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Old 04-11-2013, 11:00 AM   #1
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House Is Becoming Quite A Money Pit. Sell?


Little bit of a rant here that I just need to get off my chest.

My wife and I just moved into our(first) house last June. We bought it for 89k which was about right for the market at the time. Since then it seems prices have dropped. We also had to tear out the "second bathroom"(really just a shower...and where a toilet used to be untold years ago) due to flooding. By my figuring it's only worth about 80k now. Still less than we owe but not by much. I think the area will also become less and less appealing to potential buyers(and us) in the coming years because of the ingress of...oh how to be PC about this..."bad neighbors" I'll call them.

At first the house was great. Things just keep going wrong though and it's stretching us thin. So far we've replaced the washer and dryer, fridge, and stove, along with little things here and there.

Things that still need resolved are: broken garage door opener, repointing some of the brick, need to have a sump pump installed and possibly a partial french drain(because of the aforementioned flooding), resurface or redo driveway(all 120 feet of it), fix(?) severely cracked garage slab.

Things that will need to be done eventually if we stay in the house are: furnace(over 20 years old), windows(roughly 20 of them), carpet upstairs, and somehow turn the open 600sqft upstairs into 2 bedrooms.

I love having projects to do but 12+ hour days at work and taking care of the kids on my off days doesn't afford me much free time.

The idea of selling has come up but we'd not be in a very good place financially if we did.

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Old 04-11-2013, 11:48 AM   #2
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House Is Becoming Quite A Money Pit. Sell?


Sounds like standard home ownership to me. Property prices definitely aren't helping.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:51 AM   #3
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House Is Becoming Quite A Money Pit. Sell?


Quote:
Originally Posted by JL-KA View Post
We bought it for 89k which...
which, in 2013, pretty much defines a money pit. Anywhere.

Quote:
I love having projects to do but...
but you need a larger scope and probably far more cash than you have
to take on the nature of the work as part of that larger remodeling project...
rather than approaching each individual fix separately.

As for the financials... think about being a landlord.
After it's in service you can write off repairs or capitalize major work.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:36 PM   #4
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House Is Becoming Quite A Money Pit. Sell?


Jesus, you can't buy a plot of land around here for 89k.
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Old 04-11-2013, 02:05 PM   #5
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House Is Becoming Quite A Money Pit. Sell?


It's definitely an affordable city. Ideally we'd like to stay in this house for another 6 years at least and then upgrade. By that time, other debts will be paid off and my income will be higher so we can afford more. It's just a question of how much we want to spend in the meantime. Sump pump is a must do. Furnace probably will be as well. If we can split the upstairs into 2 bedrooms for a reasonable amount of money I think we'll probably get our money back when we sell.
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Old 04-11-2013, 03:59 PM   #6
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House Is Becoming Quite A Money Pit. Sell?


I think it really all depends on your Area, where prices are headed, etc.
If you had to replace a washer and dryer, fridge, and stove, well we all did this before, and they are not really part of the House IMHO.

I guess if I had the Gut feeling that things are heading south, I would probably think about moving.

But if Shopping centers are coming soon, or new Schools are in development, making the entire area friendlier, Crime is down....I would stick around for a while.
In my Area things are picking up, Houses are getting more expensive, Short-sales are down some 40-50% from last year, and Rent is going through the Roof.
Just my 2 cents.
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Old 04-11-2013, 04:18 PM   #7
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House Is Becoming Quite A Money Pit. Sell?


No offense and not busting your chops but there was no sign the hood was deteriorating when you bought last June or did you just get swept up in the first house glow of excitement and a seemingly great bargain? No warnings from the real estate agent? You checked comparable prices, turnover, time on the market, and actual owner occupancy on neighboring homes? All for sale signs to turn the hood bad showed up after you bought? Every other home had a sign in the yard and half were actually for rent signs?

Did an inspection indicate what was wrong or did you buy the home "as is" and must now figure out how to fix things. Negotiated fixing into the price but spent the money on furnishings?

Typical first homeowner traps so don't feel so bad. I think with starter homes you should always keep an eye out for getting out of the home even in really nice neighborhoods an seize either opportunity or a window of necessity when apparent to you.

The good news is that it sounds like with a little bit more cash you might walk away from this at least breaking even but, assuming payments were on time, with a banking reputation for the mortgage you did not have before. If you were looking at the house and hood now, would you buy it? If the answer is no then I would say get out.

Is your market totally seasonal? How long will it take you to get the home ready to sell? Something fixed up and nicely presented might sell even in this market and in a marginal hood if priced right. Be ready for the question as to whey you are leaving so soon. If you are thinking of putting it on the market and then fixing it up as it languishes with no offers? Gut it out and wait.

However, if you no longer feel safe, rocks are coming through the windows, drug deals are going down on corners, your tires are getting slashed, or more than four Republicans moved into the hood. Cut your losses.
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Old 04-11-2013, 04:22 PM   #8
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House Is Becoming Quite A Money Pit. Sell?


Why did you buy a first house that was in such bad shape?? I certainly wouldn't have, unless I knew it going in. Having owned ten houses, I've pretty much seen it all, but not all in the same house. Unless you have serious DIY skills, you're in big trouble.
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Old 04-11-2013, 06:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
No offense and not busting your chops but there was no sign the hood was deteriorating when you bought last June or did you just get swept up in the first house glow of excitement and a seemingly great bargain? No warnings from the real estate agent? You checked comparable prices, turnover, time on the market, and actual owner occupancy on neighboring homes? All for sale signs to turn the hood bad showed up after you bought? Every other home had a sign in the yard and half were actually for rent signs?
This part is really more of a prediction. With home prices going down, it makes the area more affordable to people who make less money, care about their property less, etc...

Quote:
Did an inspection indicate what was wrong or did you buy the home "as is" and must now figure out how to fix things. Negotiated fixing into the price but spent the money on furnishings?
The driveway and the garage floor were noticeable albeit not as bad as they've become in such a short period of time. The furnace obviously was old. Appliances were older but certainly not to the point we would expect them all to go within a year. The flooding, we had no idea. There are signs of previous flooding though(that we discovered recently) but I can't prove that the previous owner covered these up or if it was the owner before them. If I could, there would be a lawsuit filed as it's a requirement in our state to notify buyers of past flooding.

Quote:
Typical first homeowner traps so don't feel so bad. I think with starter homes you should always keep an eye out for getting out of the home even in really nice neighborhoods an seize either opportunity or a window of necessity when apparent to you.

The good news is that it sounds like with a little bit more cash you might walk away from this at least breaking even but, assuming payments were on time, with a banking reputation for the mortgage you did not have before. If you were looking at the house and hood now, would you buy it? If the answer is no then I would say get out.
Yes, I would buy again, but not for the price we paid. Knock a few grand off and I'd still say yes.

Quote:
Is your market totally seasonal? How long will it take you to get the home ready to sell? Something fixed up and nicely presented might sell even in this market and in a marginal hood if priced right. Be ready for the question as to whey you are leaving so soon. If you are thinking of putting it on the market and then fixing it up as it languishes with no offers? Gut it out and wait.

However, if you no longer feel safe, rocks are coming through the windows, drug deals are going down on corners, your tires are getting slashed, or more than four Republicans moved into the hood. Cut your losses.
Well, we're almost at the year mark so if it were seasonal prices should be about the same, and they're not. This market was affected much less than most of the country by the recession. Housing prices only dipped by a few percent. I can't figure out why they're dropping now. I think you're getting the wrong idea about the neighborhood though. Lol. It's not NEARLY as bad as that. If that were the case, we'd have been long gone. Heck our neighbors 2 doors down had their garage door stuck open for almost 2 years and not a single thing was stolen. I'd go back to an apartment if it were as bad as what you typed haha. But as I said, as prices drop, or, if they continue to drop I should say, so will the quality of the neighborhood. Thankfully the schools are good as long as they don't decide to rezone. And as a backup plan, we have a very well written castle law in this state. Yup...I'm Republican.

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Originally Posted by md2lgyk View Post
Why did you buy a first house that was in such bad shape?? I certainly wouldn't have, unless I knew it going in. Having owned ten houses, I've pretty much seen it all, but not all in the same house. Unless you have serious DIY skills, you're in big trouble.
See above. Some was known, some was not. The house really isn't in "bad shape" there are just a bunch of little things that start adding up. I'm very handy. I don't necessarily know how to do a lot but what I have going for me is that there's not much I'm afraid to try. If I can google it, chances are, I'll try it. I'm looking into doing the sump pump myself and so far it looks like a job I can handle easily. The french drain I'm still a little confused on. Need to do more research on that.

Last edited by JL-KA; 04-11-2013 at 06:48 PM.
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:26 PM   #10
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House Is Becoming Quite A Money Pit. Sell?


You are just in a bit of a panic, maybe a little buyers remorse. Pay no attention to some chart that says home prices are falling. A place you can live in is an asset, apartments are awful places. Americans need to understand, a house is a place to live. Just that. Settle down and enjoy the ride.
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Old 04-12-2013, 06:02 AM   #11
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House Is Becoming Quite A Money Pit. Sell?


There is always that kind of "what the hell did I get myself into?!?" feeling with a first home but ride it out. Every day, every fix, puts you closer to the point where you reap the benefits of your work. Yes it can be a huge PITA when you keep "discovering" new things that need attention (3 years in and I am still finding them) but it does get better.Remember that old adage about eating an elephant........
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Old 04-12-2013, 03:55 PM   #12
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You could buy another house ...... with another set of problems.
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Old 04-12-2013, 04:09 PM   #13
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House Is Becoming Quite A Money Pit. Sell?


Building on what Pete said, now that you've fixed certain things, you don't have to fix those anymore. You know the washer/dryer/fridge/stove are good for a while now. Buy another house and the cycle starts all over. Unless you're building brand-new... then there's a whole different set of money-pit things to go wrong.

If you go now and buy a house that has a good washer/dryer/fridge/stove/furnace/windows/etc., you'll have paid for it up front in the price (along with interest in your mortgage). One way or another - you're going to pay for it.

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furnace(over 20 years old), windows(roughly 20 of them), carpet upstairs, and somehow turn the open 600sqft upstairs into 2 bedrooms.
The last one is an addition/improvement, not a needed repair. Carpet gets old no matter what house you're in. A 20 year old furnace probably isn't as efficient as modern units, but I bet you can find houses with even older units still working fine. Windows... ugh. Mine are not-quite 9 years old and are all garbage, sometimes you just can't win with things. It's a part of owning a home.

If you're worried about "the neighbors" now that prices have declined and these proclaimed poorer carless people can afford these houses, are you going to have to move to a neighborhood that YOU can barely (or can't) afford to keep that from happening? How's the saying go - something like "if you can't find the poor person on the block, it's you."
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:58 PM   #14
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Not a needed repair but needs to be done when we have another child.
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:59 PM   #15
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House Is Becoming Quite A Money Pit. Sell?


I was listing off what I wanted or needed to do to my house to a friend, and kind of complaining about not having enough time or money to do it all right away. His response gave me a whole new outlook on it. He asked how long I planned on staying here, and then said "you have time".
The point is, if you want to leave, then do it. If you want to stay, then take care of what problems need to be taken care of, and take your time on the rest, especially if its just a "want" and not a "need".
Sounds like you and your family need to sit down and have a serious discussion about staying or going, then work from there.
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