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View Poll Results: How much house can you afford without being house poor or going overboard?
None! I live with family, friends or am homeless. 4 6.15%
under $25k 0 0%
$25k to $50k 0 0%
$50k to $75k 4 6.15%
$75k to $100k 7 10.77%
$100k to $150k 11 16.92%
$150k to $200k 10 15.38%
$200k to $250k 11 16.92%
$250k to $325k 2 3.08%
over $325k 16 24.62%
Voters: 65. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-06-2006, 10:37 PM
 
Location: WPB, FL. Dreaming of Oil city, PA
2,909 posts, read 12,790,503 times
Reputation: 991

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Interesting poll! I have voted $75k to $100k. You may discuss your votes or vote anonymously. My vote is based on how much ill make being self employeed with a home business. Jobs pay less and the area I want to live in doesnt even have alot of jobs to begin with. I can make decent money with a home business, enough for as much as $100k of house without buying more house than comfortably affordable, without being whats called "house poor" without spending every last dollar on the mortgage that I dont have enough money left for other expenses!
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Old 10-06-2006, 11:11 PM
 
Location: Springfield, Missouri
2,814 posts, read 11,892,295 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Need_affordable_home View Post
Interesting poll! I have voted $75k to $100k. You may discuss your votes or vote anonymously. My vote is based on how much ill make being self employeed with a home business. Jobs pay less and the area I want to live in doesnt even have alot of jobs to begin with. I can make decent money with a home business, enough for as much as $100k of house without buying more house than comfortably affordable, without being whats called "house poor" without spending every last dollar on the mortgage that I dont have enough money left for other expenses!
I have to tell you, I admire your zest! I think you're a bit dramatic at times, but that's youth!, and your overall focus is very developed and distinctly focused I'd say and I'm convinced you WILL get the house you want.
Just to let you know, I rented until I was in my early 30's, poor as a church mouse. I was the guy at work who used to come up with excuses as to why I couldn't join friends for lunch because I had NO money, and I'd stay in the deserted workspace and make a couple of Instant Onion Cup-of- soups that our workplace provided us. Yet, in my little delapidated studio apartment, I cut out pictures of houses that met my dream idea of what I could envision myself living in. I divided my bedroom door (actually it was a walk-in closet with a little window and enough room for a twin sized futon) into halves, one half for multiple family dwellings like houses that had been converted into apartments for students, etc. (as I was open then to living in one while collecting rent on the others to pay a mortgage), and the other half I put pictures of houses I just thought were charming and I'd look at them, imprint them in my mind's eye, then lay down in the dark and pretend I lived there and imagine walking through it, how I'd furnish it, what the garden would look like, my pride in driving up to it and knowing that it was "my house". Remember, this was ALL fantasy as I had NO MONEY!!! I made enough to pay my rent and buy a few coffee's and used books here and there. That was it. That door board was the center of my housing fantasies for about two years. I pulled off ones I got tired of and added new ones I'd come across and my fantasy life was rich! Then my career took a change and I started making real money in 1995/6/7. I had Veteran's benefits, it was 1998, slow real estate year in the San Francisco Bay Area, and I saw an advertisement from a guy in Menlo Park who worked mortgages for Veterans. I called him, he sent me a package of forms to read and fill out, I got it, pulled it out then got intimidated by all the paper and seeming complexity of it all, but then he called me and said: "hurry, fill it out as I will drive to you (San Francisco's Sunset District is where I lived then) and pick it up tomorrow". I said (gulp).."ok".. and thought, uh oh...I better concentrate and get this done!! So I slowly and methodically went over every single paper and application and entered everything I knew. When he arrived as promised, he looked through the application and looked absolutely shocked. He told me it was the most complete application he'd ever received!!! (I work well under pressure!). They approved me for $145,000 based on my income and growing 401K. That wasn't much money in San Francisco even for a bad condo in 1998, but since I was pre-approved now, I went looking and found a house across that bay near a BART line that was $99,000. I had already gotten my Certificate of Eligibility and a copy of the DD214. The yard was overgrown, but huge, and the house was a California Spanish stucco bungalow built in 1929. The cutest house with hardwood floors, barrel ceilings, just under 1200 sq. ft., wb fireplace, and 1970's decore/updating everywhere, including they'd popcorned the ceilings, brown old shag carpet (gag), a kitchen from 1972, etc. I bought the house, scraped the popcorn off by spraying it with water, then using a flat edge to scrap it off. It was easy actually. I then pulled the carpets and the floors thank goodness were beautiful under them. I changed the lighting fixtures, scrubbed the mold off the house outside with bleach water, planted hedges, cleaned up the backyard, dug flower beds, planted roses, and that house turned into a showplace like I'd dreamed about!!! I loved it! I still look at pics of it today, it's nowhere near as grand as my home was in LV or mine here now, but... it was my first and I remember how good it felt and how charming it was and how it fulfilled my dreams to a T. You're doing that now whether you realize it or not, and...bad market, real estate crash or not, severe recession or not, current circumstances good or not, you'll eventually get what you're looking for and it WILL fulfill your imagination of what you've dreamt of, even if it's not where you spend your life permanently. You've got that focus and drive that will make it happen. You'll see!

Last edited by MoMark; 10-06-2006 at 11:27 PM..
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Old 10-07-2006, 06:04 AM
 
944 posts, read 3,481,534 times
Reputation: 572
Great post NAH. For once I won't tell you to calm down!

Until owning a house costs less than $1,000/mo. I won't buy. There are simply too many other things for me to do with my money. I really don't care if I am "priced out" forever. Being "priced out" also means "not fixing the fridge" or "re-roofing."

Even if housing bombs, I'm still going to look hard at the numbers. BTW, I "qualify" for $300k... I wouldn't spend more than $100k ($125k tops - I will only pay a premium to live near family).
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Old 10-07-2006, 07:11 AM
 
Location: South Carolina
5,298 posts, read 5,672,416 times
Reputation: 8131
Same here our plan is to spend $100,000 or less,we are not wealthy just your everyday working stiffs. On some of these post it angers me when people say a $100,000 home draws undesirables so to speak...Yes there are some areas where cheap areas are a draw for crime,drugs and gang bangers,BUT there are people such as my husband and I who work an honest days living and abide by the rules,we can not afford a $200-$300,000
home without going "house broke" or using an unconventional loan...We are not willing to do that either. So if we have to get a livable fixer upper that is what we will do.
A good home for a decent price can be had,you just need to search,it is just like digging for treasure and well worth it when you find it.
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Old 10-07-2006, 07:45 AM
 
Location: So. Dak.
13,495 posts, read 33,423,325 times
Reputation: 15044
It looks like a lot of "common sense" people have posted here. We've recently had articles in our So. Dak papers that stated that people are spending too much on their housing compared to their incomes. It depends on what part of the country you live in for what you can get for your $$. And yes, I don't care for posts that state that 100,000 is an area that draws "undesirables". You wouldn't believe how nice the homes are in our area (and many others I'm sure) for that kind of money. That's pretty much the going rate for nice homes here. It probably wouldn't get much of a home in a lot of places, but it sure does here.

I've got to agree with you, Muggy. We don't rent, but wouldn't hesitate to do that if we moved to an area with unaffordable homes. The argument is that you're throwing your money away, but few consider the amount that is paid in interest alone on a house if you have to mortgage it, not to mention taxes, insurance, upkeep, etc. In the end, it probably all comes out the same way.
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Old 10-07-2006, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Missouri
6,044 posts, read 21,125,101 times
Reputation: 5033
We are planning to buy in 12 - 18 months. We're married, no kids yet. We're only going to buy what we can afford on 1 income ($100k - $150k), because we plan on having children in the next 2-3 years, and I may be out of work for a while completely, or just working part time. Having savings is important to us, so we are trying to be very conservative with our price range. I dread the thought of being house poor.
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Old 10-07-2006, 12:59 PM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
4,486 posts, read 14,918,052 times
Reputation: 3919
In 2001 I qualified for a $230,000 loan with my parents' help. I bought my first and current home for around $280,000. My home isn't large but it's big enough for me. If I ever married and sold it, I'd qualify for a $300,000-$350,000 loan but I'd have the equity from my home sale to buy a larger home without a loan.

If I took out the loan AND used the money from the sale, I could buy a million-dollar home (haha, it feels weird to say that but a million doesn't get you much here anyway). Otherwise I'd have to move to a less-expensive community but on the flip-side I could use my equity to buy a larger home there while I couldn't here (Scottsdale).
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Old 10-07-2006, 06:32 PM
 
Location: WPB, FL. Dreaming of Oil city, PA
2,909 posts, read 12,790,503 times
Reputation: 991
Momark: $99k for a house near the Bay SF is a really good deal! How much would that be worth today? Probably more than most people can afford. Ill own a house, but not in an expensive area, not anywhere in Florida.

Muggy, go ahead and find a nice house in a different city or state for around $100k and pay off the mortgage fast. Get in the dream of home ownership! I wouldnt rent unless I can rent for less than what property taxes, insurance and other associated costs of owning costs. The way rent is, landlords make profit or they would raise the rents.


Mystree, depending what city you choose to live in, a $100k house can be quite nice. Just dont move to Florida, I have never seen any $100k house worth living in. Texas has some nice middle class houses for around $100k and you can buy a handyman special for $50k!


Jammie, rents make the landlords money. Dont move to an area where youll be stuck renting for life, you wont have equity and never achieve the American dream of ownership. Nice houses can be had in many cities for $100k.


Christina, even a $100k house could make you house poor if one income isnt enough to feed like 5 mouths and buy cloth and other stuff for the rest of the family. Carefully calculate all expenses and how much mortgage you can really afford to pay a month.



Speedy, you are one of the richer upper middle class people that voted >$325k house which the majority of us cant afford, not even close. I guess affordability isnt a problem for you
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Old 10-07-2006, 07:28 PM
 
Location: FL
1,318 posts, read 5,301,181 times
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Need_A_H - I too think your determination is cool!
I agree with you when you say BUY DON'T RENT!!!

Now obviously, it's not for everyone. But usually you end up regretting that you didn't buy. Although I guess all things have a reason. (I'm one of those that believes that if something happens, it's "meant to" for whatever reason that we don't know... )

For example, when I was renting in Miami Beach, there were condos of about the same size (1 bedroom) or maybe a bit bigger, for sale for 100k. I, for whatever reason, didn't like that building. I just ddn't like the vibe!
It was only about a block down from where I decided to rent instead, but I just liked my building better.
Well I ended up renting for 6 years! I started paying 650$ then it went to 700$ & then to 750$. And this was because the landlord was cool & we'd joke around & he'd talk business with my dad...(Otherwise they rented for 800$ - 1000$! ) I wouldn't call him a "friend", but I have his # even now & wouldn't hesitate to call if I needed to ask him something.
ANYWAY, turns out that by the time we were looking for our house, if I'd bought instead of renting, I would have made about 100k!!!!!!!!
Those apts were selling for TWO hundred thou by then!

So you live & learn. But maybe I wouldn't have been happy in that building for 6 years...There IS something to intuition, so...!

My dad has been renting in Manhattan for a zillion years. By now he could own something & sell it for millions! But, I dunno. I believe most of the people in Manhattan rent. Why? Maybe because the taxes would be more than the mortgage!!!!

But buying gives you instant equity. I am (so far) the lone 250-300k response. That's because of our equity. Our house was 200k in 2005. If we sold now it would be probably 260kish. So if we took that (minus what we owe on the mortgage) & put it as a down payment, we could afford at LEAST a 250k house.
So it does pay to buy!
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Old 10-07-2006, 08:12 PM
 
Location: Burlington VT
1,405 posts, read 4,305,398 times
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I know a guy who never bought his own home. He always thought it would cost too much. He does his own taxes too, so nobody suggested taking advantage of one of the only real tax breaks ordinary people get - the federal Mortgage interest deduction.

We're both only a couple of decades from retirement. I don't think he's going to like paying 3 times what rent costs him now when he wants to stop working quite so hard.

Mortgage payments always look expensive to younger people, and when they vanish in old age after the mortgage is paid off, the payments folks used to pay seem like lunch money.

Seems to me one of the reasons owning ones primary residence is so smart is that it's several different kinds of investment at the same time. Mutual fund shares don't make much of a shelter from the rain - don't keep the wind out very well.

In many many parts of the world, there's a complex social service arrangement as part of the social contract. Old people collect public pensions and can expect to avoid poverty without having to salt equity away. In most of continental Europe for instance, home ownership is relatively rare and it's an open question whether it's absolutely needed. But in this country, home ownership is a different story. Much is predicated on it.

There's a reason "rent" rhymes with "spent".
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