How to decide about buying!

BhamsterMarch 18, 2013

My husband and I were going to sign some papers tomorrow to get the ball rolling on a buying/building a new house in a subdivision we really like that's about 15 minutes south of us. Here's the situation: we have a very nice house that we like very much, it just needs better countertops and back splash and the screened patio spruced up. Oh yeah: and our neighbors don't like us so we need to plant some tallish plants to screen our backyard on both sides.

The new place would be a smaller house but brand new and we'd get to make all the design choices. But adding a screened patio like ours would add $8000 they tell us so we either spend more than we want or forgo things we'd like. The big draw, though, is that we know many of the people who live in this subdivision and it would be SO wonderful to be with people who actually like us. Also closer to places we frequent for shopping, dining, church, etc.

It's not impossible to stay where we are: we've been here 6.5 years, but the last argument with our elderly neighbors really left a bad taste in our mouths. We can get over it and put up those shrubs and rarely see them. The ones on the other side have just never liked us for some reason so things would remain cool as they always have been. 15 minutes is not impossible for getting to where the action is...

We only just started to contemplate this a week ago when we went to look at a model home--that we would have purchased immediately if it hadn't already been sold. But now we're being pressured to pick a lot, sign a contract, etc. etc. because they're going to be pouring foundations this week. I HATE being pressured...

We're wondering what if we stay put for a year or two and then wait to see if any of those new owners have to sell for some reason or other. We'd have more time to fix up the house, scale back on possessions, pack, etc.

Any thoughts? We'd appreciate any advice.

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I know the feeling of seeing a newer home than yours and feeling that pull of "I want my home to look like that." But your alternatives don't make much sense to me.

I understand wanting to move to a friendly neighborhood, closer to all the places you go, but the attractiveness of this neighborhood is that you get to make all the choices.

Your alternative won't allow you to do that - you'll be looking at units where someone else made the choices.

If you need or want top dollar for your current home, I would take some time to do what needs to be done to get a good price for your home. Personally, it's taken over a year for us to even "kind of" get in a position to sell our home, but that's because I love a project! I could not imagine looking at a home out of the blue and then saying, "let's buy it!". But I've never been transferred out of town for a job or otherwise HAVE to move. Lots of people do it.

If money is not the first priority and you are willing to price it to sell when the time comes, then I would go for the town home. But only if you are willing to sell your current house for whatever the market will bear.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 6:10PM
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The reasons for a new home -
higher mortgage (as you probably have paid down considerable principle on your current home and if you refinanced in past 3 yrs at a sweet rate lower than a new home)
New home - Many have learned in the past 10 yrs new isn't always better due to shabby building material and labor.

If your current home only issue is requiring shrubs and a 15 minute drive - how much are you spending on the new home? Please include closing, design fees, etc.

Additionally, your current home will probably require to stay put for another yr while new home is constructed so you will probably add the landscape anyway.

I'm a minimalist and HATE (I mean HATE to the point of arson if I wouldn't be a suspect or possibly damage my home) one of my neighbors but they are both elderly and sick so I anticipate they will die out before I do or go bankrupt on medical bills allowing me to buy their place.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 4:08PM
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Roosevelt, you make me smile: I too have thought about the fact that the ones who are the most trouble are elderly and could die soon--or at least have to move to assisted living. But I don't know: the wife is about 76 and out there with her pick axe all the time.

When we moved in to the subdivision over 6 years, someone commented to us that people die like flies here (they put up a black ribbon at the entrance every time someone dies. It happens a LOT.). But we're getting young families with each death and sale of a house.

We actually have paid off our house, but the issue is that--even though our house is larger and nicer, it very likely won't get enough in resale to cover the cost of the smaller, newer one in a nicer subdivision (the town it's in is actually pretty depressed, but the subdivision is close to a very high end area of the city next door).

To tell you the truth, after a lot of praying, we've decided to take our time and not be pressured into moving RIGHT NOW. We'll go ahead and put in those shrubs and maybe upgrade the kitchen--things we would do if we stayed forever. Then we'll see if any of those new subdivision homes come up for sale again.

Since we're a little concerned about the drainage at the sites we were shown, I'd like friends who live in the subdivision to let us know if problems come up in the future.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 4:26PM
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