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Old 06-06-2018, 06:19 PM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
11,040 posts, read 13,440,315 times
Reputation: 6770

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So, I got prequalified to buy a home and know exactly what I can afford. This takes into account the fact that I am qualified to receive down payment assistance, etc. However, I am rather disappointed in the selection of houses that are at the top of my budget. Here are examples of typical properties that are at the absolute maximum my budget can afford:

1. built in the 80's, needs serious updating, is in a somewhat shady area, near projects, Walmart, KFC, Waffle House, Dollar Tree, etc., poor school system, somewhat high crime, but the neighbors seem to care about their properties

2. built in the 50's, needs serious updating, is in a trashy neighborhood with "beware of dog" signs all over the place on front yard fences, huge warehouse across the street, just steps away from a gentlemen's club, poor school system, somewhat high crime

3. newly renovated inside and out, but the house looks like a giant shed, with just one window, the neighbors totally neglect their properties, with overgrown lawns, lots of junky cars on the lawn, shopping carts on the street, etc., shady area near projects, poor schools, somewhat high crime, mobile home two houses down

Currently, I live in a beautiful apartment complex in a highly desirable, clean, safe area of the city with top notch schools. I'm just disappointed that the reality of buying a home, given my budget, would mean "downgrading" from a nice property and location to an undesirable property and location. Has anyone made such a move? Is it worth it, just for the sake of home ownership?

Next year, I expect my financial situation to improve. I'm expecting a pay raise, promotion, bigger bonus, significantly more cash savings and more disposable income. But I'm already 34 and have been renting my whole adult life!

Thoughts?
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Old 06-06-2018, 06:49 PM
 
10,292 posts, read 6,577,071 times
Reputation: 10861
Quote:
Originally Posted by nep321 View Post
So, I got prequalified to buy a home and know exactly what I can afford. This takes into account the fact that I am qualified to receive down payment assistance, etc. However, I am rather disappointed in the selection of houses that are at the top of my budget. Here are examples of typical properties that are at the absolute maximum my budget can afford:

1. built in the 80's, needs serious updating, is in a somewhat shady area, near projects, Walmart, KFC, Waffle House, Dollar Tree, etc., poor school system, somewhat high crime, but the neighbors seem to care about their properties

2. built in the 50's, needs serious updating, is in a trashy neighborhood with "beware of dog" signs all over the place on front yard fences, huge warehouse across the street, just steps away from a gentlemen's club, poor school system, somewhat high crime

3. newly renovated inside and out, but the house looks like a giant shed, with just one window, the neighbors totally neglect their properties, with overgrown lawns, lots of junky cars on the lawn, shopping carts on the street, etc., shady area near projects, poor schools, somewhat high crime, mobile home two houses down

Currently, I live in a beautiful apartment complex in a highly desirable, clean, safe area of the city with top notch schools. I'm just disappointed that the reality of buying a home, given my budget, would mean "downgrading" from a nice property and location to an undesirable property and location. Has anyone made such a move? Is it worth it, just for the sake of home ownership?

Next year, I expect my financial situation to improve. I'm expecting a pay raise, promotion, bigger bonus, significantly more cash savings and more disposable income. But I'm already 34 and have been renting my whole adult life!

Thoughts?
Keep looking. Is your budget bottom of the barrel starter homes? Homes are not that expensive in Jacksonville. If you are looking at square footage look for a smaller nicer 3/1 and add a bathroom at a later time. Don't get discouraged keep looking there is no rush. What I don't get is how you can afford to rent in a beautiful apartment complex but not afford a decent home in a decent area. Area is first. outdated is fine as long as electrical and plumbing and heating and roof is okay. I didn't know they still had projects.
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Old 06-06-2018, 07:07 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
26,939 posts, read 58,233,645 times
Reputation: 29471
Quote:
Originally Posted by nep321 View Post
So, I got prequalified to buy a home and know exactly what I can (currently) afford.
Next year, I expect my financial situation to improve. I'm expecting a pay raise, promotion,
bigger bonus, significantly more cash savings and more disposable income.

Thoughts?
Look into things again next year or find some other way to improve income before then.


Quote:
But I'm already 34 and have been renting my whole adult life!
So what? The question is how much of your NET income is spent on housing costs.
Keep it low and you'll have an easier time allocating to investments...
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Old 06-06-2018, 08:17 PM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
11,040 posts, read 13,440,315 times
Reputation: 6770
Quote:
Originally Posted by LifeIsGood01 View Post
Keep looking. Is your budget bottom of the barrel starter homes? Homes are not that expensive in Jacksonville. If you are looking at square footage look for a smaller nicer 3/1 and add a bathroom at a later time. Don't get discouraged keep looking there is no rush. What I don't get is how you can afford to rent in a beautiful apartment complex but not afford a decent home in a decent area. Area is first. outdated is fine as long as electrical and plumbing and heating and roof is okay. I didn't know they still had projects.
My budget max is about $150K. I absolutely cannot go higher than that. I challenge you to find anything decent in Jacksonville for that price or lower. Home prices in Jacksonville increased by about 10-12% per year over the past several years. It's insane.

My rent is only $917 per month. However, homes in my area are $300K minimum! Just because rent is reasonable in a nice area doesn't mean that home prices are reasonable. Single family home prices area a totally different animal than apartment rentals.
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Old 06-06-2018, 08:43 PM
 
10,292 posts, read 6,577,071 times
Reputation: 10861
Quote:
Originally Posted by nep321 View Post
My budget max is about $150K. I absolutely cannot go higher than that. I challenge you to find anything decent in Jacksonville for that price or lower. Home prices in Jacksonville increased by about 10-12% per year over the past several years. It's insane.

My rent is only $917 per month. However, homes in my area are $300K minimum! Just because rent is reasonable in a nice area doesn't mean that home prices are reasonable. Single family home prices area a totally different animal than apartment rentals.
https://www.realtor.com/realestatean...,-81.400792,11


I have no idea what the good or bad parts of the city are.
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Old 06-06-2018, 08:45 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
26,939 posts, read 58,233,645 times
Reputation: 29471
Quote:
Originally Posted by nep321 View Post
My budget max is about $150K. I absolutely cannot go higher than that.
Then you need to change at least one side of that equation.

Quote:
My rent is only $917 per month...
...and with utilities etc of ~$110/mo... that comes out to $1027. Close?
Is this all by yourself ... or do you have a roomie?
---

The question I always ask and the point I always circle back to is about how many
of our WEEKLY paychecks are needed to cover our MONTHLY housing costs ...
and I always suggest a target of 1:1 or less.
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Old 06-06-2018, 09:08 PM
 
3,091 posts, read 1,237,152 times
Reputation: 6154
Quote:
Originally Posted by LifeIsGood01 View Post
https://www.realtor.com/realestatean...,-81.400792,11


I have no idea what the good or bad parts of the city are.
The OP is probably not going to find a single family home for under $150K in a decent area. That wasn’t even really available when I was looking several years ago and the economy was still rebounding. I got a condo, and there are still lots of those available for a reasonable price, but he’s not going to be under $917 a month with the mortgage and fees.

I think he needs to stay in an apartment until he gets a raise and can afford something better. If he expects to get a significant raise next year, he might as well wait until next year when he has a better financial situation.
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Old 06-06-2018, 09:09 PM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
11,040 posts, read 13,440,315 times
Reputation: 6770
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
Then you need to change at least one side of that equation.

...and with utilities etc of ~$110/mo... that comes out to $1027. Close?
Is this all by yourself ... or do you have a roomie?
---

The question I always ask and the point I always circle back to is about how many
of our WEEKLY paychecks are needed to cover our MONTHLY housing costs ...
and I always suggest a target of 1:1 or less.
With utilities, it averages $1,035 per month. But a house would have utilities, too, and likely more, because of more square footage for heating/cooling. I did all the calculations and would be able to live financially comfortably, house or not. The real issue is the upfront cost of buying a home. The downpayment plus closing costs adds up to be quite a bit, to the point that I need assistance. Fortunately, there is a $7,500 program for assistance to cover closing costs in Florida for first time home buyers.

Currently, I live all by myself.

I get paid semi-monthly, but if I were to pro-rate my net pay to a weekly amount, it would be $625 per week. Monthly housing costs (including utilities) would be a minimum of $967. So I would need 1.55 weekly paychecks to cover a month's housing costs. What is the conclusion?
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Old 06-06-2018, 09:11 PM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
11,040 posts, read 13,440,315 times
Reputation: 6770
Quote:
Originally Posted by RamenAddict View Post
The OP is probably not going to find a single family home for under $150K in a decent area. That wasn’t even really available when I was looking several years ago and the economy was still rebounding. I got a condo, and there are still lots of those available for a reasonable price, but he’s not going to be under $917 a month with the mortgage and fees.

I think he needs to stay in an apartment until he gets a raise and can afford something better. If he expects to get a significant raise next year, he might as well wait until next year when he has a better financial situation.
I should have an additional $10K saved up in a year from now. That would be able to afford a house that's up to $180K+ next year. But by then I'll be 35
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Old 06-06-2018, 09:17 PM
 
10,292 posts, read 6,577,071 times
Reputation: 10861
Quote:
Originally Posted by RamenAddict View Post
The OP is probably not going to find a single family home for under $150K in a decent area. That wasn’t even really available when I was looking several years ago and the economy was still rebounding. I got a condo, and there are still lots of those available for a reasonable price, but he’s not going to be under $917 a month with the mortgage and fees.

I think he needs to stay in an apartment until he gets a raise and can afford something better. If he expects to get a significant raise next year, he might as well wait until next year when he has a better financial situation.
I found a small home in SW Florida 2 years ago for less than that in a decent area.
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