Author Topic: Help me pick between 2 Houses  (Read 3382 times)

Tbill

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Help me pick between 2 Houses
« on: June 07, 2016, 02:46:32 PM »
So, I'm currently in an apartment, but my lease is up at the end of July. We have been looking at houses and I'm really close to pulling the trigger on one. Or actually I already have, I have one under contract as of yesterday and I'm considering backing out (im in a 10 day option period) for one that just came on the market. I just cant seem to decide which one I want.

House #1 - The house we put a contract on yesterday

year built 2006
Purchase Price  $223,000
1 Story
Living Sq. Footage  1,961
Yearly Property Tax Rate 2.13%
2016 Appraisal Value $213,740
2016 Tax Amount $4,562.92
20% Downpayment $44,800 + repairs needed to move in $0
distance to work: 6.5 miles
15,000 sq. Ft. Lot,
Monthly PIT = $1,215
This is a really feel good house, its really well built, has a brand new roof, its slightly fancy, 10 foot ceilings, granite, under-mount sink, maple cabinets, oversized garage, nice back patio. The Cons for this house are its about 30 Minute drive away from one set of friends that my wife and I visit fairly frequently(20 minutes for house #2), once or twice a week. And its 50 minutes away (40 minutes for house #2) from the church that we go to. The house is big enough for my family of 4, and even if another family comes over its fine, however if we wanted to have several families over, a party or something, it would get a little small.

House #2

year built 2005
The asking price for this house is 200k, Im assuming I could get it for 190k
2 Story
Living Sq. Footage  2,800
Yearly Property Tax Rate 3.18%
2016 Appraisal Value $185,920
2016 Tax Amount $5,913
20% Downpayment $38,000 +  Repairs needed to move in $10,000= $48,000
Monthly PIT= $1,200
distance to work: 4.5 miles
7,500 sq. Ft. Lot, This house is huge, plenty of extra room, is closer to work, its a typical low end builder grade house on a small subdivision lot. It needs new carpet and interior paint, and probably a new A/C unit. The house has 2 small A/C units. The roof will probably need to be replaced in a couple years.

Summary of thoughts: House #1 would not need any major repairs for the foreseeable future, but in my calculation would cause our cars to be on the road about an hour more per week. It's a much smaller house which I see as a good and bad thing. Lower utility bills, less overall maintenance, but less room to have crazy birthday parties for my kid(my wife loves to entertain) House#2 would be less overall driving, but its a typicall wal-mart house, huge(again good and bad) would need new carpet, paint and highly likely 1 of 2 A/C's replaced. I dont like the idea of having 2 A/C units, or 2 story, it has a smaller yard, houses are crammed in the subdivision. House #2 seems like the better value, in the long run, unless the utilities eat up the savings. House #1 is probably the more enjoyable home, but would result in more driving..I'm torn and worried my emotions are clouding my judgement and yes I've read the MMM article on how to buy a house. If you have any thoughts I would appreciate it.



« Last Edit: June 07, 2016, 03:14:12 PM by Tbill »

index

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Re: Help me pick between 2 Houses
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2016, 03:13:33 PM »
I would go for the smaller better built house. Long term - the initial 3k less outlay, 1350 you save in taxes per year, reduced utilities, longer lasting roof, and single AC unit are going to save you more than the extra 6 mins of driving per person per day. 

If a nicer house is important to you, you are going to spend thousands more upgrading things in the second house over time as well.

As far as entertaining. Make sure whatever house you get has a bathroom for guests. Having a half bath that isn't used for brushing teeth, showers, and getting ready in the morning makes entertaining so much less stressful!

Cassie

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Re: Help me pick between 2 Houses
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2016, 03:15:58 PM »
HOuse 1 is plenty big to have tons of people over. In a house that was 1750 sq ft I would host a sit down dinner for 30 people no problem.  WE could have more if we did it buffet style. It seems like the much better house.

Choices

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Re: Help me pick between 2 Houses
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2016, 03:20:38 PM »
Or option #3, a  more affordable house closer to where you want to be.

My thoughts:
- location, location, location!

- having a smaller house is less to clean and maintain like you said, and if your friends are really your friends they'll pile on in with a smile. If the weather's nice, you can host a huge party at a park.

- having a smaller house might sometimes seem cramped, but you'll also have a better idea what your kids and their friends are up to as they get older. One of my good friends said the only thing that kept her out of huge trouble during her teenage years was knowing that her parents could hear what she was up to. The McMansions these days have a wing for each kid and they can be up to who knows what... Force them to interact with you more by having a smaller space and you'll be a stronger family.

Tbill

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Re: Help me pick between 2 Houses
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2016, 03:56:36 PM »
Or option #3, a  more affordable house closer to where you want to be.

My thoughts:
- location, location, location!

- having a smaller house is less to clean and maintain like you said, and if your friends are really your friends they'll pile on in with a smile. If the weather's nice, you can host a huge party at a park.

- having a smaller house might sometimes seem cramped, but you'll also have a better idea what your kids and their friends are up to as they get older. One of my good friends said the only thing that kept her out of huge trouble during her teenage years was knowing that her parents could hear what she was up to. The McMansions these days have a wing for each kid and they can be up to who knows what... Force them to interact with you more by having a smaller space and you'll be a stronger family.

All good thoughts from everyone. I appreciate it. I agree location is probably the biggest criteria, and house #2 is mathematically in the best location, ie. center of mass of all of our destinations, but with a heavier weight on work location. However house #1 is a "better neihborhood". I think I am more drawn to house #1, because its fancier and smaller, my wife is drawn to house #2 because its closer to her friends and bigger.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Help me pick between 2 Houses
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2016, 05:47:41 PM »
How do the insurance quotes for the two houses compare?

Christiana

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Re: Help me pick between 2 Houses
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2016, 07:29:54 PM »
What do similar houses in the area of work/church/friends rent for?  Less than two months is a rather tight timeline for buying a house and getting moved in.

Also, go around some evening and introduce yourself to your potential new neighbors, that will probably help you make your decision.

mozar

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Re: Help me pick between 2 Houses
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2016, 07:39:01 PM »
Assuming you are in a heterosexual couple, do what your wife wants.

norabird

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Re: Help me pick between 2 Houses
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2016, 12:48:43 PM »
I don't think you need a house as big as #2. And the location isn't really that much closer than #1. So can you search longer for mythical house #3?

Altons Bobs

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Re: Help me pick between 2 Houses
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2016, 01:20:04 PM »
#3 - look for a 3rd house.  :-D  I moved from a 2-story 2 years ago, I much prefer one story. House #1 sounds better to me than #2, but if location is not ideal, then search for house #3.

GuitarBrian

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Re: Help me pick between 2 Houses
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2016, 01:54:21 PM »
House #1 vote here. Much bigger lot. Over sized garage. Better built. Lower taxes... Better neighborhood.

I am a big fan of the larger lot. I strongly dislike the huge 2 story houses that are ubiquitous in the US...

Sounds like a good deal either way at $1200 a month.

Blonde Lawyer

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Re: Help me pick between 2 Houses
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2016, 02:14:40 PM »
Switch churches?

ltt

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Re: Help me pick between 2 Houses
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2016, 04:29:30 AM »
I would keep looking for a better house yet!!

frugaliknowit

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Re: Help me pick between 2 Houses
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2016, 08:33:08 AM »
Switch churches?

I second this.  That is a LONG drive to worship!

Are both houses in comparable school districts?

Dicey

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Re: Help me pick between 2 Houses
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2016, 03:11:35 PM »
Are these properties in the same school district? If not, which one is better? If they're in the same school district and it is not good, keep looking.

Also, compare crime rates. Easy to do online or with a call to the local police station.

+1 for changing churches. Fifty minutes to church is crazy unless you live so far in the boondocks that it's fifty minutes to the grocery store, too. It also makes participating in mid-week activities stressful. People get anchored to their churches, and I get that, but changing churches is also an opportunity to make new friends. You know, new friends who live where you do.

If you like to entertain, buy the smaller house and DIY your landscape so you can have parties out-of-doors. Killer outdoor space is a better party calling card than a bigger, crappily built house on a postage stamp lot.

Edited for typos. Gah!
« Last Edit: June 09, 2016, 09:33:32 PM by Diane C »

JLee

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Re: Help me pick between 2 Houses
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2016, 03:56:20 PM »
I used to have 20+ person dance parties in my 1825sq ft house...layout is far more important than overall square footage.

I would go for the larger lot, larger garage, and house that doesn't need work.  15,000 square feet is a ton of space - why do you have to have all your entertaining done indoors?