Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Real estate?


Post divorce, I have been in transition. Rentals for 4 years in former town to get kids thru high school, now renting in a local city. In a townhome for the first time in my life, it agrees with me (the no maintenance feature for the outside, omitting the LL's responsible for inside maintenance as it's a rental). The city offeres alot more services, including public transportation, compared to the former, expensive town. I plan on buying in the city. 

I have a very sizeable down payment plus more in my savings account. I do not, however, plan on maxing out what the bank would say I can afford. 20% will be put down to avoid mortgage insurance.

I am doing my homework. With my next rent check, due Mar 1, I will reach out to the LL and inquire about renewing the lease here. The thought is that hopefully, I will have another job within the next year, if not sooner! and this may put me in a more favorable light as I apply for a mortgage. I monitor my credit score, it is fluid, but remains around 800. If I were to buy a home (modest by CT standards), I would most likely reduce my housing (rent/mort) by $1000. 

I am trying to figure out just what I want (knowing that no home is ever perfect)in my next home: 1600-2000 square feet range, 3 bed/2 bath, covered parking, supplemental heat source (fireplace), gas heat over oil/electric, gas range. I can handle minor cosmetic issues (paint, redo wood floors, remove wall paper, replace light fixtures, upgrade apppliances, 

replace counters, upgrade cabinets) but that is the extent. I want a turn key home. I want a newer (no older than say 1975 when energy conservation first came onto the radar with the energy crisis). Whichever home I end up with would most likely get an energy audit and super insulation, replacement doors/windows as needed. I'm ok with this. 

Townhome (ideally without any amenities such as pool, tennis courts, playground) that would also mean an extra $X/month for a common fee to cover landscaping, plowing, outside maintenance and a HOA which would prohit me, most likely, from a clothesline, a garden. I don't want a 2 family, as I can't do my own maintenance, even though I'd probably qualify for one. I don't need any hassle either. 

Small ranch (love the idea of one level) or split level home on 1/2 acre or less which would translate into about $200/month between lawn care, plowing. Able to gain more privacy over a townhome and able to customize the home as desired (replace windows, doors, paint/side in my color choice, etc. 

Just looking for a sound board. So, thoughts? 


meme said...

I like the idea of a small ranch....that would be my dream home now. I have RA - which I developed after buying this two story home - and the laundry is in the basement. The stairs are very rough on me with my joints. If I were to ever move again - it would be to a ranch, laundry in the living area - no basement - and with a very small lawn. My husband became disabled by spinal stenosis a year after buying this home, and is on his way to recovering from cancer (he has his chemo port removed on Friday) and his scans show "no evidence of disease" - which is wonderful - now that he is so weak/lost so much weight from chemo and radiation, the upkeep of the outside is very hard.

This is awful - my home buying points of view are medical related/aging !!

Ms. Sandie said...

I too would always want some land that wasn't part of an HOA that I could still have a clothesline and a little garden. I think you're doing great research and I'm here to cheer you on when you start looking .

Anne in the kitchen said...

We are about to downsize and have been thinking condo vs. home. I think we have agreed we both want a yard, but a small yard is fine. I am all about one level living. After doing the math we have found that we can hire someone to do the yard for less than HOA fees would be, so for now we are leaning to a small single family home. Unfortunately we will be buying in a much more expensive city, so I don't think there will be any real financial benefist to downsizing.

Marcia in rural WNY said...

I would love to downsize but my husband won't give up his barn and garage and playing with cars. I do suspect he is in early stages of some type of dementia but I don't want to force a diagnosis (and consequent depression) on him before it's absolutely necessary. I have arthritis and washer and dryer in basement, ONLY bathroom on 2nd floor. It's tougher on me every week it seems, and I'm spreading laundry out instead of doing in one day. We are both 74 so I guess we will just stay put until something forces us to do something else. DD lives under 2 miles away, which could help in the future. She doesn't think we need any help as yet. I do need to declutter and get rid of a bunch of stuff in anticipation of "someday" coming. I have been SLOWLY working at that.

I don't think I could tolerate a HOA after 40+ years of living in a house of our own--unless one or both of us is no longer able to help the other, a definite possibility in the future. I would be ok with senior housing with some freedom to come and go, so condo or apt is possible. We currently have a 110 year old 2 story with basement and attic, 4 bedrooms. More than we need at this point.

Juhli said...

We are not only moving across the country as soon as we sell our current house, but also downsizing a lot. Buying into a 55+ active retirement community where the HOA covers maintenance and insurance for the exterior, all landscape care, amenities such as pool and gym, water, basic cable and so on. I am so looking forward to reducing our home upkeep responsibilities and spending time doing other things! All units are single story duplexes attached at the garage & patio not a room. Just under 1400 sq ft for the models we are considering with 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, den and dining area. We will probably have to replace windows and/or HVAC but are factoring that in. There is room for guests and room for us to have personal space but it will be a change and probably require smaller furniture for the living area. Again, that is ok as ours is old and we don't want to move much across the country.

Theresa F said...

Love that you consider 1975 and up "newer". I was born in '75 and have been feeling anything but "newer" ;). Your post put a spring in my step lol!