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Old 12-15-2015, 12:39 AM
64 posts, read 64,346 times
Reputation: 72


After looking at about 6-10 different areas in and around Denver, over 70 or so homes, we decided to put an offer in on the one that out of all, actually felt like 'home.' Not only when we drove up but also when we went inside. Energy is very important to me, and though we saw some great homes, varying prices/sizes/locations, one thing that we didn't find an abundance of was that 'this FEELS like our home,' feeling that we immediately felt with the one we ultimately chose.

I've been in LA my entire adult life, after college. Never really been a 'fan' per se, of the city, but made due and the best of it b/c this is where I needed to be to work (entertainment); and struggling in my early 20's as I built my career, was just par for the course in my mind.

Once my husband (also in entertainment) and I got married and eventually started having kids, making more money/careers growing, we realized just how unfulfilling living here has been for us. It's one thing when you're young and still struggling for that piece of 'cheese' in the rat race, it's another thing when you've already gotten your chunk of the cheese, are comfortable and can step back and see it for what it is. Coupled with insanely high rents, I mean…INSANE, an even worse housing market (average property tax with zero yard in a just 'ok' area is starting at $12-15,000/yr) and $1 mil is only getting you about 2000sq ft in a tear down/remodel within a sketchy neighborhood. We started scouring the country to figure out a place we could live, that wouldn't be too far away from SoCal (as we both still work in entertainment/our managers/lawyers/agents/lit agents etc are here), so the flight wouldn't be bad, better quality of life, etc..after research, and traveling, we chose Colorado (Denver)

So here we are, officially under contract, and my nerves are setting in. I'll explain.
My husband has bought multiple homes (from the west coast to east coast) throughout the years, some great buys, others that ended up costing him, but he always recovered nicely regardless.

I, on the other hand, am the opposite. This will be my first home purchase. For many years, and various reasons, I was adamantly against buying, unless one was doing so with cash and up front. I felt that the housing market was a huge rip off and a sinkhole unless you were wealthy enough or simply buying low enough that you walked in paid for your home or at least 85% of it up front and owned it outright, within a couple of years (versus 15 or 30). Obviously, this isn't reality for most home buyers.

In the time we have been together (dating/engaged/marred) we have moved…A LOT. As an artist, and a somewhat vagabond, this was my M.O. as a single young woman in LA. I would live somewhere for a year maybe 2 and then move. Essentially starting over, selling my little bit of stuff, getting new 'stuff' to fit the new temporary place and so on and so forth.

As our money has increased exponentially individually and together, along with us now being parents, the idea of moving has become tedious and stressful. Nothing like years past, where it was exciting and a new 'journey.' We've moved when I was pregnant with our first, and then were forced to move again shortly after having her. (Our landlord at the time, tried to force us to buy the house at a crazy price and we didn't want it. He knew we could afford it and our income etc, from us applying to live there, so he really tried to hardball us into buying. We declined. So as soon as the lease was up he asked us to move, so he could sell.) Needless to say, he was a slum lord in a lot of ways, he never put the property on the market and to this day, YEARS later, it is sitting there empty, with dead grass and a bunch of his junk in the yard.

We move in the same neighborhood and have a long, very honest talk with what will be our new landlord at a bigger house. Difference is now we have a small baby. We told him what happened with the other guy and that we were looking for a place we could stay in until we bought something in a couple of years. We told him how the last guy was a slum lord, didn't fix anything, and we upgraded many aspects of the home from our own pockets, simply b/c we refused to let the house suffer while we were there. He ensured us he wasn't that way, we signed a lease and that was that. Within weeks of moving in we realized, he is a slum lord (as most are in LA, when it comes to SFH at least). He pays for absolutely nothing, if and when he does, he does it so cheaply and poorly we have to go back and fix it, or the workers he hires never return b/c he ends up refusing to pay them. As the end of our lease was approaching, out of nowhere he says he wants to sell it, and we can either buy it (for $1.7mil) OR move. It was a nightmare. We ended up working out a deal, after a lot of negotiating and yelling from him, where after our lease ended, he would extend but would hike the rent to what he felt the 'market value' currently is. (we pay well over $7000, if you include insane water/utilities it's close to $9000/mo)

So…with all of that said, I started to realize we are the people that may NEED to buy to protect ourselves, our family and our money, in a rental market that is completely astronomical. We have more than most. Hundreds of thousands saved. Great retirement put away. Life insurance for us/our kids. Multiple streams of income due to our past work giving us residual income etc. The house we are under contract on is well under what (by numbers/law) we can afford and our mortgage with everything included (HOA annually, prop. taxes, insurance etc is waaaaay lower than what we throw away on renting here.)

What's the problem you ask? That's the thing, I'm not sure.

I'm a creature of habit in many ways. So bc I've been renting forever, and regardless of how absolutely ridiculous it is to be doing it now, it's what I know.

I'm very frugal. Being from the east coast and midwest, I've always had a very strong respect for money. The more money we've made as a family, the tighter I seem to get with it. lol.

I get buyers remorse very easily and buyers guilt. Over simple things, buying an expensive pair of shoes, or a lot of groceries one week, or pregnancy clothes b/c my regular clothes don't fit. lol. Again, all ridiculous, but it's just my personality and also part of my astrological signage. (yes, I believe in astrology.) My husband is much more free with money, not spend easy or wasteful, but he seems to have a healthy outlook on it. But he's also had a very successful career for MUCH longer than me. When he was younger he had ups and downs as he was building his name, but he's never in all of his years in entertainment, never NOT had a job, or had to work a part time job like 99.9999% of the rest of LA who's here to be a 'star.' So the thought of buying a home, signing paperwork/mortgage on something I can't return the next day (I'm notorious for doing that with things, which drives my husband insane. To the point, that when he buys me expensive gifts, he shops at super high end places where there is no return policy, just a strict exchange, b/c I would most likely return each and everything right away, without taking it out of the box.)

LA is my achilles heel. I can't stand yet, I've always wanted to leave/planned on leaving, and now that I have the means to, career/moneywise/family etc, I'm nervous. It drives me absolutely insane b/c I don't want to even be here. It's just that it's 'normal' for me and I'm a creature of habit. ugh.

I'm so tight with money, that despite getting a great deal on a home that we know is worth more than what we are paying, there is still a part of me that thinks, 'well, we could go get a $600,000, (which is wellllllll below our budget) tract home, shoddy build, not what we want nor like, and THEN our mortgage could be super low and that means more money!! See the cycle of thought here? Even my husband has said numerous times, 'have you seen a house for that price that you liked enough to buy and live in?' The truth is, a resounding NO.

The house we have under contract really did feel like our home. We saw it earlier in our visits to Denver, revisited, then continued on our search, as we wanted to get a great feel for different areas/homes. But that house never left our mind and out of all of them, less expensive and more, it was the one that for both of us (which is a feat, b/c we are VERY strong willed individuals and have strong opinions about everything, helloooooo actors/artists. ) it was amazing that there wasn't any resistance from either side. We both sort of just breathed, looked at each other, and said, 'yeah…this could be it.'

With all of that venting, rambling and such, I guess I'm sitting here wondering, is any of this normal? obviously it's normal for me, since it's my behavior, but is it common to feel this way? Especially as a first time buyer?

We're moving as to NOT worry/obsess over money, b/c we are so fortunate with what we make, but I am always obsessing about it. Maybe b/c despite having a great childhood, not being 'poor' etc, I never anticipated having this much and being able to make such a huge financial decision. (*where I'm from you can buy a huge, estate for $350,000 and that's high today). I just have old midwest values that have never left, though times have changed and we aren't in Kansas anymore so to speak.

I worry about not being able to sell the house at some point. (though that's not even our plan for at least 10 yrs. If one of our projects that we helm and are in the arduous process of selling, actually 'goes,' and in a year or two we are the new Dick Wolfe or Shondra Rhimes with one or two hit shows on the tv, obviously all of this worry goes out the window b/c that's entirely different bracket of success.

Ultimately, this is my dream come true. Our dream come true. We will still work in the business, travel to and from LA/NYC/ATL etc for work. This is best for us financially I feel and definitely family wise. So I can't figure out why I go from ecstatic to slightly nerve wracked thinking about actually DOING IT, vs talking about it. I'm sure being pregnant isn't helping.

Not sure if I'm looking for answers, coddling, mutual situations, etc. But I know that despite the random confrontational weirdos that permeate the threads, this can be a good source for dialogue from a varying degree of people all over.

Thanks for reading. xo

Old 12-15-2015, 01:00 AM
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
4,876 posts, read 9,622,106 times
Reputation: 4948
You've written an amusing novel. Sorry to say that I skimmed most of it waiting for you to get to your point. So I have to ask, is there a question that you want an answer for? Or are you just looking for some calming of your first-time-buyer jitters?
Old 12-15-2015, 05:17 AM
Location: Denver, CO
946 posts, read 1,254,541 times
Reputation: 1036
Don't stress things always work out.
Old 12-15-2015, 09:03 AM
Location: CO
2,455 posts, read 2,611,396 times
Reputation: 5190
You are in a much better position than most first-time buyers - that said, buyer's remorse comes at all income levels. You'll be fine, and if worse comes to worst (doubtful) you have the means to fix it. Give yourself plenty of time to adjust to your new surroundings and enjoy life in Colorado!
Old 12-15-2015, 09:49 AM
5,444 posts, read 4,816,004 times
Reputation: 15020
I think everyone has those feelings when it comes to buying a house. Buying a house is a huge commitment and isn't something to take lightly. When you rent, you are just tied up for the time of your lease. Owning is a whole different ball game. If you are unhappy with your home or location, it could be easy to sell your house or it could be hard to sell your house. It all depends on the market. The market right now looks pretty good, but nobody truly knows what it will be like 10 years from now. Heck, nobody 'truly' knows what it will be like next year.

I know it is tough, but since you do plan on being in the house for a decent amount of years, try not to think of the market at all. Enjoy your house, enjoy the new location, focus on your career, focus on your family. In other words, focus on your success and enjoy life. You are only given 1 life, so make it count. Remember, when you die, you can't take the money with you.
Old 12-15-2015, 10:46 AM
20,844 posts, read 39,064,756 times
Reputation: 19075
Take a deep breath, exhale, relax, you'll be fine, the house will be fine .... and you're gonna love Colorado.
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Old 12-15-2015, 01:34 PM
Location: Denver
9,224 posts, read 15,903,815 times
Reputation: 5487
Reading that was like a time warp back to the Orange County pretentiousness I had to endure growing up. My advice OP is to stop talking $ when you get here, you sound like a very typical LA/OC stereotype.
Old 12-15-2015, 02:41 PM
Location: Denver, CO
898 posts, read 987,751 times
Reputation: 1366
OP may I make a suggestion? My previous posts were deleted for being off topic (and they were), hopefully this won't. You do tend to come off as a bit of an elitist. I've seen your previous posts as well. People in Denver are much more down to earth, laid back, not counting dollars or advertising how much they make - that's all very LA / CA.

There is a bit of a disdain for people coming from LA and bringing the same mindset here. Has been for a while. Many CA / LA transplants love it here and get along well with everyone. Others find themselves left out. I suspect that coming here and talking about how much house you can afford, how a 600k house is "shoddy construction" and WAYYYYYY below your budget, and how frugal you are being even though you make SO MUCH money won't have the same effect as it did back home. Simply put, not many people here care about what you make, how you are in the entertainment industry and are *this* close to blowing up huge, or about your nest egg.

I really really urge you to keep that to yourself. This isn't jealousy talking, we do quite well ourselves, this is just a bit of advice if you don't want to feel like an outsider.

Hopefully my post won't get deleted, because this is earnest advice.

Oh and, welcome to Colorado!
Old 12-15-2015, 04:17 PM
Location: Highlands Ranch, CO
556 posts, read 575,643 times
Reputation: 837
Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post
Take a deep breath, exhale, relax, you'll be fine, the house will be fine .... and you're gonna love Colorado.
I thought my comment was pretty funny, just saying
Old 12-15-2015, 05:20 PM
Location: Phoenix, AZ
2,561 posts, read 1,808,146 times
Reputation: 2659
I think the whole moving process is very stressful in itself, and even more so when moving to a new state
I would be anxious, yet excited, as you are.

It will take time to adjust to the different climate of CA vs. CO. I hope you don't mind snow and driving in it, although the snow melts relatively fast in the Denver area. My sister hates driving in snow, yet she loves Colorado (go figure.)yo

I think one of the most important priorities for you and your family do is to make friends in your new area. i can't stress this enough. Feeling isolated in a new community is the WORST.
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