The Home of Daddy's Day Dare! ~ I am just trying to stay above water

Tight-Wad Tuesdays ~ Let’s Go Shopping!

Our house selling project is going slow but steady. We are in the process of getting our house in shape to make it more presentable to buyers. Our realtor gave us a small list of things to fix. More money down this drain!

Of course we want to net as much as possible from the sale of our house. The proceeds, after paying off our current mortgage, will be the down payment for our new house. But here is where I want to cry.

Can you imagine my leaf problem now?

Can you imagine my leaf problem now?

We have been in our current house a little more than 10 years. In round numbers, we paid $150,000 for the house when we bought it. Being a prudent financial advisor, we were not going to get in over our heads, like many people did buying too much house. And we didn’t. The credit scores are still pretty good.

BUT, when I asked our realtor what she could get for our house, she gave me $1,000 LESS THAN what I paid for it originally….. 10 years ago! What? My jaw dropped. I was speechless.

You see, over the past 10 years we did some major improvements to our house. We did a major project every year it seems. Here is a list of some upgrades we did:

  • Installed  new roof
  • Installed aluminum siding
  • Had the foundation shored up
  • Added a new, more powerful A/C Heater
  • Added 2 remote controlled garage doors
  • Replaced the water heater
  • Replaced a wooden deck with a huge stone patio this year.

That was a lot of money. Really no cosmetic upgrades, just all functional ones. And our realtor says she can almost get what we paid for our house; if we want to sell it. We could hold out for more money but might not sell it at all then. I was stunned! I’m still stunned.

But our scenario just illustrates some of the bad stories you have been hearing about the housing industry; and what our local housing market supports in this economy. Not a great investment so far. 😦

And that’s what owning a house is, an investment. Look at the scenario above, housing markets, the economy, supply and demand. I had hoped our house would be worth at least $175,000 at this point, or a 16% gain (ROI). Nope. It is a zero % gain. ZERO. Which is typical for the housing industry in general now it sounds like. The housing markets have been in a crash slump of several years now, not unlike the stock markets being in a slump for much of the 21st century.

Being a student and fan of finance, and investments in general, I recognize this and forced to accept the value of my home. I sunk over $30,000 in improvements in it, only to lose that money it seems. Yes, your house is an investment, just like stocks are, as well as society, and even our children. They are all different types of investments, with many variables, but in the end we want the money we put into these investments to help raise the overall value of each one; and hopefully get some Return On your Investment (ROI). Not stay the same for 10 years (sniff, sniff)

With any important investment, one popular goal has been Buy Low and Sell High. So our housing situation made me think, what would a great stock of this past decade be priced at if it was at a value from10 years ago, similar to our house?    AAPL

Apple Inc, maker of some sort of fancy telephone that everybody has, some computers and other fancy high tech gadgets sold for about $15 per share 10 years ago. Today it sells for almost $500 per share; a gain of over 3000%.


Apple was in a slump 10 years ago. Steve Jobs left to go do some work with an up and coming movie maker, Pixar. Apple’s market was down; way down. But not a lost investment.

Now I wonder, how much my house could be worth, if it had any amount of that good fortune that Apple had. A 1000% gain in the value of my house puts it at (tick, tick, tick, tick) $2,250,000 (heavy, heavy, heavy sigh)

Certainly the housing market and the stock market revolve around different elements. What effects one certainly does not affect the other, except for the nature of the economy. The housing market has been hit hard with over building (supply), a bad economy to buy (demand), unscrupulous banks writing loans for people that had no business buying houses larger than what they could afford, and so on.

So, our government has made it as easy as possible, right now, to buy a house, with interest rates at historical lows. Could this be similar to the status of Apple Computers 10 years ago? Buy Low Sell High?

This is what I am seeing. We can buy houses with values depressed to 10 year lows. YOU can buy houses at 10 year lows, similar to ours; Apple Computers for $15! We toured houses with nearly twice the value of ours these past few weekends.

PLUS, with mortgage rates where they are, you can buy a house with a value you never would not have imagined looking at in the past. That’s where we find ourselves today.

We just looked at a house which was built in 2007 and sold for $275K originally. It’s asking $280K today BUT has an awesome swimming pool added and a fully stocked media room included with it (there were even some Yuenglings in the frig). And, with the deposit from selling our house, I can get this house for almost the same mortgage payment as what I have today.

Sure I am not getting what I want for mi casa but neither is anyone else. Why not take advantage of these super low rates right now and trade up? The combination of over built housing along with historical low rates makes this such a buyers’ market I am finding. This could get fun! And sure adds fuel to packing all those boxes.

So, all I need help with now is just making a decision! Lets go shopping…

Can you help me out, all you great shoppers out there?

Here are three houses we have seen over the past 2 weeks. All houses have, or would have, practically the same mortgage payment, within $50 or so. Tell me which would you most like to live in?

Last week’s @ $270K:

Roma out

roma inside

roma pool

For more pic’s click on the link below:


This week’s tour @ $280K:

Carolina ouotsdie

The pool table, wet bar, and two sets of 'power reclining' theater sofas come with the house along with a projector and large screen.

The pool table, wet bar, and sets of  theater sofas come with the house along with a projector and large screen in their ‘Media Room’.

carolina pool

For more pic’s click on th elink below:


Or this one @ $140K:

Can you imagine my leaf problem now?

We seem to be moving at a great time (I hope). If you are considering a refinance or a move yourself, consult a mortgage broker and a realtor and see what you are able to do. Buy Low and watch it grow! Come on, let go shopping!

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14 thoughts on “Tight-Wad Tuesdays ~ Let’s Go Shopping!

  1. So how much money will you need to get those laves then? ~you too

  2. Lol I’d have liked to rake those leaves for you, but I’m sure getting me there and all the way back would cost you far far more than $40! 🙂
    Thanks, I would be honoured to have you as my consultant if I happen to take any more business courses in the future or any time I need some business term explained.
    A pet sounds great, hopefully I’ll be getting a kitten soon too.
    Keep writing!

  3. Nadia, please, please, please if you like those trees would you like to rake some of the enchanting leaves? I’m paying $40 US for the front yard right now. 🙂 I am glad you liked my ROI def. but to be honest it is an abbreviated version. As a financial advisor we were always taught to speak in layman’s terms and use illustrations and not text book definitions, which few could understand. I’ld be honored to be your consultant on any future business courses 🙂 I would! And you are right about the yard, the other one has no back yard…and we want to get a greyhound as soon as we move (future blog). He’ll need a yard! Good Luck in school Nadia. Thanks for taking the time to drop by!

  4. That’s a much better explanation of return of investment and cost rises than my business professor ever managed to give. I think that’s a reason why I found the whole first year of the business degree was so unchallenging I dropped it and restarted in computing.You’ll be a great tutor for your girls! 🙂
    I love the first house with its fantastic pool. It seems much more practical for outdoor parties and summer bar b q’s. Good luck looking!
    The outside of your house however, is the best. The trees make it look so enchanting and add character. Hope you aren’t planning on getting rid of them?

  5. The 3rd house is the one we live innow. So any pictures of my kids you have seenthe inside there. (nuthing exciting) If you sre still laid up with the flu, take a click on the links of the houses and you can see both insides. The 2nd one is perfect for use and we would get it but it is too far out of town for us. We really liked the 1st one too and the location is ideal but the layout of the house did not fit ours family….so we keep shopping. ~its the fun part! Feel better Janice!

  6. Wow, first of all that sucks that there’s no gain on your house! Agh, how frustrating is that 😦

    As for the new places, the third one is hard to judge b/c there’s no photos of the inside.

    The first and second are both really nice. The first seems to have more of an old-fashioned, cozy feel (in a good way). I love that room with the fireplace and all of the lawn space in the front. The second place seems more of a modern feel and a great choice if you love to entertain guests.

    Are you leaning more to one of the three than the others?

  7. Its seems like a win here, except for the money lost in upgrades too our house. But who knows what else is out there? The first one is a short sale. I know there are more. Coming to help unpack? It looks like we’ll have a pool to chill in! ~Thanks for stopping by Anna.

  8. Anna Lea West on said:

    Not sure you can go wrong here … loving the houses and both pools are great in their own way. Keep us updated on what y’all decide!

  9. So you think if I wait on the houses the price may drop some more? Isn’t that just crazy how the reality market operates? That 2nd house has been on the market since August of 2012. I really want it but too far away from our work it looks like. Both the pools are in ground but here in SC we don’t need the water heaters. But thank you, as taking care of a pool will be pretty new to me. Just another expense! We bought some Apple for my wife a good year ago. It was up as high as $750 so maybe this is a buying opportunity? She only has 5 shares but was up a few thousand that first year. So you will be down to help us unpack into the new house (and bring your kids) if we have a swimming pool? I thought between the pool and th emedia room our girls will be pretty popular in school. 🙂

  10. I LOVE the look of the first house but like the amenities of the second better. Hard decisions to make. Although the more natural looking pool will probably be easier to upkeep in the Northeast which is BRUTAL on in-ground pools. Definitely take that into consideration as in-ground pools mean mucho $$$$ in repairs and maintenance especially if you have a heater. I bought the Town House that I’m living in now last December, 2011. Six months later (June 2012) it was selling for $30,000 cheaper than what I paid. Ugh! That was my down-payment! Ouch!! How I wish I bought Apple 10 years ago! I have some Disney for my kids and try buy when it’s in the low 20s but haven’t seen that for a while now either. Good luck, Andy !!

  11. I like the boat idea although that one will have to wait until retirement. How much do small islands go for? I like the second one best too, although it is further out of town than we would like. Thanks for dropping by SSM. Come on up and help with the shopping!

  12. Hey Jessica, I added some links for more pics. Both houses have nice fireplaces although both are gas powered. And, of course th efurniture pictured is not part of the deals except th eman cave. The first pool is actually a lap pool so no real shallow area for the kids to play in. So I think the girls like the second one best. We’ll see. We’re still shopping! Thanks for dropping by and adding your shopping sense!

  13. That’s a tough decision. I like the bay windows and fireplace of the first, but the pool of the second one seems like fun for the whole family…and the man-cave for you! Sadly no pictures to judge the inside of the third option…and you did say you were going to trade-up which I’m sure means spending more on the ‘new’ house than you did on the ‘old’ one. Have you asked the girls which one they like, and why?

  14. …or you could sell it all and buy a boat and sail away into the sunset! Or buy a small island. Or start a new life as a missionary. But last week’s tour looks pretty good, too.

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