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?
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?
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:
For more pic’s click on the link below:
This week’s tour @ $280K:
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’.
For more pic’s click on th elink below:
Or this one @ $140K:
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!