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Old June 10th, 2013, 03:37 AM   #1
Disturbing Reality
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Home Buying

anybody considered buying a house? I'm not, but I would sometimes think about my plans in the future..

what are your thoughts on buying a $150,000 to $250,000 new house ready for move-in versus buying a cheap small house for $30,000 to $50,000 that would require another $20,000 to $30,000 worth of improvement/renovation given both houses are between 1,000 to 1,500 square feet, 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom houses on a similar size lot?

lastly, what are your requirements for a house?
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Old June 10th, 2013, 03:44 AM   #2
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out of curiosity, i searched "cheap houses" for sale around my area and found some nice 1-3 bedroom houses between 800 to 1,200 square feet for 30 to 50 grand. They may need some improvement/renovation but I think they're interesting especially for a single person like me. I can improve the house and probably rent 1 or 2 rooms for extra income.

I am not doing this though, this is just purely out of curiosity..
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Old June 11th, 2013, 08:40 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Disturbing Reality View Post
out of curiosity, i searched "cheap houses" for sale around my area and found some nice 1-3 bedroom houses between 800 to 1,200 square feet for 30 to 50 grand. They may need some improvement/renovation but I think they're interesting especially for a single person like me. I can improve the house and probably rent 1 or 2 rooms for extra income.

I am not doing this though, this is just purely out of curiosity..
Where exactly do you live? In Vancouver, the houses similar to what you have mentioned would cost at least 10 times more.
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Old June 11th, 2013, 12:33 PM   #4
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Could be an old, outdated, rundown house/cottage or mobile home that needs significant improvement/remodeling. it could be less than the floor area I listed though.. I just think it's interesting..

By the way, if you are familiar of the show "love it or list it", I am getting this thread's concept from that!
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Old June 11th, 2013, 01:08 PM   #5
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Bought a house and lot in a gated community in an outskirt of Manila, south west of Manila facing the Manila Bay.

It is 3-BR house, 100 sqm FA and 80 sqm LA, with a small backyard and single parking. It costs me around $65,000. Furnishing is NOT included so I had to shell out another $20,000.

I think I met my requirements for my house. I don't wanna live in a highrise apartment so city centre location is no longer an option. Although its in the outskirt, its is fine since the location is only 30 mins drive to the city center via expressway. It will also be accesible soon to public transport since there's a plan of putting up a subway station 3 kms from my house location. NAIA, the international airport of Manila is only 15-mins drive. I also like the weather in my place, it is very windy since its near the landing path of the planes.

Since its in a gated community, all amenities are there such as swimming pool, ballroom, basketball court, tennis court, gym, lagoon and kids playground. There is a also a good school right infront of the community entrance, its the school where my kids study.
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Old June 12th, 2013, 12:50 AM   #6
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To be honest, I don't want to live anywhere near the airport. I don't mind living in the suburbs or in the middle of the city but the only sound I want to hear is the sound of people (and some cute animals ).. I don't want it too quiet either.. I think a small victorian or cape style home with 2-3 bedrooms is good so I can rent out the other 2, LOL..

In the future though when I want to start a family, I want to have a brand new home with at least 2,000 square feet of space for a family of 4..., ideally around Baltimore-Washington DC area. I think New England will be too much of a hustle and bustle for us..
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Old June 12th, 2013, 09:30 PM   #7
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In Rotterdam you can get a decent apartment for 3000 Euro/m2
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Old June 13th, 2013, 05:24 AM   #8
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for some reason I watch HGTV more and more. I think their shows are really interesting..
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Old June 13th, 2013, 07:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Disturbing Reality View Post
anybody considered buying a house? I'm not, but I would sometimes think about my plans in the future..

what are your thoughts on buying a $150,000 to $250,000 new house ready for move-in versus buying a cheap small house for $30,000 to $50,000 that would require another $20,000 to $30,000 worth of improvement/renovation given both houses are between 1,000 to 1,500 square feet, 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom houses on a similar size lot?

lastly, what are your requirements for a house?
Are you from US or Canada??

I'm surprised with the prices you mentioned!! Even for me who lives in a small Canadian city..
How i wish house prices here are as low as that...
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Old June 14th, 2013, 01:24 AM   #10
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Are you from US or Canada??

I'm surprised with the prices you mentioned!! Even for me who lives in a small Canadian city..
How i wish house prices here are as low as that...
US.. I researched home prices online.. apparently the low figures are from craigslist so I'm assuming those could be dated/rundown cottages/mobile homes in a small lot in a neighborhood where nobody likes to be at.. but who knows, detroit has lots of cheap houses in good state..
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Old June 14th, 2013, 06:57 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Are you from US or Canada??

I'm surprised with the prices you mentioned!! Even for me who lives in a small Canadian city..
How i wish house prices here are as low as that...
I know, even in a major city like Atlanta, the houses price probably isn't much higher than yours in Saskatoon. I almost couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the price of a brand new 3,000 sq ft detach home with front and big backyard for under $350,000 in Atlanta. In Vancouver, the same house would have cost over 3 millions and Im not kidding.
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Old June 14th, 2013, 01:28 PM   #12
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that's a surprise.. i thought houses in Canada are less expensive considering the huge land area and the small population.. Cities like Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal though are expensive for sure but those in smaller cities are surprising..
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Old March 3rd, 2014, 11:23 PM   #13
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I just made a new thread with exactly the same concept/purpose and I would like to continue the discussion on home-buying in this thread.

---------------------------------------------------------------
When you buy a home, would you prefer a:

1. house (single detached)
2. townhouse
3. condo

and would you like a:

1. new build
2. fixer-upper
3. move-in ready

Let us discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each of the options listed above. Feel free to add more information as you desire, for instance, if you'd rather buy a vacant lot and build your own home, etc. The purpose of this thread is to help new home-buyers as well as experienced home buyers with some information that may help them make a decision. I was checking out www.realtor.com and got interested with home-buying ideas. I currently live in a condo but I am considering a single detached house with a nice yard in the future when I have a family.

My ideal family home is:
1. about 1,500 square feet
2. has finished basement
3. has a nice yard (2,000 to 4,000 square feet)
4. has a garage
5. has open concept
6. has hardwood floors in the living room, dining room and kitchen.
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Old March 6th, 2014, 02:09 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Disturbing Reality View Post
anybody considered buying a house? I'm not, but I would sometimes think about my plans in the future..

what are your thoughts on buying a $150,000 to $250,000 new house ready for move-in versus buying a cheap small house for $30,000 to $50,000 that would require another $20,000 to $30,000 worth of improvement/renovation given both houses are between 1,000 to 1,500 square feet, 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom houses on a similar size lot?
It depends on the buyer, whether he has lots of time to spend on the house but no money or lots of money but not enough time.

In the first case, I'd recommend 'alternative' building, such as buying a plot of land somewhere in a town/village and building with very cheap but durable materials: cob, strawbale, adobe, rammed earth etc. It's quite fashionable, cheap, eco-friendly and doesn't harm your health. It's natural.

In the second case I'd recommend...Whatever his credit card allows.

But as a general rule, as everybody needs his house personalized according to his/her needs, I'd pick a cheap house that can be modified according to their needs. And tastes. What if you buy an expensive house but you don't like the tiles, the colour of the roof, the type of floor and you want them changed ? What if you want a certain type of furniture but realize that it doesn't fit well with your windows, doors, tiles etc. ? That's why I'd recommend going for a cheap house in a good position, but which can be fixed and personalized in time. In 5-10 years time it might be a dreamhouse, suiting perfectly to one's needs.

I don't know any person who, after buying a house, didn't modify it at all.

Plus, there is a personal envolvement factor in this. Because if you invest time, energy, money in the house you will be living in, you are going to be more emotionally attached to it. Whereas when moving in a ready for move-in house, it's like having a phone, of which you get bored in 3 days-1 week. Because you haven't invested anything in designing it. You just bought it as it is, without taking part in shaping it. Moreover, chances are the house is not unique, especially if you buy it from a developer.

When working personally at the house or...However, taking part in the renovation process, you can learn more about your house, which will provide you information you might find useful, so as you will know how to better exploit it. For instance I witnessed the discovery of a XIX-th century painting in a house that the owner decided to uncover and restore, it is a small piece on a wall in the corridor but it gives a certain historic touch to the location. Or you might find out structural or functional problems which can't be seen in a ready to move house, and you can fix them before moving in. Otherwise, you will have more mess if you discover these problems after you move in. Imagine having to replace the waterpipes after you have changed the tiles already, because you didn't like the previous owner's taste.

Quote:
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lastly, what are your requirements for a house?
It might seem strange as we are on different continents with different lifestyles and types of urbanism, but I am used to keeping it simple, so as not to have big spaces to clean up. Also it's helpful when looking for something, you don't have to run from one room to the other. Electricity and heating bills will be lower in a smaller house. Also less space to clean the snow off during winter, less leaves during autumn, less headache more time.

Depending on the climate, energy-saving improvements will help. For instance having 2-3 trees planted in front of the windows will allow sunlight in during winter (as there are no leafs) but would also keep shady during summer, reducing AC working time. These kinds of improvements can help save lots of energy, time and money.

And location. Being close to certain access points (bridges, metro stations, train stations, beaches, universities) can mean lots of advantages for you. Or bigger rent fees if you decide to rent it, especially for students (close to schools), physicians (close to hospitals), tourists (close to attractions, city centres).

Last edited by CadÓr; March 6th, 2014 at 02:36 AM.
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Old March 6th, 2014, 02:40 AM   #15
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That's quite thought-provoking. Especially the income opportunities you mentioned. What's keeping me from buying a house right now is the fact that I'm really never home. I'm pretty much away the entire day and the all weekends that's why a small condo is all I need for now, but yeah, renting the rooms or the basement makes a lot of sense. Aside from the fact that a house itself is a good investment for the future, it is also a good source of income at present.

Home buying is a very interesting topic, I watch HGTV regularly so that I'd know my options and would increase my knowledge base before finally making a decision.
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Old March 6th, 2014, 02:55 AM   #16
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If you're really never home, you might think of getting a house with excellent location but not in a perfect state. In time, you will have plenty of time and money to bring it in shape, according to you/ your families needs.

I don't know how old you are, but the more you get older, the more you will feel like spending time around the house, having more time for yourself. So make sure you pick up good neighbors, good location and useful facilities that come handy around you. The rest comes in time. That was my piece of advice...As I'd do like that.
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Old March 6th, 2014, 03:12 AM   #17
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LOL.. let's say I'm in my twenties.. Still in school, will be graduating next year.. And looking to buy a house as a gift to myself.. I'm really looking at a single detached house or a townhouse. I've been looking at old homes, some as cheap as $60,000 but I'm sure those houses require lots of work, but I don't mind as long as they're not condemned, LOL.. I got interested with houses lately and I actually like the idea of a fixer upper for my own home, who knows I might be flipping houses in the future!
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Old March 6th, 2014, 03:25 AM   #18
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By the way, here's a good website where people can shop for houses: http://www.realtor.com/

you can customize your search to find the ones you like in the neighborhood you like and with the price you can afford!
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Old March 7th, 2014, 12:13 AM   #19
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Quote:
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LOL.. let's say I'm in my twenties.. Still in school, will be graduating next year.. And looking to buy a house as a gift to myself.. I'm really looking at a single detached house or a townhouse. I've been looking at old homes, some as cheap as $60,000 but I'm sure those houses require lots of work, but I don't mind as long as they're not condemned, LOL.. I got interested with houses lately and I actually like the idea of a fixer upper for my own home, who knows I might be flipping houses in the future!
You will make the most money in a well-located fixer-upper into which you are willing to put a lot of sweat equity. Buy something that you can live in and take your time renovating (you don't want something that is completely unlivable without a lot of work so you have to spend money on rent during the initial renovation stage).

"Well-located" in this context means either in a city or neighborhood that is on the way up. You can never be sure, but a good real estate agent should be able to help define possibilities for you if you aren't familiar with the city already.

But remember that your time is valuable. Whether it is worth more to you spending time working on the house or working in a business or profession--or just taking time off--depends on many things that have nothing to do with real estate.
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Old March 7th, 2014, 12:19 AM   #20
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That's quite thought-provoking. Especially the income opportunities you mentioned. What's keeping me from buying a house right now is the fact that I'm really never home. I'm pretty much away the entire day and the all weekends that's why a small condo is all I need for now, but yeah, renting the rooms or the basement makes a lot of sense. Aside from the fact that a house itself is a good investment for the future, it is also a good source of income at present.

Home buying is a very interesting topic, I watch HGTV regularly so that I'd know my options and would increase my knowledge base before finally making a decision.
If you are that busy, then I don't think doing a renovation can be a serious option for you. Even if you don't do the work, you need to be around to check on the contractor frequently and remember that they (and their employees) are likely to have full access to your property.

Very busy people need something move-in ready where they can just do small updates and restorations over time. You could also consider something that has a space that could be converted to a rental (be careful--that isn't legal in a lot of cities and don't do it without a building permit) when you have the time and money to do it.
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