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Old 10-15-08, 10:27 PM   #1
RubenX 
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House Hunting - I'm exausted

OK, I'm living in a big arse house on a classy neighborhood and yeah, it's nice but... How good it is to live on the big fancy house if after paying the rent you can't have a life?

After weeks of house hunting (mostly due to wife being so f'king picky) we finally found a house we both like....

Cons:

- No garage (I have a 2 car garage here).
- 2 extra miles on my commute (like 10 more minutes).
- Not a fancy neighborhood.
- House doesn't look classy.
- Single story (having 2 floors was kinda cool)
- Slightly smaller rooms (but still same amount, 4 rooms)
- Only one bath (I have 2 here).

Pros:

- 300 bucks less on my rent.
- 175 estimated bucks less on the energy bill.
- Closer to a kick arse trail (I don't like road ALL the time).
- Really close (walking distance) to a nice neighborhood park to take the children.
- Bigger back yard, fenced, with a swing set/slide and a shed for the garden power tools.
- Closer to my son's school (rideable).
- Dedicated laundry room, pretty big.
- Recently renovated kitchen (cabinets and all appliances are brand new).
- No HOA!
- Smaller front yard (easier to maintain).

I'm looking forward to have some extra money every month and be able to take the children out on trips and stuff... and yeah, give the wife some more money so she doesn't whine as much. I will even be able to increase the cycling budget.

I think is a good compromise. What do you guys think?
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Old 10-15-08, 10:30 PM   #2
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For $300, stay in the nicer, bigger, more convenient,closer to son's school, place.
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Old 10-15-08, 10:53 PM   #3
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For $300, stay in the nicer, bigger, more convenient,closer to son's school, place.
Actually, the next house will be around 500 bucks cheaper... that's when you factor in the rent & energy bill & lawn maintenance.
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Old 10-16-08, 08:59 AM   #4
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2 extra miles on my commute (like 10 more minutes).
That really a con if you like to ride?
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Old 10-16-08, 09:05 AM   #5
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Can you see yourself living in the new house in 10-15 years? With the fabulous economy, you'll be hanging on to whatever you purchase for a while.

As far as cost savings go he'll also get the mortgage interest tax write-off, which you don't get for renting.

edit: I'm assuming this is a purchase?
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Old 10-16-08, 09:09 AM   #6
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No HOA? Do it!
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Old 10-16-08, 09:57 AM   #7
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Is gonna be rented. I would not boy a house right now with the economy the way it is unless I'm TOTALLY sure I'm gonna stay there for at least a decade.

The commute is 10 minutes longer, yeah I will be riding a little bit later. But I only work 3 days a week. That is not gonna be an issue.
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Old 10-16-08, 10:21 AM   #8
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Last time I went house hunting, I shot my limit.
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Old 10-16-08, 10:41 AM   #9
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Sounds great, plus I would see 2 extra commute miles as pro.

The no garage thing is interesting. I'm trying to figure out what to do w/ our bikes if/when our garage does fall down (this could be the winter that does it).
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Old 10-16-08, 11:19 AM   #10
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No HOA? Move!

That said, with the economy where it is, now is a GREAT time to buy! It's a buyers market, prices are down, likely pretty close to bottom. Buy now, even if you sell in 3 years, you'll very likely sell at a profit. Not to mention your mortgage will likely be right about where your rent is, and you'll get a whoppin' big tax write off in the interest.
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Old 10-16-08, 11:42 AM   #11
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It's no fun being house poor. I am closing on a house tomorrow. I was pre-approved for 250K which buys a lot of house in this area. I bought a house for 128K. It is big enough at 1600 square feet, and it is in a safe quiet neighborhood. For very little money I can spruce it up and give it a "classy" feel (I watch HGTV sometimes.) It's all I need.
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Old 10-16-08, 01:14 PM   #12
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I wouldn't buy a house now, foreclosure-rates are still increasing. Market usually hits bottom when foreclosures peak, then start dropping. I don't know when that would be, but I'd guess that's still 2-3 years away.

For the OP, saving $475 a month is significant enough to justify it. That's $5k a year you can be saving up for a down-payment later when you're ready to buy. Just make sure you save that extra amount. Because if you've been living OK on the past year making those rental payments, you can still make those payments in full, just pay your savings that $475 instead of a landlord and utility companies.

And.. I like big backyards. Tonnes of room for PARTIES. I made sure I got the biggest lot on the block with the biggest backyard so I can host BBQs and PARTIES!!! The living-space seems comparable, although not having a 2nd bath can be a pain. The laundry room can be used for storage, alleviating the need for a garage somewhat. For bike-maintenance, no garage is fine, but if you do anything with cars like replacing engines, you should definitely get a place with garage.

And HOAs are a pain in the @ss !@#$%! Just the peace of mind of not having petty, bitter, manipulative egomaniacs breathing down your back for having your front-lawn being 1/32" too tall is well worth it!!!

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Old 10-16-08, 01:21 PM   #13
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I too am considering buying a house.... very scary stuff.

I would probably max out with something around 80k. Houses are very very cheap where I live, it is actually cheaper to buy then it is to rent. Plus living in a University town there are always staff looking for places to live (im young, no kids, not married, nothing like that). I could easily have payments for under $800 on a 3 br. Charge $300 to rent the other two rooms, and I am a happy man

so tempting...but with this whole renting thing I dont have any responsibility
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Old 10-17-08, 07:41 AM   #14
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Yup, the no garage thing was almost a show stopper, specially with the winter closing in. But if I wanted to get a cheaper rent I had to downgrade on something and the options were:

- Going to a ghetoish neighborhood.
- Going to an unridable area (no trails, no shoulder, narrow lanes, high traffic, no sidewalk, etc)
- Getting fewer & smaller rooms.
- Moving further away from the office (already 24mi).
- No backyard.
- Duplex houses.

So when I found this one, with no garage, it won. It does have a driveway tho. It used to have a garage that was converted into a 4th room. And the bikes well, the laundry room (with a door that exits the house on one side) is big enough to double as a bike pit (12 x 16).

Another feature I like is that the master room is on the east side and all other rooms are on the west side... meaning that my lovely children aren't gonna screw up my sleepy time (I work nights, sleep during the day).

I really hope I could stay on the next home for a while. I'm getting sick and tired of moving every few months. My first apt here was a transformer place (nice during the day, hookers and drugs at night), I fled after 9 months. The second one was another apt, on a 1st floor, nice area but... the upstairs neighbors had bunnies instead of kids (they were hoping all the time, never walked). The 3rd one was fine with 2 rooms but then oops, wife is having a baby ... again (how did that happened ), so more rooms were needed pronto. And the current one, big and nice but too pricey. The next house would be my home #5 in a 3 year period.

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Old 10-17-08, 07:59 AM   #15
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My HOA is pretty cool. It's only $216/mo and it pays for garbage, snow removal, the pool, all exterior maintenance of the building (including deck, roof, siding, leaking windows and doors, etc), all insurance on the structure, sidewalk maintenance, parking lot maintenance, landscaping, and more...

If I were to buy all of those things myself, it'd certainly cost a crapload more than $216/mo, and they're all necessary.
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Old 10-17-08, 08:09 AM   #16
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Not having a garage and only one bath sounds like the only downsides to this...since it's renting you're not out that much anyway, if you don't like it move.
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Old 10-17-08, 09:01 AM   #17
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I would probably max out with something around 80k. Houses are very very cheap where I live, it is actually cheaper to buy then it is to rent.
you're telling me. I'm jealous! I was looking at spending nearly 2x that on a 1br condo.
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