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Are we prepared to settle down in one area for at least 4 years?  

First, why 4 years? 
Basic rule of thumb in real estate is that you will not get your money back out of a house unless you live there for AT LEAST 4 years before selling.  This could be more or less depending on what region the house is in, but in our area I felt like 4 years was a fine estimate. 

But do you have to sell the house to move? 
No, no you don't.  We have the option to rent out the house, make some income off it, and move if we choose to.  However, if we wanted to sell it and be done with it, we need to hold on to it for 4 years.  The decision to rent the house out or sell it after 4 years is very complicated.  We probably will not decide until a year before moving what we are going to do with the house.

We both work in the area that we bought our house in and we like the neighborhood, but it is still important to consider school districts, taxes, crime, and access to roads, parks, and shopping when choosing a location. 

The better the school district, the higher the taxes (generally) but the easier the home will be to sell.  The more access to parks, shopping and roads, and the less crime, the easier it will be to sell as well, and the value will appreciate more quickly.  We considered all of these things, except we were not planning on having a baby, so we disregarded school districts....our bad:-(  The school district we ended up with is a middle-of-the-road school, but we are slightly nervous about it because crime moved closer to our neighborhood when the recession hit.  I believe (hope) that everything will improve over the next 4-5 years.

Regardless of whether the school district improves, we do not want our child in school in the city.  But, she won't be going to school until she is 5, so we're covered there :-)

Short post today.......
 
 
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Sometimes it seems like other bloggers are on the same page as I am!  Love this!

I don't know if you noticed, but on our balance sheet, we have a personal loan that is a loan from a family member.  This post seemed especially relevant right now:
Ask the Readers: Do you every lend money to friends/family?

I love Johnny Moneyseed's take on paying of the mortgage early: Paying off your mortgage early is still silly!

Congratulations to Girl Meets Debt on her ENGAGEMENT! Mrs. Modest Money

Renting Isn't a Throwaway at The Simple Dollar

Did My Lender Pull a Bait and Switch? Over at Budget Blonde, Cat explains why your quoted mortgage rate may not be the same as the rate you actually get.

The downside of being a landlord at Club Thrifty: Being a Landlord: It's Not All Puppies and Cupcakes!

Aaaannnnnnd, This Week's Wins & Losses over at Budgets are Sexy!

Ok, so there is a definite theme to what I found interesting this week...

ENJOY :-)
 
 
IMPORTANT: This Article has moved to my new site
Retired By 40!
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Ok, maybe not this house.....But still, we bought a house and we're only 22!

Not that it was easy...Here is how it went down:

The area that I live in was hit really hard by "the recession".....what this meant for us is that foreclosed houses were (and still are) abundant!  I'm talking houses that sold for $250,000 in 2008 are now being foreclosed on and sold for $45k-$125k.  Big, nice houses in good neighborhoods with quiet roads out front and big backyards!  What a deal, right?

Something like that.

It is a buyer's market, for sure, but we had several things to consider:
1) Were we prepared to settle down in one area for at least 4 years?
2) Were we financially prepared to buy a home?
3) How much to spend?
4) How much work are we willing to do to the house?
5) What area do we want to be in?

I'll talk about the first questions today, and the other questions will follow.  I don't claim to know everything, or even nearly enough, but these questions were what was important to us when looking for a house!

Are we prepared to settle down in one area for at least 4 years?  First, why 4 years?  Basic rule of thumb in real estate is that you will not get your money back out of a house unless you live there for AT LEAST 4 years before selling.  This could be more or less depending on what region the house is in, but in our area I felt like 4 years was a fine estimate. 

But do you have to sell the house to move?  No, no you don't.  We have the option to rent out the house, make some income off it, and move if we choose to.  However, if we wanted to sell it and be done with it, we need to hold on to it for 4 years.

We both work in the area that we eventually bought in and we like the neighborhood, but it is important to considers school districts, taxes, crime, and access to roads, parks, and shopping when choosing a location.  The better the school district, the higher the taxes (generally) but the easier the home will be to sell.  The more access, and the less crime, the easier it will be to sell as well, and the value will appreciate more quickly.  We considered all of these things, except we were not planning on having a baby, so we disregarded school districts.  Now, the school district we ended up with is a middle-of-the-road school, but we are slightly nervous about it because crime moved closer to our neighborhood when the recession hit.  I believe (hope) that everything will improve over the next 4-5 years.

Regardless of whether the school district improves, we do not want our child in school in the city.  But, she won't be going to school until she is 5, so we're covered there :-)

Bottom line, we want to give ourselves enough time in the house to either sell it and get our money (or more) back out of it, or live in it long enough to get it ready to rent.....4 years minimum.  Obviously, we decided we were ready!