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Old 06-23-2009, 08:01 PM
Location: Troy, NY
33 posts, read 63,891 times
Reputation: 13


I may relocate with a wife and two kids to the area. We would only net $2,000 per month.
Our hopes are to find a house under $100,000 in a family oriented, safe neighborhood.
Can we make it on $2,000 a month?
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Old 06-23-2009, 09:09 PM
Location: Jax
8,204 posts, read 32,852,666 times
Reputation: 3413
Well, only you really know what you can live in, but $2000 sounds very tight.

If you found a home for $100k, and assuming you have 20% to put down, you'd be looking at a mortgage for the remaining $80k. At today's rate of appx 5.41% on a 30 year fixed, your mortgage payment would be $449.72. You'd also be looking at property taxes and insurance, so your total monthly payment would be nearer to $700/month or more.

That's best case scenario though. In reality, many people don't have the 20% down, or a halfway decent house really costs $130k, not $100k. Then there are closing costs, maybe PMI........So your monthly nut can easily reach $1000/month even for a modest home. Then you've got your utility bill (call it $200/mo), groceries, gas, car insurance, home repairs, cell phone bills.....$2000 can be gone before you know it .

I'd recommend playing out some scenarios with the budget. Virtually shop for homes on realtor.com. Choose a neighborhood/zip code and see what kind of home you can buy for $100k (if any). Get an idea for what your mortgage might cost you on bankrate.com:

Compare Mortgage Rates | CD Rates | Credit Cards Home Equity Loans Mortgages Best Rate Calculator Bankrate.com

If you're currently making it on $2000/mo., then you might be able to do the same here. There's not much cushion for error though, so I would really work it out on paper first before even giving it much more serious consideration. Best of luck whatever you decide .
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Old 06-23-2009, 09:45 PM
Location: Troy, NY
33 posts, read 63,891 times
Reputation: 13
Tell me where I go wrong, please. It appears that a $80k home with $1200 in taxes would cost under $600 before insurance. There will be PMI since I would use 1st time home buyer programs to put maybe 3% dwn. The PMI & ins would be another $100 a month, in upstate NY anyway. That's without flood ins. That brings me to a little under $700/month. In NY we also get a star exemption on taxes. Do you get anything similar. This would knock off another 20% or so off the taxes. Anyway, accordind to my figures, I think I could mortgage a home for 650 - 700/month.
Basically, I'd have to live as simple as possible. My entertainment would be in the backyard with family. I'll go on a permanent water fast too. haha. Honestly, I don't know how I could make it anywhere, but maybe it'll be a bit easier in FL.
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Old 06-23-2009, 09:59 PM
Location: Jacksonville, FL (Mandarin)
2,455 posts, read 5,498,069 times
Reputation: 1640
If you're going FHA financing, you'll need to be at or below 41% in your Total Obligations Ratio (Total Monthly Obligations/Monthly Gross Income), and at or below 29% for your Housing Expense Ratio (Monthly Housing Expenses/Monthly Gross Income). You're best served by speaking with a loan officer or mortgage broker to get preapproved for a mortgage, prior to making this move.
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Old 06-24-2009, 04:30 AM
Location: NE Florida
17,835 posts, read 30,520,217 times
Reputation: 43295
One easy way to see if you can make it on this amount would be for the next few months pretend your paying a $700 to $800 a month mortgage. Add the difference to what your paying now for rent to equal that amount. You can put the difference in a savings account.

Electric especially during the summer can run $150 a month for a small home ,so you can also put the difference between that and what you are now paying.

If you find you can make it without going into that savings you will have a better idea if that will work down here.
Another benefit is you will be building up a little nest egg that you can use either toward the down payment or to help cover some of the relocation costs for example turning on the utilities, registering your car etc.
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Old 06-24-2009, 05:14 AM
Location: Jacksonville, FL
3,530 posts, read 7,401,005 times
Reputation: 903
You may prefer a more rural area, which is where you're going to find most of what you are looking for, but there is another option much closer to the city and everything else. Springfield is a historic district that is in the middle of a renovation. It used to be terrible, now it's ok, and the future looks excellent. Because it's in the middle of a transition, you can find 800k houses to 25k houses, and everything in between. You could easily find a liveable home for 100k, though it'll definitely need some work.

For example, there is a house across the street from me that is listed for 120k. it's a huge house, about 2500 sq ft, and has a built on mother-law suite. The house is beautiful and most of the house doesn't need work at all - however the main kitchen and bathroom are unfinished (there is another kitcehn & bathroom in the mother-in-law suite). The owner didn't have the money to finish it and had to move for a job....i know that he'll take much less than 120k, in your range perhaps.

I don't know how old your kids are, but they shouldn't go to the zoned schools in the area though. If they make good grades and are bright then they can go to a magnet school (a public school where kids from all over can go which emphasizes academics). The area is perfectly safe for children though.

Most of your options are going to be in rural areas though, perhaps just outside of Jacksonville in Nassau, Clay, or baker County.
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Old 06-24-2009, 05:48 AM
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
1,303 posts, read 2,742,215 times
Reputation: 1131
I know that every family is different, but I had a single mother with one child rent a low income unit from me in PA at $500 per month plus utilities. She netted about the same amount as you, and she struggled mightily despite living a very modest lifestyle. To make a long story short, her unexpected higher co-pays for a medical emergency for her son caused a major disruption to her budget, as well as, her underestimation of the costs of living within her budget . She was forced to move or face eviction (and did); moving in with family. This is a good person who just does not make enough to survive in this brutal economy

The odds are long for your family finding a home with what you are projecting to earn. There may be a glut of homes, but the reality of the situation is that yours would be a high risk loan for most banks. As a landlord, I would hesitate to rent to someone in your financial situation.... there is just no room in your budget for the unexpected and necessary.
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Old 06-24-2009, 10:38 AM
Location: Troy, NY
33 posts, read 63,891 times
Reputation: 13
I appreciate everyone's honesty.
Currently, I rent @ 600. I have a credit score around 750 with about 8000 that I've saved. It's very tight but I manage. My bills are paid and I've been in the same apt for about 6 yrs. I paid cash for cars, and I don't use credit cards. I'm looking for an are near a pretty big city for more job opportunities when I get out of school (2-4 more yrs). I'm looking for a lower cost of living.
I guess if it's not completely broken though, then I won't fix it. I'll stay where I am. I can get OT at times too, I just like to be around my family as opposed to working 60hrs and going to school FT, and getting stressed. I'm low income but we're happy.
We have a 4yr old girl and 2yr boy.haha
My company is universal and I can transfer just about anywhere. Just looking for the most bang for my buck.
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Old 06-24-2009, 03:28 PM
10,604 posts, read 15,040,690 times
Reputation: 17241
I would never recommend buying. That's an irreversible type decision in this market. You should rent first, decide what you really "want" or "where", do your commutes etc then get pre qualified and when the time comes, then buy. If you buy now, you're stuck indefinitely. If you can find a rental, then ok. There are some around in your range. I saw an apartment with three large bedrooms, formal dr and lr seperate kitchen for 700.00. Privately owned in San Marco. A "duplex" one apt up and one down with a small yard and a sorta garage...more like a big brick carport or garage without a door lol. It may be in your 600 range with your savings on income tax here. The 3rd br was really more like a den but really nice as a bedroom too, just it didn't have the closet space that a legal "bedroom" has to have to be called a br. Other than that it matched the other two br completely. It was actually the best room in the house. Jobs are the thing here if you have the job covered then you can find housing but 600.00 is tight more like a 2 br range but one like I saw would work. You'd save on income tax, lower heat, winter clothes. I also saved 200 per year on auto ins coming from PA. If you'd be working downtown watch the parking budget there's not really street parking and the cheapest lot I found is 45 per month but it's good for 24/7 every day.
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Old 06-24-2009, 04:41 PM
Location: Northside Of Jacksonville
3,310 posts, read 6,320,371 times
Reputation: 3401
Originally Posted by christosNY View Post
Our hopes are to find a house under $100,000 in a family oriented, safe neighborhood.
You can find a house under $100K, but it will be in the hood and you know what comes with that. On the Northside, we have PLENTY of homes under $100K but they're all located in the inner-city. I don't think you can find a home in Jacksonville under $100K and up to $125K without the area being questionable
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