CityMelt Blog Data beyond just cities.

June 9, 2010

New Home Purchased

Filed under: Home Buyers — admin @ 5:57 PM

Last month I finally took the plunge and purchased a home for our family. We do not like stucco so unfortunately finding the right home took forever since most homes in Southeastern PA are made of stucco. In my opinion, stucco just seems out of place except in the Southwestern part of the United States. When we lived in Leesburg, VA for part of 2008 and 2009 I noticed that most newer homes were built with brick and vinyl siding which can be nice looking. However, brick looks horrible when all of the homes look the same, in fact, most subdivisions look horrible due to lack of variety. Beautiful large lots being destroyed by over sized boxes without interesting architecture.

I am attracted to subdivisions with the classical 1940s look where houses have a bit of a Victorian design element to them – these particular subdivisions are often called “village” developments. The problem with these sort of subdivisions are the tiny lots that come with these beautiful homes. We looked in vain for 2 years in Virginia/Pennsylvania for an interesting home design and larger lots that allowed our kids to play. We even spent 3 months learning how to build our own home using a general contractor. The problem with building your own home is time – perhaps in the future we will build our dream Victorian home of about 3,200 square feet on a 1 plus acre lot.

We finally gave in and bought a home when our landlord put a virtual gun to our heads and demanded we sign another one year lease or get out. We wanted a 60 day notice lease. He was actually a nice landlord and wanted to find a new tenant before the new school year started. I think he made a bad business judgment though since we paid our rent ahead of time and fixed things for free. We were so picky in choosing a home to buy that we might have stayed for another year. Now he still has no tenant after searching for several months. We could have easily found another rental but were tired of moving so we accelerated our new home search. We were married 5 years ago and have moved from one San Diego house to another house in San Diego, CA, then to Burbank, CA, then to Leesburg, VA, then to Sellersville, PA and lastly to our current home. That’s 5 homes rented in 5 years! This is not including all of the times I moved when I was single. I calculated that I moved my candy business and home locations 20 times in 17 years. Enough is enough – time to set down roots.

So what type of home did we buy? We went with a large house on a large lot. We really only wanted something like 3,000 – 3,400 square feet on a large lot but we bought a 4,650 square foot home. I am embarrassed to even admit that I own such a home (see my last blog entry). There is no need for such a large home plus the utility bills will be higher – not to mention I will be uncool because I am not a “green” person. Still, we love the place for reasons that are too numerous to mention. Most importantly, the deal we were able to negotiate was too good to pass up and time was not on our side. The back of the home is pleasing to look at and is not just flat which is important to us since we spend a lot of time in our backyard. There is plenty of private space since we back up to land that is not allowed to be developed, in addition, the development has open space land throughout. Private, quiet and perfect for our needs. We will see how this house suits us and can finally after 40 years stop being tenants.

We were able to get the new home buyer tax credit literally on the last day that it was available. We did not buy because of the tax credit but it happened to fall in the month we wanted to buy. In future blog entries I’ll tell you why I am dissatisfied with government intervention and how the media is biased against home buyers. Everyone feels sorry for home sellers even though on average anyone who bought a home before 2003, in most markets, is still above break even. I have no sympathy for home buyers after 2003 since I had to rent for 20 years – what’s the big deal about renting if you lose your home? The government along with real estate agents, home appraisers, and greedy home buyers themselves (most but not all – some good people were fooled) are responsible for the home price meltdown. Again, what is wrong with renting if you cannot own a house? I was responsible and would have bought a home in 2001 if home prices did not go up drastically. I lived in San Diego and around 2001 the prices started skyrocketing. I decided not to buy because I could see a bubble forming. Who knew that it would last for 6 years! Ugh.

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