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Old 01-02-2008, 08:25 AM    (permalink
bsaza2358
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The DC market is different than most others because DC has lower unemployment than any other big city in America. Between the city governments, federal government, military, huge nonprofit industry, plus private industry, people make solid money and can get new jobs more easily. Plus, with congress changing every 2 years and the executive branch always in flux, there is a decent amount of turnover in the area. People come and go a lot, which means the market stays decently active. Right now, it's in a downswing with a lot of capacity, but after the new President and Congress comes in, I expect things to pick up. We'll probably hold for a bit because we got a great first time homebuyer rate, and we have to recover from the outlay of the down payment, etc.
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Old 01-02-2008, 08:37 AM    (permalink
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congrats man. homeowning is fun stuff.
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Old 01-02-2008, 08:43 AM    (permalink
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If I'm not mistaken, you're a military man, so it probably doesn't make that much sense. Your best bet is to save as much as you can, so you can put a big down payment on your house in the future. Real estate prices in the DC area are disgustingly high. My gf and I make easily over $150k together, and we could only reasonably afford this condo. Our hope is to hold this property for the time being, then sell it when the real estate market recovers at a significant profit. We're close to the metro, DC, and major highways, and the building has a pool and gym on site. We're also working with Verizon to bring in Fios. Fios apparently adds 1-2% of value to homes these days. That will be awesome.
First off congratulations. Sounds like you have a plan with the house.

You are correct, the cost of owning a home is ridiculous right now. Like SuperKevin said, rent in my opinion is pissing away money. You get nothing in return for it. At least paying towards a mortgage is an invesment, and you hope eventually the market will turn and you can profit somewhat on your investment when you want to move into something bigger. At this point in my life, just turned 24, I hate the fact that I live with my parents. But as a single guy working in NJ, where houses are through the roof, it is nearly impossible to own anything on my salary alone. And like I said, I don't want to fall into the rent trap, especially in this area as rent is through the roof as well. Along with getting down from current 231lbs to around 200, my other New Years resolution is to really stock away the money. I've been saving for a down payment for a while, but I should be saving a lot more than I am especially with not having to pay rent right now, although I do help my parents out a bit since I'm still living in their home.
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Old 01-02-2008, 08:45 AM    (permalink
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I'm not sure how much fun it will really be. We have some more stuff to do still. Have to do our final walkthrough (we wanted them to fix a lot of stuff. need to make sure they did), plus there's the actual closing in about 2 weeks. In the meantime, we're in the process of purchasing blinds/shades for our windows (we have a ton of window space) and plotting closet design. We also have to consolidate furniture from 2 1 BR apartments to 1 2BR place. LOVELY!!!!
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Old 01-02-2008, 08:49 AM    (permalink
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First off congratulations. Sounds like you have a plan with the house.

You are correct, the cost of owning a home is ridiculous right now. Like SuperKevin said, rent in my opinion is pissing away money. You get nothing in return for it. At least paying towards a mortgage is an invesment, and you hope eventually the market will turn and you can profit somewhat on your investment when you want to move into something bigger. At this point in my life, just turned 24, I hate the fact that I live with my parents. But as a single guy working in NJ, where houses are through the roof, it is nearly impossible to own anything on my salary alone. And like I said, I don't want to fall into the rent trap, especially in this area as rent is through the roof as well. Along with getting down from current 231lbs to around 200, my other New Years resolution is to really stock away the money. I've been saving for a down payment for a while, but I should be saving a lot more than I am especially with not having to pay rent right now, although I do help my parents out a bit since I'm still living in their home.
One of my best friends' girlfriends' sister and brother live in separate units in a nice condo building in Fort Lee that seems to be relatively affordable. I think they got pretty spacious units with balconies for the mid-$300's. That is doable for many people, but they're dual income households. The brother is the chief analyst for a hedge fund and has 3 graduate degrees, so I think he pays the mortgage by himself. I can get you the address of that place if you PM me. I was also led to believe that certain projects in Brooklyn and Queens can be had for a reasonable price. Of course, reasonable in NY is probably sickening. haha.
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Old 01-02-2008, 08:53 AM    (permalink
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One of my best friends' girlfriends' sister and brother live in separate units in a nice condo building in Fort Lee that seems to be relatively affordable. I think they got pretty spacious units with balconies for the mid-$300's. That is doable for many people, but they're dual income households. The brother is the chief analyst for a hedge fund and has 3 graduate degrees, so I think he pays the mortgage by himself. I can get you the address of that place if you PM me. I was also led to believe that certain projects in Brooklyn and Queens can be had for a reasonable price. Of course, reasonable in NY is probably sickening. haha.
Fort Lee isn't exaclty near where I am now or where I work. I'm pretty lucky that I work in the suburbs of Central Jersey and don't have to commute further north or to NYC like most people my area do. There is a small commerical business area built around a busy train station in Central Jersey. Easy commute for me now.
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Old 01-02-2008, 08:54 AM    (permalink
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Fair enough. I figured Jersey + close to NY = right around there. No worries.
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Old 01-02-2008, 09:01 AM    (permalink
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Fair enough. I figured Jersey + close to NY = right around there. No worries.
Easy enough assumption. As much as I love the city and the Giants/Yankees, I'm more of a Jersey Shore guy. Ideally I'd eventually like to get a condo somewhere down by the shore, or 15-20 minutes away.

Question though. Although is may be a little too personal. Are you worried at all about buying with your girlfriend? Don't know how serious you to are, but that can always complicate things.
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Old 01-02-2008, 09:09 AM    (permalink
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We've been together 5 years off an on. On for about 3, then broke up for about 6 months. In that time, I sewed my oats and such, and got my priorities straight. Got back together 2 years ago, and it's been amazing. We are very compatible, and we're both quite sure we're right for one another. To protect ourselves, we put together a written contract spelling out the ownership and such in the event of a breakup. We're being smart.
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Old 01-02-2008, 09:15 AM    (permalink
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We've been together 5 years off an on. On for about 3, then broke up for about 6 months. In that time, I sewed my oats and such, and got my priorities straight. Got back together 2 years ago, and it's been amazing. We are very compatible, and we're both quite sure we're right for one another. To protect ourselves, we put together a written contract spelling out the ownership and such in the event of a breakup. We're being smart.
Thats good then. Obviously the best situation for buying a house is having two incomes. I've only been with my girlfriend for 6 months. Things are great, but I'm definitely no where ready to make such a committment.
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Old 01-02-2008, 09:21 AM    (permalink
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Probably wise. We're behind the curve a bit for how long we've been together, but with the breakup in the middle, I think taking it slow was the right move. Getting this place will cost us less than $1000 more a month, but we get a gym and a pool, plus all utilities. We have the money to get it done, so it's exciting to build equity.
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Old 01-02-2008, 05:11 PM    (permalink
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The DC market is different than most others because DC has lower unemployment than any other big city in America. Between the city governments, federal government, military, huge nonprofit industry, plus private industry, people make solid money and can get new jobs more easily. Plus, with congress changing every 2 years and the executive branch always in flux, there is a decent amount of turnover in the area. People come and go a lot, which means the market stays decently active. Right now, it's in a downswing with a lot of capacity, but after the new President and Congress comes in, I expect things to pick up. We'll probably hold for a bit because we got a great first time homebuyer rate, and we have to recover from the outlay of the down payment, etc.
the dc market is weird. it's closer to the way NYC works than chicago, philly, boston, or LA. it's just so god damn expensive. i was paying 1800 for a small 3 bedroom.

congrats on the house. everyone who can get one should get one. especially if you have the money. owning a house is a grand idea.
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Old 01-03-2008, 08:40 AM    (permalink
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I think NY is just out of control with real estate in general. The prices there are just absolutely sick. In DC, they're outrageous, but you can live there. NY is just unreal, but that also forces gentrification, which is good. DC real estate has started to do that, which helps the market. I think the elections will help swing the market back, but we're not moving out or selling for at least 2 years. This is one of the last moves I ever want to do. Ideally, we will take the equity and profit from the condo and move it into a small house, which can later be moved into my permanent home. I hate moving...
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Old 01-03-2008, 08:50 AM    (permalink
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the market down here in Florida is horrible...my wife and I got a good deal on our home but when the market comes back up we're going to bank...
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Old 01-03-2008, 08:56 AM    (permalink
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I would guess it depends on the area of Florida. That real estate is more in line with the rest of the country, but I would anticipate bigger swings in highs and lows. DC and NY and maybe Boston have shallower swings in price, but terms (closing costs, cash at closing, etc.) shift a lot. The baseline prices are so ridiculous, you need to be wealthy or speculative to own a lot of stuff anyway.
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Old 01-03-2008, 10:33 AM    (permalink
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I would guess it depends on the area of Florida. That real estate is more in line with the rest of the country, but I would anticipate bigger swings in highs and lows. DC and NY and maybe Boston have shallower swings in price, but terms (closing costs, cash at closing, etc.) shift a lot. The baseline prices are so ridiculous, you need to be wealthy or speculative to own a lot of stuff anyway.
It's pretty bad all around. I know here in St. Augustine it's terrible, because the Jacksonville area is (or was) growing rapidly and St. Augustine is a popular place to live and then commute to Jacksonville.

But yeah, the resort places in South Florida that are usually high are probably out of whack.
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Old 01-03-2008, 10:54 AM    (permalink
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It's pretty bad all around. I know here in St. Augustine it's terrible, because the Jacksonville area is (or was) growing rapidly and St. Augustine is a popular place to live and then commute to Jacksonville.

But yeah, the resort places in South Florida that are usually high are probably out of whack.
yea, my parents just bought a house in St. Augustine...kindof of like a timeshare but not really...but they paid out the ass for it....Jacksonville real estate is the same way...
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Old 01-03-2008, 11:22 AM    (permalink
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In the suburban areas just outside of DC, a 3 level townhome with a tiny yard and a garage can cost up to $1mm. These places have a decent amount of space and are in desirable areas. They are generally close to public transit. The further you go from public transit and the city, the prices stay the same for single family houses in good school districts. It can get pretty sick around here.
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Old 01-03-2008, 12:22 PM    (permalink
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In the suburban areas just outside of DC, a 3 level townhome with a tiny yard and a garage can cost up to $1mm. These places have a decent amount of space and are in desirable areas. They are generally close to public transit. The further you go from public transit and the city, the prices stay the same for single family houses in good school districts. It can get pretty sick around here.
Wow, that sucks. I watched a show on HGTV (yes I watch that) and it was about what $500,000 can buy you in different cities. In Arkansas it bought you a huge mansion and in NYC it could barey afford a little apartment.

Houston is really cheap but I lived there almost my whole life so I might want to try something different once I get older and ready to start saving up. Houston is probably the only city in the US that gets happy when oil prices go up. Everyone and their dog can get a job in the oil industry right now.

Did your gf call dibs on closet space? haha
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Old 01-03-2008, 12:37 PM    (permalink
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Wow, that sucks. I watched a show on HGTV (yes I watch that) and it was about what $500,000 can buy you in different cities. In Arkansas it bought you a huge mansion and in NYC it could barey afford a little apartment.

Houston is really cheap but I lived there almost my whole life so I might want to try something different once I get older and ready to start saving up. Houston is probably the only city in the US that gets happy when oil prices go up. Everyone and their dog can get a job in the oil industry right now.

Did your gf call dibs on closet space? haha
HGTV is one of the best channels out there...practical...I watch it all the time...it's great for those people who do own homes, you can learn alot by just watching them put in tile or repaint a room or numerous other things...I learned how to run my surround sound speakers through the attic by watching HGTV...
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Old 01-03-2008, 12:53 PM    (permalink
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Congrats Bsaza.
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Old 01-03-2008, 01:26 PM    (permalink
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Did your gf call dibs on closet space? haha
We have a pretty large walk-in closet. One side is about 8 feet long. The other is about 5 feet long. She has called the entire 8 foot side for herself, then we'll see how much space my stuff takes up. Really, it doesn't matter much to me. I have 6 suits, 2 blazers, 6 dress pants, and about 30 shirts that have to be hung, plus my ties and belts. Other than that, I don't have much additional need for closet space, other than shoe storage on the floor. We have a full size coat closet in our entranceway and a full linen closet separate. There is also a big closet in the second bedroom for other stuff. We are quite fine.
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Old 01-04-2008, 01:02 AM    (permalink
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Congrats, man.
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Old 01-04-2008, 06:40 PM    (permalink
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I think NY is just out of control with real estate in general. The prices there are just absolutely sick. In DC, they're outrageous, but you can live there. NY is just unreal, but that also forces gentrification, which is good. DC real estate has started to do that, which helps the market. I think the elections will help swing the market back, but we're not moving out or selling for at least 2 years. This is one of the last moves I ever want to do. Ideally, we will take the equity and profit from the condo and move it into a small house, which can later be moved into my permanent home. I hate moving...
the amazing thing about DC is that there's only going to be X amount of square footage available due to zoning laws and the lack of skyscrapers and historical zoning (i.e. parts of gtown)... this in turn pushes people out of the city into the direct suburbs of montgomery county (jesus christ it's expensive), pg county (which is turning expensive), southeast (which isn't that bad, contrary to popular belief... i lived there when i lived in DC. it wasn't horrible... no worse than when i lived in NE)... and alexandria/arlington counties (which are a marvel in themselves)...

wow, the more i think about it, the more i really miss DC.
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Old 01-06-2008, 05:06 PM    (permalink
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First off congratulations. Sounds like you have a plan with the house.

You are correct, the cost of owning a home is ridiculous right now. Like SuperKevin said, rent in my opinion is pissing away money. You get nothing in return for it. At least paying towards a mortgage is an invesment, and you hope eventually the market will turn and you can profit somewhat on your investment when you want to move into something bigger. At this point in my life, just turned 24, I hate the fact that I live with my parents. But as a single guy working in NJ, where houses are through the roof, it is nearly impossible to own anything on my salary alone. And like I said, I don't want to fall into the rent trap, especially in this area as rent is through the roof as well. Along with getting down from current 231lbs to around 200, my other New Years resolution is to really stock away the money. I've been saving for a down payment for a while, but I should be saving a lot more than I am especially with not having to pay rent right now, although I do help my parents out a bit since I'm still living in their home.
Its impossible to know whether or not to rent/lease or to buy a property. If you buy it you have to pay property tax and if you rent all you are paying is the rent money. If you buy a house then things will break down and you will have to have them replaced. Diswashers, A/C units, heaters, plumbing, will all wear down and you have to replace them. Those things arent cheap either. If you rent a lot of places will fix it for you. Its a tough call. If you bought a house in Las Vegas 10 years ago then you are laughing all the way to the bank.
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