Underwater move-up strategies

REThink Real Estate

Q: My wife and I live in a great loft that is now about $100,000 upside down. We’re going to have a baby, and need a house. But we’re thinking we’ll either have to short-sale our loft or rent it out for awhile. We can’t qualify for two mortgages, and we’ve been told that if we do a short sale, we won’t be able to buy for another two years. Other than just renting, do you have any suggestions for how we can buy another home?

A: I understand your dilemma. As a Mom, I want to assure you that babies stay small and take up little space for about a year. Their accoutrements, however, can dwarf their little bodies. I’ve seen friends stuff 8-seater SUVs with the "fixings" for their 7-pound babies: it’s easy to go overboard, and you’ll find yourself using the same few items to the exclusion of all the rest.

Be careful about how much stuff you buy for your baby’s first year, and you might be able to delay your move until your place recovers some value, depending on how rapidly the market is recovering where you live.