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Thread: Everyone else I know is getting a bigger house...pity party

  1. #31
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    One of the many reasons I left my ex0husband was that he wanted a huge house in the vapid 'burbs and I didn't.

    I wasn't going to stick my kids in daycare so that my entire NET salary could go toward the mortgage (at that time, we were considered a $2K mortgage, it was 1987). I hate the 'burbs - any 'burbs - including here in Oregon, and I would have hated never seeing my children (the commute to L.A., where the only decent salaries were at that time, was 1-1/2 to 2 hours EACH WAY). That is no way to live, and I'm still glad I made that decision.

  2. #32
    Elite Member Sweetie's Avatar
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    hotncmom, you can go look up your county registry and see exactly how much they paid and how much their mortgage is. Revenue stamps in NC are $2.00 per thousand, that will tell you the purchase price.

  3. #33
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Fuck it, now I'm living in a cardboard box down by the river to make you feel better.

    Squirrel saté, anybody?
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

  4. #34
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    Another idea is to check out this cool website to look up values: Zillow - Real Estate Valuations, Homes for Sale, Free Real Estate Information

    You can look up neighborhoods and it gives you the house info and market value. It won't be the exact amount someone purchased the house for, but it will give you an idea of the current value. It will give the latest sales prices too, so it may have what they paid for it listed.

  5. #35
    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    Fuck it, now I'm living in a cardboard box down by the river to make you feel better.

    Squirrel saté, anybody?
    What! You get your lazy butt out to the river and catch fresh fish!
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

  6. #36
    Elite Member darksithbunny's Avatar
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    ^^The river is probably polluted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    *tries to feel even the slightest bit of empathy from his tiny bedroom located in his overpriced, rented apartment*

    If you want to make your house look good, get some gay friends.

  8. #38
    Elite Member suede's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacific breeze View Post
    As the old saying goes, don't judge your insides by somebody else's outsides. Appearances can be deceiving.

    Well said
    He who knows does not speak.
    He who speaks does not know.
    Lao-tzu

  9. #39
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    I suppose you have to ask yourself WHY you want to live in a McMansion and be a slave to the bank for the rest of your life. And what 'lifestyle' does living in perpetual debt in a big house confer apart from worrying about the next batch of bills, praying you don't get sick and cleaning 3 more bathrooms. Oh right, you make other people 'envious'. Cool.
    I've never liked lesbianism - it leaves a bad taste in my mouth
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  10. #40
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    aww hotncmom, don't worry about it or think you have to upgrade to keep up with other families. If you can do it, by all means go for it, but don't put yourself in a position where you're paying off interest and debt for 30+ years. I don't believe in being a slave to your home. I've seen people work just to pay the bills and make their payments on houses they couldn't afford to keep if one of them lost their job. Too stressful.

    Instead, spend the extra you'll save by not buying a larger home on things like vacations. Or art. Make your home comfortable and not worry about the size. I live in a small house that my dad shit bricks over when I bought it. It was a dump and in a bad neighborhood, but didn't want more than a 200k mortgage. I couldn't re-purchase the house today as it's tripled in value. Over the years we've been fixing it up, even today. Pella came out today and put in new windows. Little by little while at the same time taking a lot of holidays.

    While friends can talk about their beautiful homes and how much space they have, I'm content in my little space.

  11. #41
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    Look at it this way, hotncmom: you're still married (happily it seems), you live in a nice decent house that will be paid off by the time your kid is 15... that's more than I and a lot of others have due to various circumstances. If I'd been willing to do it my ex-husband's way, I could be living in a house like he has now (pretty damn nice complete with Ethan Allen furniture and fancy cars) and be miserable... or I could have my sanity and peace while building a new life. From where I sit, your life and house looks pretty damn good.

    (God, I hate it when people talk this way to me!! My mother is always saying "SO many people have it worse than you" - and variations of same until I want to tape her mouth.)

  12. #42
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    Like I said, it just makes me feel as if we're missing out on some big financial secret a lot of other people know. Based on what I know about this family, the dad is a banker and they are very, very financially responsible. If that's true I can't imagine them going into that much debt, because someone in banking of all people would know the dangers.
    Well, as some have suggested here, it could be that these families are living in massive debt. Some almost certainly are. It could also be that these people lived well below their means at some point and ended up paying down a very large chunk of their old mortgage and/or putting more money away. Some of the most financially successful people I know (like my SO's family) lead the most frugal lives. That could result in them being able to buy a more expensive home, still mortgaged, but they simply would have enough to make the requisite down payment to get the bigger mortgage. Perhaps the house these people just sold was actually below their means to begin with, (as someone suggested, maybe there was family money or a windfall) and they lived there for the express purpose of saving their money and increasing their wealth, and are now ready to "move on up" securely.

    It could also be that they turned a handsome profit on the house they just sold and used that as the down payment. Property values in your area may have risen dramatically (I don't know, just conjecture), but unless you sell and move you would never cash in on that. I'm not suggesting you do move of course - but if you were to sell your house, especially if it was in a pristine state as you describe your acquaintances', you might be surprised at the chunk of change you could get. That could be the only secret right there, although more likely it's some combination of the above.

    But in any case, what some previous posters have said is so true. A home is about what goes on within the walls of the house. No marriage or family was ever made better with granite countertops or a stainless steel appliance package.

    eta: I just re-read your post and this jumped out at me:

    these people (some of them younger than me!) in their mid-30's moving into luxury homes. Meanwhile, I'm 37 and we have lived in the same 2100 sf house on 1/5 acre for 10 years!
    Have the thirty-somethings also been living in their houses for 10 years? 10 years in the same house, your wealth will only increase as a result of your earnings going up and expenses going down. Which is absolutely fine, especially with kids you don't want to be moving around all the time. But a lot of people have always used the real estate market to increase their wealth beyond what income alone could bring, simple as that. All other things being equal, a family who has flipped a few houses will probably have greater wealth than one who has stayed put for a long time, assuming they're selling at a profit - even a small one - each time. I'm not suggesting this is the better option, or even always safe, it just may be what's been done in some of these cases.

    Theoretically, your family could probably do the same thing - but remember, these families are likely not turning enough of a profit to actually pay off more of a bigger mortgage; they are likely just paying a larger down payment on an even larger mortgage, which means they're not necessarily going to be out of debt sooner than you. They're moving to someplace flashier, but likely with the same debt ratio, so they're not really "ahead of you" in any real sense! I mean, if I sold my house today, I could probably make about $40,000 in profit over what we paid. But if I were to turn around and buy a house that costs $40,000 more, have I actually made any headway? You're just going about it the other way, which is to pay off the smaller mortgage you have now, and you shouldn't feel bad at all for that smart decision!
    Last edited by Tati; May 17th, 2007 at 09:50 PM.
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  13. #43
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    Maybe the banker husband is secretly embezzling?

    I feel the same way about this big "money secret", although this city has a lot of offshore money. Every single car is either a mercedes or lexus or other high end vehicle. It's weird, because I rarely see any older beater type car anymore. And the housing prices are retarded. The one bedroom, 680 sq.ft. apartment above us just sold for $420,000. So, you have a $3,000 mortgage payment, and spend $1,000 per month on your car. What about food, clothing and all the other expenses?

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotncmom View Post
    ^^You know, greysfang, I don't think they are...the husband is some banking guy and when I used to be in a group with the wife she made out like they were very, very financially responsible. My SIL works for a bank though, and I don't think there are banking jobs that pay enough for someone to afford a 600K mortgage.
    A person I know started at a bank at 250k She's like 23 as well.

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    Right now we owe about $130K and we could get around $245K for our house if we sold it. So, yes, technically we could sell and take the $115K and make a nice downpayment on say a 500K house. Our mortgage in that case would be $385K. The current fixed rate at our bank is 6% for a 20-year loan. That would mean a mortgage payment of $2758. Our current mortgage payment is $1000/mo and we have a 5.5% fixed rate. That is a very comfortable number for us, whereas a mortgage of $2758 (plus much higher property taxes, utilities, and upkeep) would limit us financially...that's over half of our take home pay each month!

    So what I'm saying is when I run the numbers I don't see it working for us to buy a house that expensive so I can't see how it would work for others...which leads me to think I'm missing something. Maybe other people are more comfortable with using half their take home pay for housing?

    Before we started fixing up this house DH and I talked about whether or not to move. In order to make moving worthwhile (it really is expensive and a pain to move), we would have to buy at least a 350-400K house to get substantially more house and/or yard. That would mean at least an additional $1000/mo in mortgage payments alone. Sheesh.

    We're not thinking in terms of making other people envious...we're not social climbers like that either. We're sort of social outcasts because we don't really "fit in" with that whole mindset that most people our age have. We have a few close friends, most of them live less luxuriously than we do. So we're not thinking in terms of impressing others...we just like nice things.

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