Post # 1
Hi Bees! I apologize in advance, as this is a ‘vent’ post. Is anyone else completely frustrated by the housing market in their area?!
I should preface this by saying that, while we’re fairly content with our current living situation in a large 1 bedroom apartment, we would like to purchase so that we can stay put, build some equity and keep moving toward that ideal family home. That being said, we absolutely could NOT buy something and still feel comfortable with our mortage payment in our area (San Francisco Bay Area) and it is so frustrating as the rental market here is just as insane – we don’t have rent control, so there’s a mad dash to find the best available apartment/house and avoid paying rent increases of $150+/month whenever your lease comes up for renewal. Longer story short, it would be easier to own a home and build equity rather than searching for a new place and moving every year or so. Unfortunately, we both work 1 hour in the opposite direction from one another and are limited to a fairly specific cluster of cities to keep our commute more reasonable (an hour is a reasonable commute to us – before we moved to our current apartment, DH was driving 2 hours each way – not good!).
We have a down payment of about $30k saved so far, we make six figures and we live pretty modestly, but there’s no way we would feel comfortable with a mortgage payment! Yes, we could buy a home and ‘afford’ our monthly payments/taxes/etc., but we wouldn’t really be able to save any additional money for other important things and we feel it would therefore be an irresponsible decision.
Does anyone else feel this way?
Post # 2
We bought our house 4 years ago, but I definitely felt that way when we were looking. I wanted to stay closer to a suburb of Boston where I grew up, but the nice towns around there required at 750k+ to just step foot in, like a 1800 sf fixer 3bed 1, maybe 2 baths if you were lucky. We ended up having to move 40 minutes away to afford a home we wanted in a nice town and even then, it required about 550k. Like you, we theoretically could have “afforded” my desired location but totally would have been house poor and did not want to do that to ourselves. We got pretty lucky with our home too I think since there are homes for sale on the street now ranging from 600-900k right now.
Post # 3
pinkshoes: Exactly! A fixer-upper and no money whatsoever to fix it. I’m (kind of?) relieved to find that we’re not alone. That’s great that you’ve gained equity so quickly in your area 🙂 that’s always a plus. Unfortunately, our work locations completely limit our housing area to either 1. the ghetto – like the GHETTO, ghetto or 2. the outrageously expensive homes surrounding the ghetto. We are partially kicking ourselves for not buying in our old area about 4 years ago because the equity gained in that area was insane the last few years and we would now be better equipped to purchase in our current area (we moved for DH’s job), but ohhh well haha.
We could keep renting 1 bedroom apartments and continue saving for a home (which, by my calculations, would take us anywhere from 5-9 years for a proper down payment depending on how well our cars, careers, etc. hold up and how expensive our future children are), rent a home in the area for $2,600+/mo. (but then we wouldn’t be building equity or saving as much in the meantime) or buy in the nearer future and have a mortgage payment well over $3k/mo. which would be a disaster should one of us lose our job, have some crazy medical expense, etc.
I’m about 99% sure we’ll keep renting and hope for a slight downturn in the market – we’re not in a rush or anything, it would just be more convenient to own momentarily – but we do want to start a family earlier rather than later and we’d like to have a lot more space then. We have student loans of $700+ per month for about ten years still, so if we wait until then to buy we would be much better off, but that’s obviously a ridiculously long time. Whine, whine, whine. 😉 Sigh.
Post # 4
indyJEEP: YES! Beyond frustrated! We also live in the SF Bay area and the housing market is just totally ridiculous. We were hoping to buy in the next year or two, but the market is so over inflated (AGAIN!)
Don’t forget that if you don’t have 20% of your down payment, you need to have mortgage insurance which can add several hundred to your mortgage payment!
Post # 5
indyJEEP: FI and I were in the same position. We also live in a very pricey city – Vancouver, BC. We werent thinking of purchasing for a couple of years until we on a stumble across a foreclosure. Needless to say we got it at a steal. We got super lucky.
Try finding an agent that specialize in foreclosures… You never know What may happen!
Post # 6
I feel your pain. We live in the DC area, and a 3 bedroom townhouse would cost us around $300,000 – $350,000 here. It sucks because we both make good money, but can’t really afford to buy a house yet. Our friends that live back in our home state all own nice single family homes with big yards, and we are stuck in a 2 bedroom apartment. We are hoping to move to a cheaper area soon.
Post # 7
Ditto what NCSUchick27 said. I used to live in Northern VA and it’s very expensive. You either commute an hour, rent, or be house poor for a while. I worked in insurance and it was ridiculous how many people with $400k+ homes would miss their payments. You’re smart not to buy until you know you can do it responsibly.
On the flip side, I’m in TX now and you can get a house with 3bd/2ba, 30 minutes from the downtown city (it is a big city), for $160k. Less, if it’s a foreclosure or fixer-upper.
The difference in markets is pretty insane.
Post # 8
The market here is generally regarded as affordable, and the average house prices are in the 420s-430s
Post # 9
indyJEEP: Bay are bee here as well. Just completly insane. I just feel that somethings gotta give. The tech bubble is waiting to burst I feel and once it does the house market will plument.
I also feel like we should buy ASAP (but hubby has no credit so yeah… )becasue the houses will go up like 100000 each year…
Also scary going into dept like near a mil only to have the market plumpet making your house worthless but you living in dept.
🙁 It’s super frstrating.
Post # 10
I feel your pain. I’m in Vancouver, BC. My fiancé and I make pretty good money and we scrimped snd saved for years to get the 20% deposit for our $500,000 2 bed/bath condo. It definitely affected our timeline marriage/babywise. In most other places in the country, we could easily buy a house and have gotten married years ago, rather than waiting until our mid-30s.
I feel like if we had bought 10 years ago we would be in a very different position now due to the huge jump in housing prices (my parents bought a 3,000 sq ft house 12 years ago in our area for $380,000 and within the span of 7 years is worth more than $1.5 million). without winning the lottery, we’ll never afford a house in our area. Townhouses in my area are $850,000-$1 million. It’s pretty depressing.
Post # 11
Atalanta: I understand the no credit thing. IIRC, you are another US-notUS couple? We are finally at the point where I have a basic, secured card, purely so I can build credit so we can get into a house in the next 2-3 years. It sucks!
Post # 12
Don’t even get me started. My husband and I went to three open houses today and there is nothing in our neighborhood as a single family home that is even close to decent for less than 1.5mil. Lame lame lame lame lame.
Post # 13
farawayviolet: yes. Last year I signed him onto my card casue he couldn’t get one and they said that would build his credit. Well it didn’t at all… Luckyily now he could get a CC with a high limit cause of his job so hoping next year we can have something maybe. The whole credit thing is so Fed up!
Post # 14
Atalanta: I agree so much, especially as I have credit in good standing that is 9-10 years old in New Zealand, that now counts for nothing! It is so frustrating having to start all over again, especially as the US links credit to so many things, for example, the ability to rent a house or apartment!
<br />We have spent the last year rebuilding DH’s credit, as years ago he had massive medical bills, and somehow missed some smaller ones that ended up, unbenknowst to him, in collections. He only found out about them when he pulled his credit a year ago. We are proud of where we’ve got with rebuilding his credit (now a whopping 8 points above average for our state. Woot!) and now have to basically redo it all with me, as if I were an 18 year old again.
<br />On a side note – if anyone in the US uses any medical services, call the billing departments and and check again that you have no outstanding bills! A large proportion of medical bills in collections are small ones that the consumer is unaware they had (I’ve read 2 in 5). Don’t let your credit be destroyed over a $20 copay!
Post # 15
farawayviolet: yes US is quite backwards, that it’s good to have debt and bad to not have debt. It’s the most illogical thing ever. We were told to not pay off the credit card fully each moth and go in debt to build the credit faster. How Fed up is that? My DH is like you, perfect credit in his home country, no debt…What’s even sillier is that he’s the one who makes money and I’m the one with the credit so we look really good together which luckily works for most things like apartments and phone contracts but aparently buying a house is different.