Sunday, October 24, 2010

THINGS I WANT IN A HOME


To anyone who thinks that they will be home buying soon. Everytime you live somewhere you expand your parameters of what you would like in a future home. After having been alive for 55 years, this is what I think I would like. I welcome anything else you people think is important too.
-Location, location, location. The schools and church that your children will attend is very important. The church is the same everywhere you go, but the devotion of the people isn't. Schools are easier to detect as you can seek out where the best districts and schools scores are online. By location I do not mean fancy. Fancy matters not. But you need to find good neighbors in a clean and well cared for neighborhoods. Run down neighborhoods don't usuallly produce the best neighbors either.
-A west facing house so that you have afternoon and evening shade in the backyard for BBQ's and the like.
-A large kitchen with lots of cupboards.
-If you are having a home built upgrade the heater, AC, shingles. The cost isn't much more, but will save you a lot of money in the long run.
-Tile floors. Be careul not to buy the kind that when the top chips it shows darker underneath. Porcelin is best.
-A wood stove if possible, for Emergency preparedness, and the cozy comfort of a fire in the winter. Gas stoves produce neither. There is some heat that comes off a gas fire, but they are very inefficient at producing warmth-mostly just for looks.
-A place to have food storage, perferrably cooler and darker than the rest of the house as that helps to preserve the food longer.
-A house that is within easy means of making payments. Lots of people try to get EVERY LAST dollar that they can possibly qualify for with your wage. This leaves them "house poor" for a very long time, which adds stress to marriage and family life as their family gets bigger and more expensive as HS /mission/college age approaches. I would buy a house adequate to your future NEEDS not necessarily your future wishes. Freedom from financial bondage is a GREAT asset in a home, as many people in this country who have lost homes in the last couple of years can testify.
The home teachers are here...add away
[time passes and Kim takes over the computer....bwahahahahaha!]
What was wrong with our Orem house? Dining area way too small. Master bedroom on the small side. Family room in the basement (cold) and too long/narrow. No garage (I built the carport into a garage eventually).
What was wrong with our AF house? The master bedroom was in the front right next to the front door. The "living room" was way too big and we never used the dining room because the table was in the family area next to the kitchen. The family room there was too small.
What we had done special in this Cedar Hills house: Wall sconces instead of centered overhead lights. Outside entrance to the basement. Extra linen closet in the master bath. Extra room in the family room and living room (though the living room is still basically a waste of space). Extra attic insulation, extra efficient furnace/AC, 40 year shingles
What I wish we would have done here: No tub in the master bath, all we need is a shower.
General advice: lots of closets and storage space..especially if you have a wife that is a squirrel at heart....and now I turn the microphone back to Marilyn

Marilyn has returned to reclaim this post! Amen about my squirrel genetics!

One thing that many people don't seem to understand about home purchasing: Your 30 loan doesn't pay off the principal on the home at the same rate at the beginning of your loan as it does at the end. For instance: Let's say that you have a $1K per month mortgage. For the first year or so you will probably be paying 99% interest and 1 % towards the principal (the amount that actually goes to paying off your loan). So if you pay your $1K then $10.00 goes to the principle. Therefore, if you paid $1,050.00 instead of the $1K required, you are basically saving yourself 5 months of the full payment at the end of your loan.(towards the end of your loan most of your mortgage payment goes towards the principal). So you can see how important it is to put as much money in the early years of your mortgage as you can. Other "investments" will not payoff like putting extra money on your house payment. Kim and I payed off our 30 year mortgage in 13 years by paying extra when we could on our mortgage, and that is really NICE because that is the time frame that kids become a whole lot more expensive with missions, college and the like in your face. My advise: Follow the prophets counsel and get out of debt as soon as possible. And as far as following the advise of financial "experts" who give you differing counsel- just know that they are WRONG! If you go against counsel of a prophet of God, in the long run you will be sorry. I know that is true!

Do with this information what you will. But I thought you ought to know.

4 comments:

Cambrie said...

Wishing i was at that stage of life. My turn will come.

Brett said...

Better option for a home: Live in your parents-in-law's house while they're away on a mission. Much less expensive, and the house is awesome.

The downside: It ain't yours. And it's temporary.

Erica said...

Hmmm...wonder who this post could be for......

Luckily Chad and I both have a little experience with the home buying thing as we have both already done it, so we have a pretty good idea what we're looking for. We know we'll find the right house for us, just as Christa and Brigham did 6 months ago.

As a side note and confirmation of what you mentioned at the end of your post, if you are able to pay just 1 extra house payment a year (towards principal), it will cut 5-6 YEARS off of your loan. Obviously, doing more than that would make it even better. Definitely best to pay more into it at the beginning of your loan. You'll save thousands that way. Thus the reason it's very important to NOT buy the max of what you qualify for.

Marilyn said...

Yeah, it is mostly for you guys...but Brett and Katie aren't so far away from doing it too, and neither are the Nelsons.