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Okay, here's my life story, in order to get some ideas!

I am a thrirty-six-old doctor, with a stay at home wife (preganant) and a two-old daughter. I purchased a condo in 1992 for $160K, 10% down, and could probably sell it for $175K today. We were extremely fortunate to have purchased a home in a prestigious area in a Los Angeles suburb, in 1997, for 350K (20% down). It was a probate home, and we put in about 40K to fix it up. Well, lo and behold, comprable houses are now going for between $510 to 540K.

Here are some of the issues. For one, though the house is relatively big, 2000 square feet, on a 10,000 square lot, it only has two fuctional bedrooms. So, we'd like a four bedroom house in this town, but those tend to go for between 700K and 800K. Now, I can scrape together a monthly morgage of this size (and the yearly property tax alone would have paid for ywo year's rent in medical school); but, it is still a lot of money per month, and I'm sure it will add to my stress level.

Here are some of our options. We can....just do it. We can stay where we are for a year, two or three, save up more money, and acquire more equity. Or we could remodel our existing house. This would probably include adding a new master-bedroom/bathroom suite, another bedroom, and maybe remodel the kitchen. Or we could sell everything, and retire in luxory mansion in a third world country (Philippines)...joking, but nice fantasy.

Other things I need to consider. Remodelling a house with babies around must be a hellish experince (or we'd have to rent a place for a while). The closing costs ivolved with selling would not be small. If we hang around, and our house and condo appreciate, then the potential houses to buy will most-likely appreciate by comprable percentages (a 20% appreciation would put us in the million dollar house range!)

Any thoughts?

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