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You Could Be Mine

[click for bigger] The thought of buying a house has my stomach in a constant knot. Especially in a seller's market and in this area. For the price this house is going for, I could buy a mansion somewhere else. But I have this thing about not leaving my family, and I guess I'll be forever broke for them. They better recognize! Putting a binder on this one tomorrow. Someone get me a Tums, please.


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» Make me an offer...again from Red Wheelbarrow
So we made an offer, and woohoo – they accepted! Then, four hours later, our realtor calls us to say they’ve rescinded their acceptance, and since they didn’t fax it to us yet they can do that. [Read More]

» Relief from Redsugar Muse
To my beautiful girlies that are buying houses soon: I know lots of people have already told you this, but you will not believe what it does for your taxes. I didn't pay income tax on my unemployment when I... [Read More]


You can do it, kiddo. Then you can sing "Little Pink Houses" in your backyard and scare the neighbors.

Nice with the GnR reference on the day their greatest-hits album comes out.

Oh yeah -- good luck with the house!

Go Michele! There's nothing like "playing house" for reallies! You'll be fine and within a couple of years the mortgage will catch up to the rent. And you can say "mineminemineminemine".
(although the first time the furnace goes out you'll cry for your old landlord:)

Think, tax advantages! investment property! Good Luck.

I like it. :) Good luck.

Ya gotta do it... Interest rates will never be lower, this area is not ever going to go down in value (Even though I don't understand why).

Virtual TUMS heading your way.

Good luck!

It is a great looking house and you'll make it a great home. Good for you.

I used to work as a real estate appraiser. Before I make an offer I like to find out what other comparable (same size, #bedrooms, similar location, etc) homes have recently sold for in the area before making an offer.

Sometimes the local paper publishes this info. You can do a search on HomePriceCheck.com, but it's just a general overview.

Still, with interest rates as low as they are, and if you're working with a decent agent, it's hard to go wrong. Good luck!

Well, living in the (Frisco) bay area, all I gotta say is "Welcome to my world".

My only advice is, there's no time like the present. Go for it while you still can.

Woohoo! Another milestone of adult life within reach!

This calls for a lovely strawberry rhubarb pie, and a nice big bowl of whipped cream.

Dig in!

Nice looking house. Hope that's a sunroom on the right there (right side of the picture).
Buying a house is a headache, and a lot of fun at the same time.

My wife and I bought our first 2 years ago.

All I can say is this: Take the price of the house, and multiply that by 2.3. The resulting number is the number of trips you'll make to Lowes or Home Depot in the first half year of ownership. :D

The house looks great. Best of luck to you!

Looks like a nice home-to-be, babes. My fingers is crossed.

All the best!

Congrats! (You should really figure on at least weekly trips to both Lowe's AND Home Depot, as well as monthly trips to decorating and furniture and garden stores.) And probably another car (wait, you live in the city; do you even have a car?)

It easier if you have your paycheck direct deposited at Home Depot or Lowes. You'll be spending all your money there anyway!

Good luck - living in the greater DC area, I feel your pain re: real estate prices.


Look on the positive side; almost every single dollar you pay in mortgage for the first 5-10 years is actually interest. Total up your monthly mortgage payments for a year divide by 3 and add that to your normal tax bill (use a negative number if you owe) - and that's an approximation of what you'll be getting back next year.

Say your mortgage payments are $24,000 a year ($2,000 a month) and last year you owed $1,000 in federal tax on your return. Next time you file taxes you'd be due around a $7,000 dollar refund.

Hooray! Best wishes, Michele -- as a first-time homeowner 19 months ago, I can tell you: NOTHING in my life has equaled the sensation of walking into the house after signing the final piece of paper and realizing that it's YOURS.

Challenges, sure. But sooooo satisfying and peaceful. Congrats!

Be careful. The first 2-3 years, you'll be poorer than dirt. After that, you'll have enough equity to ditch PMI. You'll also curse the county assessor once your property tax bill comes in.

Purchase a patch of grass. Put a white picket fence around the patch of grass. Place a Card Board Box inside the White Picket Fence. Purchase a dog and keep him behind the fence.

Then call it Home! :-) Or not:-)

A couple things I found out (after I bought a house, of course.)

1) Go to Newsday.com => Business => Real Estate => Recent Home Sales (in the blue box below the "Search for new homes" text box) will let you search by school district for what things went for, and when. It's not perfect, for example my home isn't on the list and I've owned it for 21 months now.

2) mlslirealtor.com is a search engine for MLS numbers on Long Island. You can see photos of properties, with a map (which is a little vague and sometimes a block or so off.) So you can drive by this sweet looking 3 bedroom, see it in person, and realize it doesn't look as good as the photo. Getting a few of these together for the same neighborhood lets you look at a half dozen homes (from the outside at least) in an evening.

Good luck.

Good luck Michele. When my wife and I decided to buy a house we werent even sure of what we could afford. It was one of the most stressful times in my life but, once the keys were handed to me on the closing day, it marked a new beginning. There is nothing like owning your own home.

I hope it works out for you.

You either rent or own. The advantages of owning far outweigh the disadvantages of renting. Good luck, stay cool!

Congratulations! Soon you, like me, will owe your soul to Home Depot. Since November, 2002, I have replaced: drywall where the roof leaked and the ceiling in two bedrooms collapsed; new roof; new gutters; new hot water heater; had to completely gut the bathroom and rebuild; I just had a storm door finally put in (since the moron who installed it first put the door not on my own house but on the house next door).

But it's mine; I can close the door and experience peace; and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Imperial Keeper

Lord, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to not photoshop that picture
with Ted Rall and Michael Moore doing
the tango in the front yard.

You're complaining (even a little) about the size of that house? I live in Queens, and we paid and arm and a leg for our house, and it's a lot smaller than that.

Remember this: regardless of how tired you are or what a mess the place is, make love the first night you're there. It's the one you'll never forget.


You might want to tweak your W-4 forms to have less Federal income tax withheld; it will give you a bit more cash during the month, and of course next year you'll have incredibly high deductions to reduce your tax bite.

Still, even if there were no tax breaks at all, it would be worth it, I think, just to have something that will always belong to you.

Another virtual tums, plus tax accountants, repairpeople, a plumber or two, a thousand parties, lots of friends and lost quarters.

Congrats. I'm an American first time buyer almost three years ago (only had once house in England before that) and it's a great feeling not relying on your landlord to fix stuff.

I live on the West Coast and it's not as bad as say SF or your part of the world but we've seen our house value rise by almost 33% in this time. So when you sign the paper and gulp -- as I did -- at the size of that "first time" mortgage, think that you wont be paying your landlord a dime and any equity is now yours!!!

I'll be kind and not mention what a house like that would go for in my neighborhood.

Hope this one works out for you...


AND - I don't know if you have this service, but my township allows me to put in an address and the tax info and prior purchase prices after 1990 come up. Also, siz of lot and house.

Very pretty. Try as hard as you can to put 20% down so you don't have to pay PMI.

Bread and Salt to you and yours!

Good luck & God bless. The wife & I close on our first home (for both of us) in April. The three big hurdles seem to be:
Having the offer accepted.
Qualifying for the mortgage.
Having the appraisal come in where the bank wants it.
If you can make it through these steps I think you'll be okay.

what you have probably already learned is that you use more trees to buy the house than you do to build it.

Michele, congrats on the house. I know what you're feeling, since I went through it myself last June.

And just so you don't feel bad, I won't tell you what we paid for our house on 3/4 acre.

Good luck again.

Oh good luck! It looks great.

Just got back from the road. Sorry I'm late with the well wishes. Hope everything went/is going well with it. You deserve it.