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rjbs (4671)

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I'm a Perl coder living in Bethlehem, PA and working Philadelphia. I'm a philosopher and theologan by training, but I was shocked to learn upon my graduation that these skills don't have many associated careers. Now I write code.

Journal of rjbs (4671)

Wednesday September 20, 2006
09:47 PM

i spent a lot of money today

[ #31066 ]

Well, there are two ways to look at it. On one hand, I have about a thousand more dollars in my bank account now than I did yesterday. On the other hand, I am in well over a hundred thousand dollars in debt, now.

I haven't wanted to shout too loudly about it, lest I invoke bad luck upon myself, but Gloria and I have been in the process of buying a house. This completes one of my [2006 todo's](, which is looking like one of the only ones likely to get a green stamp.

We looked at maybe a half-dozen houses, and it came down to two, both very close to each other and to our current apartment. We chose the nearer one, which is in slightly poorer shape, but sold for about 10% less. There were a number of obnoxious little problems along the way, but far fewer than I heard about from friends who wanted to tell horror stories. In the end, it went pretty smoothly. Everyone we dealt with was just great. [Our realtors]( were really easy-going and helpful. [Our mortgage advisor]( was the same. I really don't like dealing with large financial issues, and they made me feel pretty comfortable. I said, "this is what we want to do," and they told us how to make it happen.

The home inspection (performed by [yet another great guy]( was sort of nerve-wracking, because it exposed a bunch of problems that we hadn't anticipated. Most of these were no big deal, but one or two seemed scary. For example, we were told that "the porch is pulling away from the house, but we can't know how bad it is until we disassemble it." Uhhh!?

We struggled to get someone to come get an estimate for repair, but to no avail. We made dozens of phone calls, even to people we knew, but nobody wanted to be bothered to give us an estimate. In the end, someone told us there was no real problem, but we're not feeling very reassured.

We went forward anyway, and then found out that the city didn't give the house a clear certificate of occupancy. That's the document that says it's safe to live there. Most of the violations were tiny, though, and we got credit from the seller to have things fixed on our own.

The seller seemed like a really nice guy, as did everyone at the closing of the sale. We spent about an hour signing papers, but it all went smoothly. I've started to go through my three-page outline of House To-Do's, and I expect it will take a few years to get through it.

We'll be moving in on Saturday, and saying good-bye to the apartment we've lived in for almost six years... but not the neighborhood. We're only moving about two hundred meters, and will be about the same distance from everything that matters. I guess we might be farther from Hoageez, but I can walk an extra block for a cheesesteak.

I'm sure I'll have plenty more to say about the house soon enough.

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  • My wife and I bought our first home at the end of June. Our experiences were very similar to yours.

    We had filled out a preapproved mortgage application online and that saved us so much time. We picked a realtor in the area. Everything went very quickly once we were assigned a new real estate agent (our first real estate agent, who ended up going to another firm, drug his feet which caused us to miss out on two very nice yet inexpensive homes that we were very interested in). The mortgage company explai

    • When we moved into our apartment on Christmas of 2000, we figured we'd be there for a year or a year and a half while we prepared to buy a house. Prices just kept going up, though, and I kept thinking that we needed at least 10% to put down. Now that prices are finally coming down, we're still not making a huge down payment! I think I'll now join the throngs of people who told me, "Just get the house ASAP so you can start getting invested in it."

      As for getting the key... I was imagining that we'd sign lo
  • That's exciting! Soon you'll feel the temptation to graph your entire property and figure out how much you own and how much the bank owns.

  • Congratulations. And if you think you spent a lot of money now, wait till you see what happens to your monthly bills. Not to mention your weekends.

    • You've got that right! If it's not the bills, it's the missis wanting to buy things for the house.
      • Their nesting instincts really bloom, don’t they.

        • Oh, yeah!

          "Honey, what we really need is some patio furniture and a grill for the back yard. We should replace our old bed with a new one. We're going to need new curtains for sure." blah blah blah blah blah :)

    • Heh! Yeah, I'm quite unexcited about seeing my new utility bills. I know we're in for a change in lifestyle! As for losing time... I don't mind. I've been living in an apartment for years, and we weren't really allowed to do anything to improve the place. I don't mind the idea of doing some real work to make our home better. After all, if and when we decide to sell it, all that money and labor will pay off. To think that I threw away almost $43,000 on rent since college... it's sort of disgusting.
      • To think that I threw away almost $43,000 on rent...
        Don't fall into that trap. That money went for a place to live when that was what you could afford. That's hardly throwing it away.

        ... all that money and labor will pay off.
        That's the theory anyway. It's called a money pit for good reason. :-)
        • > Don't fall into that trap.

          Indeed, in the current economic climate here, if I were to buy a house now I'd probably LOSE 50 or 100 grand in the next 6 months.

          Renting in Sydney at the moment is definitely a good choice.
      • just wait until you get to spend big bucks on unsexy (== little value add) and unpredictable things like: replacing the water heater! getting someone to clean possibly toxic mold from your basement! replacing a retaining wall! fixing a toilet (and undoing the damage you did)! ...
  • I'm so jealous.

    I figure when we were looking we saw about 160.
    • Ugh! I could imagine seeing quite a lot more than we saw, but not twenty-five times as many. There were a few houses we didn't get to see, like one that looked a little iffy from the outside... and we never got inside! The selling realtor didn't show up or give our realtor a way to get into the lock box.

      We were probably sort of blessed by the fact that we didn't really want to leave our neighborhood. We didn't look at anything more than (at most) a mile away. There are some other neighborhoods that wou