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Old 02-22-2011, 06:16 PM
 
Location: SoCal
14,530 posts, read 20,121,197 times
Reputation: 10539

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Carole, 800 to 1800 is a big jump, but some of the maintenance and operating expense (utilities for example) are not proportionate. For example, other than HVAC your unused rooms won't use any utilities at all. Even without zoned HVAC you can turn off the register and close air circulation in unused rooms.

Don't get too in love with that house. By most accounts the market is still probably going to go down a bit more even in the best case, so don't pressure yourself into buying a property at the maximum you can afford. If you wait several months or a year you probably won't be able to buy that specific house but chances are you'll be able to find one just as nice for a lower price. Even in the best of circumstances I doubt there will be any significant increase in house prices for 1-2 years. (Please note that I'm just an average guy, I'm not in the RE business. I know nothing.)

People feel differently about bedrooms. The way I look at it you spend one-third of your life there (8 hours per 24 hour day). My bedroom is one of the nicer and most spacious rooms in my house but I'd almost die for a huge bedroom, vaulted ceilings and a private patio outside! But some people don't care about that stuff and that's perfectly okay, individual preferences.

I prefer my attached garage but again that's personal preference. My house is too old to have a connecting door but most modern houses with attached garages do. That would be nice if the weather is bad. Imagine it's raining or snowing and you buzz open your garage, drive in, buzz down the door and then just step right into your snug warm house. If you want less gardening then either buy a house with a smaller yard or convert part of the yard to patio.

Definitely see the house again with your RE agent. You have an agent because you'd like professional expert advice. And don't feel bad about seeing a house multiple times. In fact seeing a house you're interested in multiple times is a good thing! Each time you may see something different, and it would be nice to see the house under different light too (different time of day). When I bought my present house (first time buyer) I was really naive, and many times over the years I've cursed the stuff I didn't see (mostly appearance items) that might have caused me to buy a different house. I'm wiser and more experienced now and my next house is going to get an extremely detailed look from me.

Again, the house has been on the market a long time, the price has been reduced. There's no reason to believe it won't get reduced again until it finds a fair market price and gets sold. Here again your RE agent is your friend. Get their advice on what they think it's worth. Even if you decide to make an offer have your agent figure out your strategy. If your first offer isn't accepted there's no reason you can't make a higher offer later. Do not "go for it" just because you're afraid you'll lose the house. There's plenty to choose from and more on the way.

As far as marriage, I believe that for every woman there's a man and for every man there's a woman, if only they would meet. I'm a senior citizen, a single man, and I fully intend to seek female companionship after I've relocated. I'm not much interested in marriage but I definitely don't want to be alone the rest of my life.

My rule of thumb is to not buy a house unless you expect to own it 7 years. (The number varies but the concept is that if you don't keep it long enough the closing costs etc. eat up too much of the investment. It's a PITA to buy a house, move into it, fix it the way you like, and then too soon you'll be trying to sell it, moving away, and paying commission to your selling RE agent. Furthermore in today's market and by most accounts the market is either going to slump further or at least not pick up for several years. It sounds like you're already stretching your finances for this particular house. If you are anywhere near retirement you may end up poorly off financially if you make a bad decision here.

Be patient. Impatience is going to cost you money and grief. If you were my personal friend and from the information you've posted here I would urge you to be very cautious and not let your emotions carry you away. There'll be plenty of houses to choose from in the future, and maybe a SO in your future too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaroleF View Post
I am going to a couple of open house this coming weekend. Maybe I'll find the one.
Go see houses with your agent. Don't just stick to open houses. With an agent you can see practically any house on the market, and a good agent will learn your preferences and tastes and steer you to houses you will like better than just trying to find one by yourself. And best of all, the seller will pay for your agent!
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Old 02-22-2011, 06:19 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,852 posts, read 35,132,239 times
Reputation: 22695
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaroleF View Post
Am I crazy even to consider it? It is the first house I have liked really, but for one person? What on earth would I do with all of these rooms?
If you can really and truly afford it, then I'd get it! You will find a way to fill those rooms up, trust me.

20yrsinBranson
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Old 02-22-2011, 06:58 PM
 
Location: Hockley, TX
784 posts, read 3,120,866 times
Reputation: 674
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lovehound View Post

Don't get too in love with that house. By most accounts the market is still probably going to go down a bit more even in the best case, so don't pressure yourself into buying a property at the maximum you can afford.

Go see houses with your agent. Don't just stick to open houses. With an agent you can see practically any house on the market, and a good agent will learn your preferences and tastes and steer you to houses you will like better than just trying to find one by yourself. And best of all, the seller will pay for your agent!
Thanks for your long answer to my concerns. I have been looking for a long time and posting for a long time. Some of the people who have given me advice before seem to have washed their hands of me. They think I will never buy something. I am not sure that I will either, but it frustrates me that I could be enjoying a house now, but I can't find one that I can really afford that doesn't need a ton of work.

I have been going the open house route because my realtor has already invested a lot of her time in me to no avail. She is a close personal friend too and I would like her to continue to be so. We spent an awful lot of time looking at townhomes and condos and in the end, I didn't buy anything--in reality I have always wanted a house, but talked myself out of it. So I will keep looking. If I stall long enough, I will likely be able to retire and then maybe I will want to live in another place altogether.

About the SO, I have been on my own now for twenty years--looks pretty unlikely to me
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Old 02-22-2011, 07:45 PM
 
Location: SoCal
14,530 posts, read 20,121,197 times
Reputation: 10539
Carole, I'm sitting here waiting for my house to sell (and I'm getting some pretty good activity!) and in the mean time I have nothing better to do than hang out on the Internet. In fact I can't concentrate on anything because this waiting and having to be ready to show my house on 30-60 minute notice is driving me nuts! For the time being I've adopted you and others as my friends and I'll be happy if anything I can say will help you.

Any deal you cannot walk away from is a deal for which you will pay for dearly. Think about it.

If you had asked me before you selected your agent I would have advised you to not select a close personal friend as your agent, because now you are sacrificing the service you should expect from your agent for your friendship. Business and friendship don't mix well. I've known the RE agent I selected for 20+ years but only as an acquaintance. I like him just fine, in fact I think he's a great guy, but make no mistake here. The deal is the important thing, not my agent. So far I think he's doing a pretty damned fine job but there is no confusion in this relationship about what is important.

Don't buy anything until the deal is right for you! Any decision you make for the benefit of others will cost you personally, in both economical and emotional toll.

About the SO, join a gym, take some classes, get a new hairstyle, update your wardrobe, find some new interests, join some clubs or other activities. You mentioned meditation. It may seem very unlikely (fat chance of that) but I'm really wound up tightly. I am fully considering taking meditation classes, yoga classes, tai chi classes. Maybe you should too. You never know, maybe you'll meet that SO in a class. I know I'm going to hook up once I settle in my new destination, and I'm a senior citizen! I believe for any person there is somebody right for them. Your mission is to go out and find that person. The only person who will spend the rest of their life alone is somebody who isn't looking.

Meanwhile I'm preparing my dinner late because somebody wanted to see my house at 5:30 p.m. Good news is that they want to bring spouse back tomorrow!
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:21 PM
 
Location: Hockley, TX
784 posts, read 3,120,866 times
Reputation: 674
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lovehound View Post
Carole, I'm sitting here waiting for my house to sell (and I'm getting some pretty good activity!) and in the mean time I have nothing better to do than hang out on the Internet. In fact I can't concentrate on anything because this waiting and having to be ready to show my house on 30-60 minute notice is driving me nuts! For the time being I've adopted you and others as my friends and I'll be happy if anything I can say will help you.

Any deal you cannot walk away from is a deal for which you will pay for dearly. Think about it.

If you had asked me before you selected your agent I would have advised you to not select a close personal friend as your agent, because now you are sacrificing the service you should expect from your agent for your friendship. Business and friendship don't mix well. I've known the RE agent I selected for 20+ years but only as an acquaintance. I like him just fine, in fact I think he's a great guy, but make no mistake here. The deal is the important thing, not my agent. So far I think he's doing a pretty damned fine job but there is no confusion in this relationship about what is important.

Don't buy anything until the deal is right for you! Any decision you make for the benefit of others will cost you personally, in both economical and emotional toll.

About the SO, join a gym, take some classes, get a new hairstyle, update your wardrobe, find some new interests, join some clubs or other activities. You mentioned meditation. It may seem very unlikely (fat chance of that) but I'm really wound up tightly. I am fully considering taking meditation classes, yoga classes, tai chi classes. Maybe you should too. You never know, maybe you'll meet that SO in a class. I know I'm going to hook up once I settle in my new destination, and I'm a senior citizen! I believe for any person there is somebody right for them. Your mission is to go out and find that person. The only person who will spend the rest of their life alone is somebody who isn't looking.

Meanwhile I'm preparing my dinner late because somebody wanted to see my house at 5:30 p.m. Good news is that they want to bring spouse back tomorrow!
Good luck on selling your house.

You are right about not having a friend be your realtor. The trouble is now she has invested so much time in me that I don't feel I can switch to someone else. But it was a really bad idea.

I won't buy something to please someone else. I nearly did that with a condo last year; I rushed into it partly because I was trying to get the $8,000 tax credit before it expired, but once I had made the offer and had arranged an inspection, I almost felt duty bound to buy it because it was a very old woman who was selling and she needed to go into sheltered housing. But it turned out that she had two wealthy kids and they could easily have bailed her out. Anyway her situation was irrelevant to my decision to buy, but at the time I felt guilty at pulling out. It was pretty stupid because I could have ended up with an albatross around my neck.

I see that now and I have to be careful not feel bound to buy something to keep my friendship or to let my realtor get paid for her time. I think I would feel better if the buyer paid the realtor for their time, but that's not the way it works.

Yoga is a good idea or tai chi--I've wanted to that for a while. I already meditate. I would be even crazier if I didn't

Thanks for all your suggestions.
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:48 PM
 
218 posts, read 799,195 times
Reputation: 227
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lovehound View Post
Meanwhile I'm preparing my dinner late because somebody wanted to see my house at 5:30 p.m. Good news is that they want to bring spouse back tomorrow!
It wasn't me I swear!

CaroleF, I understand why you feel bad about not buying in regards to your realtor but if you are serious about buying, keep in mind it's part of the job. Would you feel bad if you found a house on the internet that interested you and then purchased it right after seeing it? Sometimes they have to show a buyer one house, sometimes they have to show them a lot of houses.

I don't know how long you've been looking but if you are a serious buyer and not just window shopping then don't feel bad about wanting to look around. It's great that some people find a home in one day but it doesn't work that way for everyone. I figure if I'm willing to visit multiple shoe stores and try on dozens of shoes for a $100 purchase then I really shouldn't feel guilty about wanting to look at a few dozen houses for a $100,000 purchase!
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:49 PM
 
Location: SoCal
14,530 posts, read 20,121,197 times
Reputation: 10539
Carole, your duty is to yourself. Your responsibility is to have a good life. Your charge is to make a good deal financially. Let other people worry about what is good for them financially. You can be sure that they are worrying more about themselves than they are about you.

Maybe you should back out of the market for a few months, then interview a few RE agents and find one you like but are not friends with. I can't tell how close you are to your present agent. Maybe that isn't practical. Maybe your friendship is close enough that your present agent will contribute financially to your deal? (That's sarcasm. I don't think so.) Maybe your present agent collects friends everywhere so they can have clients. (That's cynicism.) I'm glad I have at least got you thinking along these terms, that maybe it's not such a good idea to choose your RE agent based upon a close friendship. As I said, money and friendship don't mix well. If anybody wants to test this, loan some money to a friend. (Don't loan serious money. Either way you're bound to lose it, and lose your friendship too. Loan only enough to be worth the experience when you lose it.)
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:12 PM
 
Location: Hockley, TX
784 posts, read 3,120,866 times
Reputation: 674
There are two ways of looking at the friend realtor situation. On the one hand, it can interfere with our friendship; on the other hand no other realtor would have shown me so many homes without dumping me; and also she has given me some advice that probably another realtor would not, because she is my friend and knows what a house is likely to do to my lifestyle; in this way, she has put our friendship before the benefits of my buying a house. She is a very ethical person and I value that a lot.

My issue of not wanting to ask her to show me things comes from my experience of not being able to make a decision to buy something. She will show me anything I want her to. Maybe the problem is the way we developed our professional relationship--I look on har.com and tell her what I want to see, rather than she looks and tries to find things I might like. She did to begin with, but she kept getting it wrong, so I took over the searching myself.

It reminds me of my marriage. My husband was not very good at housework, shopping etc, so I got frustrated and ended up doing it myself. In retrospect it would have been better to have trained him to do it right . If there are any young women about to get married reading this, be warned! Don't get into the habit of doing it all yourself--I know its faster, but it is also dumber. Guys doing it all for the little lady are also asking for trouble. Sorry got a bit off topic there.

Anyway this topic is getting old. I am not in a hurry. If I never buy a house it is ok. Thanks again for your advice.
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:24 PM
 
Location: SoCal
14,530 posts, read 20,121,197 times
Reputation: 10539
A good RE agent is also a good judge of people and their interests, likes and dislikes, particularly one who is representing you as buyer. I've already hooked up with an RE agent in my most likely destination, one I met right here on C-D forums. He was very helpful a few months ago sending me listing compilations of houses that would likely appeal to me. Even on the Internet he sized me up perfectly and emailed me lists (searches) of properties that would appeal to me. He zeroed in on me in no time. (I've quit bothering him now because I don't have the capability of visiting that city at present, I've decided that I really could afford my dream house there, and there's no point in my wasting more of his time until I'm able to personally look at houses.)

I'm looking forward to meeting him once my present house has closed and I can visit my desired destination. You don't need somebody who knows you personally. A good RE agent should be able to assimilate buyer likes/dislikes/preferences and should be able to show you not only properties that will appeal to you, but should be able to weed out properties that won't interest you. My guy already has my business if I move to that city and as long as we don't have a hissy-fit when meet in person!

Don't worry about the topic getting old. This topic is here forever, as are all topics at this site. Just quit replying when you've had enough. If I had any influence on you I'm glad if I persuaded you to take your time and make a good decision. I hope you will buy a nice house some day and hope you will be happy in it. I've been a homeowner for over 30 years and like every homeowner I've had my problems but I'm still glad I became a homeowner rather than a renter. Even in the worst of times I've been happier as a homeowner than I was as a renter. Good luck, I wish you well!
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:37 PM
 
Location: Hockley, TX
784 posts, read 3,120,866 times
Reputation: 674
Thanks again. I am serious about buying, although it may not look like it sometimes, even to me! But I will take my time. Thanks for talking me through this. Sometimes all you need is someone to listen to you. Now I need to go to bed. It is 10:30 in Houston and I need a few hours sleep before I get up to meditate.
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