Tuesday, August 14, 2007

home owners home schmoners

this home buying stuff is a freaking NIGHTMARE. why didn't any of you tell me that?!?!? it's kind of a pain. copy this. copy that. bring that in. drive here. attend this meeting. get naked.

i think we like a house. well, boyfriend really likes it and i just think it's okay. i love the neighborhood and all the other houses on the street. there is a small park at the end of the block. it really is a super cute area. but the house itself is just eh. it needs a lot of updating on the inside. it also needs a lot of work in the backyard. the thing is, none of these things are cheap updates.

so once you buy a house, how do you ever have the money to make the updates you want to make to it? where does that money come from? i just don't get it. and i don't want to live in a house that looks like shit because we got a "good deal" on it. i do think it would be smart to get this house, but i don't want to have to live in it if it looks the way it does currently. and i have a problem with waiting to update things, because then i feel like we'll never do it. we can say we will update things when we have the money, but what if we never have the money? i mean, life happens and you buy things, or have kids, and the money just isn't there. i totally feel like we should update immediately, or we won't do it. am i wrong? realistically, am i totally not seeing this accurately?!?


Alison said...

It depends on the things you're talking about but before we moved in to our two homes, we had the whole interior painted, we had the ceilings scraped, and all new carpet/flooring put in. Just those things alone make a HUGE difference. It's nice knowing your kids aren't rolling around on the floor in someone else's gunk. :) There are other things, in my opinion, which aren't so urgent and you take care of them a little at a time as you have the money. For example, updating light fixtures, updating faucets in bathrooms and the kitchen, getting new appliances, etc. It sounds like a great neighborhood and location is the single most important thing to consider in real estate. So, I say go for it, do just the bare minimum and wait on the other projects as funds allow. And remember, we'd ALL like to buy a home and make it gorgeous right away. It's just that most of us don't have the money to do that. Be patient.

Get naked? Really? :)

Becky said...

no i think that makes total sense. thats why we chose to build though cuz we knew we'd never have the money to update anything. but of course housing prices are insane up there. i'm sure building a house is totally out of the question!

Jill said...

What Alison and Becky says make perfect sense but MOST home loans today also come with a line of credit. It also pushes the payment up when you use it but it is there depending on the loan you get.

It depends, cleaning up a yard is stuff you can do yourself and it seems to be a process we NEVER seem to get ahead of. If you want to put in the work to do it yourself and there are home supply places that have classes (we seem to LIVE at Home Depot, next they will be charging us rent)

Really just getting what you need on the card and paying that off before you get anything more is a thing called discipline. (I hate that word) also getting a house is a BIG WORD called patience (another word I hate)

Then when we finished the house we started on the shop and the barn. Then when we almost got it all paid for we decided it needed more updating and did it again.

Get used to it, it never ends ...look into insurance on applicances and our covers the furnace and other things and so far we have used the thing 3 or 4 times and it cost us 35 bucks co-pay. The dishwasher the refer and the stove all went on the blink the first 30 days we were here. Our is

The largest is American Home Shield (www.americanhomeshield.com),

Other companies include Home Warranty of America (www.hwahomewarranty.com) and
Fidelity National Home Warranty (www.homewarranty.com).

The cost is like $460 a year and we have got 3 brand new applicances out of it totaling about 2 grand in one year when we moved here. Well worth it on a fixer upper. Some people will tell you it is not worth it but with our payments and sapping all our money in the beginning we think it was.


Stephanie A. said...

I agree with alison, doing just a few things like painting, etc. will make a huge difference.

When we first moved into our house we had money for updates and did do a lot of updating- hardwood floors, new water heater, etc. Then, when we had Hugo, we had less money due to daycare so now we do the Home Depot update plan. We use the Home Depot card when there's 0% for 12 months and it gives us a year to pay it off. Sometimes we take a year, sometimes we pay it early and go for another item.

That said, there are still plenty of things I want/need to do at our house and some days I just sit around making lists of my head about what I hate/dislike and it does bring me down. I feel like by the time we do have it updated to my liking, we'll be ready to move and that is super annoying to me.

Magnolia Mom said...

I was in a similar situation. And yes, buying a house is frustrating and lot of work.

Anyway, we got a steal of a deal and it needed a lot of updates. We knew since we were getting such a good deal we would be able to finance more and use that money to update and remodel, etc. We have to refinance to do that and couldn't do it immediately, but will be able to do it 3-6 months after the original closing. Not sure how other mortgage companies do it, but Wells Fargo is awesome and at least here, they are great to work with. Not sure if you'd have that option, but something to ask about if you can afford it.

Anonymous said...

brother jim says that is what a second is for..as long as you can afford a second get in the house get a second and fix it up and when the rates drop on the first refi all of it together...but it is if you can afford the other payment...I would buy my cars and through them on the second so I would get a write off so that I didn't have the car payment as well as the second....

DDM said...

If you don't feel like you can live with it the way it is, see if your mortgage is still 'doable' with extra $$ borrowed to do the work that needs to be done now. We backed out of a home purchase last year because we could barely afford to live in it as it was. Old, desperately in need of repairs and updates, and generally decrepid. We were looking at 20 years of it 'as is', and only being able to afford one car and no food. We decided that was too big a sacrifice and didn't buy it. Suddenly my uber beige, uber boring, but only 9 years old spec house looked like a PALACE.

Mammawannabe said...

You are so in the right time to buy...it's a crap time to be selling. We've been trying to sell our house for two years now with no real luck.

ANYWAY...buying a house also means DEDUCTIONS as far as your taxes go...maybe you can earmark your tax returns for home improvements? That's the way we've always done it, and while it takes some time and some patience, if you find a home you truly love, it will be worth it.

Best of luck on your home search :) I know you'll find something PERFECT for you guys :)

PS - I'm in Real Estate now if you need any articles/tips :) I'm not altogether that familiar with your market area, but I can still get my hands on some decent educational materials if you haven't already gotten some from a Realtor.

Grim Reality Girl said...

Location and neighbors matter -- have a nearby park that isn't next to your yard ROCKS (so you are not the default baby sitter and band aid distributer). We have been in our house 8 years and are slowly but surely improving it... Slow doesn't mean never. Getting an "okay" house is okay! You can fix it the way you want and like everyone has said, small changes can have BIG impact. Your cool shit will make an okay house look cool too....

Anonymous said...

This is Tehra btw...haha

Ummm the hubby and I bought an older house together knowing we wanted to re-do almost the entire inside of it.... We didn't do it all before we moved in, because like you , we thought it'd be way expensive. We have been doing pieces at a time once we save the money. The way we're working it right now is we pick a room we really want done, and then we save. Once we have the money, we do that room....then we move on to the next one. We set ourselves a date when we wanted ot have everything done by..and thats how we're doing it. Not sure if that helps.

TrojanGuy said...

Yeah, home buying can be a very overwhelming proposition. And it's especially scary when it's your first home. While you should definitely be wary of MAJOR things you'd have to change to be comfortable in the home, don't let stuff like bad interior paint or carpet be too much of a sticking point. It's really not that big a deal to repaint rooms in the house. Carpet can be kinda expensive, but not compared to major things like redoing a bathroom, reconfiguring walls, etc.

Good luck!

Andie said...

I totally forgot how much of a pain home buying is. it's been almost 6 years since we bought our house.

but home equity is how you redo things around your house. that and tax returns.