Hey everyone, it’s Whatever Wednesdays again. I didn’t really have any particular topic in mind for today, so I’ve decided to do some reflection on Buying a House, specifically, My House.
Is this going to be a long post?
I don’t think so.
Ok good, your posts are really long lately.
Yea, I know. I tend to get verbose.
Ok, let’s focus on the topic at hand.
My House – Which looks nothing like Flo Rida’s
This post may end up as more of an extension of Do As I Say, Not As I Do. Since I’ve talked about buying a house in multiple prior posts. (Buying, Med Student, Post Match). There are many perils to buying a house and I try to warn about all of them.
Like I’ve said before, I recommend not buying a house until you’ve been at a job for a few years as an attending. This accomplishes a few things. First of all, you should have a pretty good idea of the stability of the job as well as your ability to stay with that job long term. First jobs can be temporary and choosing your first job can be difficult. Secondly, those first few years as an attending are crucial while you pay back your Student Loans and try to get back to Positive Net Worth. Lastly, because of the need to budget and you will develop a better sense of your Value Cost Ratio.
By accomplishing all these things, I believe you will be better in tune with your needs and wants, especially when it comes to a house.
Why did you buy your house then?
Well… like I’ve said before, this is a “Do As I Say, Not As I Do” thing. \
Trust me when I say I didn’t want to buy a house, and especially not an expensive one. However, I had other priorities that were weighing on me at the time.
Good Public School
It was important to me to secure a good public school for my kids. Both my wife and I went to public school. However, the culture here on Oahu is a little different. I will spare you the details and arguments for and against it, but the long and short of it is that there are a lot of private schools here. It’s very common. My kids may end up in private school for high school or middle school eventually. However, it was important to me to secure a good public grade school.
This also has the added benefits (in my opinion), of keeping the value of the house high. These good public schools aren’t going anywhere.
Needed the Room
Our 2 bedroom apartment wasn’t going to be enough space for my family with two kids. Additionally, we wanted my wife’s parents to come retire with us as well and they would need a place to stay. For this reason, we needed at least a 4 bedroom house. If we stayed in our 2 bedroom apartment, my in-laws never would have been able to come out here.
I really feel my house was a good deal. If you talk to most first time home buyers, they will all probably think they got a good deal right after they buy the house. However, now that I’ve lived here for two years and kept tabs on the real estate market. I really do think this house was a good deal (for us).
Renting in Oahu is expensive, especially in town where both my wife and I work. Of course, my mortgage payment is now more than my rent. However, I don’t think you can really compare a 2 bedroom apartment rental to a 4 bedroom house mortgage payment. The truth of the matter was that the extra money we had from renting was just going toward a building a down payment on a house.
A good quote I heard regarding “Should I Rent or Buy?” is this – “If you have to ask, then rent.”
At this point, I didn’t need to ask anymore, I knew I had to buy.
So great, you bought your house and everything worked out right?
Well, kind of.
Even as prepared as I thought I was to buy a house, you really have no idea how much more money (and time) a house costs to maintain. It’s not just the case of monthly mortgage payment versus rent. You have other things you have to take care of. For example, you need a lot of “guys”:
Yard guy. Pest guy. Plumber guy. Handyman guy. Electrician guy.
All these little things add up.
And don’t forget you have to pay property tax.
I see. Well, at least your house was move-in ready right?
Well yes, it was “move in ready”, but not in the sense you are thinking. Everything in the house worked fine and nothing was falling apart, so it was “move-in ready” in that aspect. However, buying the house we knew we were going to need to renovate and/or upgrade things in next 5-10 years.
It’s been almost 2 years now…
The list of things we need to renovate/upgrade continues to grow.
Things that didn’t really bother me when we first moved in irk me a little bit now. For example, I really want to renovate the kitchen for my wife and my in-laws because they spend a lot of time in there cooking for us. It would be nice if they had a newer kitchen with granite countertops.
Then, I really want to renovate the master bathroom (and the walk-in closet) for my wife since I think she would really appreciate it. However, if we’re going to renovate the master bathroom, should probably renovate the other bathrooms too, in the same style, to keep everything the same… right?
However, before we can do any of that our house could use some new paint. Our wrap-around lanai is really nice, but some of the boards need to be replaced and I really want to repaint the whole house, especially since we have a new roof. The exterior gates could also use some fixing as well.
Ideally, I’d like to have new windows at some point as well. Which would help with resealing the house, and may help a little with the air conditioning.
Speaking of air conditioning, I will probably need to replace the air conditioners at some point as well, with more efficient ones.
By the way, it doesn’t help that any renovation on Oahu will cost significantly more than on the mainland.
Do you see what I mean?
The more I talk about my house in this “stream of conscious” the more I remember there are more things I need to renovate/upgrade.
Give me like 10 more years maybe. Hopefully some of this stuff will be done by then.
I say all this… but yet the walls of my house are still bare. That’s partially on purpose because my son has the tendency to knock everything and everything down.
Do you regret buying your house?
I did what I needed to do. It was very important for me for my kids to have a good public school and for my in-laws to come join us out here.
Like I’ve said, I’ve kept tabs on the real estate market in my area. There hasn’t been a house that I would have preferred over my house that has been on the market without me spending significantly more. The worst case scenario would have been that my family and I are still in the 2 bedroom apartment and our in-laws were still in NJ.
Right now, Kylie is 4 years old and will be starting school September 2018. That means I would need to be looking right now for a house in the school district I want. I would need to find one in my budget and close on it within the next year. Additionally, my in-laws would still be in NJ and have missed all this time with their grand kids.
It wasn’t the perfect decision, but I think it was right decision for us.
Wait a second, I thought this was going to be a short post…
Just some reflection on my house and why I bought it.
It’s good to look in the rearview mirror sometimes.
All things considered, I think we made the right decision.
That said — Do As I Say Not As I Do.
Agree? Disagree? Questions, Comments and Suggestions are welcome.
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