Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Sticker Shock

Lately, I've been obsessed with HGTV. By obsessed, I mean I have it on any time I'm in charge of the picking the channel and I make mental notes of things that we must have/do/plan for/expect/demand when we purchase our first home here in Texas. Not only will it be the first home we buy in Texas, it will be the first home we buy as a family and the first time I'm become a homeowner. Can you imagine how fun that will be? When we start the process, be prepared to hear all about it.

But back to my point and the purpose of my post today. Thanks to the many hours spent watching homeowners in search of their perfect pad, I've created a wish list of what I will be looking for when house shopping.
  • 1 or 1 1/2 level home
  • 4 bedroom with 1 to use as a office 
  • Open kitchen with ample counter space and double oven
  • Upgraded kitchen appliances 
  • Fireplace  
  • Nice size backyard with mature trees
  • Park and pool within the development/community 
That's a pretty basic list, right? What did you insist on having when you were looking for your next home? I'm sure I'm missing something is a MUST HAVE. Now, thanks to HGTV's Love It or List It and House Hunters, I have seen beautiful homes and I am ready to become a home owner. Or so I thought. Just for fun, I starting looking to see what is for sale in Round Rock (that's where I'd like to stay if possible) and I nearly choked! Homes meeting the majority of my wish list are being sold for $300,000 to $450,000. Excuse me while I pick my jaw up off the table. 

To some, that's what they are used to, it's totally normal. I just can't imagine owning a home with a ticket price of $300,000 plus. While I want to have our dream home to raise our family in, I want it to be a home that fits us regardless of the asking price. It's times like this that I am so blessed to have such a smart, savvy business man for a husband because I know he will make finding the perfect place easier. When you bought your first home, did you have price tag shock? Is it possible to overlook the asking price so that you can fall in the love with the perfect place? So until we are ready to buy and can commit to having a  hefty mortgage, I'll just continue to watch HGTV and live vicariously through others.

19 comments:

  1. Love, love ,HGTV & especially the two shows you mentioned. It has gotten even worse now that I am once again looking to buy a new home.

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  2. HGTV is always my default station and we watch House Hunters during lunch at work. Sadly a house that you describe in my area would probably go for at least $400K. Our townhouse that was built in the 80's was over $200K as a foreclosure! From what I've noticed house prices in TX are actually really low comparatively though salaries are also probably lower as well.

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  3. You know our story, when we bought our home, we had never even SEEN it before, haha! If I were looking for ONE thing in a home it would be this: storage, storage, storage! Our home is so old that it has NO storage and it drives me NUTS!

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  4. Since I yell a lot at my kids and husband, we told ourselves that our house would not have neighbors in arms reach. Last Oct. we bought a 2 story home, fixer up that was built in the 70's. The first time we looked at the house, we walked out laughing, but once we looked at the surrounding houses (space, cost).. we went back and thought 'oh this isnt so bad.. we can work it'.

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  5. I think what shocked me the most in Texas was the property taxes. You add that into your monthly payment and that adds, depending on the area and home, $500 - $600 a month on your payment for the taxes alone. That didn't even include the crazy Hazard Insurance which is higher in Texas then the other places I've lived. It was stressing to say the least. I can't wait to hear about your house hunt!!

    Laura @ Mice In The Kitchen

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  6. Hubs inherited our house from his Grandmother... so we've never had to house shop. But where I grew up the prices where very similar to what you mentioned above. I actually had sticker shock in the opposite direction when I was curious one day and checked out local listings! I'd never heard of a 4 bedroom, 2+ bath, with 5 acres go for less than $100,000! "I know my town is in the middle of no where, but WHaaaaaa???" was my reaction! LOL

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  7. HGTV is addicting. I can't imagine buying a home - I have a feeling I'm going to be so picky! haha

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  8. I love, love, LOVE watching HGTV...but I have to admit that I rarely get to see it. The TV is usually on kiddo channels :)
    You will know the right home when you find it. It will feel "right." No worries.
    I look forward to hearing all about your exciting journey of finding your home.

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  9. S and I have a serious addiction to HGTV. We see all these shows and think, "by golly, we could do that stuff ourselves, too!" (No we can't.)
    You already know I'm going to have to sell my soul to afford something out here. Neat.

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  10. I am pretty young, but bought my first home about a year ago. It was a stressful process, but so worth it. Since I am at a stage in my life where I am really trying to build up life savings for a future family and other expenses, I wanted an economical home. Mine is just a 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom, with a converted garage and old kitchen, but it was very reasonably priced and it is perfectly satisfactory! It has charming old wood floors, and beautiful tile kitchen countertops. Sometimes old can be charming and nice :)

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  11. I love the Round Rock area but it is expensive. My brother and sister in law live in North Austin and have been looking in Leander. It's cheaper out then what they were finding in Round Rock and N. Austin.

    My wish list includes a house that has character, 4 bedrooms, access to high speed internet (this seems like a no brainer, but we add this after we moved to the high desert in California).

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  12. I too am in love with HGTV and I feel your pain with sticker shock. I am not yet a homeowner but when I look at prices in neighborhoods I would want to live in, in the right school districts...it takes me back that's for sure. But I have faith that wherever we live we can do so affordably. If it's $300K then that means we can afford it. I try not to let it get me down.

    http://aria82.blogspot.com/

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  13. We bought our first home when we moved to NC eight months ago. We had a similar list to yours and I can tell you we didn't get everything we want on it- it's all about compromise, and facing reality. Our kitchen has stainless steel appliances, but doesn't have granite or nice countertops, isn't the largest, yet it DOES have the newer appliances, a huge pantry, and enough room for a breakfast table, which was a huge plus. Eventually down the line if we stay in the house for a long time we will change out the counters. But we got the 4 bedrooms, a great yard, and amazing community. Something I never really thought of is a garage, which our house does have, and we're so thankfully for it for the amount of storage space we have now. We never had storage before and it's a huge plus!

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  14. A must for me: double sinks in the bath rooms - saves my marriage! :) House prices are very interesting, $300k here in the DC area is "cheap". We were lucky and looked for homes in 2008 and 2010 when the market was down and good for buyers. Be patient, I'm sure there is the perfect home out there for you!

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  15. I love HGTV - sadly, I don't get to enjoy it as much as I use to but I need to record some things on the DVR. I got a lot of inspiration from there! We currently rent and our house is TINY. We have 3 bedrooms/1 bath. One of the bedrooms has to be walked through to get to the bathroom so that became our office/catch-all room. One of our necessities in a home when we buy will definitely be at least TWO bathrooms. I will also insist on awesome closets, a good-sized kitchen and plenty of yard for the boys to play, a garden and our chicken barn! Stopping by from SGBG!

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  16. Buying a house is difficult! Our home is pretty small for our area - 3 bedrooms, 1 bath, no basement really (which is rare for our area). We plan to move to a bigger place in a few years. I just one one more bathroom!!

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  17. I ended up building my first home versus buying. Bing the lot and having my little dream home built cost less than buying an older, outdated home. That doesn't work in every area - but I'm in a small town in NE Texas. So it worked for me.

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  18. Before my husband was in a wreck we were going through the motions to start looking for our first home down here in San Antonio! I am ALWAYS hollering about this "Dream House". I agree with ALL your points, but this house WILL HAVE TWO sinks in the master bath. I want cabinets and linen closets galore! I want a freezer so big Hoffa and 4 baseball bats could fit. The kitchen should have a fire extinguisher, a fire alarm that works but isn't to twitchy, and room to MOVE. I think If I wanna dance a jig whilst im'a cookyalating, Damn it, I should have enough room for it.

    I just posted something about my kitchen fails haha, I am such a dolt.
    http://southernfrieddomestication.blogspot.com/2014/02/kitchenhack-magnet.html

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  19. I hear ya girl! We had a nice 3300 sq ft house in Kyle for $178,000, so I had total total sticker shock when we started looking north of Austin. We couldn't get mature trees for the price we wanted to pay, but every thing else on our dreamhouse list in Pflugerville for less than $300k. It is crazy how much homes cost. Crazy.

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