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pheller
pheller PowerDork
12/12/16 6:14 p.m.

Buying a house. I'm 32 years old. It's almost locked in. Freaking out.

Everything on paper is looking good. Newer place, doesn't need much if anything indoors. Needs parking expansion which I could do with a shovel if I had to. Needs some drainage work out back, but nothing major. Septic is newer and with a service (today) it should be good for 2-5 years before needs pumping.

Still can't get over how inflated the market feels, how Flagstaff feels "temporary" for me, even though I like my job and don't want to leave for another couple of years, and how it's the biggest geographically limiting decision I've made of my life. I was less scared of getting married and I'm less scared of potentially having children. A house says to me "this is where you'll be for awhile or else you'll lose money." Problem is, this is the 5th house we've put offers on and this is definitely the best deal of the group. It checks most every box except for "huge garage and enough parking for a junkyard", so I should be excited. It'll piss off people (including wife) if we bail this late in the game, it'd be like leaving her at the alter.

Anyone have any fun stories about home ownership they can tell me? Maybe folks who only owned places for a year and still made money?

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
12/12/16 6:17 p.m.

I had to pull $60 cash out of my wallet to make the down payment on my first one No regrets, though. Never sold them fast enough to play the real estate game, but I did move out of that first one and rent it after about 18 months. Sold it a few years later for a good profit.

Congrats. Enjoy it. You now have a home instead of borrowing one from someone else.

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy PowerDork
12/12/16 6:37 p.m.

Deep breath. Send in extra every single month against the principal- even if it's $20.

I was building (builder) a house and selling a house by owner at the same time - what if I don't sell? Everyone tells me I can get a bridge loan. Mortgage guy says I don't make enough for a bridge loan. Panic sets in. I hire a realtor and quickly sell. All is good.

RX Reven'
RX Reven' Dork
12/12/16 6:37 p.m.

Hi pheller,

I’ve bought four homes in my life and every time, I worried myself to death and every time, it worked out great.

Welcome to the club…the scary people are the ones that don’t worry and that sick feeling in your stomach is just proof that you know what the Berk you’re doing.

mazdeuce
mazdeuce UltimaDork
12/12/16 6:45 p.m.

Eventually they stop feeling like a house and start feeling like home.

OHSCrifle
OHSCrifle Dork
12/12/16 7:16 p.m.

Relax. Budget 2-4% of the house value for annual upkeep. Some years you skate by cheaply but some years you get to replace a roof. If you plan for it, it's all good.

KyAllroad
KyAllroad UberDork
12/12/16 7:16 p.m.

Bought my first house when I was 28. Signing a 30 year mortgage really freaked me out! That was two years longer than I'd EXHISTED

But it was fine, my sweat equity paid off and a few years later I sold it for a big profit. Then my next house was on track for even bigger profits but real estate downturn and divorce got in the way of that.

Now in my third house, life keeps chugging along, don't get too worked up over any of it. Get too invested in a "plan" and life will kick you in the jimmies, so relax. Do a good job, be a good husband, enjoy the journey, and things will work out.

Gearheadotaku
Gearheadotaku PowerDork
12/12/16 7:29 p.m.

I bought my first home, a condo at 28 and my house at 35. Take the time to paint and decorate the way you want. Don't sweat resale value unless you plan a flip in a year or 2. This is YOUR house, do with it as you please.

I picked up a sledge hammer and put it through the wall of my new house less than 20 minutes after getting the keys. Took nearly a year of re-hab work before I could move in. Worth it? oh yes. Stressful? Well drugs and alcohol....

Feel better? Your house dosen't need major work and spectic pumpings are cheap.

get to work on the parking expansion, you'll have more car projects now that you have a place to put them!

ProDarwin
ProDarwin PowerDork
12/12/16 7:42 p.m.
mazdeuce wrote: Eventually they stop feeling like a house and start feeling a depreciating investment that's also a huge time-sink.

Fixed. And that's a good house.

Sorry. I'm not terribly constructive when it comes to home ownership discussions. I've owned one for 3+ years. It was "move in ready" and has required relatively little work, but even that is a metric berkeley ton of personal time and quite a bit of money.

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy PowerDork
12/12/16 8:19 p.m.

My mom always said a house is a full time hobby. Yep.

mtn
mtn MegaDork
12/12/16 10:44 p.m.
ProDarwin wrote:
mazdeuce wrote: Eventually they stop feeling like a house and start feeling a depreciating investment that's also a huge time-sink.
Fixed. And that's a good house. Sorry. I'm not terribly constructive when it comes to home ownership discussions. I've owned one for 3+ years. It was "move in ready" and has required relatively little work, but even that is *a metric berkeley ton of personal time and quite a bit of money*.

Similar situation here. I'm only 3 months into it, and haven't had too much money that I've put into it yet (my parents paid to have their old carpet installed, was very generous of them). I'm waiting on my water heater to go out, and I'm hoping it holds out until spring. Same with my chimney--I have the reserves to pay for both, but I'd like to wait a little. And I'd like to do them at the same time. Who knows what else will go wrong? It will be something. Been here 3 months and we still only have 2 rooms painted. One has been masked and primed for 2 weeks. Still haven't picked the color.

Now, my wife and I are extremely busy. Most people would have had the things done by now, but we're just too busy recently. And all that being said, I do not regret the house at all. I was sick and tired of moving every year/few years. I was sick and tired of not having anything that was "mine". Those window treatments that we couldn't change? Yeah, they're gone. I have a freaking yard! And the whole freaking garage is mine! All mine! And the wife is even ok with that! And, I've become handier in the last 3 months than I ever had before.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
12/13/16 6:15 a.m.
OHSCrifle wrote: Relax. Budget 2-4% of the house value for annual upkeep. Some years you skate by cheaply but some years you get to replace a roof. If you plan for it, it's all good.

Well... that helps me to justify the roughly $40K in work I need to put into mine right now. I can't really complain as I've done hardly anything to it since moving in back in '92. Replaced the roof in '95, but that's basically it. Oh... and a couple of water heaters.

Unfortunately, at this point it damn near needs a complete gut-remodel.

petegossett
petegossett UltimaDork
12/13/16 6:16 a.m.

Bought my 4th property this year, and I've been terrified each time. Often for different reasons.

STM317
STM317 HalfDork
12/13/16 6:16 a.m.

I'm of the camp that thinks buying a house, and kind of being forced to put down roots can be a very good thing. Build a life. Make friends. Become regulars at a local hole-in-the-wall. It beats the heck out of living transiently in my opinion.

I'd try and get most big projects done before moving in. It's far faster and easier to paint or replace flooring if you don't have to move a ton of furniture to do it. You'll be more motivated to get it done too.

chandlerGTi
chandlerGTi UberDork
12/13/16 7:05 a.m.

That's the feeling of responsibility. Good or bad depending on your situation!

I've had three houses and they've all been good investments for my own development, learning things that never come up on the construction side and having to repair stuff now or pay to have it done.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
12/13/16 7:23 a.m.
pheller wrote: Still can't get over how inflated the market feels, how Flagstaff feels "temporary" for me, even though I like my job and don't want to leave for another couple of years, and how it's the biggest geographically limiting decision I've made of my life.

I would not buy if Flagstaff isn't where you want to be.

That's just me personally though.

NOHOME
NOHOME PowerDork
12/13/16 7:29 a.m.

Not a believer in any house you live in being an investment. That said, you have to live somewhere and as long as you bought comfortably within your means, its nice to have a place to call home. Bought my first and only house 23 years ago. Was only going to stay 5 years.

Apexcarver
Apexcarver PowerDork
12/13/16 7:32 a.m.

Bought a house earlier this year. All the boxes ticked, didnt push the budget, BIG detached shop with heat/ac, bit too much yard, bit long of a commute.

We closed in April and are still settling in. Just starting to get the ground floor settled with paint and furniture how we want it.

I view the depreciating asset thing this way; the mortgage is only a little more than I was paying in rent. At least I have something to show for it. Yeah; I cant just call the landlord when something breaks, but at least I get to just fix it myself for the minor things.

pheller
pheller PowerDork
12/13/16 7:52 a.m.
z31maniac wrote:
pheller wrote: Still can't get over how inflated the market feels, how Flagstaff feels "temporary" for me, even though I like my job and don't want to leave for another couple of years, and how it's the biggest geographically limiting decision I've made of my life.
I would not buy if Flagstaff isn't where you want to be. That's just me personally though.

The problem is, it's where I want to be the foreseeable future. It's not like I'm in college where I can say "yes, in 3 more years I will move on."

In 3 more years I might be looking for a new job, but that doesn't mean one will present itself with satisfactory terms for another 6.

slowride
slowride HalfDork
12/13/16 7:59 a.m.

I almost backed out when I got the estimated closing costs sheet. 18 months later I'm better off financially than ever. I'm still not sure how that happened.

JohnRW1621
JohnRW1621 MegaDork
12/13/16 8:03 a.m.

Welcome to another Adult milestone.

Here's my story of good and bad...

My second house was a condo. I liked it (which is important.)

I bought at the height of the market, 2003, and sold at the bottom of the market, 2011. I owned about 30% of the house. I sold it for about 27% less than I paid for it.
It seems that I got killed, but.

I did the math and even factoring in improvements that I made, I still lost less than what renting it for that time period would have cost.

dropstep
dropstep Dork
12/13/16 8:05 a.m.

I bought my first house at 25. Four years later the only huge suprise was a furnace issue my house inspecter missed that cost us some money the first winter. I was freaking out because woodwork and heights arent my idea of fun and home ownership seemed like work.

Even with an old house its been enjoyable. Too me nothing beats coming home to my house after a day at work.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
12/13/16 8:45 a.m.

File me under "it'll be mine, all mine." It may or may not be a depreciating asset; that varies radically by location. I've lived in my house for almost 25 years. The house was built in 1963 so it was about 30 years old when I bought it. Between purchase price and major renovations about 6 years ago, we have about $300,000 invested in it.

I could sell it by the end of the year for $300,000 meaning I've put a roof over my head for 25 years for the cost of utilities. I'll have it fully paid off within 2 years, meaning I'll live in it for another 20 years for just the cost of utilities and maybe another roof.

I was 28 when I bought it. In retrospect, had I known what a non-event it was going to be, I'd have added $30k-$40k to the budget and bought a similar house but in a slightly nicer neighborhood, but I have no regrets.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin PowerDork
12/13/16 9:00 a.m.
Duke wrote: Between purchase price and major renovations about 6 years ago, we have about $300,000 invested in it. I could sell it by the end of the year for $300,000 meaning I've put a roof over my head for 25 years for the cost of utilities.

Grumpy way of looking at this:

$300k in a house in the market I'm in will be worth around $330k in 10 years. That's less than the cost of inflation.

$300k in my investments will be worth, conservatively, around 600k.

The $270k difference will pay a lot of rent.

mtn
mtn MegaDork
12/13/16 9:04 a.m.
ProDarwin wrote:
Duke wrote: Between purchase price and major renovations about 6 years ago, we have about $300,000 invested in it. I could sell it by the end of the year for $300,000 meaning I've put a roof over my head for 25 years for the cost of utilities.
Grumpy way of looking at this: $300k in a house in the market I'm in will be worth around $330k in 10 years. That's less than the cost of inflation. $300k in my investments will be worth, conservatively, around 600k. The $270k difference will pay a lot of rent.

Nope, that only works if you are paying all cash all up front. You're paying a mortgage. Right idea, but not fleshed out.

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