I just want to buy a house! Can anyone relate?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Teachings4Me, Jun 4, 2013.

  1. Teachings4Me

    Teachings4Me Companion

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    I just want to buy a house!

    Oh wait, I'm a teacher....

    Can anyone relate?

    I've been looking for several months and found a cute little townhouse that I put an offer in on and had accepted! Well everything has been a major struggle since then. The offer was the easy part!

    A little background... I live in a touristy area and rent here is astronomical. I love my apartment but it's just not practical anymore. The mortgage payment would be a couple hundred less than what I'm paying per month.

    I have no credit card debt, am on an income based repayment plan for my student loans (get this, the government considers me to have a partial financial hardship with my salary.... Hilarious!), and a reasonable car payment. I find out today that because of the HOA fees on the townhouse, my debt to income ratio will be 2% higher than it is allowed to be. Seriously? A townhouse/condo is all I can afford in this area so anything I find will come with HOA fees....

    How is any teacher supposed to buy a house on their own salary? Has anyone else had similar frustrations or experiences? I'm trying to be responsible but I feel like I can't on this salary, and that's with a masters degree!

    Any advice or words of encouragement would be appreciated. It's been a really tough school year and now with this, sometimes I think I'm going to become part of that 5 year teacher burnout statistic. :(
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2013
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  3. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I'm sorry about your frustrations! Married people really have the advantage when it comes to this issue since they have 2 incomes coming in! I'm a single person currently in the smallest square footage apt at my complex & paying one of the lowest rents for the nice, high COL area that I'm in. The only way is to have a LOT saved up from the beginning.

    Good luck getting your home! I understand how tough it is.
     
  4. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    As discussed a lot on these boards, it really is mostly about your area. I still get shocked at prices elsewhere...both shocked because I can't believe that's all one gets with a certain amount and just how much one can get (I've noticed especially on Atlanta-based House Hunter shows, their money goes FAR!). I would be able to afford a nice home on just my salary here, but I know that's not possible in many locations. I feel for you, I do. Like Ms. I said, if you're able to save up several thousand that obviously helps tremendously.
     
  5. Teachings4Me

    Teachings4Me Companion

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    I'm living month to month because of what I'm paying in rent. I have a little bit saved but it has taken me awhile to even get that much and it's my emergency fund. (Let's hope I don't have any major emergencies!) I love House Hunters and it kills me to see what they're able to get in Atlanta. This small three bedroom townhouse (not even an end unit!) could get me a gorgeous, new, 2000 sq ft 4 bedroom home there. bah! I'm trying to find work gratifying enough to where the financial piece doesn't bother me, but when you get paid once a month and only have a couple hundred dollars to get you through the rest of the month once you pay all of your bills, it's a bit defeating....:dizzy:
     
  6. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I know...those Atlanta homes are hard to take! They're "fancy" in my eyes. It's not about me wanting more, more, more (because I realize how fortunate we all are if we're currently inside a safe building chatting online), but it's feeling like you got ripped off!
     
  7. Teachings4Me

    Teachings4Me Companion

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    Yes, ripped off for sure! I love where I live and will be perfectly content in my little townhouse (speaking in affirmation here, hoping it all works out...) I just want more bang for my buck (especially since we don't have many!:lol:)
     
  8. Rhesus

    Rhesus Comrade

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    The process of buying our current house and selling our old one was such a carnival of wedgies that my wife and I swear that the only way we leave this house will be in a pine box! I do not want to do that again.

    BTW, I live I an expensive state, but way out in the country where house-buying money goes a bit farther.
     
  9. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Whoops, didn't know you were already married. Does she work? Maybe you should both get 2nd jobs.
     
  10. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    It's definitely got a lot to do with the cost of living in your area.

    I live in a rural area with a relatively low cost of living. Because it's a high-poverty area, too, my teaching job puts me solidly in the top 5 jobs in my city.

    That meant that when my big city friends (30-50 miles away) were taking roommates to afford apartments or using two salaries to live in small starter homes in questionable neighborhoods, I was able to buy a nice "forever" house with land as a single teacher with less than 10 years of experience. I even got a 15 year mortgage with payments considerably less than my friends were paying in rent.

    Nearly all the teachers I know own houses. The ones who don't either don't want the responsibility of home ownership, are young and haven't even started looking yet, or live in one of the nearby expensive cities and commute.

    There really are some perks to living in the boonies!
     
  11. Teachings4Me

    Teachings4Me Companion

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    I'm not married...:confused:
    When I said we, I meant we as teachers, sorry for the confusion! :blush:
     
  12. Teachings4Me

    Teachings4Me Companion

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    Wait, Ms. I, who are you talking about? I'm so confused!
     
  13. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Here, in the Central Valley of Cali, where I live the rent is super cheap!! I pay $850 / month for a 2 bedroom house. Yes, I just got broken into, but even if if I would have rented the most expensive house for $1000 or $1100, it could have still happened. Rent is just cheaper all around than what I was used to.

    Home prices are also ridiculously cheap! I'm talking about $200 K for a huge house, that would cost at least double in Southern California. I've even seen house for sale in the mid $100 K range.

    So, yes, I would definitely want to buy a house at some point, even though I am a single income family. The great combination is that real estate is cheap, but my teacher salary is the same as I would get in Southern Cali.

    The key is for me to figure out what area (the small city I live in now, or the larger city 20 minutes away). Am I going to be able to stay at my current school? (budget, etc). I hope so, it doesn't seem they have lay off issues, I haven't heard of any pink slips, but I'd want to be here for a few years before I know for sure.

    Another concern is that if I ever hd to move (accepting another job offer in a different area, which would only happen if I got laid off from here), I would have a real hard time selling the house (very low income area, people aren't really buying homes) and renting it out would be a huge hassle.
     
  14. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    The house across the street from me is for sale. It's a three bedroom, two bath with about a half acre lot. New windows & some interior upgrades. Needs new shingles, gutters, siding, and a little TLC in the yard (overgrown bushes, etc.). It's listed at $33,000.
     
  15. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    See, and posts like this make me feel I didn't get too ripped! That's not super cheap here! :haha:
     
  16. stampin'teacher

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    Funny how I read this thread because I just got back from a day of apartment hunting...because my husband and I can't afford to get a house in this economy/area!

    We live in southern CA, so everything is premium. All of our family is here, and I'm on maternity leave, so there's a brand new baby in the family. My parents would kill me if I thought of leaving! My husband was in the military, and now that he's out, he's back at school & working. We make a decent amount, but NOT to be competitive when it comes to buying a house out here.

    We wanted to buy a house closer to my parents because they're retired & can watch the baby when I go back to work (she is a retired day care provider, so she knows what she's doing...plus talk about a money saver!). However, it's been a while since we've moved, so all the prices are higher, and the apartments are smaller! We found a place that's nice, but again, we're downsizing, with a newborn. I'm not exactly thrilled, but living in the place we're at now just isn't an option.

    Sorry, this turned into a vent!
     
  17. Teachings4Me

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    My two bedroom is $1075. If I lived closer to work (in the middle of nowhere) I might be bale to find something cheaper, but I'd be miserable being so far from everything. I'm a city girl at heart and I just can't move to the boonies!
     
  18. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I agree that it depends on the area where you want to buy a house. When my hoosband and I first moved to our city, we would never have been able to afford a house. Then the housing bubble burst and suddenly everything was within (and well below!) our price range. We ended up buying a house for under $100k--it had sold just two or three years earlier for over $300k.
     
  19. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    We probably won't be able to afford a house on a DOUBLE income in our area. Even condos and townhomes run in the high $300ks and up. Actual houses...forget it! Double that. I'm really not sure what will happen. Maybe we'll just rent for a long time or maybe we'll move...but that would require quitting my job that I love and getting a job in areas that don't ever hire. Luckily, I have lived in apartments since I was 13, so it doesn't bother me much. I would like to eventually own so we're not throwing away SO much money every month (as you can probably imagine, our rent is VERY high...higher than I've seen mentioned on this thread lol), but I don't know how it will be possible here.

    So I try not to think about it. A teacher salary, or even two (my husband is not a teacher, but hypothetically) does not get you far here at all.

    It really is ALL about cost of living. I've seen people on here who are AMAZED by our "high" CA teacher salaries - I make $45k in my first year, for example - but that salary feels like minimum wage with our housing costs here!

    So yes, I can absolutely relate...and I have a two income household!
     
  20. Mr.history

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    I just looked at houses in the area that I'm moving too in a few months. You can get a pretty nice 3bed 2 bath house for like 60k. I'm thinking about possibly buying a house in a few years, but I'm not sure this area is somewhere I want to stay yet. Its RURAL and I've lived in the suburbs of ATL my whole life. Houses here are still pretty cheap but 60k for a house?

    Edit:
    I looked again. I just found a very nice 5 bed room, 4 bath for 120k. I could live with that. :)
     
  21. Linguist92021

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    For me it's supercheap :) I've lived in an area for 17 years where a 1 bdrm apt. for $1000 meant it was probably not in a good area, or the place was run down. A comparable house to mine would have been $1800 and up, depending on the area. And it's definitely a plus that the salary is not adjusted to the cost of living. My dollar goes goes further, although lately it's been going faster, not sure why :mad:
     
  22. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    I was thinking the same thing. My ex has a 2 bed, 2 bath in a historic neighborhood for $425 a month. One of my friends has a 2 bed, 2 bath here in town for $385.
     
  23. bison

    bison Habitué

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    We just signed a new lease on a tiny little two bedroom house. The rent is much more than anything mentioned in this thread as well. I honestly don't ever expect to be able to buy in SoCal unless BF does very very well. We're not ready now anyway, but it's just not really possible on a teaching salary, especially if you want to live in an area worth raising a family in.

    Edit: The thought of renting a house for under $400 or buying one for under $100k makes me feel like I need to lay down for a minute. Unthinkable!
     
  24. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    :eek:There is quite literally nothing in my area for that price. Not even a studio condo in a bad part of town. LOL. Consider yourself very fortunate! :D

    YEP! Here too!!! I suppose we COULD rent for $1000 a month but it would definitely be an unsafe area! I definitely get what you were saying about the central valley being supercheap - when I was looking at jobs there I couldn't believe how far my salary would stretch because the salaries weren't much less than SoCal, and sometimes they were equal!!

    Thanks for making me feel better, Bison. :D I'm glad we can relate. We are in the exact same position. My mom lives in NorCal and pays under $1000 for her rent, which is just SOOOOOO cheap to me. Under $400?? Does...not....compute...

    I think our next move will be to rent a townhome somewhere in our area. That way, we can have a garage and a washer and dryer, two dreams of mine. We will probably be paying between $1800 and $1900 for that.... Oy.
     
  25. stampin'teacher

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    Uh yeah, I second that! Our budget for a house is around $300K and there is NOTHING available in the area in SoCal we're looking (and it's a large area). CRAPPY homes are even at LEAST $350K.

    It makes my head hurt to see my paychecks go straight to rent each month....:dizzy:
     
  26. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    It makes me wonder how people have houses. But then everyone I know in a house fits one of three criteria: 1) They got their house a LONG time ago, definitely before the housing bubble, and many well before that, like my in-laws. 2) Their significant other makes double (or close to it) what they make as a teacher. 3) Their parents paid the downpayment, and likely also cosigned the loan....
     
  27. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    My home was built in 2005, I purchased it in 2008 for 150,000 (3 bed/2 bath). Obviously, I'm partial, but I think it's super nice.

    All the teachers I work with (even the ones my age...early 30s) own their home.

    Although I love visiting SoCal, I could never afford to live there...EVER!
     
  28. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    No one can!!! :dizzy: Why do we all stay here?!?!?! LOL.

    And I am sure your house IS super nice! One thing I noticed when I was looking at apartments in the central valley (briefly when I was applying for jobs) was that there was a lot of new construction and a lot of really nice places! It's hard to afford nice things here!
     
  29. Blue

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    Have you checked into special help loans? First time buyers and teachers can get help in Oregon.
     
  30. Ms. I

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    My 700 sq ft apt was $1135/mo the first yr, but now it's $1203. Yes, I still renewed the lease.

    Whoops, sorry. Don't know what I was thinking. I saw some other post thinking it was yours.
     

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