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Old 01-07-2011, 12:18 AM
 
12 posts, read 17,175 times
Reputation: 11
Question WHICH WOULD YOU CHOOSE...house you love, or good house for less $$

We are moving to the Hill Country area southwest of Austin, and I'm in such a quandary. Which house do I choose--the LESS EXPENSIVE HOUSE which is older but has fabulous landscaping, more sq. ft. inside, and completely remodeled modern interior that is very nice...or the more expensive newer HOUSE I LOVE AND ADORE but with less sq ft and more unique character??

Note: both have fireplaces, great rooms for entertaining, great open kitchens, wood floors, two bedrooms and two baths. I love the interiors of both.

HOUSE I LOVE AND ADORE is totally charming, has very unique hill country character on the outside (which means a lot to me--I like uniqueness), huge front deck, newer, nice large and open family room area, large front yard with huge old trees, completely warms my heart just looking at it.
LESS EXPENSIVE HOUSE is typical 50's ranch style, more rooms (has a den) plus lots of storage, incredible landscaping and VERY VERY nicely remodeled interior.

Differences and negatives that stump me in deciding:

HOUSE I LOVE AND ADORE is 500 sq. ft smaller, more expensive due to being close to historical area, would require putting up a two-car carport, removal of one wall between two rooms, removing carpet in bedrooms to put in pine flooring, small bedrooms/bathrooms, and enlarging very small workshop out back i.e. more expense.

LESS EXPENSIVE HOUSE is a 50's ranch house which I really didn't want, but have a hard time dismissing it because of the incredible remodeling inside; is in a typical neighborhood (which I didn't want) and considered a "less desirable" one since it's not historical.

HELP ME DECIDE. Yes, we can afford the more expensive one which I love and adore, but will have less money every month. And the less expensive one is VERY nice and more practical. But I'm having a hard time between choosing my heart over practicality and savings, and accepting the negatives of each.
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Old 01-07-2011, 04:22 AM
 
58 posts, read 77,718 times
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Here's food for thought for you. I'm not looking for you to answer these here...

How much of a price difference are you talking? How long has the more expensive house been on the market? Can you haggle on the price? Your realtor should be working with you on that...

How stable are your jobs? How much emergency funds do you have? Buying the newer home will drain your savings and be harder to build up emergency funds should something happen to either one of you.

You list the work you need to do on the more expensive home, which means more drain on your funds. You definitely need to figure that into the cost of the house. Will you want new furniture?

How much do you go out or travel? What hobbies do you have? Are you prepared to sacrifice those given that you will have less discretionary income?

Are you planning a family soon?

How long are you planning on living in this house? How long before you retire?

I tend to lean towards practicality myself. I bought a cheaper home in a less desirable neighborhood but I love that I have the freedom to do what I want when I want and not have to worry about funds. My mortgage is cheaper than rent in this town and I'll definitely be able to pay it off before I retire. I don't regret my decision.
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:13 AM
 
Location: Austin Metro
113 posts, read 180,889 times
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Many great questions above. You don't want to overstretch yourself and have less money left over for fun. Also, consider location. Which one is closer to work and the other places you frequent? Best of luck to you! It's a big decision!
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Old 01-07-2011, 06:49 AM
 
Location: Avery Ranch
587 posts, read 823,013 times
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Those are great questions.

Food for thought: we once stretched ourselves very thin to have the house we loved and adored in Phoenix. As a result, we didn't have as much money to have a life, although we loved our home.

The market crashed and we had to short sell.

Ask us if we regret our decision to buy the more expensive home?
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Old 01-07-2011, 07:55 AM
 
3 posts, read 2,206 times
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Default no ? really

You have answered your own question really. Life is too short to live in a house that you don't love if you can afford it. You will always think about the "favorite" house and never feel like the other house stands up. Buy the favorite house. This is a no brainer. Do it now before someone else buys your dream home.
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Old 01-07-2011, 08:07 AM
 
72 posts, read 73,150 times
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I say do what YOU think is right...!! Do not let anyone decide for you !! We are not going to live in the house, nor make the payments, nor clean up, nor.....you get my drift.
We did not help you choose your husband, town to live in...etc., etc.
Its' nobody else's house but yours...!!!
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Old 01-07-2011, 09:12 AM
 
Location: Southwest Austin
4,889 posts, read 9,424,201 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coppedge View Post
We are moving to the Hill Country area southwest of Austin, and I'm in such a quandary. Which house do I choose--the LESS EXPENSIVE HOUSE which is older but has fabulous landscaping, more sq. ft. inside, and completely remodeled modern interior that is very nice...or the more expensive newer HOUSE I LOVE AND ADORE but with less sq ft and more unique character?? ...
When we have buyers unable to pick between two properties that are equally desirable, we write an offer on both, simultaneously, and see which seller is going to be most flexible on price.

If you start off rather low on both offers and one seller says "no thanks" but the other responds with a really good counter-offer, the decision is made.

Another thing to do is make a spreadsheet with a "total cost of ownership" comparison and boil it all down to actual dollars, including your commuting costs (which you should figure at AT LEAST $4/gal if you don't already know) and other factors such as utilities, upkeep costs, etc. Sometimes it helps to have the question boiled down to "do I really love that house $500/mo more than the other?".

Good luck,

Steve
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Old 01-07-2011, 09:35 AM
 
12 posts, read 17,175 times
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These are all great replies. Thank you.

To milytaylor: what struck me the most with reading your questions is the travel issue. Husband is retired and I am not, but I am self-employed via an internet job and can travel. So I have to think on that one. And I found it interesting that you yourself bought the less expensive one and are glad.

To rhino5: you present the same issue--money left over. Again, good to think about.

To intmd8r: I understand. We are starting over again from a similar situation though with a building we had to give back to the bank. I think that's why I'm gun shy here to choose the house I love. Yet, I don't want another house that I don't love, which is what has happened to me many times in the past--choosing practicality. I badly want a house I love!!!

To elwoodsaustin: that's so true. I realized last night that if either house came under contract this morning and not by me, it's the house I love that I would grieve about, not the other one.

To austin-steve: Brilliant! Thank u.
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Old 01-07-2011, 01:20 PM
 
2,297 posts, read 2,955,119 times
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It sounds to me that you only like the OUTSIDE of the expensive house more. But you spend 99% of your time there INSIDE the house. Things like less square footage, small bathrooms, and inadequate storage are not easy to fix and will drive you crazy after a while.
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Old 01-07-2011, 02:24 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
14,261 posts, read 19,608,077 times
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Don't forget that property taxes are pretty high here and the additional taxes on the more expensive house could prove to be a burden over time. Especially if you hope to stay there during your retirement years.

On the flip side, the newer house will probably prove to be more energy efficient, which is another expense that adds up over time. Check the utility bills on both of them.
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