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Old 04-29-2020, 05:41 PM   #111 (permalink)
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That was the beauty of it: insurance and taxes were rolled into the payment. The bank set it up that way because they didn't want their collateral going away because someone wasn't ready for the biannual tax bill. When the market kept going up we got it reappraised and ditched the PMI, which was also rolled in.
That is how my first mortgage was set up. None of the rest have been and it is a more expensive way to do it then just paying those expenses directly. It is also very unlikely you had earthquake or flood insurance packaged in if they apply to your location. Standard homeowners doesn't cover either.

My first house worked out OK but looking back had a lot of risk.


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Saving money while paying down your own mortgage is hard enough. It's even harder when paying down someone else's mortgage.
Home ownership has pluses and minuses. Long term it is cheaper to own. Short term renting is much more flexible and the landlord assumes a lot of risks.

Also most people underestimate what they spend on their house by leaving out the maintenance and other home related expenses. Things like a lawnmower, line trimmer, yard tools. I remember when I closed on our first house we were pretty tapped out from coming up with the down payment and closing expenses. We moved in and I looked at the grass and said "crap, now I have to go buy a lawn mower to cut this 1 acre lot" I couldn't afford a rider so I cut that lot for more than a year with a little walk behind.


Mint tells me I have spend $9,416 at Home Depot, $1,153 at Lowes, and $5,971 on a heat pump in the last 5 years. That is $276 a month.

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Old 04-29-2020, 05:56 PM   #112 (permalink)
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If I am able to save $13,600 in the next year I am unsure that I would be able to do anything significant with it.
How is your retirement account looking? If you are 40 today $13,600 invested in an S&P 500 index fund should be worth $230,619 when you turn 67 and are at full retirement age. That is significant to me.

(That is calculated at 10.53% which is the average annual return for Vanguard’s VFINX founded in 1976)

EDIT
If you invested $13,600 back when you were 20 that would have turned into $1,877,285 without contributing another dime. The beauty of compounding interest. The longer you wait the harder it is.

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Old 04-29-2020, 06:03 PM   #113 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSH View Post
Also most people underestimate what they spend on their house by leaving out the maintenance and other home related expenses. Things like a lawnmower, line trimmer, yard tools. I remember when I closed on our first house we were pretty tapped out from coming up with the down payment and closing expenses. We moved in and I looked at the grass and said "crap, now I have to go buy a lawn mower to cut this 1 acre lot" I couldn't afford a rider so I cut that lot for more than a year with a little walk behind.


Mint tells me I have spend $9,416 at Home Depot, $1,153 at Lowes, and $5,971 on a heat pump in the last 5 years. That is $276 a month.
The old man we bought our house from just wanted rid of all of his crap. Not only did he leave us his riding mower and snow blower, but also cabinets full of dishes and even some furniture. I'm still cleaning some of it out a year later.

~

We put in a mini split a few months after moving in, which nicely handles half of the house. I want to say it was around $2000 for a unit with a 40 SEER rating, and the heat really cranks even when it's subzero outside. Couldn't be happier. Central ducted units are for the birds.
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Old 04-29-2020, 06:09 PM   #114 (permalink)
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Yeah, I'll point out that structurally, homeownership is a depreciating asset since everything wears over time. I spent $10k to tear out and reshingle my rental 2 years ago. The water heater is probably 25 years old, and if I had any sense, I'd replace it proactively. Taxes are persistent too. Fortunately these expenses to repair the house are tax deductible, but that doesn't mean they are free. It just means Uncle Sam doesn't profit from merely keeping a house together.

Home value generally doesn't appreciate in real terms unless the neighborhood is gentrifying. A 3% yearly increase in value merely accounts for inflation.

A rental property that is merely covering the costs of ownership is building value only in the gradual increase in equity, which starts out very slowly at the beginning of the amortization schedule. I'm in year 10 of my 30 year loan on the rental, and I'm just now at about the point where 50% of the payment goes toward principal, and 50% towards interest.

I think my investment strategy will be to invest in the stock market while it's discounted, then in about 2 years when commercial and residential real estate takes a beating, buy that at a discount.
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Old 04-29-2020, 06:13 PM   #115 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecky View Post
We put in a mini split a few months after moving in, which nicely handles half of the house. I want to say it was around $2000 for a unit with a 40 SEER rating, and the heat really cranks even when it's subzero outside. Couldn't be happier. Central ducted units are for the birds.
I'd probably do the same thing assuming I bought a house without central air. A new build needs to incorporate it though. I'd probably consider separate variable speed air handlers for each floor. It does annoy me that generally HVAC is meant to operate in all rooms, with all registers open. I would have thought we'd have solved that problem by now and only need to condition those spaces we need to.
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Old 04-29-2020, 06:17 PM   #116 (permalink)
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I guess that controlling the climate in all rooms is like leaving all of the lights on, which my roommates did, but HVAC does not work nearly as fast as light.
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Old 04-29-2020, 06:23 PM   #117 (permalink)
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We replaced our force air furnace with a ductless heat pump and have been very pleased with it. Very efficient and very quiet. There is about a 2 degree difference between one end of the house and the other. It was cheaper than replacing the ducted system too.

The installer recommended installing a smaller unit in our bedroom if we didn’t want the temperature differential but it doesn’t bother us.
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Old 04-29-2020, 06:52 PM   #118 (permalink)
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It's currently 71 degrees upstairs and 67 degrees downstairs. I turned the heat off around 9am when I found my wife had the sliding door open upstairs. I'm always saying we can have windows open or heat, but not both at the same time.

I wonder how much effort it would take to put in another air handler for the bottom level? There are returns on both levels already, and plenty of space in the "boiler room" for more equipment and ducting. I'd like to make downstairs into a self-sustained living quarters, which means finer temperature control, a door on the stairs, and some way to cook food.
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Old 04-30-2020, 11:57 AM   #119 (permalink)
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It's currently 71 degrees upstairs and 67 degrees downstairs. I turned the heat off around 9am when I found my wife had the sliding door open upstairs. I'm always saying we can have windows open or heat, but not both at the same time.

I wonder how much effort it would take to put in another air handler for the bottom level? There are returns on both levels already, and plenty of space in the "boiler room" for more equipment and ducting. I'd like to make downstairs into a self-sustained living quarters, which means finer temperature control, a door on the stairs, and some way to cook food.
The house we rented our first year in Oregon was the same way. Two floors, one HVAC. As an extra inefficiency bonus about 1/2 of the upstairs was wasted on 20ft high ceilings over the living, dining, kitchen and entry. The second floor was 1 bedroom and a bath on one side connected to the master suite on the other side by an elevated walkway.

Your kitchen is on the second floor? That is an unusual arrangement. Most 2 level houses Iíve been in have the kitchen and living areas on the first floor and bedrooms / bathrooms on the second.
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Old 04-30-2020, 12:31 PM   #120 (permalink)
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Your kitchen is on the second floor? That is an unusual arrangement. Most 2 level houses Iíve been in have the kitchen and living areas on the first floor and bedrooms / bathrooms on the second.
Upstairs is kinda the first floor. From the street you walk straight in, with a daylight basement downstairs.

I spent some time scratching my head about how to install a door on the stairs. The problem is the 12ft ceiling would require a 12ft tall door at the bottom. There's a normal door height section of the stairs half way down, but I'd need to put in some framing to hang a door, and then figure out what to do with the handrail.

There's a mini fridge and sink already. Maybe an electric griddle and BBQ on the deck would be sufficient. Baking would need to be done upstairs. 3 bedrooms downstairs, so it's a shame not to fill them up.

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