One down, one to go, one to buy

posted by Jeff | Monday, June 28, 2010, 8:55 PM | comments: 0

It's official... Diana's house closed today, for a net loss to the bank of around $48,000. That becomes taxable income for us, but we'll have that covered. It took about two years to get the house sold, and even then, the outcome wasn't exactly ideal. But whatever, we can at least move on. A completed short sale is actually something of a rarity, it seems.

Now on to my house. I have a new agent in place, and he seems to think I'm already asking too little. I'm not sure exactly how that will translate to a sale, but I'll take his word for it. My hope at the moment is that there's actually competition that I think works in my favor. Around the corner, a same-model house is on the market for $20k more than mine. It's on a smaller lot with a pathetically short driveway even. The only thing "better" about it is that they have a nice oak staircase and a slightly larger deck. I bet my carpet is better too. Hopefully it helps me out.

I'm not very enthusiastic about buying a house, because we're just not in a good position to do so, unfortunately. That kinda bums me out, because I'm so done with apartment living. In fact, we're five months from the end of our lease already, but even if I sold my house tomorrow, I'll have no equity, and our cash situation isn't great. It's like we're starting over (though at least our investment situation, especially long term, isn't bad).

The worst part about not being able to get into the market is that the interest rates are so low. But around here, the kind of house we're looking for, comparable to what we had in Cleveland, will probably be around $400k, depending on whether or not it has a view. Views cost extra. :) So assuming the banks are cool with 15% down, that means $60k. In a best-case scenario where we didn't travel anywhere and not having any idea what Simon's impact is, and assuming the ad market keeps up, and that I sold my house tomorrow, I think I could get to $40k one year from now. That's pretty daunting to think about.

Now if the banks were more liberal about loaning, even with their bullshit PMI nonsense (the biggest scam ever), we could afford to buy a house the day we sold mine without a down payment. I mean, think about it, between my current mortgage and rent, it's still more than payments, taxes and insurance on a $400k loan, with cash to spare. Sadly, I'm pretty sure that even with a credit score of 800, that's just not going to happen. Bummer, too, because it even fits into the magic number the financial advice people give, about not exceeding 28% of your gross income for housing.

As dark as all of that sounds, it's not that I'm unhappy. I have a great job, I dig Microsoft, no winter is a bonus, and we have a cute little family. This is just the piece I'm highly motivated to resolve as fast as I can.


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