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Home > Housing: Why I Bought

Housing: Why I Bought

March 22nd, 2007 at 07:08 am

I've been seeing a lot of talk lately about objectively reviewing whether renting or buying is best for your financial situation. While pretty confident in my choice to purchase, I wanted to run the numbers just in case.

900 sf
$650 per month for rent
$ 75 per month for storage building
$200 per month average gas & electric
$925 per month

Owned Home
1800 sf
$493 per month for mortgage
$--- per month PMI (not required for our loan)
$ 55 per month for homeowner's
$ 55 per month for property taxes
$100 per month average electric

OK, so right off the top I'm saving $222 per month. Interestingly enough, that is exactly equal to the 6% of my gross salary I set aside for retirement, but I digress...

$4246 5% down, half of closing costs
$2600 tree removal (bought knowing this was needed)
$ 350 dishwasher and drain pipe replacement
$ 500 various vixture & outlet replacements
$ 7696
$59600 owed on mortgage



So at this point I have 67k invested in a house that I could turn around and sell for 75-80k after 9 months of ownership, plus I'm saving $222 per month in 'operating costs'.

As a side note, the tax accessor's value was 56k and the appraised value was 75k when we bought last July. The house was assessed at 56k in '01 and jumped to 72k in '06, a 28% increase in 5 years.

We intend to refinance this fall with my credit union, getting a better interest rate and pulling approximately 10k in equity out of the house. At that point we will upgrage the heat and air system, put a new roof on the den (an addition from the 60s), and possibly update the kitchen and bathrooms. If we hold it another 5 years, we should be able to about double our money...

OK, I feel better now! Big Grin

14 Responses to “Housing: Why I Bought”

  1. monkeymama Says:

    You bring up another interesting thing - we moved from a smaller apartment to a large house and all of our operating expenses have gone down as well.

    Our electric/gas is far less though we are home 24/7 with 4 people vs. the apartment we were only home occasional nights and weekends - 2 people.

    Since our house is new it has needed about nothing in repairs and maintenance. I have too many friends renting who are expected to upkeep the home and the appliances and such. They pay far more. Just thought it was interesting since you were another example your costs have gone down moving into a bigger space. Anyway, the assumption is we are energy hogs but quite the opposite, the house is so energy efficient it takes little to keep comfortable, uses less water, newer materials mean less repairs down the road - concrete roofs, copper plumbing, etc.

    I think your house was older if I remember correctly, but still bucks the assumptions that bigger means more. I find those pretty broad assumptions.

    Oh yeah and just because we bought twice as big didn't mean we ran out and filled it with furniture - hehe. Were just planning for future kids so we wouldn't have to move again. Over time bought the kids furnitrue but would have needed to regardless where we lived. Now we have room to store/keep our old non-kid stuff as well. Anyway, didn't get the impression you had to go buy a ton of furniture right out either. Wink

  2. moi aussi Says:

    which state do you live in? That's pretty great price for a house!!

  3. tinapbeana Says:

    my house is old (about 80 years give or take) so it surprises people that my utility bills are lower. it makes sense, though: it was built before central heat and air so it was designed to keep cool in the summer and warm in the winter as much as possible on it's own. thick plaster walls are great insulators, and my LR/DR are both southern exposed with awnings. in the summer, the sun is high enough that the awnings shade the windows. in the winter, the sun is low enough that sunlight gets in and warms the house. genius!

    and while i do intend to buy some funiture in the near future (dining room set and a living room set), these were needs at my previous rental as well and i would have bought them regardless. i got lucky that my 'ugly' hand-me-down couch actually looks perfect in the back den (think woodsy cabin), so instead of buying a new one to replace it as i would have at the previous house, i will be keeping it in the den and buying a new one for the front living room.

    moi, i live in upstate south carolina, which has a very low cost of living compared to the rest of the country. with that said, my house cost about half of the average for my area because i bought older rather than new construction. also, i bought in an area that hasn't been 'revitalized' yet. it's safe and clean, just full of older residents (most the original homeowners, actually), so not all the houses have been kept in perfect condition. being 1 mile from our downtown, i anticipate my neighborhood will soon be booming. we're already seeing an influx of 'next generation buyers', which almost always increases property values. woohoo!

  4. pablo71 Says:

    My experience is very similiar in you rent vs. own analysis. We rented a 1300sf house for $795 per month + utilities. We now own a 1700sf home where we pay $792 per month (PMI, property tax, homeowner's insurance included). Our water bill is $50 per quarter less than what we used to pay, but our utilites are a little more since our landlord intalled a new energy efficient furnace a few months before we moved and our furnace now is 20 years old. We did a WHEDA loan for first time homebuyers, so our closing costs were limited to $700, we only had to come up with a 3% downpayment, and our 30yr fixed mortgage rate is 5.375%.

  5. Aleta Says:

    Something that I did was to buy a sofa cover for my sofa in the living room. It is a tone on tone stripe of beige and off white. I just bought alot of colorful pillows and I love the look. There's so much you can do to decorate at a fraction of the cost. I also used the scarfs for the window treatments. Can't get any easier than that. All of those type of things are reasonable and replaceable.

    Sounds like you did the right thing with your house.

  6. Ima saver Says:

    I started with a house that I paid $13000 for in 1966. I have traded up 4 times. My current house is worth $500,000 and I have only had one mortgage. It pays to hold and trade up in value.(But I did have an advantage because my 2nd husband built the last 2 houses.)

  7. fern Says:

    you haven't factored in the $4,000 odd dollars you put down to purchase the house on the rental side of the equation. In other words, if you were renting, you would presumably invest that $4K and that would be earning you interest.

    So to say you're saving $222 a month is a little deceiving becus your monthly cost comparison doesn't reflect the extra $4k you put into the down payment on the ownership side.

  8. tinapbeana Says:

    on the rental side, that money (down payment, $ invested in the house, etc) was earning approximately 8% per year, or $461.76 (8% of $7696 over 9 months). with my lowered monthly costs, i've saved $222 per month * those same 9 months = $1998 saved in 9 months of lower overhead costs versus $346.32 (461.76 after taxes paid on interest earned) 'lost' from not earning 8% on $7696, for a total monthly savings (after adjusting for lost interest income after taxes) of $183.52.

    if we sold today we would make back our down payment, closing costs, money invested in the house (total of 7696) plus earn an additional $8000 or so in increased value...

  9. Broken Arrow Says:

    Any word on upgrading my crack shack too? Big Grin

  10. baselle Says:

    Careful about the Zillow "Zestimates". Your house is always only worth what a buyer will pay for it.

    And as long as your mortgage is a fixed one, congrats! You got a great deal.

    The problem up here in Seattle is that if anyone who can fog a mirror can get a 500K loan, it means that every house is selling for ... 500K. And most people who can fog that mirror don't really know what being 500K in debt really, really means.

  11. fern Says:

    ok, my head is spinnow now. Smile Too many numbers too early in the am = head spinning.

  12. tinapbeana Says:

    baselle: i agree, zillow is too often full of, um, poop Big Grin i do think that if we had to sell now we could and would do so for a profit. when we complete the upgrades we're considering, it'll just be a matter of sitting on the property until we decide or need to sell.

    ba: we haven't decided what to do with the crack shack yet Big Grin DH wants to bulldoze it and pay significant money to build a new storage building back there (or a garage, which would require me to lose my back yard to a driveway, so raise your hand if you think that's going to happen). chances are we'll get his dad to help us out for a couple of weekends and we'll rehab it: tear off the siding, put up new hardy board and paint it, replace the 2 doors and windows. if i can get the water out there working, the brick beds in front are going to be turned into lettuce patches. YUM!!!

  13. tener Says:

    its always best to buy, atleast then you own the house, no matter how much it costs.

  14. midlight21 Says:

    When you go to get your furniture Tina, don't forget to check out the local auction houses...it's where your local antique dealer is shopping.

    Stay late at night when after the lightweights go home the best deals are to be had. Here we even have auction houses selling this year's overruns from furniture manufacturers, so it isn't that you can only get antiques there. Not so, new stuff is also often available at a fraction of the price.

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