Author Topic: What do you do if you have the perfect situation but...  (Read 8125 times)

Guitarguy

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What do you do if you have the perfect situation but...
« on: January 25, 2013, 06:36:34 PM »
Houses in the area we live in are FREAKING expensive! We live less than 5 miles from where I work right now, but this could never work long term because, in order to buy a house, we'd need a 50-80k downpayment, and then we'd STILL need to pay another 200k + interest on top of that for a mortgage. Is this a situation in which we just need move to another state? Any ideas are appreciated.

Even if we saved half of our income for 5 years, we're still only looking at 100k and I can't stand the idea of locking $4,000-$6,000 of cashflow into a home, which means we'll need to come up with an additional 100k just to get back where we were 5 years ago...

Now add in the fact that we don't want or need a home bigger than 1,200-1,400 SqFt and you can see my frustration. When I look around our city, it almost seems like homes were deliberately built to be more expensive than people can reasonably afford, so that people would need to work their entire lives just to pay them off.

turtlefield76

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Re: What do you do if you have the perfect situation but...
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2013, 06:43:18 PM »
sound like you live where i live...  i live in in SoCal.  it's pretty crazy.  i won't even post how much my sub 1,000 sq foot home cost.  it would cause most here to go into cardiac arrest. 

Another Reader

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Re: What do you do if you have the perfect situation but...
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2013, 06:51:48 PM »
What is wrong with renting in this situation?  Just because a lot of people are willing to put every dime on the line to own a house does not mean it's the smartest option.  Run the numbers over 10 or 15 years.  It's possible that buying a house instead of investing the added costs and expenses is not the best choice.

Guitarguy

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Re: What do you do if you have the perfect situation but...
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2013, 07:08:27 PM »
Yeah but at some point we want to get a piece of land just to have the privacy... I mean, I want to garden, build shit with my own two hands and blast my guitar at deafening noises when I feel like it. I can't do that in an apartment without getting evicted.

arebelspy

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Re: What do you do if you have the perfect situation but...
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2013, 07:14:11 PM »
Rent until FI, then move to a more reasonable place (distance to work wont matter when you're no longer working).
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
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James

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Re: What do you do if you have the perfect situation but...
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2013, 07:29:09 PM »
Is your pay there higher than lower cost of living locations?  If cost of living there is high, your pay would hopefully also be high (comparatively).  If not, then you have to decide if living in that location is worth the higher cost of living, but it might be best to find a place to work that has lower cost of living.  If your pay is higher, then I agree with arebelspy that the best move would be to rent until FI and then move.

Guitarguy

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Re: What do you do if you have the perfect situation but...
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2013, 07:35:38 PM »
Wages here seem to be higher, but my particular company is known for paying 15-20% under the market rate for our particular industry. Granted, I get a 100% 401k match up to 8%, tons of days off, and my insurance is completely paid for, but none of that helps to pay off a $250,000 mortgage faster... I think I just need to get a job down the street for a huge raise, but I'm fresh out of college and job options are slim at the moment because I have little experience.

Another Reader

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Re: What do you do if you have the perfect situation but...
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2013, 07:50:36 PM »
If you are fresh out of college, then you should get pay raises as you go along.  Save/invest those, along with as much as you can of your current income, and in a couple of years the picture will be a lot brighter.  In the meantime, play your guitar in the local park, check out your city's community garden plots, and be patient.  Or better yet, go hog wild and get a side gig with all that energy you have.

James

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Re: What do you do if you have the perfect situation but...
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2013, 08:05:54 PM »
Wages here seem to be higher, but my particular company is known for paying 15-20% under the market rate for our particular industry. Granted, I get a 100% 401k match up to 8%, tons of days off, and my insurance is completely paid for, but none of that helps to pay off a $250,000 mortgage faster... I think I just need to get a job down the street for a huge raise, but I'm fresh out of college and job options are slim at the moment because I have little experience.


The completely paid for insurance and high 401k match do help pay the mortgage. If you didn't have those things you would have to spend part of your salary to cover it. It's usually best to compare overall compensation, not just salary, when comparing jobs. Can you use those extra days off to pick up some work somewhere else? That might also give you an "in" and some extra experience when looking for a better job.


I suggest really looking into your options. If there are companies paying significantly higher wages that you would enjoy working for, start applying. Even if your luck is slim due to your lack of experience, start applying now and hope for the best, while continuing the get experience in the mean time. Also, I suggest looking into employment in lower cost of living areas so you have an accurate picture of what you are gaining or losing by staying in that high cost of living area. Being fresh out of college with a job it's sometimes hard to start looking right away for something better, but little changes early in your career can really add up over time. Find the best you can, both in job and location, as soon as possible. Any benefit in higher compensation or lower cost of living can compound over time and make a huge difference over the years to come.

Skyn_Flynt

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Re: What do you do if you have the perfect situation but...
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2013, 09:19:20 PM »
Owning a house "ain't all that". You have to pay for repairs, and still can't control what your neighbors do, or what kinds of friends they bring into the neighborhood.

I'm converting my current residence to a rental next month and moving to an apartment. I may buy again but I'm in no rush. After you've bought and sold several houses, you realize they are just inventory and another form of "stuff".

turtlefield76

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Re: What do you do if you have the perfect situation but...
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2013, 09:51:34 PM »
What is wrong with renting in this situation?  Just because a lot of people are willing to put every dime on the line to own a house does not mean it's the smartest option.  Run the numbers over 10 or 15 years.  It's possible that buying a house instead of investing the added costs and expenses is not the best choice.

Nothing wrong at all.  I did crunch the numbers pretty solidly and decided I think it was at 15 or 16 years when buying was better than renting.  It was more of an emotional reasons than anything.  Like Guitarguy I wanted a place to play music LOUD:)  hahaha... 

It's all good though.  I can't complain.  Honestly the idea of early retirement didn't even cross my mind until I stumbled upon MMM, ERE and other blogs.  I've always been good at savings (turns out being a starving musician was great mustachian training).  I had a funny feeling at one point that we were saving too much for retirement given our lifestyle and so that eventually landed me here.  Now i see how we can actually achieve FI quite a bit before retirement age and my wife will be able to work only if she wants to.  But in all honesty we'll probably just do the same thing we are doing now...  Still FI is a worthy goal and I need something to geek out about so here I am... 

@guitarguy 250K for a house?  seems like a deal for me!!! 

Jamesqf

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Re: What do you do if you have the perfect situation but...
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2013, 10:10:23 PM »
Two suggestions, both of which I have done.  First is to figure out how to telecommute to the job.  Second is to buy your real home in a place you want to live, and rent a room near your work.

GoStumpy

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Re: What do you do if you have the perfect situation but...
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2013, 10:16:18 PM »
I can't get a decent house around here for less than $350k, :(

arebelspy

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Re: What do you do if you have the perfect situation but...
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2013, 10:21:28 PM »
I can't get a decent house around here for less than $350k, :(

Isn't it crazy how different real estate costs in different locations?

My rentals here are under 100k (and aren't shacks; 3-4br, 2-3 bath 1500-2000 sqft).  350k in my housing market buys a mansion.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

turtlefield76

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Re: What do you do if you have the perfect situation but...
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2013, 11:02:08 PM »
I can't get a decent house around here for less than $350k, :(

Isn't it crazy how different real estate costs in different locations?

My rentals here are under 100k (and aren't shacks; 3-4br, 2-3 bath 1500-2000 sqft).  350k in my housing market buys a mansion.

seriously.  i always comfort myself with the fact that living here i can pretty much move anywhere i want and it'll be a major lifestyle upgrade in terms of housing.  or massive savings... 

still i really wouldn't want to live anywhere else at the moment.  i just have to read all these posts and remember to breathe... 

although...  i'm am kind of interested in getting some rental properties like you've done.  if they were under $100k i'd have already done it 4 times over like you've done...  but seems like a really bad idea to get rental property in a place that you aren't very familiar with so i'm just saving and waiting for the right moment.  eventually i'll be able to make it work...  but i have to get a lot more handy for one.  this blog has been great inspiration for wanting to learn more about doing my own home improvement projects in preparation for possibly owning rentals in the future. 

gooki

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Re: What do you do if you have the perfect situation but...
« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2013, 12:48:13 AM »
Houses in the area we live in are FREAKING expensive! We live less than 5 miles from where I work right now, but this could never work long term because, in order to buy a house, we'd need a 50-80k downpayment, and then we'd STILL need to pay another 200k + interest on top of that for a mortgage. Is this a situation in which we just need move to another state? Any ideas are appreciated.

If you want to own, and want to live in that location, it can be done. Those figures are what my wife and I faced, but with much higher interest rates than today (7.5%). We paid down the mortgage in 5.5 years, of which 4 of those years were on very modest salaries. You just have to treat the debt like an emergency.

marty998

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Re: What do you do if you have the perfect situation but...
« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2013, 01:01:57 AM »
Houses in the area we live in are FREAKING expensive! We live less than 5 miles from where I work right now, but this could never work long term because, in order to buy a house, we'd need a 50-80k downpayment, and then we'd STILL need to pay another 200k + interest on top of that for a mortgage.

You would get a face palm for being a complainy pants in the land down under. It sounds like a fucking awesome deal. Sign me up.

You're fresh out of college? Get a good job, and a $200k mortgage with your interest rates should be a piece of cake.

Ozstache

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Re: What do you do if you have the perfect situation but...
« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2013, 02:33:10 AM »
I can't get a decent house around here for less than $350k, :(

Isn't it crazy how different real estate costs in different locations?

My rentals here are under 100k (and aren't shacks; 3-4br, 2-3 bath 1500-2000 sqft).  350k in my housing market buys a mansion.

Indeed. $350K where I live is just enough to buy a block of land. The house is extra!
« Last Edit: January 26, 2013, 02:34:45 AM by Ozstache »

DocCyane

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Re: What do you do if you have the perfect situation but...
« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2013, 05:43:51 AM »
I live in Los Angeles and a house of decent quality is $400k at the lowest. And honestly, they just don't build them very well out here. So you're buying a property that will need a great deal of care.

I have rented for the 23 years that I've lived in SoCal and I'm tired of it. However, because I rented I stayed mobile and was able to complete degrees and take jobs that, had I been geographically limited, would not have been possible.

Young adults are eager to buy houses and set down roots, but they may be committing to an area that limits their options. At 25, you may want X. At 35, you may want Y.

I'm a very different person at 44 than I was 20 years ago. :)

I've also kept my money working for me rather than see it ebb and flow in the value of a house. So in 4 years I will move to a cheaper area, feeling that I maximized my earnings, completed all the formal education I could want, and now have a true sense of what I need in the way of a humble home.

Just some thoughts from the other side of 40.

travelbug

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Re: What do you do if you have the perfect situation but...
« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2013, 03:48:23 PM »
Houses in the area we live in are FREAKING expensive! We live less than 5 miles from where I work right now, but this could never work long term because, in order to buy a house, we'd need a 50-80k downpayment, and then we'd STILL need to pay another 200k + interest on top of that for a mortgage.

You would get a face palm for being a complainy pants in the land down under. It sounds like a fucking awesome deal. Sign me up.

You're fresh out of college? Get a good job, and a $200k mortgage with your interest rates should be a piece of cake.


LOL.

Yes I agree. Houses in our part of Australia start at 800k.

Crazy crazy stuff. That's why we slaved our guts out and paid it off quickly and will now sell it while the bubble is still floating to help fund our retirement.


Self-employed-swami

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Re: What do you do if you have the perfect situation but...
« Reply #20 on: January 27, 2013, 05:44:53 PM »
Wages here seem to be higher, but my particular company is known for paying 15-20% under the market rate for our particular industry. Granted, I get a 100% 401k match up to 8%, tons of days off, and my insurance is completely paid for, but none of that helps to pay off a $250,000 mortgage faster... I think I just need to get a job down the street for a huge raise, but I'm fresh out of college and job options are slim at the moment because I have little experience.

Your housing prices sound comparable to where I live.

William

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Re: What do you do if you have the perfect situation but...
« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2013, 07:48:28 PM »
I believe MMM had an article on the joys of moving to a lower cost area of the country.  Please don't think I take this topic lightly but I do believe that if you were able to create a near perfect life in X location, then I bet you can do it again in Y location, along with a nice house!

AlexK

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Re: What do you do if you have the perfect situation but...
« Reply #22 on: January 27, 2013, 10:17:32 PM »
Quote
Houses in our part of Australia start at 800k.

That is freaking crazy. I can understand that land is expensive in Japan where you have lots of people per unit area but why so expensive in Australia? It does sound like a bubble... sell!

The RE market in my area experienced a huge bubble and spectacular crash. I bought this rental house last year for $53k and it sold for over $200k when new in 2005: http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/355-Emigrant-Way-Fernley-NV-89408/82238338_zpid/

Ozstache

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Re: What do you do if you have the perfect situation but...
« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2013, 01:16:03 AM »
Quote
Houses in our part of Australia start at 800k.

That is freaking crazy. I can understand that land is expensive in Japan where you have lots of people per unit area but why so expensive in Australia? It does sound like a bubble... sell!

As crazy as Australia's property market situation sounds, there are many in Australia who think the last couple of years of sluggish performance is about to end and that we are poised for the next big run up in prices. I too think it's crazy enough as it is now and hope for our future generation's sake that we have a decade of nothingness coming up price-wise such that inflation effective deflates our market without killing it completely.

marty998

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Re: What do you do if you have the perfect situation but...
« Reply #24 on: January 28, 2013, 02:11:33 AM »
It is getting slightly silly isn't it? But it all depends on where you are buying.

Prices haven't really moved since the end of 2010, but wages are up about 10% in that time. There's also more than half a million more people in Sydney and Melbourne since then. They have to live somewhere.

So yeah I'm one of those people who thinks prices will start going up again (in outer Sydney anyway).

Ozstache

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Re: What do you do if you have the perfect situation but...
« Reply #25 on: January 28, 2013, 04:08:31 AM »
I'm fortunate enough to own my own place here in Canberra, so I don't really have a dog in this real estate madness fight. Except of course that the higher prices go, the harder it will be to nudge our young 'uns out the nest. My 21 year old still lives with us, but he does pay his share of living expenses (ie. food, utilities and internet). I have told him that if he's still here after age 25, he can pay a fair share of rates, home insurance and house improvement projects too!

Paul der Krake

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Re: What do you do if you have the perfect situation but...
« Reply #26 on: January 28, 2013, 11:49:13 AM »
Man, Ozstache's reply just made me very grateful that my siblings and I could afford to live outside of the parents' nest early on. I can't even begin to imagine living with them at age 25.

bo_knows

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Re: What do you do if you have the perfect situation but...
« Reply #27 on: January 28, 2013, 12:08:11 PM »
I can't get a decent house around here for less than $350k, :(

Isn't it crazy how different real estate costs in different locations?

My rentals here are under 100k (and aren't shacks; 3-4br, 2-3 bath 1500-2000 sqft).  350k in my housing market buys a mansion.

I think it's very crazy.  I moved to the DC area because my wife is from the suburbs of here.  The housing market here is insane.  We moved to a suburb at the end of a metro line, and bought a 40yr old townhome instead of a SFH.  $380k.  It's plenty of space, but I look at markets like Vegas or all of Texas, and think that I could be living in a mansion for that kind of dough.

A good friend of mine was contemplating moving to DC a number of years back. He just finished his PhD and had a job offer here with the government, and a job offer in middle-of-nowhere upstate NY.  He was worried about housing prices here, and I basically told him to think of it as an investment, whereas you're putting more money into the value of your house rather than stocks/bonds/whatever.  While that is a very simplistic view of putting all your eggs in one proverbial basket, it's how I sleep well at night   lol

WhatMomWears

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Re: What do you do if you have the perfect situation but...
« Reply #28 on: January 28, 2013, 01:23:00 PM »
If we knew then what we know now, we never would have bought this home. We live in the Bay Area so the housing prices are insane (though not OZ insane) and we bought 15 years ago as the bubble was expanding (but not the height). We have one of the few homes around us that isn't under water but we can't afford anything else in an area we would want to live so there's no point in moving. In our town, the downtown is dying, the schools are awful (not something we even thought about looking at 15 years ago), and while we have a lovely home, it's not an area we would choose again. I wish we had taken a lot longer to look at the different areas and to see what we really could have afforded and where. So much has changed in the 15 years since we bought this house, job changes that involved different commutes, a child arrived, etc.

Long story to tell you to sit back, relax, you have many years ahead to be a home owner with all the responsibilities and burdens involved, and time to figure out where you really want to be. Plus you can't count on your neighbors not complaining if you play your guitar as loud as you want. :)

momo

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Re: What do you do if you have the perfect situation but...
« Reply #29 on: January 28, 2013, 02:19:38 PM »
@ OneDayAtATime: Completely agree. As a fellow homeowner I concur! You cannot count on your neighbors being considerate or respectful whatsoever. I've had to call the police a few times due to parties even though we live in a very quiet neighborhood.

@ Guitarguy, here is my advice as a relatively new homeowner in the very expensive Bay Area/Silicon Valley region. Do your best to save as much as you can and for as long as you can. This key practice helped me pay over 20% down and build a sizeable cushion to withstand a job loss, move, and even significant drop in property value due to new neighbor's buying a home under the table (totally illegal but that's a story for another day). So while it may not seem ideal, renting is a viable option and there are lots of conveniences to renting. The main one is you don't have to be responsible to maintain the property! :)

As a owner EVERYTHING is your responsibility! Short list includes: mortgage, property taxes, insurances, utilities, security, property improvements/disputes, safety, property line/division issues, any and all repairs, the list and costs NEVER end! Try to enjoy the comparatively stress-free housing situation you are in. One day you will be a homeowner and while it can be rewarding it is not all that it is cracked up to be.  For some they end up preferring to renting and turn their primary residence into an investment property. The grass may appear greener until you try it and then realize the hidden costs may not be a price worth paying. Your mileage may vary.

Good luck! Keep us posted. Cheers!

Guitarguy

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Re: What do you do if you have the perfect situation but...
« Reply #30 on: January 28, 2013, 06:41:02 PM »
Thanks for the replies, everyone. We have decided that we can easily wait 5-7 years and possibly might even wait longer to buy with all cash. Fortunately we were able to find a few properties in the area that had prices between 195-230k. They are much bigger and on smaller lots, but they're less than 4 miles to work, which is perfectly bike-able. So, that was encouraging.

marz1982

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Re: What do you do if you have the perfect situation but...
« Reply #31 on: January 31, 2013, 05:29:57 PM »
The RE market in my area experienced a huge bubble and spectacular crash. I bought this rental house last year for $53k and it sold for over $200k when new in 2005: http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/355-Emigrant-Way-Fernley-NV-89408/82238338_zpid/

Woah, nice house!  What a deal 0.o
We're also experiencing the housing bubble in New Zealand... Average house price in Auckland > $500k, prices in the area up by almost 10% from last year

arebelspy

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Re: What do you do if you have the perfect situation but...
« Reply #32 on: January 31, 2013, 07:51:34 PM »
Quote
Houses in our part of Australia start at 800k.

That is freaking crazy. I can understand that land is expensive in Japan where you have lots of people per unit area but why so expensive in Australia? It does sound like a bubble... sell!

The RE market in my area experienced a huge bubble and spectacular crash. I bought this rental house last year for $53k and it sold for over $200k when new in 2005: http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/355-Emigrant-Way-Fernley-NV-89408/82238338_zpid/

What do you rent it for?
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

Togoshiman

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Re: What do you do if you have the perfect situation but...
« Reply #33 on: February 01, 2013, 07:30:36 AM »
Toronto:  $600k+ for a townhouse, $800k+ for a 1100sqf post-war bungalow with a 6-foot unfinished basement, $1mn+ for a 'normal' 3-bedroom 2-bath family detached home.  Economist put Canada as the biggest housing bubble in the world right now - yikes!

Many caveats to the above, however.  These are for decent neighbourhoods within a reasonable subway, streetcar or short drive/bike to the downtown core (say, within 10-15kms).  Could move to a long commute, rougher neighbourhood and so on.  Smart thing to do would be to rent, but rents are way out of whack with mortgage rates as well.  Cheaper neighbourhoods under-serviced by transpo and services, e.g. decent healthy grocery stores, thereby necessitating additional time and travel to offset.

We got lucky and bought in the deepest, darkest days of the financial downturn when there was a brief semi-sane period to prices.  But the market and city are ridiculous and I feel for most people trying to get ahead.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2013, 07:32:36 AM by Togoshiman »