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ARGH, housing prices are so hopelessy depressing.
Posted by: mikebw
Date: January 02, 2006 01:10AM
So I am looking at maybe buying a house in June, since I will be moving out of my current living arrangements and don't really want to keep paying rent.
Only problem is, even the very smallest matchbox of a house goes for at LEAST $340,000. This is INSANE.

I have never owned a home before, and have never tried to get a mortgage, so I might have some strength in getting a good loan. I also have a steady job that pays pretty well for my age (I think) so I should be able to get a loan for as much as a small house would cost, but it's just crazy how freakin' expensive these little $#!^ houses cost.

I feel like I could just build my own brand new house from scratch for less than buying a 60+ year old house that doesn't suit me at all. But I guess most of the cost of a house is the actual land it sits on.

Oh yeah, I'm in Silver Spring, MD in case anybody wants to empathize.
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Re: ARGH, housing prices are so hopelessy depressing.
Posted by: Phy
Date: January 02, 2006 01:13AM
Ouch!
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Re: ARGH, housing prices are so hopelessy depressing.
Posted by: mikebw
Date: January 02, 2006 01:25AM
I am very much considering a condo instead of a house, since there are 2BR/2BA models around for under 300K, which is still ridiculous, but a touch more affordable.

I will be the first to break out with a mop and clean up on some real deals when this 'housing bubble' bursts all over the place.

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Re: ARGH, housing prices are so hopelessy depressing.
Posted by: chas_m
Date: January 02, 2006 01:25AM
I know you don't want to keep renting, but until this housing bubble bursts it's the best thing to do. You're in a bad area for housing I'm afraid.

Your best bet for buying a house is a foreclosure auction, and I don't think you want the bad kharma that comes from that ...

Ride this one out for a while longer (probably 1-2 years, tops). I'm expecting BIG changes in the economy in another year or two.



chas_m




[crawlingfromtheusa.blogspot.com] <-- Moving to Canada blog
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Re: ARGH, housing prices are so hopelessy depressing.
Posted by: mikebw
Date: January 02, 2006 01:45AM
And by then I might be moving to the opposite coast. I suppose buying might not be the thing to do right now, just seems like a waste sometimes to rent.

> Ride this one out for a while longer (probably 1-2
> years, tops). I'm expecting BIG changes in the
> economy in another year or two.

I sure hope so.
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Re: ARGH, housing prices are so hopelessy depressing.
Posted by: bangman
Date: January 02, 2006 01:49AM
Your prices would be considered cheap out here.



---------
3GHz - The clock is STILL ticking Steve.
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Re: ARGH, housing prices are so hopelessy depressing.
Posted by: MacMagus
Date: January 02, 2006 02:20AM
Look farther afield.

How much of a commute could you take to/from work? Could you live in Northern Virginia or a little further west where housing is slightly cheaper?

Have you talked to an agent?
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Re: ARGH, housing prices are so hopelessy depressing.
Posted by: mikebw
Date: January 02, 2006 02:59AM
I commute into DC, 50 minutes door-to-door each way on the Metro. Any farther out and I would have to drive which to me is just another expense I can avoid by living within the metro system. Especially important with gas prices being what they are now.

I could go to NoVA and still do Metro, but I have roots in the Silver Spring area so that probably won't happen.
My fiancee and I want to stay in the area until she finishes her PHD, maybe 2-3 more years, so I am on the fence about buying.

No agents, yet. Might get serious in a few months, I can handle renting on my own, but buying is all greek to me at this point.
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Re: ARGH, housing prices are so hopelessy depressing.
Posted by: MacMagus
Date: January 02, 2006 03:10AM
Silver Spring is a premium market. Take a close look at the Metro map and see where else you might feel comfortable.

I'm actually looking for a new place in the DC area, myself, but I'm not quite ready for a house.

[www.wmata.com]
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Re: ARGH, housing prices are so hopelessy depressing.
Posted by: mikebw
Date: January 02, 2006 03:33AM
Something along the green line around College Park would also work well for us. I have been on the red line my whole life and my work is on it too so I prefer that, but green is just a transfer away.

I know prices are cheaper in PG County, usually for a reason though. I guess the thing to look for is a nice area near the border between montgomery and PG counties close to the green line and college park, be it a condo or a regular detached house.
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Re: ARGH, housing prices are so hopelessy depressing.
Posted by: (vikm)
Date: January 02, 2006 04:16AM
mikebw Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> And by then I might be moving to the opposite
> coast.

Uhhh, if being able to buy is what you're hoping for, don't move to anywhere near the coast of CA. It is at least 2-3 times as bad as what you're talking about. I innocently asked a guy that owns a condo in the 10-12 unit complex where I rent what any of them have sold for recently. He told me it was like $850K. It was a 2 or 3 BR condo with a 2 car garage. Nice places, decent location but anyone can recognize that these prices are absurd.

I know from experience how bad it sucks to toss $$$ into someone else;s bank account but the market is already starting to tank out this way a bit. My buddy just had his home (3 years old) sold a bit north of here and it fell out of escrow. Sold it again about a month later for roughly $40K less than the first "sale". Ouch. It's not an isolated incident, either.


Good luck mikebw and be patient.
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Re: ARGH, housing prices are so hopelessy depressing.
Posted by: MacMagus
Date: January 02, 2006 04:42AM
> if being able to buy is what you're hoping for, don't move
> to anywhere near the coast of CA. It is at least 2-3 times
> as bad as what you're talking about.

Yeah, but California has ALWAYS been sick that way (I used to live there). This is new stuff for the rest of the country.

My friend bought a condo in NW DC for $105,000 5 years ago. 'Just got it appraised for more than 3.5 times that. 1-bedroom, around 550 sq. feet. Bad wiring. 'Stinks of gas. No parking. Shared laundry for the 10-story building is 4 machines on the 1st floor next to the stinking garbage room.

Even if the market is taking a dip, it's a long way back down.

BTW: What are rents in Silver Spring? That's within my commuting-range. smiling smiley
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Re: ARGH, housing prices are so hopelessy depressing.
Posted by: mikebw
Date: January 02, 2006 08:49AM
I would not be moving to CA, probably the Seattle area, which I know is not cheap either, but I belive there are options.

Rent in the Silver Spring area, well you can expect to pay around $500 per person in a shared single family house depending on utilities. I'm renting a 5-bedroom for $2300/mo and share it with 4 other people so it really is quite affordable compared to trying to live on your own. 1-2 bedrooms apts can run from 600-1200 or more once you get in the District of Columbia. I stay away from there when it comes to housing, just not worthwhile at all in my opinion. You can commute out to MD or VA on the metro and save so much money on rent it's not even funny.

You can always look up prices on Craigslist for the major cities.
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Re: ARGH, housing prices are so hopelessy depressing.
Posted by: kap
Date: January 02, 2006 08:56AM
There is two well-maintained houses in my city, Monrovia, CA. One is 4 houses away from ours. The other one is on the next street over. A month has passed, they are still on sale even with the "Reduced" sign.

Kap



SoCal for now.
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Re: ARGH, housing prices are so hopelessy depressing.
Posted by: kap
Date: January 02, 2006 08:57AM
Correction: There ARE two ...



SoCal for now.
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Re: ARGH, housing prices are so hopelessy depressing.
Posted by: Tofer
Date: January 02, 2006 09:52AM
Prices do seem to be dropping slightly here in the Boston area. That said, it's still ridiculous. I'm renting ($780/mo, share with two others in a 3br), and the condo two doors down just sold:

basement condo
2br (medium sized), 1.5bath
1 parking space (and I live in an area that has no overnight street parking, so you're SOL if you don't have a space)
nice new renovations (stone countertops, etc.)

Asking price...$645,000

Ugh.

-Tofer
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Re: ARGH, housing prices are so hopelessy depressing.
Posted by: DaviDC.
Date: January 02, 2006 10:35AM
I bought a 2 bedroom 1940s house in October for less than 40K. Maybe it's time to consider moving to a different region.




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Re: ARGH, housing prices are so hopelessy depressing.
Posted by: Gutenberg
Date: January 02, 2006 10:37AM
I got a good two bedroom house in a medium neighborhood in Baltimore for $75,000 a couple of years ago. The same house is going for about $125k now, but still with the savings you could get a decentish car. My house is about a half mile from I-95. There are plenty of first-time buyer programs to help you out--check [www.livebaltimore.com] if you are interested. (Live Baltimore is a non-profit--they took the dot com address because no one was finding them at the dot org address.)
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Re: ARGH, housing prices are so hopelessy depressing.
Posted by: jardster
Date: January 02, 2006 11:17AM
i don't really see a bursting bubble in DC. I live in Montgomery county and paid a lot for my townhouse. But, it has gone up. As things have slowed a little, houses are on the market longer, but they still have appreciated, not at 40% per year, but more reasonable single digits. Go get an agent (PM me if you want the name of my agent who is really good and knows Mont Co best), talk to people about mortgages. Houses usually aren't bad investments, especially if you are rooted to an area and don't mind staying a while.
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Re: ARGH, housing prices are so hopelessy depressing.
Posted by: davester
Date: January 02, 2006 12:36PM
I think it's a mistake to let your emotions rule when it comes to "buying" a house. It's a psychological fallacy. You're not really buying it anyway. The mortgage company owns it...you just have a long term lease from them. The chances that you'll pay down the mortgage before moving are very slim. The rent/buy decision needs to be 90% cold financial calculation. For the coastal areas that have had big real estate price runups recently, it's almost a no brainer that renting is a better deal, even after you factor in the tax savings. It would make more sense to take your down payment money and invest it in a business that you could write off expense to than to tie it up in a non-income-producing "asset" like a house.
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Re: ARGH, housing prices are so hopelessy depressing.
Posted by: Phy
Date: January 02, 2006 12:53PM
Here's a slightly dated but still interesting link to overpriced housing in various areas of the country:
[www.usatoday.com]
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Re: ARGH, housing prices are so hopelessy depressing.
Posted by: MacMagus
Date: January 02, 2006 12:56PM
'Sounds like I should look into moving to Silver Spring. That's cheaper than where I live in Arlington.

Thanks!
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Re: ARGH, housing prices are so hopelessy depressing.
Posted by: Rain
Date: January 02, 2006 01:03PM
Makes me appreciate what it was like here on the MS gulf coast. Built my 2400 sq ft home just off the bay in Biloxi, MS three years ago for just over $200k. Week after Katrina, my neighbor sold his home for $310,000.

Watching TLC last night.. Show called Flip this House (or something close to that). Everything they were buying was old, had small yards, and pretty run down. Avg. 1300 sq ft. And they were buying these homes for $300k. Of course once they rehab'd them, they were told by local realtors that the home would now bring $500k - $600k. (yes, california homes)





[www.reverbnation.com]

Thanks for everyone's help and support after Hurricane Katrina!
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Re: ARGH, housing prices are so hopelessy depressing.
Posted by: kap
Date: January 02, 2006 01:13PM
I am in southern CA. I have seen and told of of similar stories from the realtors themselves!

Kap

Rain Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Makes me appreciate what it was like here on the
> MS gulf coast. Built my 2400 sq ft home just off
> the bay in Biloxi, MS three years ago for just
> over $200k. Week after Katrina, my neighbor sold
> his home for $310,000.
>
> Watching TLC last night.. Show called Flip this
> House (or something close to that). Everything
> they were buying was old, had small yards, and
> pretty run down. Avg. 1300 sq ft. And they were
> buying these homes for $300k. Of course once they
> rehab'd them, they were told by local realtors
> that the home would now bring $500k - $600k.
> (yes, california homes)
>
>
>
> View my Hurricane Katrina Pics:






SoCal for now.
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Re: ARGH, housing prices are so hopelessy depressing.
Posted by: Racer X
Date: January 02, 2006 07:17PM
depending on the area, housing prices can be going up from 5-25% (or maybe even more) a year. My area, Seattle is about 15% (has been doubleing every 7-11 years for over 6 decades)


So unless you know for a FACT that your income is going to go up faster than the hoising prices, don't wait.

If you income goes up maybe 6% a year, and housing 15%, buy tomorrow.
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Re: ARGH, housing prices are so hopelessy depressing.
Posted by: SteveJobs
Date: January 03, 2006 08:16AM
Move to cheaper housing markets. Can you afford $50,000?

[www.lingle.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/03/2006 08:20AM by SteveJobs.
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