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Author Topic: The housing market is really screwing up my bus project.  (Read 3216 times)
Jeremy
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« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2007, 02:27:59 AM »

Do you really need a bus barn? I suspect the vast majority of us would consider a bus barn to be a non-essential luxury, and getting one would certainly not be worth the stress and financial losses you are putting yourself through.

As I have mentioned before on the forum, I originally wanted a 'regular size' bus (ie. 40 footer), but compromised on getting a shorter one so I could park it at home. I did spend a year looking into the possibilities of selling my house and buying one with more space, or renting a bus-parking space elsewhere. In the end a shorter bus was the answer, and since getting it I think it is superior to a full-size one in many other respects too.

Whatever you do, take your time deciding - however unsatisfactory your current situation appears to be, a rushed or badly-thought-through decision will only make it worse.

By the way, is there any consensus as to why the American housing market is declining? Prices here have been going up so quickly and for so long that the whole structure of the market is changing (a much higher percentage of people are renting because they cannot afford to buy etc).

Jeremy
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« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2007, 05:27:22 AM »

Us Big Ugly Americans like places to put or Big toys.

We measure the property our houses sit on in acres not square feet.

We measure our happiness sometimes by how many large toys that we can collect.

Oh No this is starting to sound like " You are a redneck if "  Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked
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jjrbus
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« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2007, 05:43:21 AM »

 Jeremy, Congradulations you have used common sense in your decision. I really like the way you think. Remember great minds think alike! so do sick ones but we wont go there.
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belfert
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« Reply #18 on: May 03, 2007, 05:58:55 AM »

Do you really need a bus barn? I suspect the vast majority of us would consider a bus barn to be a non-essential luxury, and getting one would certainly not be worth the stress and financial losses you are putting yourself through.

No, I don't really need a bus barn.  My original plan was to sell my too big house and buy a smaller one with a large enough outbuilding for the bus or where I could build a large outbuilding.  I would also save money every month because I would stilll be spending less than now on housing.

I've spent a substantial sum of money getting my house ready to sell which is not helping my finances.  (For every dollar I put in I'll still get at least $1.50 back at sale time.)

The American housing market went crazy in the early part of the 2000s and prices in some areas were increasing at several percent a month!  Interest rates were at all time lows so everyone who is renting wanted to buy and there just wasn't enough supply so prices went out of sight.  A lot of folks predicted this couldn't last and now prices are falling and houses are sitting on the market for many months instead of days or weeks.  Houses that are in tip top shape with zero issues and no renovations needed are still selling, but still much slower than a year or two ago.  Houses that aren't in tip top shape and may need renovation or updating are sitting for a long time.

I knew the market had cooled when I started my house sale project, but I could still get the right price when I started.  The market has continued to get worse and worse and now I might not be able to get the right price.  I'll have to see I guess.
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Jeremy
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« Reply #19 on: May 03, 2007, 06:59:29 AM »

Us Big Ugly Americans like places to put or Big toys.

We measure the property our houses sit on in acres not square feet.

We measure our happiness sometimes by how many large toys that we can collect.

Oh No this is starting to sound like " You are a redneck if "  Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked


I definitely buy-in to that philosophy too (and have the large toys to prove it), but unfortunately it's much harder / more anti-social to do it here because there is so much less space to do it in. Modern houses and gardens here are ridiciluously small, partly because that is how the builders can maximise their profits, and partly because the Government insist on a certain number of houses per acre to satisfy their own political objectives (ie. increasing house supply to make homes more affordable etc).

I'm pretty sensitive to the housing market at the moment as I have just spent some inheritance money buying a holiday home to rent out. In terms of 'value for money' it seemed incredibly expensive, and I'm still not happy that I've done the right thing - but the market dictates the price, so you either take it or leave it. I've just had a quick look at the latest statistics on the UK market - in 2002 the average house price here was £121k (around $240k). Now it is £194k ($400k ish) nationwide, with the average price in the south of Britain being £297k ($600k+). I've no idea how that compares to the US, but it seems pretty expensive to me given house small our houses tend to be.

I don't understand all the economics behind it, but one thing which I know has been fuelling the increases here is the fact that it is now much easier to borrow money and get tax relief on mortgages for second homes - ie. for residential or holiday lettings. That has made buying second (and third, fourth, fifth etc) homes possible for 'regular' people, who can continue doing their normal 9-5 job whilst establishing a property portfolio on the side. It's kind of a self-sustaining cycle, because as more people buy-up property for 'investment' purposes, so the prices rise and so does the rental market which pays the investor's mortgages. And because the prices are rising so the investor can constantly re-mortgate his existing properties to raise more funds to buy more.

They've been predicting for years that the market here will soon have a sharp 'correction', but it hasn't happened yet and the experts say that the market fundamentals are still sound. But, as Britain follows America in so many other respects, I suspect that the declines your market is going through at the moment might be hitting us soon. In the meantime, if anyone wants a holiday in a riverside cottage on the picturesque Norfolk Broads, let me know!

Jeremy

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« Reply #20 on: May 03, 2007, 06:37:51 PM »

If you ever look up "Abject Poverty" in an encyclopedia you may find my picture or a copy of my paycheck.

The Revenue Service had to pay "me" to go away this year on taxes.

As long as you have a bus you will never be homeless. ( You may not have an address however..) Smiley
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edvanland
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« Reply #21 on: May 04, 2007, 09:51:05 AM »

Dr Dave
If you live in your bus you will always have a address.
The address would be
Somewhere in the USA
That is what mine will be when my house sells and I retire and go full time
ED
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Lee Bradley
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« Reply #22 on: May 04, 2007, 10:37:37 AM »

Us Big Ugly Americans like places to put or Big toys.

We measure the property our houses sit on in acres not square feet.

We measure our happiness sometimes by how many large toys that we can collect.

Oh No this is starting to sound like " You are a redneck if "  Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked


I definitely buy-in to that philosophy too (and have the large toys to prove it), but unfortunately it's much harder / more anti-social to do it here because there is so much less space to do it in. Modern houses and gardens here are ridiciluously small, partly because that is how the builders can maximise their profits, and partly because the Government insist on a certain number of houses per acre to satisfy their own political objectives (ie. increasing house supply to make homes more affordable etc).

I'm pretty sensitive to the housing market at the moment as I have just spent some inheritance money buying a holiday home to rent out. In terms of 'value for money' it seemed incredibly expensive, and I'm still not happy that I've done the right thing - but the market dictates the price, so you either take it or leave it. I've just had a quick look at the latest statistics on the UK market - in 2002 the average house price here was £121k (around $240k). Now it is £194k ($400k ish) nationwide, with the average price in the south of Britain being £297k ($600k+). I've no idea how that compares to the US, but it seems pretty expensive to me given house small our houses tend to be.

I don't understand all the economics behind it, but one thing which I know has been fuelling the increases here is the fact that it is now much easier to borrow money and get tax relief on mortgages for second homes - ie. for residential or holiday lettings. That has made buying second (and third, fourth, fifth etc) homes possible for 'regular' people, who can continue doing their normal 9-5 job whilst establishing a property portfolio on the side. It's kind of a self-sustaining cycle, because as more people buy-up property for 'investment' purposes, so the prices rise and so does the rental market which pays the investor's mortgages. And because the prices are rising so the investor can constantly re-mortgate his existing properties to raise more funds to buy more.

They've been predicting for years that the market here will soon have a sharp 'correction', but it hasn't happened yet and the experts say that the market fundamentals are still sound. But, as Britain follows America in so many other respects, I suspect that the declines your market is going through at the moment might be hitting us soon. In the meantime, if anyone wants a holiday in a riverside cottage on the picturesque Norfolk Broads, let me know!

Jeremy




Nice looking place you have there. When I get to England, I would like to try a barging trip. Looks like your government's policies to create/keep affordable housing works about as well as our's. As for comparing housing costs, the US is a very big place, so conditions and controlls really vary; a $1,000,000 house in San Fransisco would probably cost $250,000 in Houston.
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chargePlus
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« Reply #23 on: May 06, 2007, 08:49:08 AM »

A lot of realtors still think it will sell in a reasonable timeframe because it needs zero work or remodeling, is newer, and has the lake view, but they may just want the listing.  I'm going to put it on the market as soon as the work is done and see if it sells.  If it sells, then I can find a new house.  If need be, I could probably live at one of those extended stay hotels for what my house costs me every month.

Brian,

Do yourself a favor and look at the neighborhood now, and see how many houses are on the market by counting the for sale signs. You should take a look at the public records of home sales in the last few months. The first item will give you a good idea of what the "inventory" in your area currently is, and the second for how much the homes are selling. Compare the asking prices to the actual prices and you'll get an idea of the market.

Real Estate agents don't want a lot of stagnant listings, they want listings that will move. Talk to a lot of agents until you find one that you like, and is willing to give you the information that you are asking about. They should be willing to tell you the prices for the last few houses that sold in your neighborhood (the comps) and the number of days on the market and the difference between original asking price and the actual selling price. The one other thing that is probably worth your while is to hire an licensed/accredited independent appraiser to appraise your house. When I sold my house a few years ago, my agent did this and it paid off nicely. The appraiser hired by the  buyers bank/loan company tried to low-ball the value of the house by $20,000. After our appraiser talked to the other appraiser the value mysteriously appraised for what we were asking. Imagine that.

I don't know what schedules are like where you live, but I know that here in NC, if you want to have the best chance of selling your home, you want to be in the market in early April and no later than the beginning of May to catch all the families with kids in school who want to be moved and settled before school starts in the fall. There is also another bump up between October and the end of November...

If you can at all afford to wait out the slump, that would probably be a better idea. Don't sell unless you are truly forced to sell. Be patient. My wife and I were patient. It took us about a year to "find" the house we are in now. It doesn't have a bus garage, but when we found the house we didn't have, or know we'd have a bus. What it does have is a "big" garage for race/project cars and other "work" and a "regular" garage for our other stuff.

Cheers,

- John
« Last Edit: May 06, 2007, 10:15:03 AM by chargePlus » Logged

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belfert
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« Reply #24 on: May 06, 2007, 01:17:05 PM »

Do yourself a favor and look at the neighborhood now, and see how many houses are on the market by counting the for sale signs. You should take a look at the public records of home sales in the last few months. The first item will give you a good idea of what the "inventory" in your area currently is, and the second for how much the homes are selling. Compare the asking prices to the actual prices and you'll get an idea of the market.

There is some difficulty finding comps for my house since it is 20 to 40 years newer than the average house in the area.  The realtor found a comp or two similiar and they sold for $40,000 more than my house would list for, but they were a little larger.

Yes, I can wait, but waiting just means my replacement house goes up in value too.  The best selling season of the year will be behind me, but I'll still try to sell this summer unless I can't get my house ready to sell in a reasonable amount of time.  If the house doesn't sell in 60 to 90 days I'll just hold off until next spring.

Brian Elfert
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Homegrowndiesel
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« Reply #25 on: May 08, 2007, 08:37:28 PM »

Sorry to hear sbout the SCREWY Housing market.

I am putting a a fair amount of money into my house so I can sell it. The reason for selling is to move to another house with a building large enough for the bus to store it and to work on it. I started working on the house in January with the hope of putting it on the market by March 1st. That date has long come and gone and I won't be done until June 15th maybe. (I have so much work to do on the house I keep losing motivation to do it.)
I may end up having to sell the bus for whatever I can get due to finances. This whole project started as a way to get me a shop for the bus and now the housing market may end up forcing me to sell the bus.

A lot of realtors still think it will sell in a reasonable timeframe because it needs zero work or remodeling, is newer, and has the lake view, but they may just want the listing.
I'm not forced to sell by any means, but I will have to seriously look at selling the bus if the house doesn't sell so I have a little more breathing room.

Brian Elfert


I can still pay my bills without selling the bus, but the money would certainly come in handy. The whole point of selling my house was/is to free up cash flow with a cheaper house so I can spend some money on the bus and my other hobbies.

Brian Elfert


I've spent a substantial sum of money getting my house ready to sell which is not helping my finances. (For every dollar I put in I'll still get at least $1.50 back at sale time.)

I'll just hold off until next spring.

Brian Elfert “
   
   

Good luck with your choices
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Jeremy
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« Reply #26 on: May 09, 2007, 01:33:25 AM »

Nice looking place you have there. When I get to England, I would like to try a barging trip. Looks like your government's policies to create/keep affordable housing works about as well as our's. As for comparing housing costs, the US is a very big place, so conditions and controlls really vary; a $1,000,000 house in San Fransisco would probably cost $250,000 in Houston.

It is nice, but by my count there are EIGHT two-bedroom cottages / appartments in that photo, so sadly it is not all mine!

Although 'barging' is very popular here, that takes place on canals whereas my place is on the river - the Norfolk Broads is a network of three rivers and various man-made lakes and cuts (actually medieval peat diggings), which gives 200 miles or so of waterways through some very nice countryside, to explore by boat at no more than 5mph. It makes an excellent 'slow paced' holiday for people interested in wildlife and nature, fishing, sailing, ancient industrial history and so on - but not for those who crave excitement and bright lights.

Jeremy
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belfert
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« Reply #27 on: May 09, 2007, 06:00:46 PM »

Selling my bus is the last thing on my list.  I'm working as fast as possible to get my house on the market.

I work in IT and my employer just announced a 30% cut in the IT dept.  Luckily, the portion of the IT dept I am in won't be cut at all.  But, I would not be suprised if custs are made later.  This makes it more important to sell my house now so I can cut my expenses.

Brian Elfert
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Fredward
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« Reply #28 on: May 10, 2007, 06:59:47 AM »

Hey Brian,
I have been watching the news about your employer laying off and cutting back. I was wondering how you would fare. Glad to hear you're safe for now. I agree with many of the others here on the board; follow your heart. But don't act too hastily. These financial situations have a way of getting dragged out over a long period of time and you still somehow recover. From my perspective in this region, you may have to wait 18 months to recognize any significant appreciation. Another fact here in Mpls area is that the $100K-$500K segment of the market is holding up pretty well although the average days to sell is kind of high. It the $500-million segment that you hopefully are not in that is really soft.

Have patience.
Fred

P.S. I haven't installed the power cord yet!
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