay. Not well, not rich by any means, but barring disasters like last year, we might come out ahead faster than I expected. I wanted to be out from under the credit card storm clouds by the end of July, we might make it by the end of May. Two cards are paid off, and one card is really low.

Some increases in cost are coming up the pike, however. The first is car insurance and gas prices, which are steadily increasing. While my gas bill is low during the summer months, our transportation costs are quite vulnerable to the price of a barrel of oil by the OPEC Cartel. Last I checked, around here the cheapest is $2.23/gallon. Christine commutes twice a week to Baltimore, and soon, I’ll be working in Silver Spring (although work will pay for Metro).

The big “screw,” however, is I got my property tax assessment for my house a month ago. Over five years, it’s increased about annually, making my house payment jump a total of $500/month since I moved here in 2000. The last assessment I got is only slightly less than the cumulative total since 2000, which, if I estimate this correctly, will add another $500/month to my mortgage payment starting at the end of the year. Christ! I may be forced to move out of my house sooner than we planned if this keeps up. My new job pay will cover this, barely, but this totally sucks.

Of course, the “upshot” to all this is if we sell, we’ll make gobs of money. Our equity in this house is really high due to the property increases and the fact we made such a huge down payment. This house is worth about 2-3 times more than we owe on the current market; enough that if we sold by the end of the year, we could probably outright buy our next house in cash... providing it’s in Bumfuck Virginia or Podunk Maryland. This is IF we sell before the real estate bubble bursts. My big fear is we’ll hold on too long, and be making mortgage payments on a house we cannot afford to sell.

I hate this game. I just want a house I can retire and die in, and leave it to CR.
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