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Old 11-07-07, 04:08 PM   #1
Gee3
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How do you guys afford a home and...

...have enough left over to eat and go out and do things with your family!?!?!

We checked out the new homes in Mare Island. Condos and houses ranging from the low $400k to $600k. So relatively affordable per Bay Area standards! But after doing our finances on even the cheaper condo we'd still be paying out the butt!!!

Maybe we should move back to TX where we can afford a house and a car payment! hehe!

But one day... we'll have a home here. I just hope it's not farther than Fairlfield since I have to commute to downtown SF!! UGH!!

Now if my wife can only find an office job that pays about the same or more than me... It's funny, she was a manager at a call center in Dallas but all she could find was a pharmacy cashier/inputer position in Oakland! It would have at least been nice if she could find something closer to Daly City. But you gotta do what you gotta do.

At least we're not as depressed about it anymore.
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Old 11-07-07, 04:16 PM   #2
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We bought our house in the mid seventies for $58,000. Only until recently could we afford to start remodeling and fixing up the place becuase we don't have any kids at home or in college. My wife just got laid off but we're cool with it for now. We don't go out much but "Netflix" is our Friday night flic. I also started flipping bikes on CL a year or so ago so that money goes into the bike fund or buying stuff for the grandson.
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Old 11-07-07, 04:16 PM   #3
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The crazy increases all came during the dot-com period. The problem is that the RE bubble in the SF Bay Area hasn't deflated like the dot-com. I wouldn't be able to afford the house I'm in now if I were to purchase it today. If you can fix fixer-uppers and then flip them for a profit, then you can afford multiple properties like some of my friends.
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Old 11-07-07, 04:42 PM   #4
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Even if you pay off your home, the property taxes are forever.

In hot real estate markets, I've read of investors who rent and put the extra money into the stock market instead - which has been doing "wonderfully" the past few days.
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Old 11-07-07, 05:43 PM   #5
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I'm lucky enough to have parents that bought a condo for us while I was still in school. They paid the mortgage while I was still in university and now that I'm out and working, I've taken over the mortgage payments and am part owner on the deed. Still, the condo is only a 2 bed 1 bath and was $180k when we bought it 4 years ago. The market in the Woodland/Dixon/Parts of Sacramento area are way down and is pretty good for buyers but it's probably too far for your commute to SF. If you can get into something small now, the market should recover within a couple of years at which point you can see about selling and upgrading.
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Old 11-07-07, 05:54 PM   #6
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How do you guys afford a home and...
...have enough left over to eat and go out and do things with your family!?!?!
Easy... RENT

Seriously though, I plan on trying to buy something in a couple years.

If you want to live closer to SF or SJ, you have to go smaller. Which is good anyway.

Unless you have 3+ kids, you DON'T need more than 2 BRs

2 kids can share a room, you and your spouse (or sig. other) only need one room (unless there are issues ). To me that still seems comfortable.

So it's GENERALLY (not always true) the case that for reasonable prices you have to chose your priority. big house over proximity to work/commerce/etc, or proximity to work/etc over big house.

Personally I will live in something small, but close to stuff, rather than something large but miles away.
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Old 11-07-07, 05:57 PM   #7
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Old 11-07-07, 05:59 PM   #8
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Even if you pay off your home, the property taxes are forever.
It was a huge relief paying off our 15-year mortgage last year but our property taxes have increased significantly over the last several years. I'm currently paying close to $10K in prop taxes every year. And it's only my wife and I. Dang, it's like paying rent to live in your own home! I don't care how much my house is worth on paper today. It only matters when it's time to sell..
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Old 11-07-07, 06:04 PM   #9
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My brother moved to San Diego a few years back and was shocked about the real estate prices. He ended up moving back to Maryland and promptly bought a house twice the size and half the cost of what he could have gotten in California.
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Old 11-07-07, 06:05 PM   #10
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Dang, it's like paying rent to live in your own home!
Ain't that the truth. A friend of mine bought a big house in the area and his property taxes are on par with my mortgage payments. We bought our place 13 years ago and my plan was to stay there maybe 5 years. So much for upgrading to something bigger/nicer anywhere nearby.
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Old 11-07-07, 06:25 PM   #11
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This thread should be exclusive to the Bay Area... They're giving them away here in the Sacramento area. It's a buyer's dream right now.
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Old 11-07-07, 06:27 PM   #12
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...have enough left over to eat and go out and do things with your family!?!?!

We checked out the new homes in Mare Island. Condos and houses ranging from the low $400k to $600k. So relatively affordable per Bay Area standards! But after doing our finances on even the cheaper condo we'd still be paying out the butt!!!
.
What is paying out the butt exactly? Money wise? I mean, I paid $575,000 for my house and my mortgage is $3500 a month. However, last year we got $10,000 back in taxes. I had to chill on my free willie spending habbits, and my wife stopped shopping at Macy's and Nordstoms. I actually tried to convince her to move to Austin so we could pay cash for a big house and owe nothing.
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Old 11-07-07, 06:46 PM   #13
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Out the Butt is in the $3k range per month. But that's just the reality here. In the Dallas, TX area we paid about $1200/mo for a 3k sq ft, 4 br, 2 1/2 bath with a large backyard and 2 car garage. Taxes were 3% but that wasn't that big a deal because the monthly wasn't coming out the butt! hehe! And generally, my annual bonus would easily cover the taxes. Now that I work for the government a bonus is getting Veteran's Day off... No more big dollar bonuses here!

About 7 years ago before we decided to move to Dallas in 2001 we were looking for a place in the Daly City/Pacifica area and we were crying that houses were almost $300k! Now I'd kill for those prices again! Doh!

Oh well... With baby #2 on the way I guess we'll be squating a little bit longer in the downstairs room at my mom's house. That or pay more rent for our own place until we can get our finances in order or win the lottery!

Gary
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Old 11-07-07, 06:49 PM   #14
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We bought our house in the mid seventies for $58,000.
My friend's grandfather bought his home in the Sunset district in SF for about $5k... back in the '50's!!

After he passed away his kids made a pretty penny when they sold it.

We'll find a way... it's just depressing at the moment!
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Old 11-07-07, 07:47 PM   #15
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How do we afford it?

Only just barely.

We bought our house in 1996. We wouldn't be able to afford it now.

Our cars are 5 and 6 years old.

We shop at Costco, and Smart and Final. We eat out once a week (Pizza), and use very little convenience food.

We don't go to the movies much. Most of the things we like to do (cycling, walking, gardening, reading) are relatively cheap.

I buy nearly all my bike stuff online, and usually at big discounts. I spent too much on bike stuff this year, but dang, that Battaglin is a SWEET bike! My jerseys are older than our cars. My cycling shoes are falling apart - literally. I have to sew the velcro back onto one of the straps tonight.
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Old 11-07-07, 07:48 PM   #16
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Yep, it's expensive here. But really, what's it worth to NOT live in Texas?
For me, almost any amount.
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Old 11-07-07, 07:49 PM   #17
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I'm a part time street pharmacist...


i keed i keed...
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Old 11-07-07, 07:50 PM   #18
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How do we afford it?

Only just barely.
+1...also one reason why I drive a 10 year old car and ride an old, simple, single geared bicycle.

Last edited by roadfix; 11-07-07 at 07:56 PM.
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Old 11-07-07, 08:17 PM   #19
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The key to the Bay Area is buying at the right time. Back in the early 90's I was looking at houses in the Sunnyvale area and though "Damn! $300k is too much." Now you can't find a house under $600k.

We did get lucky in the Antioch area though. We bought a house back in '02 for just under $300k. Now, if we can only find work nearby then everything else will be gravy.
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Old 11-07-07, 08:21 PM   #20
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Man it seems like such a hassle to own. Commute, Mortgage, Property Tax, being in debt for 15+ years. I am at the stage of my life where renting is more convenient. Of course it doesn't help that I am broke.
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Old 11-07-07, 09:33 PM   #21
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I have had 0 luck with any type of a career job. I have all the education, training, even the damn experience and just can't seem to get a break. Either way, if I did have that "job" adding my wifes income we would be able to afford something in the south bay.

The trick is.. what? A larger fixer? <-- forces you to live in a construction zone, never fun.

- OR -

A flipped something were the work is already done, hopefully you have the same taste as ther flipper..

However, all this is garbage anyway.. since the pipedream of having the 20% down pretty much means unless I start knocking off liquor stores twice a day for the next six months we're screwed just like everybody else who is on the outside looking in.

frustrating at best.

Accoring to Curtis - Whats it worth NOT living in Texas?

No offense Gee, but when I travel back east to visit family, I have at times paid more money and even changed companies to avoid flying over or landing in Texas. I live there before, I have sworn to NEVER return for any reason, if I was dying and the cure was in texas, I'd just get a shovel and go out in my backyard, leave a note and 20bux saying "If you find me, cover please".
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Old 11-07-07, 10:04 PM   #22
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Priorities!!! Spend it on the bike!
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Old 11-07-07, 10:38 PM   #23
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You guys who are worried about your taxes -- you can get some relief by having your home reassessed. If your neighborhood is in a declining market, and your home doesn't appraise for what you paid for it, you can talk to your county assessor about making an adjustment on your assessed rate, and therefore pay less tax. There's some paperwork you have to do, but you may find you can make significant savings if you go this route.

Disclosure: I'm a Realtor, and I have a couple clients who've gone this route. It helps.
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Old 11-08-07, 12:41 AM   #24
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I must be assbackwards.

What I did was put a down on a house and rented it out. I rented a small studio apt to live in. I had a renters write off from my studio AND a write off because I had a home I rented out. Refinanced after three years from a 30 year to a 15 year. Bought another house, rented THAT and moved into the first house I bought. Made principal only payments on the second house in addition to the regular payments.

The first house is going to be paid off in a few months, the second house should be paid off in about 10 years or so.

And by the way, my job is not the greatest paying job.

I just let the houses take care of each other.
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Old 11-08-07, 12:49 AM   #25
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You are so smart! That's terrific that you planned so smart, and are reaping the benefits of owning real estate.

Invest today, I say. You did. Well done!
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