We answered this question after the sale of our first house (spoiler: we bought in the bubble and sold in the recession), so now we’re back to do it again – but this time the coins stacked a bit more favorably, thanks both to selling in a slightly better market and by not sinking as much into this house’s improvements (it helped that we didn’t need expensive upgrades like a new roof and windows this time around).
We managed to sell this latest house for $23,000 more than we bought it for back in 2010. And our best estimate is that we put around $14,500 into improvements that stay with the house (i.e. not furniture or other decor that moves with us). That means we made a net gain of about $8,500. Here’s an estimated breakdown of where the money went:
- Kitchen renovation (including appliances, new flooring, backsplash, lighting, counters, opening the wall, etc): $6,955
- Deck building/staining/sealing: $1,783
- New patio: $1,252
- Built-in desk in the office (it conveys with the house since it was custom-built for that area): $124
- Laundry appliances & built-in shelves: $712
- Hall bathroom update: $168
- Guest bathroom update: $51
- Crown molding that we added throughout the house: $218
- Fireplace upgrade with new tile/mantel: $147
- Board & batten in hallway: $57
- Pergola over carport: $214
- Column update for porch: $198
- Window boxes/plants for them: $132
- Paint/stain for every room, built-in, and outdoor area (this doesn’t include furniture paint/stain since that comes with us): $800
- Landscaping, light fixtures, curtains, and miscellaneous other items that stay (like new border tile & toilet in the main bath): $1,700
- Total: $14,511*
*some of these prices are total costs for projects, including some items that won’t convey with the house – for example the bathroom makeover costs include art and accessories that came with us. So this isn’t a perfect tally.
But regardless of how meticulous our math is, we’re incredibly grateful that in just a few years we were able to increase the value of this house so much – especially given our experience with our first house (to which we barely boosted the sale price at all – stupid market!). But of course, we owe a 3% fee at closing to pay the buyer’s agent commission (but we would have owed twice that amount if we used a seller’s agent, so we’re thankful for that as well).
In the end, we probably broke about even on this house. House flippers we’re not. But house lovers? You betcha. The thing we’re most excited about is finally getting to roll all of the equity that we’ve built over seven years of paying the mortgage on our first two homes into this new house – nearly cutting our mortgage balance in half. Yeehaw! That was definitely worth the wait.
What about you guys? Have you added up what you’ve spent on a house and compared it to what you got back? We always hear kitchens, bathrooms, and outdoor “square footage” (decks, patios, etc) tend to up the resale value of a house. Has that rung true for you? One thing we haven’t really heard much about are built-ins, but we think they’re such a nice feature (like the built-in desk we made for the office, the ones in the dining room that we inherited, and the one that we added to the laundry room).
So built-ins will definitely be making an appearance at the new house (especially since we’re already starting to notice a lack of built-in storage here). They add a nice feeling of function + customization, and both of the built-ins that we added were under $125, so that’s definitely some nice bang for your buck!
We also bought a house in Richmond right at the peak of the bubble, 2006. We are so underwater right now I may forever hold a grudge against Richmond. I kid. But, seriously congrats you guys, you did good.
Oh no Gabby! We hear it’s all coming back, and the fact that our house sold/appraised for what it did (the highest in the neighborhood ever I believe) is hopefully a good sign! Things are looking up!
That is so refreshing to hear!!! Congrats on the profit and accomplishment. My husband and I were going to list our condo in the city recently however our look back at investment vs. market price isn’t as pretty…lucky for us the renters market in Chicago is GREAT! Our condo was pretty new when we moved in – at the time only 7 years old. So we made some upgrades from the lower grade materials the builder selected (full-size stackable green washer/dryer, energy efficient drapes, backsplash, hung a pot rack, etc.) however when we had the place appraised when were considering listing – and to refinance – because of the market we went in the wrong direction (house selling fail). BUT our place, because of the small upgrades, was listable higher than other condos in our building (almost win!). Soooo, we ended up renting our condo out, renting our new townhouse, and house shopping for the perfect “forever home”
That’s what we’re doing right now! We think we have a renter lined up and we are planning on renting in the city we’re moving to. Because there are so few rentals here and because we can rent cheaper in the next city, we’re hoping a couple years of that will get us into our forever home! You’ve given me hope that this can work out :)
That’s awesome you were able to cut down your payments. We’re about to refinance (interest rates are crazy low in our area) so that’ll hopefully save us some dough. I’m hoping we’ll break even whenever we sell our place. Most of the work we’ve put in has been to outside of the house. Extended the patio, added gas fire pit, and put in all the landscaping. Our house is a new build so there’s not much need for renovating on the inside other than adding some personal touches i.e. new knobs, paint color, etc.
We bought a vacation home–a condo in Rehoboth Beach, DE–in 2006…not a great time to buy, as many of the above comments demonstrate. Based on what’s selling around us, it’s probably gone done in value by about $20,000. But we figured we’ve had way more than $20,000 worth of fun with it for 7 years, so in the end it’s a bargain!
I love hearing about others people’s experience buying and selling so thanks for sharing!
Sometimes I’m surprised at how good the deal was for our house. It was pure luck, since we really didn’t know what we were doing, but I’ll take it! We paid 67% of what the house had been valued at (for taxes) the year prior. We were able to take advantage of the first time buyer’s tax credit. And the house, which was a foreclosure, wasn’t in that bad of a condition. Sure, it was smelly and ugly, but the bones were good and most of the major things had been updated within a few years.
We just recently had it appraised and it was great to see that the work we did to bring the house out of Ugly Smelly Town and into this (nice smelling) decade really paid off! It just makes all of the backaches and curse filled frustration rants seem totally worth it!
Built-ins… We need to add some to our living room, and I can’t decide if I want some traditional looking ones on either side of our fireplace, or some similar to these, which would fit in our space and be more of a conversation piece: http://pinterest.com/pin/119556565080811876/
Holy cow the one you linked to is amazing!
Thanks for sharing. I think you breaking even is very realistic and normal. Only during an unsustainable housing bubble can someone expect to make a profit on a house they only lived in 3 years. A lot of people are still expecting those bubble era profits which is great for those lucky enough to cash out but bad for the rest of us and for the economy.
When we were buying our house almost 2 years ago we did the same thing – look for something we can live in now, but also offered the chance to increase the value of the home with renovations. It took a LOT of planning. Right now we’re in the middle of stage 2 of our attic master bedroom project. Our house had a huge unfinished attic that we insulated the first year we moved in. Now we’re having the electric and plumbing done. We’re also planning on finishing the dry basement and turning it into a rec room. By the time we’re finished we’ll have doubled the square footage, added a bedroom and 1.5 baths (half bath in the basement) lots of much needed landscaping, and updates on the electric, plumbing, kitchen…. yeah. lots. My husband jokes that we’ll end up paying more fixing the place than we did on the house (we bought ours for $71,000 in a neighborhood of houses worth well over that). But since we plan on living here for just about forever I don’t particularly mind. :)
Wow that’s awesome!
Julie Stevenson says
I am amazed at what you accomplished on such a small budget. Your gorgeous kitchen alone looks like you put a lot more than $14,000 + into it. I can’t wait to watch the improvements on your new home!
I am a confirmed cheap-skate and always will be. I bought a duplex 10 years ago that was close enough for me to walk to work (i live in c-ville). I rent out the other unit to my ex-husband and had planned to convert the entire property to being a rental but just can’t get my head around the idea of having to ~GASP!~ drive to work. Our housing market never crashed like other places. I just refinanced my house to add a covered front porch and finish my basement. When the apprisal made it’s way to the lending officer he was actually shocked that my apprasal came in four times higher than what i owed (a yummy profit above the purchase price and improvements). Even after adding to the principle, i’ll end up having it paid off after 16 years of ownership….and i make money every month!
Sarah J. says
our friend (who is a realtor) always says that adding square footage is the best bang for your buck. next is kitchens and baths, and usually adding character (built ins, molding, fireplaces) don’t usually increase the homes value, but rather appeal to people and sell your home faster. good thing i’ve got a husband that used to do home remodeling! ;) if we ever sell our house, he will be able to diy those things and add to our profits, just like you guys.
Sally G. says
Thanks so much for sharing this! I love how tactful you both are – you gave us enough information to be helpful without having to go into actual dollars-and-cents territory. The hubs and I are looking at houses and hoping to find something by this Fall, so it’s great to see real life guidelines for the value added by improvements. (We’re in NoVA outside DC, and by all accounts the housing market and interest rates are going up, so we’d like to get into the market soon, and to keep things affordable we’re looking for a house that will need a little bit of updating, but no more than 1 major reno.)
Lindsay H says
Maybe you guys will cover this later this week, but I always thought it was fascinating that so many of the items in your first was sold to the new buyers. So I am curious to hear (besides the curtains and rods that stayed) if anything else was purchased or asked to stay by the new buyers.
Oh yes we’ll cover that in the post with photos of each room all empty (except for what stays of course :)
I saw this on one of my sale emails and thought of you guys. I’m sure you can make some of this but you can get some ideas.
super awesome! i am proud of you guys and how much you’ve been able to do with how “little” you’ve spent!!!
We took a big loss on our first house, not even including our improvement costs (they weren’t much, but still). However, we had the cash on hand to pay off the loan and buy a new house in a nicer area at a great rate. And, we paid less than the last owners paid when they bought before the bubble. So, in the short-term, writing that large check was painful, but long-term, a good choice. Of course, I never want to move again now!
I think it is amazing how quickly you were able to sell your home, without a Realtor!
However, I hope readers don’t misread your remarks on not using a Realtor.
While it is a great option for some, others need to realize that it really helps that your home is so adorable/clean/updated.
Realtors do a lot of work and offer a great amount of knowledge for their 3% and shouldn’t be regarded as a waste of money.
Oh yes they’re an awesome option! We even debated using one if we couldn’t sell quickly on our own :)
You mentioned the cost of furniture and decor that you can take with you. This reminded me to ask (along with yesterday’s post that mentioned taking Clara’s curtains), what other more permanent decor/fixtures did you take with you? Wondering about your new dining room light, the fun fixture in your master bedroom and the DIY laundry clothespin light. I’ll miss those dining room curtains you had!
We’re going to cover everything that stayed with the house in the post this week of the whole thing empty. It’s so crazy to see!
You did well, in this financial climate! Bravo! :-)
We bought our first house in 1983, for 92,500 guilders. Sigh. We fixed it up as best we could with our very limited means – pine floors, paint, carpet, a new tiny bathroom, but a creative use-the-neighbours-cast-offs kitchen – and sold it 11 years later for 165,000 guilders. Which was good. We then bought our next house for 208,000 guilders and made it quite lovely (oak floors, new kitchen, cute garden with cobblestones and grapevines) and then sold it 11 years later for €210,00 = twice as much. Our timing was lucky. This house, though? Only time will tell. We may never recoup the new roof, the herringbone floors, the new bathroom – but we will have loved living here. We may actually never leave! :-)
WWhy do YOU as a seller have to pay the buyers commission fee? That strikes me as really odd hehe. Here when you hire someone to help you find a new house to buy, YOU pay for that service yourself. Unless I guess you haggle with the sellers of the house you want for them to pay your fees, but that’s very uncommon.
We’re currently still in process of selling our house, definitely going to be selling with quite a bit of loss sadly – due to the collapse of the housing market here in The Netherlands.. It’s frustrating :( The loss both as the fact we haven’t had much luck with potentional buyers lately. It sold back in March but then the buyer wasn’t able to get his mortgage sorted in the end so it bounced.
Here the seller always pays the agent fees, perhaps because that agent brings us the buyer and then we get the money so a small percentage goes to them for helping the sale to happen by bringing the buyer in?
House Crazy Sarah says
You guys did pretty good!
We bought our house same time as you in 2010 and have not yet sold it yet but out asking price is down to almost what we bought it for and we put about $15,000 into it. :(
However, I agree with you, I feel good about leaving a house better off then when we purchased it, even if it means a loss financially. You win some you lose some, in real estate, mostly you lose when you do it for the love of a house.
I just started reading this blog and pretty much fell in love. My husband and I are currently in the process of buying our first home, a 1,400 square foot ranch on a basement. We close on Friday. We got such a great deal for Georgia by buying through HUD. If we were to sell next week we would already make a profit. I am so excited to see where our 1970s brick home takes us and look forward to getting many more ideas from you guys!!!!
Here’s another way to look at the money. Your house is your livelihood. It’s one of the tools, for lack of a better word, that enables you to be self employed. I’m self employed as well, and over the years I’ve invested in seminars and coaches that allow my skills, business, and income to grow. Your $14,500 investment didn’t just “break even” – it brought you the income you earn as well, because your living is pegged to the house.
That’s true! It’s such a funny thing to end up doing this. Never could have guessed but we’re both so grateful!
[email protected] says
Yup, we added how much we put into a house and how much we got back. At our old house we invested about 9,000 into it. We hired professional landscapers to seed our yard, plant some trees, install a fence, and install the flower bed, but we planted the flowers and the mulch ourselves, but our landscaper helped us pick the best plants for our lifestyle. Low maintenance with pops of color. In the end, we got our down payment out of the house, but we lost the value we put into it (because we had to pay the real estate agent fees which is as much as we sank into it). We had to sale it right when the market was rising or else we were facing a possible path to foreclosure. The rising costs of utilities, insurance, and food almost took us under. But we turned around and sunk that huge down payment we had into a smaller house. We were lucky with our new house. Our mortgage was also cut in half, or just about. Our utilities are also cut in half, and we learned how to make some items homemade vs store bought. But since then our jobs have also changed in the last 5 months so we’re doing much better financially. Our mortgage is a rock bottom deal, and I don’t know of anyone who has a good deal like us (or maybe they just aren’t telling. :) )
Plus…you can’t discount that living there and doing all of those projects meant years do income for you. For y’all a house is just the gift that keeps on giving! ;).
Amen! We still can’t believe that our love of DIY has led us here.
I LOVE built-ins!!!
Our 1970’s split level is VERY short on storage (and my husband is an artist with a lot of stuff to store), so built-ins are the name of our house-renovating game.
My FIL works for a kitchen & bath cabinet manufacturer, and we get cabinets at cost (or less), so we often use cabinets in creative ways in our home. For example, kitchen base cabinets are a great base for a wall of built-in shelves. My favorite built-in do far is our huge master bedroom built-in with a place for everything, including a 3-drawer kitchen cabinet on each side of the large closet for our of season clothes/ spare socks/ etc. we spent $200 to create the built in for our only big closet here (14′ long), and it would have cost thousands of dollars to have this made custom.
I also plan to put up a bathroom overjohn or upper kitchen cabinet in our laundry room. And of course all of the old cabinets from our kitchen remodel went to the garage. Ikea has lots of great “add-ons” for existing cabinets- lazy Susan’s & drawers for garbage (that we use for dog food containers), etc.
I am sure it has already been said in the 200+ comments above, but, I was thinking. Both of your previous houses were the canvas you used to blog about/earn your income…I think that is better than breaking even!
In some ways this post makes me so sad/jealous. I’m out on the West Coast. It cost WAY more just to get into the real estate market (without a crazy mortgage!), and everything else costs more, even groceries! I’m amazed at the low prices people pay for things like groceries back East (and that stores double coupons). I would like to say that’s the price we pay for good weather, but considering it’s going to be almost 110 degrees this weekend, I can’t even say that. I often think about that whenever I read your blog, how I would love to just cut out your city and properties and dump it in California, prices, amenities, giant lots, and all. :)
We are still in our starter home, had to save up for several more years than you guys to buy it, and had to take a 30-year conventional. There’s no way we could have afforded a 15-year, unless we bought in a really sketchy neighborhood. We’re refinancing now to reduce our interest rate, but a 15-year still isn’t possible.
We regularly have to repeat the mantra “think about the long-term…think about the long-term.” We feel grateful that we skipped the foreclosure scare, the bubble price (somewhat…Zillow is schizo on our value), etc., so I guess we really need to count ourselves lucky.
Oh man, see I am all about being jealous of you for your great weather, so I bet in the colder months here you’re living it up outside with a cold beverage in your hands! I hope the long-term thing pays off – I’m sure it will! My friend is in NJ and she is still in a starter home since costs are much higher where she lives, but she has made her townhouse so cozy in the meantime!
We lived in Richmond during dental school and bought a brand new townhome just outside the city toward mechanicsville. We didn’t do many improvements and sold it 3 years later for a $30k profit. We were stoked. But at the same time we had family in AZ that were making $100k off of their homes in a year without doing anything. Different markets! So we sold the townhome moved to AZ and bought during the bubble. Seriously, you had to camp out on sidewalks or enter drawings to win lots to build on. CRAZY! We won a home lot in a drawing and thought of how extremely lucky we were. We built our house for $389k and 3 years later had to sell because our business (built in a town that took a nose dive during the bad economy) wasn’t doing as well as we’d hoped. We short sold the home for $152k. Less than half of what we built it for. Someone got a screaming deal. We were just grateful that we were able to sell because everyone we knew was foreclosing. Now we live in southwest VA and are moving soon to South Carolina. I would much rather be in a stable market and make a small profit or break even than deal with the stress of those crazy roller coaster markets!
Oh man, it’s crazy how the market changed like that! All the best in SC!
I honestly love built ins and I swear it’s why I originally got hooked on your site! My (probably still) favorite thing you guys did was when you did your first bedroom built in around your bed, I love that SO much! I think in generally they make rooms look so much cozier and finished. Can’t wait to see more :)
Congratulations! At least you made something! We built our house in 2004 and I highly doubt we’d even break even at this point. And we have put a LOT into it even though it was a new construct!
I started reading your blog just before I bought my first condo in January 2011.
I paid $175,000 for a studio/bachelor loft in a converted mattress factory in Toronto. The loft was horribly presented – it was tenanted when it was listed, but I looked through the clutter and homemade bunk bed/dresser/closet/storage (yes, that was one piece) and bought it.
$750 later – laminate, paint, trim, and lots of accessories – a little elbow greese, and lots of help from Dad, I relocated and sold for-sale-by-owner for $200,000 minus $5,000 in realtor comissions in October 2011.
$20,000 net profit in 9 months, yes please!
Here’s the final product on Apartment Therapy’s 2011 Small Cool Spaces contest: http://community.apartmenttherapy.com/contests/smallcool/2011/entries/1574
That’s awesome Dana!
Michelle Kersey says
Congrats guys! You didn’t LOSE money! Always a good thing! You definitely put in $8K of sweat equity at the old house!! I cannot wait to follow along your next adventure!
When people do their own labor, it saves cost, but for projects of the scale that you guys do, I always think about how the labor still costs time, which can translate into a financial cost. Time spent on this is less time for something else, maybe something that would make money, etc. Sometimes people overlook the real “expense” of doing it themselves, because they don’t equate their time to a cost. Sure it might not mean the thousands you’d pay someone else to do it, but your time is worth $something$. Something that could/should be deducted from some of the savings.
But in your case, since this is your job, you really got paid for that labor! So don’t just look at it as money you saved, but money you made by way of your profession. If you were in another line of work, it’d be a different story, eh? Your profit is greater than you think!
I think it’s probably not that helpful to compare your situation with that of, say, Toronto area (though it’s definitely interesting to hear what’s going on in other parts of the continent). I mean, if your house was in Hong Kong it would be worth millions upon millions. I think it’s much more valuable to compare to the housing situation in your area–now you’re comparing apples to apples :)
Re how much your renos increased the value of your house, I’m sure that the kitchen/bath/outdoor renos did a LOT. And even if other renos did not increase the value per se (hard to tell, eh?), I always think that they are the details that help sell your home quickly. Our last place (which was in a reasonable market) sold in one day (the first offer is the one we accepted), and our realtor said it was because the details were there, and the care/love of the house was obvious. So, I think there is a value to selling your house quickly, as well as the price for which it sells.
I’m soooo excited to follow your new adventure (stairs and all!)
Very interesting breakdown! Also fun to hear about the projects that tend to add the most value when selling a house. We did some renovations when we first moved into our current house (we hired out — while I have the DIY gene, hubby does not) but the master bath didn’t fit into our budget at the time. And while that’s still on our list, the longer we live in the house with three kids (we hope this will be our “forever house” that our kids will be in until college), we find that the master bath has started to feel like less of a priorty, and we’re way more interested in using those dollars to add usuable outdoor living space, like a patio off the sunroom. Oh — a few years in we added built-ins in our living room/library — floor to ceiling, flanking the french doors to the family room — and it’s totally the best thing we’ve done. Who knows what the built-ins will add to future resale value, but in terms of our own enjoyment while living here, they’ve already paid for themselves 10 times over!!
Re: built-ins, I think they can definitely help a sale. I think they appeal to a lot of people–I think they are typically seen as nice features that add functionality and character to a house. When we sold our ranch house, one of things that instantly grabbed our buyer was a simple built-in bench with storage we added in the entryway of the house. Even though it was a true “built-in,” in the end we could have just as easily faked it with a store-bought or similar unattached DIY construction if we didn’t want the permanence of the built-in. A lot of built-ins like our bench include cubbies and “nooks” which I think are also a big reason people like them.
WOW!!! well done.
we just got a quote to re-do our main bath from the bottom up(almost identical to your hall bathroom) the quote from the contractor came in at $20,000. Clearly we need to move south :)
Thanks for sharing guys. I find these sort of posts so interesting. I know there are huge regional differences in house price, but it never fails to amaze me what you guys get for your money in Virginia. Here in the UK a house that size with so much land would be double that price at least! Crazy!
We also bought our first house in the escalated market and sold inn a deflated one. We gutted the house, not that we intended to just every project turned into the money pit because it was an older home and there were many surprises behind every wall! We did double our kitchen space, add a half bath and redo a full bath. Everyone, including the HGTV guides said it should have added value. While it didn’t help us on the selling end, we enjoyed every moment of their use while in the house. We bought our current house in the deflated market for the same price as our first, but it’s double the size. We’re being smarter about what we spend and upgrade but already have our eyes wandering around for our forever home… Pray for a sellers market?! Lol!
good luck Jenn! We think a seller’s market is a-comin’!
I think built-ins done well and in a place that make sense do add to the value of a house. However in our house a previous owner DIY’d some out of cheap material in random places. We’re slowly removing them, but it’s a mess. The walls are lathe and plaster so it’s a big undertaking.
Heather B says
Didn’t have time to read all the comments, so maybe this has already been said, but…
When I had to take a hit selling my first house (Sold for $16,000 less than purchase, plus I’d put in $20,000 into it), I was able to suck it up and deal when I realized that rent for an apartment (not a house, and less square footage) in my neighborhood would have run me $750 per month, for 12 months, for the 8 years I lived there–a total of $72,000 in rent I didn’t have to pay. I realized I was actually STILL ahead of the game :) Now we have our dream home with a mortgage payment that is LESS than what I was paying for my first house. Just can’t bring myself to complain about that!!!
Hope you are enjoying unpacking and getting settled into your new space as much as I am.
We spent about $11,000 on our first house – new kitchen, updated bathroom, polished the floor boards, paint, completely retiled family room, new paint and curtains in every room. We lived there for ten years and made about $150,000 profit.
In our second house we just repainted outside and made about $210,000.
Well done to you for coming out ahead. Markets are different in Australia to over there.
Woah, that’s awesome Jo!
Louisa T. says
Very interesting approach. We are still in the process of updating our current home (yes, after 12 years!). Every penny we spend I fret about knowing that we will never see the return in actual cash. I have never considered it from a “quick selling” viewpoint. Our last home was listed for a total of 10 days and we received 3 full price offers within a day and a half of each other. Total craziness trying to figure out which deal would actually work when it came down to appraisal time. Still don’t know where the winning bidder’s banker got his comparisons, but, hey, I’m not complaining. It worked!
Sorry if you guys asked already said this in a post or comments but are you guys from now on doing just one post a day or just while moving?.. totally understandable with all that you guys have going on ! :)
We have actually kept the same posting schedule since early January! We do two posts on Monday and Wednesday and one a day on Tues, Thurs, & Fri (for a total of 7 per week). You can read more about it here. Hope it helps :)
Off subject but…I really appreciated your post on radon a while back. We almost declined the radon test on the house we’re buying until I remembered the helpful info you gave. The house tested at a 9. Mitigation in progress on seller’s dime, thank goodness.
How did your new house fair in the radon test?
Wahoo! So glad to hear that! Surprisingly the new house is radon free! There’s a little bit in the sunroom, but since we plan to turn that room into a covered porch with awesome exterior air-flow it should mitigate itself. So grateful it wasn’t inside for the first time we bought a house (it was in both our first and second house)!
Question, how did your IKEA sectional hold up in the move? I’ve been considering purchasing one and wanted your opinion on how it’s held up and the wear and tear. Thanks!
LOVE it. We’re huge fans. Especially in this cover (dark sivik gray) – we hear some of the others aren’t as durable/pet/kid friendly :)
Amazing that you were able to at least make some sort of profit!
Like you guys, we’ve always just pretty much broke even on all our sales. I wish we had thought about ‘selling by owner’ instead of paying out the hefty agent fees on our last sale to buy our current house (which we are trying to update & put back on the market), but I guess every sale is a learning experience.
On the positive side, my husband says, much like you, it’s a ‘forced savings’ that allows you to build up equity in your home over the years. I guess it’s all good, if you love your home and are happy to hang your hat there….with, or without the large flipper’s payout in the end! ;O)
Sharon M. Brown says
I have enjoyed keeping up with you and your projects. Congratulations on such a great job selling your house and putting so much value in your mortgage. You will not be sorry. My husband(a farmer)and I (teacher) retired a couple of years ago. We are finally getting to renovate our home and your blog has really helped. We didn’t know where to start. Your plain and honest discussion is wonderful. Just wanted to let you know, when we built our first house years ago, you could only have a 30 year mortgage in our town in Virginia. You could not make extra payments for two years. After that we made extra payments on the principal whenever we could. By the time we had owned the house 15 years, it was paid for. That was our last mortgage although we moved to another house. You will not be sorry for your 15 year mortgage or for living conservatively. We still do and love doing it. Keep the great blogs coming.
We just sold & bought our 4th house!!!! Our 1st place was in a bad area and was teeny tiny, but all we could afford at 19 & newly engaged. We Are so so grateful for that 1st house, we bought it in a property low & then in the 12 months we lived there, we had a massive property boom & made a lot of money. That financed our 2nd move to a better area & a bigger house, then 3 years later we welcomed our baby daughter and that changed everything – I wanted to be in an even better school district, closer to family – only problem was the price, so we bought a very very rundown (I’m talking replacing the caving in ceilings bad) house, after 3 years of living there and complete remodel, welcoming a 2nd daughter and now a 3rd on the way, we needed more space! So that brings us to the final house, that will finally be ours in 4 weeks!!
My point is I hate when people say that we are just flipping houses, or moving again – life changes and we have to evolve with it, it’s taken us years to land our dream but we climbed the ladder & now it’s alll been worth it!! I can’t wait to see what you do with this place!!!!! *sorry for the extra wordy comment! ;)