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Old 10-15-2006, 01:50 PM
Red
 
32 posts, read 129,513 times
Reputation: 31
Maybe you don't realize it living in south Florida all of your obviously young life, but an older brick home for under $50K will likely be extremely expensive to actually live in. I have seen many examples of this, but for reference: our last house was a craftsman style 2 story home approx. 2000 sq ft with wood siding. Our neighbors 3 miles down the road had an almost identical house but it was brick and not well insulated. We had the same furnace. In the 5 months that we had to run the furnace, we used 1100 gallons of LP (at the time @$1.50/gal). They used 3400 gallons and their house was colder than ours all winter. An extra $3500 a year just for heating.

By the way, are you successfully self employed from home already? If not, I'd make sure you have a steady income stream before you worry too much about buying a house. Self employment or home based businesses can be very rewarding, but it is extremely rare to have positive cashflow in the first few years of any business! Do you have a source of support for 2-4 years while waiting for the business to support you?

--Red
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Old 10-15-2006, 03:09 PM
 
Location: Western NY
338 posts, read 948,972 times
Reputation: 202
I posted early on in this area but then I was looking on line for houses and thought I would look in our own area...even tho we are looking out of State..and what I saw for prices on the web and what I KNOW the houses go for in the area -- there is a huge discrepency--typically houses here in our small town in Northern NY go for an average of 50-70 thousand. However, the lake houses and the large expensive homes in between through our statistics off the chart...my sister is a Broker....believe me- she owns 14 houses (rentals) and she never paid more than $45,000 for one. They need cosmetic work but she buys and rents them ...when I read about someone paying $150,000 for a small home I cringe...we have 3 homes and total mortgage is $47,000 for all three combined! Keep looking!
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Old 10-15-2006, 03:46 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
5,289 posts, read 4,302,546 times
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I agree heathers mom,I will not pay more than $100,000 for a home and to me that seems overpriced,nowadays people believe their homes are gold and try to get outrageous prices and what is worse is you have fools out there that pay it.
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Old 10-15-2006, 05:54 PM
 
164 posts, read 224,388 times
Reputation: 78
Default Charlotte NC and surrounding area

This thread intrigues me. I assumed the original poster meant $130 to $150,000, but I guess not! I've never heard of these numbers, other than from grandparents talking about buying a house in the 1940s. I am from California, so I realize my sense of reality is screwed, but are you guys serious?? We are planning a move to Charlotte, and hadn't even looked at homes less than $200. I have this mindset that homes less than that would either be in drug-infested areas with no employment and bad schools, or out in the boonies where I'd have to draw my own water from a creek. But maybe I'm wrong??

We are not professional remodelers by any means, but my husband and I have done some work and my husband, in particular, is pretty handy. I don't mind some hard work, but have 4 kids so I can't rebuild from the ground up. But this thread is interesting ... have to look at these options when we move.
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Old 10-15-2006, 06:58 PM
 
Location: WPB, FL. Dreaming of Oil city, PA
2,909 posts, read 10,036,348 times
Reputation: 919
I agree Cosmic! As for Bluefield, it has most of the stores I need and if I need more stores and malls, I can drive to other cities or even out of state. Texas has more big stores in proximity but I cant afford much of a house there(cant afford any house in Florida!) Cooling is only needed in the summer on the few hot days for WV has a mild cool climate. I can heat just my bedroom in the winter, why heat the whole house? I thought brick houses insulated better? They sure look pretty! I can afford a 2000+ square foot starter house, they cost around $50k only

Red,

Theres no way ill spend $3500 a year on heating! I read that bricks saves you $ on a/c and heat because its a good insulator!

Heathersmom, so this means I negotiate a large chunk of the asking price? How do I know whats the true value?


Connie, your used to the insane house prices in Cali! Do you have any equity? If you own and sell a house, even a small old house can sell for $300k+
The cheap houses have some minor compromises such as semi-rural area, need a little TLC, old houses, etc. $200k is very expensive for a house in WV!
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Old 10-15-2006, 07:21 PM
Red
 
32 posts, read 129,513 times
Reputation: 31
A well insulated newer home covered in brick would be fine, but that's not what you'd be buying for $50K. You will be looking at a home well over 20 years old (likely well over 50 years old) that will not likely be well insulated and will most likely have windows and doors just as old. A house the size you are talking about will be expensive to heat the winter and cool in the summer. West Virginia will be milder than our climate, but you should plan on paying at least $3500 a year for heating and cooling if you plan on having heat and a/c in an old, cheap brick house.

--Red
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Old 10-15-2006, 08:36 PM
 
3,021 posts, read 16,125,522 times
Reputation: 2406
Quote:
Originally Posted by Need_affordable_home View Post
(cant afford any house in Florida!) Cooling is only needed in the summer on the few hot days for WV has a mild cool climate. I can heat just my bedroom in the winter, why heat the whole house? I thought brick houses insulated better? They sure look pretty! I can afford a 2000+ square foot starter house, they cost around $50k only

Red,

Theres no way ill spend $3500 a year on heating! I read that bricks saves you $ on a/c and heat because its a good insulator!

Heathersmom, so this means I negotiate a large chunk of the asking price? How do I know whats the true value?


Connie, your used to the insane house prices in Cali! Do you have any equity? If you own and sell a house, even a small old house can sell for $300k+
The cheap houses have some minor compromises such as semi-rural area, need a little TLC, old houses, etc. $200k is very expensive for a house in WV!
Red is right older brick houses can be problem childern. Depends on exactly what has been done to it, how old, etc. The older houses tend to be 2 x 4 ballon framing type construction. Many had no insulation in the walls, some none in the attic. Depends if they were retrofitted. Brick is not an insulator, in fact it is part of the problem. Tends to store heat of the sun in summer, adds a lot of cold mass outside in the winter. The newer houses usually have 2 x 6" walls and lots of insulation. You can blow in insulation to an old brick house, usually must do it from the inside. Figure $6 - 10K for a DIY job for the typical house. If you have brick walls inside the house, that is nice, they add a lot of thermal mass and are inside any insulation barrier. The bricks on the outside are beyond the insulation barrier and add nothing to the insulation value overall. I've seen older brick homes that were like ovens in the summer.

Also the motar between the bricks ages and must be replaced every so many years. Called repointing. Can be a big job on a large house, usually you must put up staging. If you have to hire it out, might not be all that cheap.

WV will require some A/C, they do get some hot days. Figure July / August for sure. Again depends a lot on your insulation. Lot of tricks to making a house energy efficient.

One other big area to be aware of in brick houses. Window sills, stools, frames, etc, tend to rot out a lot. The seal between brick and wood tends to leak a lot more than wood on wood. Brick can be good, can be bad. Workmanship counts a lot, as does the quality of materials. I would not buy something just because it is brick.

I would consider renting a smaller place for a year or so in the new location and getting some on site time. You don't really sound ready to rush into house buying, especially from a remote location. Would really try to understand what is going on in WV. Try to find some of the local newspapers on line.

I looked at a zillion places to plan my move. Started about 10 years prior, didn't know when the market I was in would peak out. About four years before I actually moved I got very serious about the research. I still would not give up on Adams, Athens or SE Ohio. WV never figured very high on my list of places to go. It failed too many of the critical criterion.

Heating costs today in many locations can put you into the poorhouse. In WV and SE Ohio, one good option is adding a parallel wood gasification boiler. Wood tends to be very plentiful and cheap. Figure $5 - 8 K but you recover the money fast. Coal can be used but usually you have to find anthracite type coal.
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Old 10-15-2006, 08:48 PM
 
3,021 posts, read 16,125,522 times
Reputation: 2406
Quote:
Originally Posted by connie View Post
This thread intrigues me. I assumed the original poster meant $130 to $150,000, but I guess not! I've never heard of these numbers, other than from grandparents talking about buying a house in the 1940s. I am from California, so I realize my sense of reality is screwed, but are you guys serious?? We are planning a move to Charlotte, and hadn't even looked at homes less than $200. I have this mindset that homes less than that would either be in drug-infested areas with no employment and bad schools, or out in the boonies where I'd have to draw my own water from a creek. But maybe I'm wrong??

We are not professional remodelers by any means, but my husband and I have done some work and my husband, in particular, is pretty handy. I don't mind some hard work, but have 4 kids so I can't rebuild from the ground up. But this thread is interesting ... have to look at these options when we move.
Nope, lots of desirable low cost areas. Many tend to be the safer places in the country. Schools and employment can be issues. Choosing a church based school can be one option. Like the Catholic schools, they maintain the quality in most areas. Employment and wages is offset by a far less cost of living in many areas. Depends on your skills. In some, you might not take that big a wage cut. What you save in house payments, taxes, insurance, car insurance is a huge offset.

Lots of small to mid sized towns in Ohio that offer high quality life styles without massive house prices. The public education might be the best available in many areas compared to the fancy locations.
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Old 10-15-2006, 10:32 PM
 
Location: WPB, FL. Dreaming of Oil city, PA
2,909 posts, read 10,036,348 times
Reputation: 919
Red and Cosmic, you have me more confused than ever. So your saying bricks is better or is worse depending. There are pros and cons to each. I do notice that most of the houses are wood but there are some very nice brick houses including a 10800 square feet brick mansion for $425k(cant afford it though)


Why would I not take a bigger house if the cost per square feet is lower? I also get more space which I need! I figure 2000-2500 square feet and 4+ bedrooms is a good size.

Ill probably install a window a/c as old houses dont come with a/c, wasnt invented back then. Ill cool just my bedroom during the hot summer days, set the thermoset to perhaps 77 degrees. I wont need heat if the house stays above freezing. Theres something called jackets and blankets. If I must heat, ill set it to around 50 degrees to save lots of money. I figure heat may run me $100-200 per month in the winter that way.

Ill also check out Ohio but WV seems to have better houses at better prices or is Ohio just overpriced and I can negotiate it down?
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Old 10-15-2006, 11:33 PM
 
3,021 posts, read 16,125,522 times
Reputation: 2406
No, I think we are saying there is nothing magic about a brick constructed house. Depends on the house. Brick is super in the right house. All depends on condition, age, workmanship, quality of house, price, location and all the rest of the factors that goes into a buying decision..

Yeah, I would love to have a nice brick house, in super condition, for cheap money. I would hate to have a junk brick house in poor condition, even at a cheap price.

You really know nothing about any house until you see them up close and personal and in your case with someone who knows the construction, housing type business far beyond what any realtor does and beyond what most of those inspector types do.

Over buying a house in size is about like over buying a truck. If you really need a compact pickup and buy a 20 ton dump truck, fine as long as you are willing to pay all the extra operating costs. Maintenance costs are usually higher too. You need to spend more of your time around the house. It can work out. I knew a single guy who bought a 26 room boarding house. Him and one guy on the fourth floor. He probably made out like a bandit if he held on for the twenty years or so, it took for it to become a million dollar property. The downside is a too large of house can kill you with the effort if you are not that type of person. Seems to be a modern disease that everybody must have a huge house or they somehow have failed in their quest for shelter. Remember junk accumulates in relation to the amount of space available. The last thing I want at this stage of my life is a huge house. Many people who have lived in big houses, down size for all the valid reasons when they retire and don't require more space than they can actually use. A smaller house tailored to your lifestyle has many advantages. In the end it may come down to lifestyle.

Plans to rehab larger houses a bit at a time sometimes can go way off track. I have seen some real messes. A bit like that Johnny Cash song, "I got it a piece at a time".

It is also not true that a bigger house costs less per square foot. Another weekend myth promoted by the modern real estate industry that loves to distort markets. Any housing market pricing should reflects some type of value system that is based on the underlying objective features involved. Not what this modern fool system has been about for a while. Bad houses will wear you down, bad big houses can kill you in so many ways. Would you buy a pair of size 60 pants just because it appeared to be cheap as a unit price to size???

A lot with depend on how you bargain, the location, what is available and how much the seller wants out. You better understand a lot of the why's I fear in that area of WV. The "Bargains" may have a hidden story. There are web sites that can help you track the value of a particular location and if it has been rising or falling. I still think I would be getting a bit more on scene experience before jumping to firm conclusions. Remember the Modern Real Estate Industy operates on illusions far more than in the past.

This is also a bit of unsettled time in the housing market. Would understand a whole lot more than I just want a Big Brick House.
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