Sunday, February 24, 2008

Buying Property Is Scary

Went to look at a bunch of condos and townhouses today. But there is only one we are considering at all, and that is because it has three bedrooms. I couldn't believe it. There were actually two townhomes in the same monstrous mazelike complex (in which we only saw old men walking little white fluffy dogs). The first was owned by this Armenian family that decorated the place not unlike the parent's house in My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Really. Every single pale pink wall was covered in roman columns and a ridiculous amount of decorative molding. There was a framed horse puzzle in the family room.
The back patio fence was lined with razor wire. Hmmmmm. And the wife hovered over us the whole time we were looking around.
The second one was empty. It has three bedrooms. Three. We could have a baby room. I had accepted the fact that we would have to choose between having a studio or a baby room. With three, we wouldn't have to. This place had very nice wood floors throughout. It needs a washer and dryer, refigerator, new range, (the one in there now is ancient, and not in a good retro way), and the cabinets in the kitchen and all three bathrooms are very gross, but that can wait I suppose. Our agent seems to think we can offer $250K to the bank (it's a foreclosure) and wait for a counter offer. The HOA for the place is $300 (for the love of Pete!). So our payment each month with bills and everything else(mortgage insurance, property tax, HOA, mortgage, food, etc.) would probably leave us with about $1200 a month to spare, if we stick to a tight budget. Is that cutting it too close?
I mean, we are really frightened and need advice. This whole BIG BIG SCARY purchase is too much. We know it's the smart thing to do, and we hate to keep giving our evil landlord money. But how do we know the real estate market will go back up? What if there is no equity in 5 years and we poured all our money into the place? I guess we could always go back to renting a crappy place in the perfect neighborhood again. Sigh. I just wish someone could tell us what to do!

Anyway, here are some pics from today:




LIVING ROOM (check out the mirror wall!)


Yes it is two levels. We could pretend it's a real house! Only drawbacks are no nice views, big maze of a complex, and no funky coffee shops or parks. What do you think?

1 comment:

saffry said...

Have you ever been to a financial planner? They could give you a pretty good idea of how realistic your budget is. Besides the brand name financial companies, banks often have someone if you like the bank you go to and trust them. Just don't go to someone who has an interest in selling you a mortgage. Or sometimes there are purchases or services that will include discounted financial planning coupons, I think I've gotten those when buying Microsoft Money and Turbo Tax.

How much more a month is Mort/Ins/HOA then rent? That was always the key question for me. And you need a good budget to see if you can really cut expenses. Do you use financial software like Money or Quicken. Or you could try, which I've been looking at and seems like a hassle free way to get a financial snapshot of your expenses.