Life advice (buying a house)

boiler_eng

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Yup. Unless you're just loaded with $$$ and can afford to pay someone, it's very tough. My big expenses this year have been repoining/waterproofing part of my foundation and putting in a new paver walkway. Next year, front walkway, paint? roof? windows? never ends. Wish I had the money to just do it all at once....
Ooo look at mr money bags with his paying someone to repoint the foundation.
 

andrew1220

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Ooo look at mr money bags with his paying someone to repoint the foundation.
I guess I should have clarified[laugh] I was putting myself into that group that CAN'T afford to pay someone to do all of the work. Just edited my post.

A friend of mind did the repointing on 1 of the 4 walls at a VERY good price since he needed money and did this on the side (he does foundation work fulltime). Same with my walkway. My BIL is a mason and helped me lay the pavers while I busted up 8 tons of concrete (previous 80 year old walkway) by hand, loaded into a dumpster, and did all of the backfilling and compaction work myself.
 

boiler_eng

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I guess I should have clarified[laugh] I was putting myself into that group that CAN'T afford to pay someone to do all of the work. Just edited my post.

A friend of mind did the repointing on 1 of the 4 walls at a VERY good price since he needed money and did this on the side (he does foundation work fulltime). Same with my walkway. My BIL is a mason and helped me lay the pavers while I busted up 8 tons of concrete (previous 80 year old walkway) by hand, loaded into a dumpster, and did all of the backfilling and compaction work myself.
My project this summer was repointing one side of my foundation. Not easy or fun, but I did it. Was step 1 of then regrading to move water away to the side rather than moving it to the back of my house.
 

NickLeduc

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As someone ten years your senior, I understand the temptation to want to buy a house and the reluctance to pay someone else rent. My recommendation is that you save money while continuing to work on your education or job skills. You'll be surprised how quickly you can work your way up through strategic promotions or job changes and make a lot more money that you currently make. Unless you are really attached to your family and friends, get the hell out of Mass before it is too late and you have a wife who refuses to live more than a few hours from her family. If I were 22 again I would head out west and not look back.
Pretty much my life right now. Look beyond the "move out of MA because gun laws suck" posts. Moving out of MA has huge benefits, taxes, cost of living, freedoms that MA residents cannot fathom.
 
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Life advice right? You're 22 and life can take you any which way. You would be tied down to Russell for the foreseeable future if you bought a house there with your income. At your age mobilitiy, liquidity (of your assets), and career growth should be your priorities.

Even if you made $200k a year I wouldn't recommend buying a house. Why not consider renting there for a while to see if you like it? One year leases, or even month to month tenancy, gives you more freedom than home ownership.

I moved probably 5 or 6 times before I finally settled. I couldn't imagine buying a house when I were your age even if I had the resources. Best of luck in your decision-making.
 

1776

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I told the wife I found a house. She was to busy to look at it. I told her "we" bought a house. It passed "the mother in law test" when she went back home crying after looking at it and said "my daughter is going to live in that" :phahahahaha:p
 

AHM

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... can i buy the house and have somewhat of a life aswell?
(Based on this post, I do believe that @George D has a lot of expertise to offer, but...)
The figures I ignorantly derive point towards that making you "house poor".

Even assuming you have no debts whatsoever
(especially no school loans, no credit card balances, no car loan or car lease),
and 3-6 months salary in a bank for life emergency funds...

SmartAsset Free Federal Paycheck Calculator says
your $17/hr unmarried in Russell, MA means a take-home of:
$ 540/week
$ 2340/month
$14040/half-year

Assume you put down $14040 on the house.
(If you don't have the ability to save half a year's salary,
will you be able to afford random house expenses?)

This popular free mortgage calculator says
if you get a 15-year fixed at 4.21% (<= current national rate),
and are paying $2400/year (<= debatable?) property taxes,
your initial monthly payment will be $948.23,
or 40.5% of your monthly take-home.
That's well over Dave Ramsey's (or @PennyPincher's post's) 25% rule-of-thumb.
It's even over the industry's "28/36 Rule".


Dave Ramsey is a balding devout evangelical gun-collecting
nationally-syndicated financial talk radio host out of suburban Nashville.
He was so traumatized by declaring bankruptcy shortly out of college
because of an over-leveraged real estate empire,
that his day job is dispensing advice to people drowning in their debts.

I'm so unaware that I probably would never have heard of him
if I hadn't heard him dispense tough love at someone
on WRKO after Howie Carr one night.

Here's Dave agreeing that some upwardly-mobile caller
is currently feeling pain because they bought too much house:


The caller's numbers aren't your numbers.

But what are you going to do if you get a family,
an economic downturn takes your job away,
and you're upside down on a house you can't sell?

(Apologies in advance if I screwed up math above).

Look into building your own house. Even if you do not build it after the research, at least you will know where your $$ is going.
Disagree - H. has the right priority for OP:
I have to be honest, the best thing you could do is figure out how to increase your salary.
 

1776

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DanStaz636 said: ... can i buy the house and have somewhat of a life aswell?

Three options
1. Win the lottery
2. Marry wealthy
3. Leave the country for five years and come back as an illegal
 
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Circa 2009-2010. I had four friends who bought condos in various cities / towns in MA for anywhere between $125K-$255K.

At the time I thought they were crazy as they were buying basement condos. Condos that had been on the marker for a longtime or located in areas that weren't gentrified.Fast forward to 2016 to present. All of them have sold their condos for at least double the price.

At 22 you probably have single friends who want to room with you and who you charge rent to. I say go for it what's the worst that can happen you lose the house and have rent? I had friends who were foreclosed on or did short sales. A few years later they bought new houses.
 

AHM

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At 22 you probably have single friends who want to room with you and who you charge rent to.
I don't know enough to soft-pedal the impact of a foreclosure.
But taking a bite out of the mortgage with someone's rent check is thinking outside the box.

Is Russell commuting distance to Harvard U?
I know of someone having trouble finding a 2A-friendly landlord in Somerville.
 

Mark from MA

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Pretty much my life right now. Look beyond the "move out of MA because gun laws suck" posts. Moving out of MA has huge benefits, taxes, cost of living, freedoms that MA residents cannot fathom.
This. Better gun laws are icing on the cake. Move to where the taxes are low, where you can feel like you actually own your house, rather than paying the government to rent it...that is once your mortgage is done. Taxes here are too high.

I always asked for those retirees that are still here? Taxes are a fixed cost....your on a fixed income. Why would you stay and pay thousands more a year, when you could put that in your pocket? WHY??? And, at the same time likely enjoy better weather, better gun laws, better people.

Most parents say they stay because of their kids.....well that's a lame excuse. How many flights can 2-3K savings a year in property taxes buy? Besides, if you want to hang with your kids a while, you can always visit and stay for free in most cases. Kinda silly.

Always told my dad that...he still never did anything about it, stays up here pays thru his ass.....
 
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Hello all need some advice. I am currently 22 yesrs old and just started making 17$ an hr at my new job. Anyways im looking at buying a house in Russell MA for 98k. My question is can i buy the house and have somewhat of a life aswell? I know some people have houses but have no life due to having no money/ not budgeting right. I have a good amount saved up but would like to save up a bit more. I am in no rush to buy i am just at a point in my life where i have my car a motorcycle, tons of tools and id like to have my own space. Also when moving how doses the gun laws work. Currently on a restricted ltc for hunting and targetting. Im pretty sure Russell is alot more lax then springfield is. Any advice would be appreciated
1. Prices are going down a little, so, if you are not in a rush, do this:

1. Calculate mortgage payments.
2. Try to get a good number for utilities.
3. Calculate insurance (call an insurance company and get a quote).
4. All your other expenses.

Take what your expenses are today, let's say $1K. That money is already gone.

Take the additional money a house would cost. Let's say an additional $1K.

Every month, take that additional $1K and put it on a separate savings account. Dont count it as savings, that money is GONE.

So, you are basically "spending" $2K/month on the "house".

After a few months, can you live like that?

If yes, start looking at homes, and by doing this exercise you just saved more money for a down payment.

If NO, then plan accordingly. Maybe look at cheaper homes. Maybe save more for a bigger downpayment.

The key is, to not look at that additional $1K as savings. Continue to save whatever you want per month and spend money however you want to. The second you look at those $1K as savings, you will slack on your monthly savings and the exercise will be a waste of time.

Also, be conservative with your estimates if the mortgage comes out to $1K, call it $1,200.

And keep in mind closing costs.
 
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Roadglide

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If you do, have your checkbook handy. Money will be flying out the door non stop. And get friendly with the local Home Depot people. You will be there on a very regular basis.
 
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I don't know enough to soft-pedal the impact of a foreclosure.
But taking a bite out of the mortgage with someone's rent check is thinking outside the box.

Is Russell commuting distance to Harvard U?
I know of someone having trouble finding a 2A-friendly landlord in Somerville.
Why bother to get a 2A friendly landlord?
Just move in and move your guns in.

When I rented, I never asked my landlord if they liked guns and the lease never mentioned guns.
 
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DanStaz636 said: ... can i buy the house and have somewhat of a life aswell?

Three options
1. Win the lottery
2. Marry wealthy
3. Leave the country for five years and come back as an illegal
Or have a good job and dont buy a house that will bring you to your limits.

I bough a house this year, I still live the same life I was living before buying. I didnt buy a sh*t hole, I also didnt buy a 3.5K sqft home.

I have a friend that bought the biggest possible house he could, and well...he doesnt have a life. [laugh][laugh]
 

KMM696

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Is Russell commuting distance to Harvard U?
I know of someone having trouble finding a 2A-friendly landlord in Somerville.
[rofl]

No.




Unless 2 hours on the Pike is your cup of tea. One way.

I moved out of Russell in '98, my parents are still there. I'm a little further from civilization in Worthington. The hilltowns out that way are very much love it or hate it places to live, especially if you're buying. Try not to focus on the good parts of living in Russell - that's the easy bit. Can you tolerate the downsides, while knowing you can't just leave your mortgage???
 

George D

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Circa 2009-2010. I had four friends who bought condos in various cities / towns in MA for anywhere between $125K-$255K.

At the time I thought they were crazy as they were buying basement condos. Condos that had been on the marker for a longtime or located in areas that weren't gentrified.Fast forward to 2016 to present. All of them have sold their condos for at least double the price.

At 22 you probably have single friends who want to room with you and who you charge rent to. I say go for it what's the worst that can happen you lose the house and have rent? I had friends who were foreclosed on or did short sales. A few years later they bought new houses.
That was pretty much where I was at when I was 26. I bought a house in 1997 for $102,000. It was outdated and needed a lot of work that I did right when I moved in with the help of friends and family. I was one of the first in my group of friends to even buy a house. Everyone else lived in an apartment or at home. I remember one of my friends visiting and saying, "wow, this is like a a real home, like someone's parents house".
I ended up selling it in 2004 for $290,000 and bought a better house. My friends that waited a few years ended up buying for far more.

Buying a house doesn't really follow a formula, there are general guidelines but every scenario is case by case. I can tell you with 100% certainty that I spend money very differently than my co-worker with 4 kids as I have none. The most painless way to know is to follow what I posted earlier and start paying bills for a few months. Every person I have talked to that did it said it was an eye opening experience and made them much more conscious of their spending.
 
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Bloodbath...maybe not. But there sure are alot of people of sketchy means way overpaying for piece of shit houses.

The fees are getting out of hand on alot of these condos. I haven't analyzed alot of them. I have run into a few that were obvious robbings by the developer and management companies.
They like to add the word "Luxury" and try to charge a $500 HOA fee.

There is nothing luxury about 99% of "luxury" condos.

Yet, people pay those fees, I dont get it.
 
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I bought a house that was within the uncomfortable range of budgeting. If you do a lot of the repairs yourself (and I mean a lot) it helps immensely. Any purchases that I make outside of bills have to serve a purpose or something has to be sold to justify the cost.

I'm also a rider, if I want to buy a new bike I either have to sell one that's currently in the stable or sell off a number of other assets to match it. Some purchases have been made from an investment standpoint as well. Bought a few bikes that required low cost work that I could flip to make a couple hundred bucks.

Bought a wood stove back in July and installed that. Thermostat is set to 55 (except on long stretches of cold) and I keep feeding the stove. Took months of splitting and stacking 5 cords of wood but it's paying off now. Sweet talked one of my neighbors into letting me cut wood on their lot as well so I'll have another 6 cord for 2 years ahead.

After all is said and done, if you have ~1k per month left for "oh shit" money you're doing alright. Repair anything you can and save any way you can.

Depending on who you talk to you could say I don't have a life and I'm house poor. I hate going into the city and enjoy getting lost in the woods so that lifestyle is pretty cheap. Figure out what you're willing to sacrifice and be realistic with yourself. Props to you for going the independent route.
 

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Having not read through all the posts/advice I'm a firm believer in owning real estate. Key is you have to be in it for the long term. Market has peaked and things should become more affordable over the next few years based on supply and demand. Point is if you buy at the peak be prepared for the value to drop when things head south. You just have to wait it out and eventually the market comes back and surpasses. Could take time. Example I bought a house in Bridgewater back in 1986 for 272k. Market tanked in 88 and by 92 was worth maybe 240k. Wound up selling in 98 for $350k. Today it's worth 800k. I'd sit and keep an eye on things over the next 6-12 months. My guess is you'll find some deals.
 

Paul455

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I either had large cojones or no fear, but I was the contractor on the house that I still live in. (when I was 23)

Bought the land (cash), cleared the lot, put in a foundation (cash), and went to the bank for a mortgage.

Did as much as i could, and subcontracted the rest. Start to finish in 5 months.

Paid $3,500 for 4 acres of land, and built a 36 x 24 Gambrel house.

Less than $40,000 in 1977/1978.

House has appreciated at least 12-15X.
 

Rob Boudrie

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Market has peaked and things should become more affordable over the next few years based on supply and demand.
How can you, or anyone else, know this? I assumed it had peaked when I bought my place 5 years ago since I could hardly imagine anyone paying the price I did, but comps show about $150k increase in value; figure $100k if you remove the wishful thinking/I know my house is worth a lot perspective every homeowner has.
 

GiveMeLiberty

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Look into building your own house. Even if you do not build it after the research, at least you will know where your $$ is going.
Unfortunately the bank isn't going to give someone a loan to build their house unless they are a licensed GC...

ETA: Props to the OP for thinking about this at such a young age. Takes a lot of planning and saving and research, but having your own home is an amazing feeling!
 

snowballs

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How can you, or anyone else, know this? I assumed it had peaked when I bought my place 5 years ago since I could hardly imagine anyone paying the price I did, but comps show about $150k increase in value; figure $100k if you remove the wishful thinking/I know my house is worth a lot perspective every homeowner has.
Been buying and selling real estate for a long time. Market has been slowing since July-August. Rates are up and more properties available. I can assure you I won't be starting any new home construction or flipping any time soon. Exception being buy a bank owned direct at a bargain price. BTW 5 years ago is when the latest boom was just starting. End of the Obama economy. Low rates and no jobs.
 

calsdad

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Hello all need some advice. I am currently 22 yesrs old and just started making 17$ an hr at my new job. Anyways im looking at buying a house in Russell MA for 98k. My question is can i buy the house and have somewhat of a life aswell? I know some people have houses but have no life due to having no money/ not budgeting right. I have a good amount saved up but would like to save up a bit more. I am in no rush to buy i am just at a point in my life where i have my car a motorcycle, tons of tools and id like to have my own space. Also when moving how doses the gun laws work. Currently on a restricted ltc for hunting and targetting. Im pretty sure Russell is alot more lax then springfield is. Any advice would be appreciated
I wish I had bought a house much earlier in life than I did, it ended up being a financial thing for me (lack of finances that is) - that kept me out of a home for a long time and therefore I rented.

Here's the thing with buying a home though: you CAN get royally screwed if you buy the wrong house - or at the wrong time. Or - it can be the best financial move you ever make.

You'll hear a lot of people say stupid crap like " it's cheaper to rent". Yeah maybe - if you're one of those tards that has a mental process that tells you that leasing a car is a smart financial move.

Here's the thing with a house: yes, you might pay a higher $$ amount every month to live in a house , than you would to rent someplace. Usually , you'll get more actual space for that money though. So you REALLY need to compare apples to apples and don't do dumb shit like say "buying a house costs more" when you're comparing the monthly cost of a mortgage for a 3 bedroom ranch with a garage and a basement and 1/4 acre of land - to a two bedroom apartment where you can't even leave your bicycle out in the hall and you get one deeded parking space.

The other thing with buying a house - vs. renting is: count the actual money you spend for what you get. Yes - you'll pay a lot for a mortgage and property taxes. But the thing is: YOU HAVE TO LIVE SOMEWHERE. And unless your parents are allowing you to live in their basement you're going to pay to live in that somewhere. Add up the cost of $1200 a month in rent for say 10 years - vs the cost of a mortgage for $1600 a month (plus the other bills) - then calculate how much you've spent.

Now assume at that ten year mark you're going to sell the house and move. The house sells - you get SOMETHING back out of that. Now tell me what you get back out of the rental apartment besides a goodbye , thanks for staying ! from the landlord (he's thanking you for paying off HIS mortgage BTW)

If I was you I would start learning as much as I can about real estate and the market. Research how much houses have sold for in the past. Try to get the worst house in a good neighborhood. Spend your time fixing it up. That will increase it's value. What you want to be in is a house that is in a good neighborhood that will sell fast when the time comes to sell. Also be aware - the housing market has grown in value for a LOT of years now. It's not out of the realm of possibility that there will be a dip or a crash in the market and/or the economy. Don't overextend to the point where you can't make the mortgage. Think about maybe taking in a roommate to pay the bills - if you can stand it (this is another totally separate area of discussion)

I don't know Russell or Springfield for how much red or green they are in regards to gun laws, but Springfield being a city is very likely to be RED. Somewhere online there is a rating for MA towns in regards to their chances of issuing a non-restricted LTC Class A. I think it's a fair bet that Russell will be much better than Springfield.
 

calsdad

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100% true. If you house is move in ready you still need to figure like 1-2% of the 98k a year for basic upkeep. If you pay people consider 2-4% yearly or more.

If your house needs work, you can easily break the budget if something major F's up like a well or septic, furnace, or roof.

Also don't forget....your the one clearing snow, mowing, and landscaping (need a snowblower,mower or tractor to move shxt) All this adds up.
That's why you learn to do shit yourself.

Replacing a roof, landscaping, even replacing a furnace are DIY jobs if you're handy and have your head on straight.

And for somebody on a budget the cost difference is in the THOUSANDS of dollars.
 
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