Who else is singin' the House Hunting Blues?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Wade, Jul 7, 2002.

  1. Wade

    Wade Stunt Coordinator

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    The past two days of house hunting have been pretty depressing for both my wife and I. We both had our hearts set on a new home but now realize that probably wont happen here in San Diego. Newer home prices have literally gone through the roof and the newer communities are farther away from work. Add in the HOA fees, property taxes and Mello Roos (if applicable) and you've got yourself one whopping monthly payment.
    I know it's worse in other parts of the country, but damn, it sure sucks. Oh well! Looks like it's back to our original plan of moving out of the state. How's Wisconsin this time of the year? [​IMG]
    Wade
     
  2. Michael Pineo

    Michael Pineo Stunt Coordinator

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    I feel your pain Wade. My wife and I are looking into buying a house some time in the next year or so, but the prices here (South of Boston) are horrible. My brother just bought a house in Texas for under $50,000. The same house here would cost us around $200,000 to $250,000. I think we might buy a townhouse instead. It might be all we can afford, and I don't consider us poor by any stretch of the imagination.

    Good luck!

    MikeP
     
  3. Colin Dunn

    Colin Dunn Supporting Actor

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    There's only one thing to do when you can't afford a decent place in your area, and that is: LEAVE. People MUST leave overpriced areas to bring housing costs back in line with prevailing salaries. I did just that when Denver's housing prices went from expensive to f***ing insane ... and moved to Austin, TX during the summer of 2000.

    There are several metro areas in the US that are in a full-fledged real-estate bubble. Irrational exuberance, not unlike what drove the NASDAQ to 5000 a couple years ago, has taken hold in places like L.A., San Diego, San Francisco, Denver, and Boston. I don't know how even dual-income professional couples can afford a $4,000+ house payment ... which would be quite ordinary in those markets.

    Don't stretch your budget to the extreme, and don't settle for less home than you want or need. Hardly any place is so magical as to be worth that kind of sacrifice. I would only make those sacrifices if I could earn top dollar in my field, live within walking distance of work, and enjoy perfect weather year-round. No place I have lived to date has met those criteria...

    Michael - where in Texas did your brother get a livable house for $50,000? It costs about 2.5-3 times that much to get a decent place in the Dallas, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio metro areas. I'm always on the lookout for more affordable housing...
     
  4. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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  5. Dan Cabral

    Dan Cabral Stunt Coordinator

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    I know how you feel Wade.
    I bought my house back in December after a whole ordeal. While we found our house relatively quickly, I think that we were both lucky and unlucky in the process.

    Background: We were getting kicked out of our apartment with 60 days notice because the owner decided to sell the house we were renting, and didn't let us know beforehand (she was a friend of the family).

    We actually found a place in 3 weeks, put in an offer, and had it accepted. However, the owners hadn't yet found a place, so we stupidly allowed them a 30-day contingency that they had to find a place before the sale could go through. Meanwhile, we were going to have to stay with family.
    After the 30-days were up, they asked for a 1-week extension, and they were going to try to find an apartment. They didn't and asked for another extension. At that point, we felt that they were just going to string us along and backed out.

    We looked extensively for 2 more months, and eventually found a place that was nicer, cheaper, and the owners were more conducive to making a quick sale because they had family to stay with if they weren't able to find something right away.

    So, in the end, it took us about 4 months from the day we started looking (including the time we thought we would get the first house and we no longer actively looking), and we physically toured over 70 homes before we found the one we wanted. I'm fully aware that this is neither a long period of time, nor a lot of houses to have seen, but I consider myself fortunate in that I don't feel that we rushed or settled, but got a very nice house for the price we got it for.

    Colin> A friend of mine recently bought a house outside Houston. About the same size as mine (an expanded Cape Cod), which is to say that it's slightly bigger than a starter home, but smaller than what many would consider a "large" home. He paid about $80,000. He might've gotten a steal, but he gave me the impression that was fairly normal for the area. The neighborhood seemed pretty nice from the photos, but I've never been out there myself.
     
  6. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Houston is pretty darn cheap when it comes to housing. My friend bought his house for around $64K about 10 years ago, and I think he's pretty close to paying it off (probably another 5 years to go). I was simply amazed considering he's got a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house with an awesome work shed and sizable backyard for the price. He lives on the northwest side of town. That house would be almost double in Atlanta, where I live.
     
  7. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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    As stated above if the area you live in is too expensive in regards to housing MOVE. Why pay outrageous amounts to have the market in that area crash a few years after you buy causing you to lose all that money. Move to another area where jobs are good and housing is more realistic.
    My wife and I looked at easily 100 homes over the course of 2-3 months before finding the 2-3 that we liked. We put in an offer on our #1 choice but it was sold the day before [​IMG] then our second house was available and everything went through with no other major issues. Best of luck but dont expect to find something right away just take your time and look around at all the houses to find out which one offers you the most for your dollar.
    KyleS
     
  8. Dan Cabral

    Dan Cabral Stunt Coordinator

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    The best advice I got while house hunting was that the house for you will "speak to you" as soon as you get inside.

    It was really true. Both of the houses we chose did just that. It's hard to explain, but as soon as we walked in, it just felt right.

    If the house doesn't speak to you right away, don't try to force the issue, because you won't be happy in the long run trying to change it into something it's not.
     
  9. Wade

    Wade Stunt Coordinator

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    Maybe I'm being a little hasty in wanting to buy a new home here. I guess I feel the need to buy a house quickly because our first child will be born in December. In reality I guess we still have two to three years before we really need to make that commitment but it sure would be nice to have a home when he/she arrives.
    Dan, I can understand what you are saying. As nice as some of the homes were none of them screamed "Buy Me". I think it's partly due to the costs involved but mostly due to a deep desire to get back to my midwest roots. In fact, last night I was looking up midwestern homes on Realtor.com and getting more feeling from the pictures of those homes than I was from the actual homes here. Seems strange doesn't it?
    Maybe I should step back and reevaluate what would be best for us in the long run and what would make us the happiest. My original plan is probably the one I should stick with. That means a new job though. Isn't growing up fun. [​IMG]
    Thanks for the suggestions.
    Wade
     
  10. Chris Rosene

    Chris Rosene Second Unit

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  11. Tim Hoover

    Tim Hoover Screenwriter

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    Colin, around the DFW area, $85k would buy a very nice house. My cousin and his wife owned a 4 BR, 3000+ sq. ft. in a nice neighborhood in Garland for $80,000.
    I have a friend that bought a brand-new house north of Fort Worth (3 BR, 2 bath, 2500 sq. ft.) for $82,000. It sits on a 2-acre lot in a beautiful new neighborhood. It's a really sweet pad [​IMG]
    On a related note, I've been singing the House Renovation Blues. I was just planning on installing new vinyl siding, but upon pulling off the old wood, I found that half of the sheathing is rotted out. This is due to the previous owners' half-ass installation of replacement windows. So I've got to replace all that sheathing AND reframe and reset all the windows in the house! Needless to say, this will take somewhat longer than the week I had budgeted for the job...
     
  12. Colin Dunn

    Colin Dunn Supporting Actor

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  13. DavidMich

    DavidMich Stunt Coordinator

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    If you're really considering moving to Texas, you should most certainly check out CHOICE HOMES. They are the biggest builder in north Texas (have been for about 5 years in a row, must be a reason for it....) and they build in Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Amarillo, and Atlanta, Georgia.
    I think you will be very surprised at the quality and number of features you get for your money.....
     
  14. Colin Dunn

    Colin Dunn Supporting Actor

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    David -
    I've seen and liked some Choice Homes floor plans. Much more architectural pizzazz than usually found in their price range (
     
  15. Wade

    Wade Stunt Coordinator

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    All this talk of getting new homes for under 150K is absolutely amazing. I knew homes were less expensive elsewhere but I had no idea the prices were that low. Other than Homebuilder.com where else can I find prices and information on new homes?
     
  16. Max Knight

    Max Knight Supporting Actor

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    I know what you guys mean about prices. I'm in NYC, and housing costs are through the roof. Of course, I love this city and don't want to leave!

    I was apartment hunting up until about a week ago. My wife and I looked all over Brooklyn. Our criteria was at least 1000 sqft, high ceilings, and less than $400,000, and hopefully less than $300 a month maintenance. We were coming up with nothing. It's amazing to think what that money could have gotten us elsewhere!

    We had found one building with what we wanted, but were told that all the units had sold already. We were very discouraged, and nothing seemed to be working. Then our landlords told us that they were selling our building, and couldn't renew our lease which was up in 25 days.

    Now we were really worried. We knew that we would be tough to evict (even if the building sold fast), as we are model tenants and this is a renter's city. The thought of living month to month and perhaps facing a huge rent increase was daunting, however.

    Then like a ray of sunshine an apartment opened up in the building we had been drooling over. It was $399,000. It was about 1165 sqft, it had 12.5' ceilings. The maintenance was only $180, and there was going to be a tax abatement kick in in July 03. We jumped on it, signed the contract last week, and are going to be closing in late august.

    So hang in there! Real estate is fate I believe. Maybe you wait a bit to buy, maybe you find something that fits tomorrow. It doesn't sound like you have a huge rush, other than your desire to own. Something will turn up.
     
  17. Kevin P

    Kevin P Screenwriter

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  18. Kirk Gunn

    Kirk Gunn Screenwriter

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    Yeah, but you know what Max's salary is in NYC ? I imagine he'd be hard pressed to match it in NH or TX...

    (sorry to get personal Max, you don't need to respond)
     
  19. Leo Hinze

    Leo Hinze Stunt Coordinator

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    Never has the old real-estate adage been more true - location, location, location[​IMG]
    Go to Realtor.com to view MLS (Multiple Listing Service) listings of homes for sale all over the country.
     
  20. Paul O

    Paul O Stunt Coordinator

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    Yup - its all about location - SF Bay Area, San Diego, Manhattan, Boston are expensive for a reason - more people want to live there than there is housing for and barring any unforseen changes this will continue to be the case. Sure a 50,000 house is cheap but unlike say a car, a home is an appreciating asset and that needs to be kept in mind when "investing" in a home.
     

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