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5 For Friday: A Peek Into Your Home

by J. Money on Friday, June 24, 2011

Since we’ve been on the topic of home ownership lately (and I found that AWESOME video up there for Vanilla Ice’s new real estate guide! Haha…) – I thought we’d make this the focus of today’s 5 For Friday questions :) Plus, I like being nosey.

So here we go… spill it loud and spill it proud, baby!

  1. Do you “own” your home or do you rent?
  2. If you own, how much did you pay for it? (If you rent, do you think you’ll buy anytime soon?)
  3. How much is your mortgage/rent payments?
  4. Where do you live? (City or State only please – don’t tell the internets all your details! :))
  5. Do you own any other property? (land, vacation home, boats, RVs)
  6. *Bonus* Are you Happy with this?

*Deep breath* Okay, here we go…

  1. Own or Rent: We own it. Or rather, the BANK owns it.
  2. Cost: We spend $360,000 for our townhouse. After negotiating it down $5k and getting them to pay for all closing costs AND an entirely new roof. Though looking back we could have pushed harder for more money off… lesson learned for next time! (IF there’s a next time)
  3. Payments: Our total payments between our 1st mortgage and our 2nd mortgage comes out to about $2,100/mo. We pay a little extra each month to help knock it down a bit, but since we never made a down payment to begin with we’re way overwater in our house. I’m currently brainstorming ways to fix this, but it’s not fun ;)
  4. Where we live: In Maryland, right outside D.C. Where $100k can barely get you a bathroom ;)
  5. Own other property? Nope! Unless you count this blog? I pretty much live here anyways, haha…
  6. *Bonus* Am I happy? I think you know the answer to that :)

I swear I’m workin’ on the animosity toward our house – I really am. I’ve come to the conclusion that we owe all that money no matter WHAT we do going forward, so it’s time to man up and figure out a game plan once and for all. I’m tired of pushing it aside and just blocking it out, something’s gotta give! I’ll keep you posted the second I come up with a plan – I can’t keep complaining about it anymore ;)

Okay, your turn to play! Answer the questions above and drop ‘em in the comments below. Maybe it’ll inspire you to take action once and for all too.


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{ 98 comments… read them below or add one }

1 CrystalH June 24, 2011 at 7:24 am

1. I own my own home. Its a condo style townhome.

2. I paid $289,000 for it. But I got a LOT of upgrades-hello Jacuzzi thats big enough for two! We have an indoor pool, outdoor pool, nice gym, rock climbing wall and monthly happy hours at the fancy pants club house.

3. I pay $1982 plus $274 in association fees. I only put 3.5% down.

4. I live in Northern Virginia right outside of the DC area too!

5. I also own a duplex in Chicago. My mom lives in one unit and I rent out the other. (yes, I’m my own moms landlord).

6. I love my place! I love having a bathtub I can finally fit in. I’m really tall so that has always been my issue!

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2 Angela J June 24, 2011 at 7:26 am

1. I own my home Used to rent it when I was 21, had lots of parties and met my now husband. So we thought it would be “cute” to buy it.

2.Bought it for $78,500 and put in about $20,000 to update it just for efficiency and safety

3. $15,000 is a silent 2nd so our Monthly payment are $660 (included insurance and taxes). I am upping it to $700 next month.

4.Live in St. Cloud Minnesota-Central MN

5. Do not own any other property, but we think about buying a piece of propert on a lake to build a retirement home on one day.

6. We are happy some days because it’s cheap but there are still lots of updates to do including adding on a bedroom if we want another kid. But it’s in a very convenient part of town with having little kids. Anyway, to answer your question, no I think we would rather live somewhere else

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3 Erin June 24, 2011 at 7:32 am

First off, shout-out to Maryland! I’m from Maryland (Odenton/Crofton area), but now live in Michigan (near New Hudson which is why I asked about this month’s Love Drop).

1. We “own” our home. Same as you. We are one of the few (and very lucky) people that have a little equity in our house. Bought a foreclosure in 2009 when prices were pretty much rock-bottom. It’s an 1874 farm house on 5 acres, so the acreage helps to retain its value a bit better. Plus it was (and still is) a MAJOR fixer upper.
2. $139,000.
3. With taxes and insurance $1,000.
4. Michigan in the Metro Detroit area (West side)
5. We do NOT own any other property, but are thinking about buying some land or even a condo as a rental property since the manfriend is so handy. We both want to move within 10 years – and we are thinking Pennsylvania, Montana or Italy. The manfriend is leaning towards Italy and I’m still up in the air about actually leaving the country for good.
6. I’m REALLY happy I bought a house and especially when I did. Not only did I get to take advantage of the $8k homeowner’s credit in the period when you weren’t required to pay it back, our mortgage payment is actually significantly cheaper than our rent used to be AND my manfriend can fix anything/everything so the stuff that does go wrong with the house isn’t THAT expensive for us (knock on wood).

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4 Melissa June 24, 2011 at 7:58 am

J. Money, I am so starting to look forward to your Friday posts! I love getting a peek into other people’s lives. Must be the journalist in me…

1. Rent! And now I cry because…
2. There’s no way in heck I can afford to buy anytime soon. I want to own a home so badly, but the housing costs are astronomical here, and my income just couldn’t support it. So I’m saving for a down payment which *maybe* in 10 years might buy a house. A small one. :S
3. I pay $915 a month for a one-bedroom apartment in Toronto. I know it seems steep, but this is actually an absolute steal of a price. Plus my apartment is really central, so I can walk just about everywhere I might need to go, including work.
4. Toronto! The land of ice and snow, or, in the case of this week, the land of debilitating heat and humidity. Ugh!
5. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. No.
*Bonus* Well, yes and no. For my current situation, this is a pretty nice set-up, and it’s great to be so close to everything and not have to worry about ANYTHING regarding my housing except a rent cheque every month, since utilities are included and my landlord would come immediately if anything broke. But still, I can’t shake the annoyance that I’m paying someone else’s mortgage every month instead of my own.

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5 Andy June 24, 2011 at 8:00 am

1. Rent a 3 bedroom, 1 and a half bath house.
2. “Soon” is a relative word. I have about $55k in student loans to pay off first, but after that I’d like to own a house along with other properties.
3. $995 a month, split two ways. Those payments would get us a lot of house around here but there’s that nasty down payment thing they want.
4. Outside Harrisburg, PA.
5. Nope, someday hopefully!
6. Like a pig in sh*t!

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6 Erin June 24, 2011 at 8:10 am

Andy, my family lives in Marysville, PA! You can definitely get a lot of house around there for $995/month :)

I agree with Melissa, I love the Friday question posts!

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7 Steph June 24, 2011 at 8:14 am

1) Own a 3/2 home on an acre, we’ve been there for 10 years now
2) 119,000
3) Including our HELOC, taxes and insurance about $1200
4) Just outside Atlanta
5) No, but I’ve been looking at buying some mountain property once the HELOC is paid off
*Bonus* Very happy. Our home is probably considered a little small by a lot of people these days, considering we have 2 kids, but time has passed pretty quickly and my oldest will probably be moving out in a few years. If we would have bought a bigger home, we really would have too much space. I just wish I could refi for a lower interest rate now.

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8 Hal June 24, 2011 at 8:20 am

1. We own.
2. Paid $175000 almost 11 years ago. So luckily we have equity.
3. Pay about 1000.00 with tax and insurance.
4. Live in Columbus, GA. near Ft. Benning, GA so the house market here is not as bad as other places around the country. (Ft. Benning is adding 50,000 more troops to the area over the next 5 years.)
5. We own other property in north and south GA.
6. I’m happy with where we’re at.

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9 No Debt MBA June 24, 2011 at 8:41 am

Do you “own” your home or do you rent? Rent
If you own, how much did you pay for it? (If you rent, do you think you’ll buy anytime soon?) Not until I’m done with my MBA and settled in a new job, so 2+ years
How much is your mortgage/rent payments? $750
Where do you live? in a city
Do you own any other property? nope
*Bonus* Are you Happy with this? yup :)

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10 LaToya June 24, 2011 at 8:41 am

1. I own a home and we rent. Job relocation, so I am a landlord, and a renter in an apartment complex.
2. I purchased my home for $93,500. I don’t think I will be in the market to buy another home, even if this one sells (been on the market for almost 2 years now).
3. Mortgage – $754 (Renter pays $900 per month), Rent $829
4. Mississippi
5. I inherited an interest in my grandmother’s home, but my grandmother currently stays there. Other than that…NO.
6. NO!!!! I wanted our house to be sold by now. Being a landlord is NO fun when you are over 300 miles from the property. And paying rent is for the birds. So, I am in a state of flux. Luckily, we have been paying down on the mortgage to put the house at an even lower price. So we purchased in 2007, but now I only owe about 70K! I am going to keep paying the mortgage down, until we can get to a price where it will sell!

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11 Laura June 24, 2011 at 8:41 am

1.Own.. well ya know, the bank does. 3 bedrooms 2 baths
2.142,000
3. 1,011, with taxes, insurance, PMI (I KNOW), and the like. We pay more than that every month, but that’s what’s required. :)
4.Eastside of Cincinnati
5. No other property, but the house is really close to everything and on almost 4 acres.
6.Yeah, I love our house, but it’s a lot of work. It’s the perfect size for us right now and soooo private. Granted, it’s a lot of upkeep with tons of 100+ year old trees and the like, but it’s really a one of a kind house–under 200k, tons of land, totally updated and close to everything. We’ve been looking into subdividing the land, which would be a great financial move, but it would probably lessen how much we love the place… we’ll see what happens there.

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12 Anne June 24, 2011 at 8:49 am

1. Own
2. Paid $128,000 15 years ago but added on 7 years ago.
3. $1000/month for the mortgage but an additional $720/month for taxes (Bah!) and insurance.
4. Burlington, VT. The market here hardly suffered from the housing crisis.
5. Nope
6. I want a smaller house on the same street — divorce signficantly decreased the need for space.

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13 Trinnie June 24, 2011 at 8:57 am

Do you “own” your home or do you rent? we “own” our home. Bought it 4 yrs ago…

If you own, how much did you pay for it? (If you rent, do you think you’ll buy anytime soon?) we got 2100 sq ft for $217k, which incl a finished basement and 3 car garage

How much is your mortgage/rent payments? $1049.94

Where do you live? (City or State only please – don’t tell the internets all your details! :)) Colorado Springs! Well, technically Fountain…

Do you own any other property? (land, vacation home, boats, RVs) god no…1 property is enough

*Bonus* Are you Happy with this? yeah, we are, actually…now, because baby Tony is due any week, (and we TOTALLY didn’t plan on having 2 kids) we are actually thinking of buying another, bigger home in a year or 2.

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14 Colleen June 24, 2011 at 9:00 am

1. Bought a house just short of 2 years ago so the bank still owns it – 3 bed semi-attached.
2. Purchased for $105,500 and we put 10% down for a mortgage of around $97,000.
3. Mortgage is $249 bi-weekly for $540 a month. Insurance is $300 a year and taxes $1500 a year. So far we have been able to put an extra $2000 against the mortgage a year. At the 2 year anniversary we will have paid off exactly $10000.
4. PEI Canada
5. Nope just this one.
6. We love our house. We can totally afford it and just did a big bathroom makeover for under $400! Great neighbours, small lawn, totally awesome. Goal is to be paid off in 13 more years and still be living here!

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15 Renee June 24, 2011 at 9:16 am

1. My husband and I rent.
2. Rent is $1,200/month. We hope to buy sometime next fall.
3. Baltimore, MD. There’s a great program here to buy into the city, so we’ll get some good down payment/closing assistance.
4. My car is in my name. I guess I could live in it if I had to.
5. We originally wanted to buy in Feb ’12, when our lease is up – but our friends are getting married in St. Lucia. We decided to postpone the house and go to the beach :)

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16 Dani @ OK, Dani June 24, 2011 at 9:18 am

1. Do you “own” your home or do you rent?

We rent, and it makes me sad :(

2. If you rent, do you think you’ll buy anytime soon?

We may buy next year if DH decides to do both med school and residency in this area. Otherwise it won’t make sense to buy for 4 years just to sell.

3. How much is your mortgage/rent payments?

Too much! $1200

4. Where do you live?

Manhattan, New York

5. Do you own any other property?

Not yet.

6. *Bonus* Are you Happy with this?

Nah, I know I need a place to live, so I’m not “wasting” my money every month when I pay rent, I just feel like it could be put to better use. I look forward to owning.

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17 Cindy June 24, 2011 at 9:20 am

1. We own our home. We purchased it nearly one year ago.
2. Purchased for $165k.
3. Total mortgage, insurance and taxes is $1,098.
4. Spokane, Washington
5. We purchased our first home in 2001 and paid it off in 2010 (6 months before we purchased our new home). This is now our first rental propoerty and we get $925 in rent. After paying $1,600 in property taxes and $450 in insurance each year we are able to use $750 each month to pay extra on our current mortgage.
6. We are so happy. We are in our 42 and 38 and really starting to see our decisions from years ago pay off for us.

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18 sandra June 24, 2011 at 9:23 am

1. Own.
2. 280K
3. I pay 1500 biweekly (the required payment is $900)
4. Ontario Canada
5. No other property – someday I hope to, my retirement dream home.
6. Not really, but it is convenient, has an apartment in the basement to help with rent, and we spent 20K in rewiring, new roof, new kitchen so it will do …for now.

Hey Melissa…wish I could convince my mother of the realities…she rents out my childhood home in Toronto (3 bedroom ’50s bungalow, big yard, finished basement, garden with fruit trees, garage, and literally 1 block from the subway) for $1000 – and feels that is too much!

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19 Brian June 24, 2011 at 9:24 am

1.Do you “own” your home or do you rent? I own a 1950′s Ranch 3bd/1.5bath with full basement

2.If you own, how much did you pay for it? I paid zero dollars for it (I inherited it from my grandmother so I paid a pretty heavy price emotionally and would gladly pay rent to have my grandmother back). Value (my cost basis) would be $115k

3.How much is your mortgage/rent payments? $100/month to cover property taxes

4.Where do you live? Indianapolis

5.Do you own any other property? The old lady and I are probably going to buy her familys cottage down on the Ohio River, so future generations can continue to enjoy it.

*Bonus* Are you Happy with this? I am happy I have a place to live that allows me to save for the future. I would trade it all in a heartbeat to have my grandmother back.

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20 Renee June 24, 2011 at 9:26 am

@Dani, $1200 is a steal in NYC!

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21 Corie June 24, 2011 at 9:30 am

1. My husband and I rent our home.
2. We have been looking at houses for the past couple of months but haven’t found anything worth pulling the trigger on yet!
3. Our rent payment is $650 for a three bedroom, two bath home in a great private area.
4. Northeast PA
5. Nope!
6. For the time being, yes. We plan on buying in the semi near future so this will do for now!

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22 Jenny~Z June 24, 2011 at 9:44 am

1. I rent
2. My buying time line is 5-7 years (I’m still in school for now)
3. Rent = $745 which is really good for what I get in comparison to others but expensive for me
4. Ontario, Canada
5. I own my car… lol
6. For now, I hate renting but I don’t have the $$ to own at this point :(

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23 Amy June 24, 2011 at 9:45 am

1. I own my one bedroom, one den, 1 1/2 bath condo.
2. I paid $43,500 in 1997 (bought before I got married in 2006).
3. No mortgage; I got a 15 year fixed rate mortgage (I put 20% down) and paid it off early in 2005. The normal mortgage payment was $315 a month, but I always paid way more. The monthly maintenance for our unit is $214 which includes basic cable (the maintenance started out at $99 – those were the days before all the hurricanes came in 2004 and jacked up the homeowners insurance!)
4. On the west coast of Florida.
5. I don’t own any other property.
6. Very happy! For the first few years, I concentrated on paying off the mortgage. Beginning in 2003, we started doing about one home improvement project a year and usually use the 0% financing from the vendor. Since the time I’ve owned it, we’ve enclosed the porch (to make the den), new carpeting (needs it again, though), new tile in kitchen, hall, dinning room, kitchen cabinets refaced, new kitchen countertop (laminate that resembles granite), all new appliances including hot water heater, updated both bathrooms, and last year installed a new energy efficient AC system.

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24 Chris June 24, 2011 at 9:59 am

1. We own
2. We were like you and blighted the very top of the bubble. We paid $534k.
3. Our monthly mortgage is $2500. that doesn’t include taxes ($4k/yr), association fees ($350/mo) or. Insurance.
4. We live in Ventura, CA
5. I can’t afford other property!
Bonus: We are seriously underwater right now which is very depressing. We would love to sell now that we have kids and get someplace with more of a yard but it’s not even remotely possible. We are going to look at renting it out in the next few years though. We also want to get away from having to deal with living in an association.

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25 F June 24, 2011 at 10:16 am

1. Own
2. Purchased for $129k.
3. Total mortgage is 549$ as I no not escrow taxes are about 3k a year
4. Keller, Texas
5. Purchased in 2002
6. Mostly happy as the HOA has a nice pool and playground area soccer field and baseball. The school district though has gone down hill which is disappointing

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26 Mysti June 24, 2011 at 10:21 am

1) Own (via the bank)

2) Paid $137,500k in late 2001. We had a terrible realtor, who basically made us pay full price and closing costs! Told us that if we offered less that we wouldn’t get the house.

3) Currently we have a 30-yr fixed at 5.125%, paying $1527 a month (we did a refi in January). We did a stupid re-fi years ago and ended up paying 7.5%! Currently owe 189k on the mortgage.

4) Connecticut

5) We own a bass boat, that is my husband’s. He bought it 6 months before we met (in 1996). It is worth next to nothing now. But we paid $358 a month for 5+ years for that worthless vessel.

Bonus: Happy? Not really. Stupid mistakes, major life curves….we are in a pile of poo right now. And I feel like we are just treading water.

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27 Tammy June 24, 2011 at 10:26 am

J. Money, I’ve been reading your blog for several months. Just love it – very entertaining and insightful. It’s my first time to “comment” so here goes:

1.Do you “own” your home or do you rent? We own a 1918 Craftsman Bungalow. Rented many years in San Francisco. Got tired of making our landlord extremely rich. Nice guy but he would drive up in a new Audi sportster or a Harley Davidson and I would think, “Hey! I just bought that ride for him!”
2.If you own, how much did you pay for it? (If you rent, do you think you’ll buy anytime soon?) $362,500 with almost 20% down
3.How much is your mortgage/rent payments? $1407 and we put a little extra in every month.
4.Where do you live? (City or State only please – don’t tell the internets all your details! Napa, Californa – the land of fine wine
5.Do you own any other property? (land, vacation home, boats, RVs) Just the house
6.*Bonus* Are you Happy with this? We love our house and couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.

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28 Shannon June 24, 2011 at 10:32 am

1. I rent a 1 bedroom/1 bath apartment
2. Nope, no plans to buy anytime soon. I don’t plan on living where I live for much longer.
3. $500 a month. That’s actually on the higher end of rent prices where I live.
4. Maine
5. Nope!
6. For now, yes I’m happy. My apartment’s pretty nice, it’s in a good location and my landlord’s great. Plus my rent’s so low it gives me a good chance to save money.

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29 Alotta Lettuce June 24, 2011 at 10:49 am

1. We “own” our house, which we bought in January of 2010.
2. We paid $195k for it, after negotiating it down from $205k, plus the seller paid our closing costs. We put 10% down and owe somewhere in the neighborhood of the low $170s now.
3. Monthly PITI payment is $1199.
4. Denver, CO
5. No other property
6. Generally speaking, we’re happy. The house itself, we LOVE. But the neighborhood, we’re ambivalent about.

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30 Virginia June 24, 2011 at 10:52 am

J. Money, I just love your blog!!!!

Our current situation:
1. Just purchased our first home less than two months ago! Rented the the first 4 years of marriage, 2 of which were spent looking for a home (hubby and I were very picky plus a little but very expensive surprise was born 10 months ago) :)
2. Paid $195,000 with 20% down.
3. Mortgage and int $857 plus a little extra. Insurance and taxes $531 (should go down at the end of the year when the house is reassessed (home was a foreclosure and empty for over 2 years and wasn’t homesteaded by the previous owners but it will be for us).
4. Sunny Boca Raton, FL
5. Not yet. Hubby is in the process of buying a boat.
*Bonus* Yes were happy that the home buying process is over not so happy with the work homeownership requires. ex. Hubby just called to say that after two hours of searching for the main water valve, the City will have to dig up a tree in our backyard to access it so that a minor sprinkler system problem can be fixed. A 2-hour project has just turned into a probable two-week nightmare. Oh well!

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31 Stephanie June 24, 2011 at 10:54 am

1. Own
2. $160,000 in 2009
3. Just under $1200, including taxes and insurance
4. NJ. Clearly not in Bergen or Hunterdon counties, as you can tell from my purchase price. I live in a pretty rural area in the northwest quadrant of the state. ;-)
5. Nope!
6. Very! Our house is the perfect size: 3 bed, 1.5 bath, 1400 sq. ft. ranch on about a quarter acre. Big enough to raise a couple of kids one day, small enough that it’s not a pain to take care of. And the neighborhood is great – blocks away from the park and pool, walking distance from the elementary and middle schools, but also just over an hour from NYC, so it’s easy to make day trips on a regular basis – it’s the best of both worlds! :-)

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32 Stephanie June 24, 2011 at 11:03 am

Currently renting.
We’re planning to buy next year.
$900
About as south as you can go in Massachusetts without moving to Rhode Island.
Nooooope.
Yeah, currently happy. I don’t want to buy w/out a down payment and an emergency fund, and we’re nearly there. Plus, I wanted to pay of the husband’s car first, and that happened last week.

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33 Jeffrey Trull June 24, 2011 at 11:08 am

1. I rent an apartment in a small city
2. No plans to buy any time soon. I love renting for many reasons, and I haven’t decided where to settle yet, so renting is perfect for me.
3. I pay $400 a month for a fairly-small apartment that I share with 2 roommates.
4. New Haven, Connecticut
5. Nope, I don’t own anything else.
*Bonus* I am very happy with where I’m at in terms of housing. I think my next jump is to get a place without roommates (and move to another city at the same time), but I don’t expect that to substantially change my life.

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34 Supadad33 June 24, 2011 at 11:16 am

1. Own
2. $485k with 20% down
3. P+I is only about $1960, but property taxes and insurance bring our monthly payment up to about $2700
4. Austin, TX (which explains the high property taxes — no state income taxes, yeah!)
5. We own a rental townhouse in another state that is slightly cash flow positive every month
6. YES. We’d been renting in a much pricier city for 5 years, so finally owning again in a much more sanely priced state feels great.

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35 Kelsey Horner June 24, 2011 at 11:17 am

1. Do you “own” your home or do you rent? Neither! I live rent-free with my boyfriend’s family.
2. If you own, how much did you pay for it? Hopefully plan on renting soon, and would love to buy, but just not in the position yet.
3. How much is your mortgage/rent payments? Nada.
4. Where do you live? Elmwood Park, NJ
5. Do you own any other property? Only if my car counts!
*Bonus* Are you Happy with this? Not particularly. Financially I’m in a great situation, but I need my own space! Crossing my fingers that moving out with my boyfriend and friend works out for September!

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36 Crystal June 24, 2011 at 11:28 am

1. Do you “own” your home or do you rent? Own (well, except for the remaining $63,000 mortgage…)

2. If you own, how much did you pay for it? $114,000 in 2007 for 1750 sq.ft. 3 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, and an attached 2 car garage.

3. How much is your mortgage/rent payments? They were $740 for 15 years but we just refinanced for free and they are now $504 for another 15 years. We have always paid $900 a month, so we will own our home in about 5 years (10 years total or less).

4. Where do you live? Houston, TX

5. Do you own any other property? Nope, just our cars…but living out of a Chevy Aveo would suck…

6. *Bonus* Are you Happy with this? Yes, I love our house and what we paid for it. I rather not move again until I can’t physically take the stairs anymore…my husband thinks we will need more room before that. We’ll see. Right now we have the master bedroom and use each of the guest bedrooms as an office (well, my husband’s is more like a gaming room…). My office will have a futon as soon as I sell the twin capatin’s bed we have in there…

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37 Kristy OT June 24, 2011 at 11:29 am

1. Do you “own” your home or do you rent? Rent.
2. If you own, how much did you pay for it? (If you rent, do you think you’ll buy anytime soon?) No way. Maybe not ever. We don’t want to spend our time and money on upkeep, and we aren’t ready to settle down in one place just yet.
3. How much is your mortgage/rent payments? $885/mo for 763 sq ft.
4. Where do you live? (City or State only please – don’t tell the internets all your details! :)) Dallas.
5. Do you own any other property? (land, vacation home, boats, RVs) Nope.
6. *Bonus* Are you Happy with this? Almost. I really want to get out of Texas, I hate this place. And I’d much rather rent a small house than an apartment. But the place we’re in is pretty nice for what it is… it’ll hold us over till husband is out of school.

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38 Alexis June 24, 2011 at 11:31 am

Our situation is very similar to Chris’s (#24).

We bought our house(3 bed, 2.5 bath, zero lot line) in South Florida in 2005 at the peak of the market, so we paid $430,000 for a house that today would sell for maybe $250,000. We have two mortgages, and somehow still owe about $340,000 (about $2900/month), despite adding a few bucks here and there to our payments in flush times. On top of that, we live in a gated community where the HOA fees are nearly $1400 per quarter.
We don’t own any other property (and are still kicking ourselves over buying this!). And while we are grateful to have a home that we can do whatever we want with (we have made some improvements — with cash– over the years), financially this decision was a total dog. I once calculated that if we had decided to rent instead of buy when we moved here, we would now have an additional 60 grand in our bank accounts, and not be tied to a house that is so far underwater that we can never leave.

Where do you live? (City or State only please – don’t tell the internets all your details! :))
Do you own any other property? (land, vacation home, boats, RVs)
*Bonus* Are you Happy with this?

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39 Becky June 24, 2011 at 11:54 am

J MONEY! Love these questions…

1. We rent a house from my parents.
2. No plans to buy soon. We have debt and cars to pay off before we saddle a mortgage to our lives. Scary!
3. $600/mo gets us 4 bedrooms/2 baths. We have one person who rents and pays around $300/mo.
4. St. Augustine, FL
5. We’re working on owning our cars!
*Bonus* – We’re happy now, but I wish we did own the house we live in. I kinda hope to acquire it, but its tough when you want to do improvements on something that isn’t yours.

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40 Kathy June 24, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Do you “own” your home or do you rent? rent
If you own, how much did you pay for it? (If you rent, do you think you’ll buy anytime soon?) no
How much is your mortgage/rent payments? approx $500 mo
Where do you live? (City or State only please – don’t tell the internets all your details! :)) Southern California
Do you own any other property? (land, vacation home, boats, RVs) nope
*Bonus* Are you Happy with this? sometimes yes, sometimes no

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41 Kelsey June 24, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Yay I love 5 for Friday!

1. Do you “own” your home or do you rent? We are closing on a house TODAY! Actually in 30 minutes!
2. If you own, how much did you pay for it? (If you rent, do you think you’ll buy anytime soon?) We paid $189,000 if you take the seller’s $4k closing costs into consideration, 3.5% down.
3. How much is your mortgage/rent payments? We are going to pay $1400/month with everything (insurance, etc), which is about $100 extra a month. We are also paying bi-weekly to get that extra 2 payments a year in!
4. Where do you live? (City or State only please – don’t tell the internets all your details! :)) Southern Suburb of Kansas City
5. Do you own any other property? (land, vacation home, boats, RVs) I just paid off my car, I am proud of that even though it doesn’t count! But I could see us getting a cabin someday, maybe in Colorado or the Ozarks!
6. *Bonus* Are you Happy with this? I am ecstatic! So glad not to be renting anymore! (Call me in 2 months and ask me then, I may be tired of weeding or painting by then. :))

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42 Andrea June 24, 2011 at 12:05 pm

1. Do you “own” your home or do you rent? We sort of rent, but not really. (see #3)
2. If you own, how much did you pay for it? (If you rent, do you think you’ll buy anytime soon?) No, we won’t own until after hubby retires from the military.
3. How much is your mortgage/rent payments? Our BAH is $1986 per month. Even though we see it on the paycheck it is automatically deducted as payment to the contractors that run military housing.
4. Where do you live? (City or State only please – don’t tell the internets all your details! :)) North Shore Suburbs, Illinois
5. Do you own any other property? (land, vacation home, boats, RVs) No.

*Bonus* Are you Happy with this? I love the military life… wouldn’t have it any other way

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43 Leslie June 24, 2011 at 12:11 pm

1.Do you “own” your home or do you rent? “own”. We are doing everything we can to really own it from the bank in the next 2 – 3 years. (so a 30 year mortgage paid in ~5 years)
2. If you own, how much did you pay for it? $120,000.
3. How much is your mortgage/rent payments? $1036/month for a 30 year fixed. Only $600 is mortgage, the rest is taxes due to where we live.
4. Where do you live? Suburb of Rochester, NY.
5. Do you own any other property? Nope. Just cars.
6. *Bonus* Are you Happy with this? Yes. I am bummed to see that Zillow now lists our house as less than we bought it for, but we don’t plan on moving soon and we will have the mortgage paid off before we do anyway, so it doesn’t matter. I love our house, and LOVE the location. I can’t wait to go from “own” to own. :)

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44 Cassie June 24, 2011 at 12:20 pm

1- I’ve “owned” my place for the last year and a half :)
2- I bought it in foreclosure for $250k (brought it down $10k from asking). Similar places in the area are going for $300k+
3- including taxes, $650 biweekly
4- Edmonton, Alberta (average 2 storey house price: $367,700 and rising )
5- not yet. I’d like to get into investment properties at some point in my life. I want secondary income.
6- So far so good.

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45 Ashley @ Money Talks June 24, 2011 at 12:20 pm

1.Do you “own” your home or do you rent? Own
2.If you own, how much did you pay for it? We paid 187,000 (including closing costs)
3.How much is your mortgage/rent payments? about 1,100 with taxes and insurance
4.Where do you live? Mesa AZ
5.Do you own any other property? yes, a rental with positive cash flow. <3
6.*Bonus* Are you Happy with this? Yes.

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46 Yana June 24, 2011 at 12:25 pm

Do you “own” your home or do you rent? – Rent
If you own, how much did you pay for it? (If you rent, do you think you’ll buy anytime soon?) – We’ve been looking at buying, but prices are still too high and I’m not convinced it is better than renting – because we would either pay outright, or not buy at all. We don’t believe in huge debt.
How much is your mortgage/rent payments? – just under $800/mo
Where do you live? (City or State only please – don’t tell the internets all your details! :)) – Northern California
Do you own any other property? (land, vacation home, boats, RVs) – No
*Bonus* Are you Happy with this? – We’ve been happy for a long time, but our apartment is old and we need something updated and fresh. It might be another apartment, and it might be a home if prices come down to reality pretty quick. Because we hope to be upgrading within the year.

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47 Matt June 24, 2011 at 12:36 pm

I think it would be interesting to add household income and net worth to this one as well to gauge the percentage of income or wealth that your house payment consumes each month, ah well…save that one for next time.

1.Do you “own” your home or do you rent? Own
2.If you own, how much did you pay for it? We paid 125,000 (including closing costs)
3.How much is your mortgage/rent payments? about 1,100 with taxes and insurance + we also put an additional 1,100 towards the principal each month (so 2200 total with an 1100 minimum)
4.Where do you live? Houston, TX
5.Do you own any other property? Not yet, but will in about 4 years when this one is paid for
6.*Bonus* Are you Happy with this? Yes. this home is going to leap us forward financially. Should be paid for in about 4 years (purchased in 2009) and then we will rent it out when we decide to buy the next house

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48 Tim June 24, 2011 at 12:37 pm

1. Do you “own” your home or do you rent? Rent
2. If you own, how much did you pay for it? (If you rent, do you think you’ll buy anytime soon?) I would say in about 5 years I would consider buying, but right now I am planning to rent for a while.
3. How much is your mortgage/rent payments? $500. I live with my sister and she gives me a pretty sweet deal.
4. Where do you live? (City or State only please – don’t tell the internets all your details! :)) Houston, Texas
5. Do you own any other property? (land, vacation home, boats, RVs) Nope. I would love to own some lake property later on in life, but that is a WAY’s away.

*Bonus* Are you Happy with this? Yes, I am happy.

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49 Misha June 24, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Awesome questions! I’m in a unique sitch so I thought I’d weigh in.

1. I own a condo but am renting it out and living at home at the moment to save up for a three month traveling spree.

2. $465k

3. $2500 (incl. prop taxes) plus $450 HOA – quite steep
4. Pasadena, CA
5. Thankfully no.
6. *Bonus*
Well I’m 23; I got a lump sum inheritance at 21 which I put into a down payment on this 2 bed/2.5 bath condo. It was an excellent time to buy (Mar 09) and I have a really low interest rate but being so young and inexperienced with home ownership it’s been a lot more expensive than I thought it would be and it’s been difficult to make my payments juggling roommates and picking up side jobs. Also, being so young I know I’ll want to move around more and am not looking forward to being a landlord for long especially if I move far from LA. My parents and grandparents were so gung-ho about owning property when I got my inheritance that I felt I had to do what they wanted and buy this place. For the first year I was excited, but now I view it as a liability and an anchor to this place and an earlier time of my life. I have renters now as I’m saving up for a three month trip for some much needed R&R; home ownership has been stressful for me. I’ve changed a lot in the last few years and so have my priorities; I know my life is still very much in flux. I would much prefer the low-risk and flexibility of renting right now.

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50 Misha June 24, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Oh, by home I meant my parents’ place which is luckily just a few miles from the condo and from where I work.

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51 Sarah June 24, 2011 at 12:53 pm

1. Do you “own” your home or do you rent? Own.
2. If you own, how much did you pay for it? (If you rent, do you think you’ll buy anytime soon?) I bought the house for $193k in 2009 with 3.5% down. It was built in 1948 and needs updates.
3. How much is your mortgage/rent payments? Around $1,380 per month including taxes, insurance, etc. I rent out one of the four bedrooms for $450 per month to an old college friend so the arrangement is pretty nice.
4. Where do you live? Baltimore County
5. Do you own any other property? (land, vacation home, boats, RVs) Nope.
6. *Bonus* Are you Happy with this? Hopefully will be. Went through a breakup, so I was not expecting to pay childcare costs (around $900 per month for a 3yr old) on top of a mortage. But i have a new job now so hopefully I will be able to pay for childcare plus mortgage comfortably. Also looking forward to buying more furniture (like a decent couch).

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52 T. Thema Martin June 24, 2011 at 1:01 pm

1. Bank owns. I owe 30% more than what it is worth just because of poor real estate prices in Atlanta.

2. $97K plus $7K in closing/renovation costs

3. $925

4. Midtown Atlanta

5. I wish.

6. I need help getting out from under this mortgage. I want to live in upscale hotels or a room in a mansion from here on out. I just don’t know how to make my plan a reality.

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53 LB June 24, 2011 at 1:11 pm

1. I own my home.
2. With $2000 added on the total was $18,000, when at the time it could have gone for $50,000.
3. It was less than renting a one bedroom apartment in this same area
4. Denver/Boulder
5. No way
6. Hell yes! If my part time job holds on for a little longer I can pay off ALL debt and go back to school. I would like to live somewhere else eventually, but for now I like the easy access to multiple schools and of course it’s cheap!

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54 m1n4 June 24, 2011 at 1:27 pm

Do you “own” your home or do you rent?
“Own” a small 2-bedroom / 1.5 bathroom house

If you own, how much did you pay for it? (If you rent, do you think you’ll buy anytime soon?)
About 47K USD (which is about the cost of a medium class house around here)

How much is your mortgage/rent payments?
About 600 USD monthly plus insurance (about 300 USD per year :) ) / A lot of money for the average income here but I do “well”….

Where do you live? (City or State only please – don’t tell the internets all your details! :))
Mexico

Do you own any other property? (land, vacation home, boats, RVs)
Sadly no…. but some day :)

*Bonus* Are you Happy with this?
Nope, I’m paying way too much for way too long, In some years I want to pay off this house and then get another one with my government savings (here in MX the gov takes away some % of your income and creates an account which you can use eventually to buy/build a house, so “everyone has somewhere to live”)

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55 Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager June 24, 2011 at 1:36 pm

1. Rent now, currently house hunting.
2. Hopefully by the end of the year!
3. Rent is less than $600/month.
4. Oregon
5. Car and RV :)
Bonus: Yes! I love that I can walk almost anywhere where I live, but have a car for roadtrips and a camper for getting outdoors.

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56 Bonnie June 24, 2011 at 1:50 pm

1. We own a single family home.
2. We paid about $250K.
3. Our mortgage with insurance and taxes is about $1300/month.
4. Phoenix.
5. We recently bought another house as an investment. I started a weekend scrapbooking retreat it in. Check us out at http://www.phxscrapcottage.com.
bonus: Yep, I’m happy. We were VERY lucky to buy when we did. Our house is now worth about what we paid. At one point, we were told it was worth around $450k. Everyone wanted us to sell, but we resisted. We actually have equity in the house, so I’m guessing we made the right decision.

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57 rente-doorlopendkrediet June 24, 2011 at 1:59 pm

1. Own
2. Paid €245,000 1 years ago.
3. €1000/month for the mortgage but an additional .
4. Burlington
5. Yep
6. I want a smaller house on the same street — divorce signficantly decreased the need for space.

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58 Julie June 24, 2011 at 2:24 pm

1. Rent a 1 Bed/1 bath apartment in a duplex (converted Victorian house)
2. N/A
3. $1300/month
4. San Francisco Bay Area, California
5. Still own a single family home in Colorado which we rent out (at a loss, boo)
6. Happy with life but not with the housing costs in this part of the country. Thankfully, we are moving into the other unit of this same property which has upgrades and more space (and a DISHWASHER!!!)

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59 Jenna June 24, 2011 at 2:25 pm

1. Own a 2 BR/2 BA bungalow on a small lot
2. $185k in fall 2009, with 3.5% down
3. $1336/month, including PMI, taxes, and insurance (But, this also includes a catch-up to my escrow since my taxes went way up last year…I expect this to go down $50-100/month after the escrow balance catches up to where it needs to be.)
4. Nashville
5. Nope, one is enough!
Bonus: I’d say I’m happy, but somewhat nervous. I love my house, but I know it’s not big enough if we decide to start a family. Despite the fact that I bought when the housing market was low, it’s gotten lower, so I’m anxious to start seeing home prices start their slow climb back up and I can gain some equity! Zillow’s recent valuation of my house is disappointing, but probably realistic, based on the $/sqft that a nearby home recently sold for.

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60 WinrWinrChknDinr June 24, 2011 at 2:35 pm

1.) Rent. 2 Bd/2Ba, 1900 sq. ft.
2.) I have finally convinced the Mrs. that it is so much better to rent than buy (at least where we live now). She’s *finally* on board with it. I am not going to say that we will never buy. We are perfectly happy renting and socking away the rest for a rainy day. Besides, who wants to pay the maintenance, taxes, PMI, etc on a house?
3.) $1225/mo
4.) Pewaukee, WI (metro Milwaukee)
5.) No, but I would love to have some hunting land someday when I grow up to be big.
6.) The only thing we aren’t happy with is not being able to have dogs where we currently are. We are looking to rent a place that is big enough for the both of us, a couple dogs, and the two cats we already have. Renting as a whole I think is great and I wouldn’t change it.

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61 Diane June 24, 2011 at 3:52 pm

1. Own
2. $560K (for a tiny 2B/2Ba, no garage, attic or basement)
3. $1928/mo not counting taxes/insurance. With all that it’s probably around $2900/mo
4. San Francisco Bay Area, CA
5. Nothing else
6. I love my house!

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62 rainbowfish June 24, 2011 at 4:23 pm

3. $0
4. country, on a hunting preserve
5. No

*Bonus* Currently very happy, with only a 10% worry.
Boss has said the land will be put in a trust and that will include a clause that spouse stays ranch manager or stay in the house. We are aware we might have to buy or rent and that is part of our planning.

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63 Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter June 24, 2011 at 4:29 pm

Own or Rent: We own it.
Cost: We spend $1200 a month on our mortgage.
Where we live: The Prairies in Canada
Own other property? Nope

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64 rainbowfish June 24, 2011 at 4:30 pm

Sorry, 1 & 2 got seleted

1. Housing is a benefit of spouses job, ranch manager, have to live on the ranch
2. No plans to buy

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65 Tamika W June 24, 2011 at 6:04 pm

1. Rent
2. N/a
3. 575/month
4. Rochester, NY
5. No
6. Yes, but we are house hunting right now

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66 Michelle June 24, 2011 at 7:59 pm

1. Rent
2. Probably not buying for another 5-10 yrs
3. $1250 monthly
4. West Los Angeles
5. I own my car (which I don’t drive).
Bonus – incredibly

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67 Work At Home Market June 24, 2011 at 9:23 pm

WOWZA…that kind of money and you’d own a monster of a house in our state!

1. Own (haha, bank owns ours)
2. 100,000
3. $XXX.XX
4. Arkansas
5. Nope, thank goodness. I’d tear my hair out.
6. Meh, give me a condo or apartment. Too many bathrooms to clean!

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68 Jenn June 24, 2011 at 10:03 pm

Do you “own” your home or do you rent? Rent
If you own, how much did you pay for it? (If you rent, do you think you’ll buy anytime soon?) Not sure, really. We have a 20% DP saved, but have lots of reasons not
To buy right now. We’re not sure owning is worthwhile right now and dislike the thought of high property taxes, time and money spent on maintenance etc. Tend to want to buy mostly around the holidays and then it passes. We do want to buy when we have kids, though, so within the next few years.
How much is your mortgage/rent payments? $830 for 2 bdrm apt
Where do you live? Midwestern city
Do you own any other property? nope, just cars
We are pretty happy with our situation for now.

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69 Slackerjo June 24, 2011 at 10:10 pm

1. Rent.
2. $895/month. Includes hydro and parking.
3. Ottawa, Ontario. you would think in Canada, a country made up mostly of trees, affordable housing would be a given. But no.
4. No.
5. I hate that I am renting but even though I qualify for a modest mortgage, there are no properties without 100+ km to buy. My goal is to find an inexpensive place to live in the middle of nowhere and drop out of the rat race. I absolutely hate being a wage slave. My search continues and so far the only thing I have found that is affordable is literally a shack in the woods. It has limited plumbing, needs $10k in work and is 375 square feet.

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70 JerryB June 24, 2011 at 10:18 pm

1 Do you “own” your home or do you rent? I sent in my Final Payment this week. Provided BofA (Bank of A$$hats) doesn’t somehow manage to F something else up, the answer is soon. Negotiating their horrible excuse for customer service been a nightmare.

2 If you own, how much did you pay for it? (If you rent, do you think you’ll buy anytime soon?) $85,000 in 1991. Zillow says it’s currently worth less, but I love my little hovel and I’m not moving for a very long time.

3 How much is your mortgage/rent payments? $519.xx but I’ve been sending in $1500+/mo for quite a while now.

4 Where do you live? (City or State only please – don’t tell the internets all your details! :)) Foreclosure Capital of the USofA (Stockton, CA)

5 Do you own any other property? (land, vacation home, boats, RVs) Does my kayak and tent count?

6 *Bonus* Are you Happy with this? Heck, yeah. As soon as the paperwork is done, I’ll be 100% Debt Free and therefore Sexier than our esteemed J. Money.

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71 Sarah June 24, 2011 at 11:32 pm

We “own” our 1911 Bungalow. Purchased it a year ago.

$63,000

About $315 per month (which includes taxes and insurance). We put 20% down and have a 3.5% APR.

South Bend, IN

Nope.

Quite Happy. We love our home, and home ownership in general.

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72 boomey June 25, 2011 at 1:04 am

1) bought a 3 bedroom/2.5 bath townhouse last November
2)369k – I bought a short sale, the previous owner’s mortgage(s) were about $450k
3)mortgage is $970/month, HOA is $275, taxes are about 4k per year, so I put money away in a tax account every month (I don’t have my taxes included in my mortgage). I generally have been putting $1200 a month to the mortgage though.
4)Santa Cruz, CA
5)nope, this is my first foray into real estate ownership ever
6)so far, so good – I’m really enjoying living without housemates – the last time I lived on my own was my last year of college – nearly 15 years ago!

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73 Carol June 25, 2011 at 1:40 am

1. Do you “own” your home or do you rent?
Basically, yes. I live in a 1920s brick bldg that was apts, then converted to condos in 2006. Had lived there previously as a renter, so knew the neighborhood, etc. I decided to stay on with the conversion, and got a new kitchen, bath, and some other remodeling in the changeover. Paid for in cash as part of my inheritance, basically.

2. If you own, how much did you pay for it? (If you rent, do you think you’ll buy anytime soon?)
Was ~$156K + 10K for off-street parking, in 2006. Currently worth about 126K, so I’m not moving any time soon. Was probably near the top of the boom, but, I knew what I was getting into, lifestyle-wise, so felt I was making the right choice for me, at that time. Still do.

3. How much is your mortgage/rent payments?
No mortgage on the property. Father currently pays taxes (~$1800/yr), I pay assn dues of $291/mo — these went up 8% at beginning of 2011, but will not rise further until 2013.

4. Where do you live? (City or State only please – don’t tell the internets all your details! :)) Minneapolis, MN (also hit hard by foreclosures, though my neighborhood is relatively stable)

5. Do you own any other property? (land, vacation home, boats, RVs)
Nothing else unless the lottery pays out big.

6. *Bonus* Are you Happy with this?
Relatively speaking, yes. I have a place to live that is paid for, which helps add stability to my life. I’m not interested in moving to another city/state, and I love my neighborhood. Lots of amenities — close to the lake, transit, library, grocery store, coffee shops, walkable, the Y, condo garden group, etc. My challenge would be staying here if health issues came up, as there’s no elevator. But, I’ll keep hitting the Y to head that off.

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74 Nicole June 25, 2011 at 10:19 am

1) Own 2 homes! Bought my current home last August before selling my previous home! Been making 2 mortgage payments for 8 months! What a relief it will be when it finally sells!
2) Paid $295,000 for a 3800 square foot 4 bed, 4 bath tudor style colonial. Got a GREAT deal considering the size and the affluent suburb we bought it. The house I am selling I bought in Nov. 2004 for $139,000. It’s currently listed at $125,000 and still isnt selling. It’s a 4 bedroom, 1.5 bath.
3) $1533 on the new house, $834 on the old house
4) New house in Independence, OH (10 miles south of Cleveland) Old house in Parma, OH (12 miles southwest of Cleveland)
5) No other property, though my fiance’s family has a lakefront property on Lake Chautauqua in New York! VERY nice for slowing down on the weekends!
5) I am pretty happy. I would be EXTREMELY happy if my old house would sell. It would be so nice to not be paying for a house that I am not using anymore. But, I refuse to mess up my credit and I have too much pride to be a ‘strategic defaulter’. I am obligated to that mortgage and I will make good on it. I LOVE Independence, where I live now. The park system, city services, schools, facilities, and proximity to downtown can NOT be beat in the Cleveland area. It took me 3 years of looking to find what I wanted there, and I wasn’t going to let not selling my old house stop me! The house itself needs updating (another reason I got such a good deal—it is 1983 splendor, for sure). But the size will allow me to fill it with babies and grow into it. We’ve already put a new roof and furnace in, and a recent appraisal says it’s worth $320,000 now…up $25,000 from August 2010. Plan on refinancing soon to get some cash out and remodel the kitchen and masterbath! But, LOVE my town, huge walk-in closet, sun-room, and garden tub that is like a swimming pool to my 5 year old!

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75 WR June 25, 2011 at 1:24 pm

1.) Do you “own” your home or do you rent? Own
2) If you own, how much did you pay for it? $185K . Fannie Mae owned foreclosure. Best features – 3.5 Acres with a pond, nature trail and close to a National Park. Worst Features : kinda run down (sat vacant for 11 months) 20k and lotsa hard work later it is almost just right. (so you could say price was $205k)
3.) How much is your mortgage? $1200
4.) Where do you live? East Coast – outer DC suburbs
5.) Do you own any other property? yes. Rental properties, 2 boats, 2 RVs.

Opinion: I am philosophically against owning vacation property. To me it is an oxymoron. You vacation where you *don’t* own. This is from experience having sold our beach property (for a modest profit ). There are so many wonderful and exciting places to visit. Owning a property, in many cases, becomes a burden. You end up feeling like to have to go Vs. want to go. upkeep becomes a chore and you end up feeling obligated to go there instead of other locales because hey, it’s paid for. I find it extremely limiting.
/opinion

Happy? Yes. would like to get rid of more stuff but overall very happy with what we have.

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76 Money Reasons June 25, 2011 at 2:02 pm

1. Do you “own” your home or do you rent?
Own

2. If you own, how much did you pay for it? (If you rent, do you think you’ll buy anytime soon?)
$165,000, but it’s worth $210,000 today. Yeah bigger would be better since I have a 10 and 7 year old. Our yard is very puny…

3. How much is your mortgage/rent payments?
Two years ago it was $1,100

4. Where do you live? (City or State only please – don’t tell the internet all your details! :))
Ohio…, stop laughing :) !!!

5. Do you own any other property? (land, vacation home, boats, RVs)
Not yet, but I’m thinking about rental property!

6. *Bonus* Are you Happy with this?
I’m only here because I believe that it’s important for kids to have stability in their life. Once my son or daughter want a bigger house (our is just a bit over 2,000 sq. ft.), I’m scaling up, but not too much. I really want a large piece of land.

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77 TeacHer June 25, 2011 at 2:18 pm

1. I rent. Boo.
2. I’ve been working really hard for the past three years to pay off my debts – which I’ve been successful at! – I don’t really have anything saved for a downpayment. So no, no plans for homeownership anytime soon.
3. I just wrote my last $959 rent check. It’s going up to $1007 in August.
4. I live in beautiful Alexandria, VA, right outside of DC.
5. Nope, but I’m about to pay off my car…does that count?
6. Bonus: Don’t tell anyone, but right now I’m really happy renting. I live in a great neighborhood that I could NEVER buy in. I know I’m “throwing money away” by renting, but I love not having to worry about maintenance, and that I can pick up and leave pretty much anytime I want.

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78 Homefree June 25, 2011 at 9:19 pm

I love these voyeuristic questions.
Own or Rent: own it. Just this year. No bank involved.
Cost: $86,00 the first time, $57,000 again after the divorce
Payments: None, just taxes and insurance
Where we live: Oregon
Own other property? No, I wish, Hawaii is my dream….
*Bonus* Am I happy? Not as much as I thought I would be. Too much yard work and home improvements. The spending never stops with a home.

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79 Kim June 25, 2011 at 11:45 pm

Own or Rent: “Own” via bank
Cost: $206,000 including the non-carpeted flooring, in October of 2008. It was built for us. I probably could have gotten it for less, and gotten the tax credit, if we’d waited a few more months, but I don’t know if I would have wanted to live in an apartment that much longer.
Payments: Now it’s $1651 / mo on the 15-year fixed-rate. The first year it was $1750, but I’ve tried to pay additional principle, and the escrow dropped it lower. PMI is about to stop any month now.
Where we live: Madison, AL
Own other property? No. We’re starting to think about a bit of land, mini-farm, but I want to learn to manage this small bit of land as a homestead first.
*Bonus* Am I happy? Mostly. The value probably dropped but I think we’re still above-water. Much of the past year I had been thinking we would have to move to help the family, but now we might now. I’ve been slowly converting the lawn and foundation landscape into this edible landscape / wildlife habitat / mostly-native plants / kid-friendly garden.

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80 JMK June 26, 2011 at 9:11 am

1. Own. Three acres, 4brm 3bath two storey with separate garage and workshop.
2. Built it ourselves so purchase price is tricky. Put a lot of cash in as we went, and borrowed the rest from family. Did most of the labor ourserlves to save (but upgraded the materials so it cost the same). When eventually took out a mortgage for the amount we owed to family – $235K. House was likely worth about$300K when done and at least $550K now.
3. We pay $800 on the accelerated schedule of paying every two weeks, so if I do $800 x 26 /12 I get $1733/mth. That’s mortgage only no taxes etc. That amount is also rounded up from the required amount which was around $750 every two weeks. Between the 26 pmts/yr, rounding up the regular payment, and any extra we throw at the mortgage we’re down to owing $160K. Hope to it off completely in 4 more yrs.
4. 20 minutes outside Ottawa, Ontario (Canada)
5. Do you own any other property? RV (camping trailer) and eventually will inherit 1/3 of a cottage in the Muskokas (a pricey cottage area north of Toronto. It’s a 50yr old 3 season place that would be worth about $700K in land value). Husband and siblings will never voluntarily sell it so the value is irrelevant.
6. Would sell our house in a heartbeat (once the youngest has moved out in 7-8yrs). Even with the mortgage paid off our taxes and utilities are ~$1000/mth. We can rent a nice 1brm in town for that and take the 1/2million in equity out of this place and retire immediately. We can get rid of at least one car, the snowblower (no 200′ laneway to clear out) and forget about all the expensive maintenance. Just put an $18K new roof on. Iron filter has just retired it self (another $4400) etc etc. Can’t wait to replace the windows (originally $22K, who knows what replacement will be). I cringe everytime I see someone refer to renting as throwing their money away. I look at my giant tax bill and utility costs (and snowblower, lawn mower, and $5K/yr I set aside for maintenance, second vehicle, massive fuel costs for the commute into town everyday) as money thrown away. It all adds up to far more than that “wasted” rent money. People mistake owning a home with living somewhere that’s theirs and can ‘t be taken from them. Just try not paying your property taxes and see what happens. You never truly own a home, you just don’t owe the bank every month The rest of the costs never go away. I’ve realize that the fun of building our dream home was the designing, building and decorating. Now I just see it as a huge pile of equity that would allow me to retire immediately. No house is worth working for another 15yrs (and needing way more to continue maintaining in retirement). So I can’t paint my apartment walls a different color. Big deal. Hopefully I’ll be too busy hiking in Europe to notice.

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81 Steve June 26, 2011 at 9:40 am

1. Do you “own” your home or do you rent? Own

2. If you own, how much did you pay for it? (If you rent, do you think you’ll buy anytime soon?)
$255,000, We put $50,000 down about 11 years ago. Refinanced once, cutting our 30 year loan down to 15 years. Have about 5 more years to go as we have been paying more than our monthly installments. Currently spending about $50,000 to remodel.

3. How much is your mortgage/rent payments? $1730 a month at 4.25% interest

4. Where do you live? (City or State only please – don’t tell the internet all your details! :))
New Mexico

5. Do you own any other property? (land, vacation home, boats, RVs)
No, but one of our goals is to own a beach house and a sailboat. Sounds materialistic, but we both enjoy the water. For the moment, we are land locked in the mountains, but our jobs are interesting to say the least! We have a long way to go before we can get either.

6. *Bonus* Are you Happy with this?
We have a nice house and two wonderful kids. If we plan and save, we will get to where we want to be.

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82 Sass June 26, 2011 at 9:13 pm

1. Rent a single family house.
2. The original plan was for me to move and buy another place during the summer of 2012 when I no longer HAVE to be in this school system (my daugther graduates next May), but since the houses in the area are selling for much less than my Dad paid for it, he has no desire to take a huge loss, so I will probably stay longer than originally planned.
3. $600/month for a 3/2 — this is an absolute steal for this area — but my Dad is my landlord, so that has something to do with it!
4. Homewood, AL
5. No
6. Yes, although I’d like to have my own place — and a somewhat smaller lot — this lot is HUGE and it requires a ton of maintenance and basic upkeep.

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83 J. Money June 27, 2011 at 2:07 am

SO GLAD you all enjoyed this one! I’ll try and keep ‘em coming :) If you have any ideas for future ones, let me know!

And now, for the longest comment reply E-V-E-R, haha…

@CrystalH – Big pimpin’, baby! That’s awesome! Well done w/ the Chi-town place, and living in my DC Area hood too ;) Wonder if we’ve ever passed each other?
@Angela J – Wowwww, such a big difference in mortgage from me – so interesting :)
@Erin -Yeah Michigan! We missed you yesterday – so beautiful out there! Took the ferry back across to Milwaukee this morning, but overall great time. You’ll have to join us on a future Drop!
@Melissa – Awesome!!! Glad you’re still enjoying them. Maybe I’ll keep on doing ‘em then ;)
@Andy – Hahaha…. took me a while to figure out if that meant you were happy or not, haha… but yay!
@Steph – Yeah, we’re gonna start working on our Heloc first too… will feel good knocking off the littler guy first ;) And we’ll be in Hotlanta next month! I’m excited.
@Hal – Glad to hear you’ve got equity! Can’t fathom that at this current time over here ;)
@No Debt MBA – That MBA is gonna be so HOT once you get it! Opens up a lot of damn doors, that’s for sure.
@LaToya – I hear ya!!! And hope you can get it off your plate sooner than later! :)
@Laura – I LOVE old trees! I bet your place is gorgeous. Let us know if you ever divide things up, and how that process goes, etc. Would be interested to hear how it all works :)
@Anne – Oh man, yeah that must be different. Hope things came out better from the divorce!
@Trinnie – 3 car garage? Dang girl! for those hot rods ;) you know I’m gonna need a tour next month.
@Colleen – Awwww that sounds perfect! You can hear how happy you are in your typing too – that makes ME happy! (and hopeful)
@Renee – Yeah Maryland – W00T! You’ll LOVE St. Lucia too – absolutely beautiful (kinda sad going through the run down areas to REACH the nice places, but once you’re there at the resorts you’re in paradise :) kinda crazy how drastic it is actually).
@Dani @ OK, Dani – Wow, $1200 def. seems on the lower scale for NYC. Though I know the areas are pretty difference depending where, exactly, you live. Did you guys find a rent-controlled place? Those are killer!
@Cindy – Wowww that is great!!! You guys have the system down :)
@sandra – Ooooh love the added rental area!
@Brian – Oh man, that would be a blessing if you could do that :) I miss my grandparents too. My last remaining one passed earlier this year – always hard :(
@Corie – Very smart! Take your time until the “right” one comes a long! No rush at all – better to think it through 100% than do what we did and go spur of the moment ;)
@Jenny~Z – Wow, a lot of Canada action going on here – love it!
@Amy – !!!!! Can I move there?!!! :) Well done paying it all off!
@Chris – Whew, I hear ya…. our association is okay when everything is going well (we only pay $120+/mo) but when things go bad, or you need to talk to a real life human being, forget about it…. they make it 5x worse!
@F – BIG fan of pools – esp when they’re covered in HOA :) I try to go a few times a week during lunch!
@Mysti – Ouch, but GREAT that you’re learning it all now! Much better to make mistakes early on that later when more money & others are involved. I wouldn’t take our mistake back for anything, even though it’s frustrating as hell right now. So we’ll be hanging in there together, knowing we’ve learned from all our craziness! :)
@Tammy – Awesome!!! Thank you SO MUCH for stopping by and saying such kind words :) Love that this is your 1st comment too – exciting! And that’s great you guys are so happy in your house! Thanks for reading and participating :)
@Shannon – Gotta love saving money! I’d trade you any day ;)
@Alotta Lettuce – Hey, I might be in your area in two months :) Will be my first time ever!
@Virginia – Thank you so much! I love your name! :) And the state, haha…
@Stephanie – It sure is! Congrats on finding such a beautiful place :)
@Stephanie (2) – Smart woman! Emergency Funds and down payments are HUGE! Don’t be like us and go in w/out either ;)
@Jeffrey Trull – Yeah, no roomates is a decent jump (and kinda wierd at first! haha…) but you’re def. on the right track doing things on your own path like that. Keep rockin’ it bro.
@Supadad33 – I love your Austin!! There earlier this year for SXSW and completely blown away. Now I know why it’s always one of the highest rated places to live in this country :)
@Kelsey Horner – Haha, yeah that’s quite the setup! I can’t even imagine how much you’re saving in rent though, jeesh :)
@Crystal – Go go go!!! Under 10 years pay of is huge!!! Impressive my friend, I just keep learning more and more about you these days :)
@Kristy OT – Haha, we were there 3 weeks ago and WOW was it hot! But picked me up some cowboy boots for the first time ever so that excited me enough to forgive the heat ;)
@Alexis – Ouch. That HOA is insane! $400+ a month?? Wowwww. Sorry to hear, my friend. Maybe we’ll get luckier on the next one ;)
@Becky – So glad you’re enjoying these! They’re pretty fun for me too :)
@Kathy – Pros and cons to most places, usually :)
@Kelsey – CONGRATS ON CLOSING!!!! That’s exciting!!!! On such a special 5 for Friday too! Haha…. gotta love those odds :)
@Andrea – Yeah, and I miss it like crazy!! Moved every 2 years for 20+ years (dad was a Marine) and now I’m a civilian…. still kinda wierd adapting, haha…
@Leslie – That’s wonderful :) And I wouldn’t worry too much about Zillow, that thing fluctuates alllllll the time.
@Cassie – Great! And crazy deal too! :)
@Ashley @ Money Talks – It’s gotta be HOT hot hot over there right now, eh?
@Yana – Goood luck!!! Hope you find the best place sooner than later :)
@Matt – Yeah, I always want to add in more questions actually but then it just becomes too much :( so I’m saving them for a rainy day! haha… but man – GREAT job on applying so much more to principal every month, that’s incredible!
@Tim – Got a nice sister! :)
@Misha – HAH! That’s most DEF unique – thanks so much for sharing with us :) I totally understand the stress-free mindset, and hope you can reach it in the very near future!!
@Sarah – Yeah Charm City! I drove by you the other day ;)
@T. Thema Martin – That’s harsh, I know :( Sorry to hear that… will be popping over in your town next week actually though! Maybe I’ll run into ya :)
@LB – That’s awesome! Keep workin’ it! :)
@m1n4 – So interesting! Love hearing how other areas work. Thx for representing Mexico! :)
@Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager – I’d LOVE to be able to walk everywhere too! That sounds soooo nice :) Nate and I walked 3 hours tonight on a “brainstorming session” – I could do that every day!
@Bonnie – Very cool! Will click on over as soon as I finish typing this :) Sounds neat!
@rente-doorlopendkrediet – Oh man, sorry to hear that :( I think you’re the 3rd person so far to be going through similar situations w/ a divorce. I hope things are smooth sailing now :)
@Julie – Yeah Dishwasher!! :) Addicted to those now – never had one growing up. Sucks about the loss w/ the rental, but at least you’re recouping most of it hopefully. They’re still paying the mortgage for you ;)
@Jenna – Ooooh I love Nashville so much. Was out there in January for a conference and didn’t want to leave! And yeah – Zillow is wonky sometimes, I stopped paying attention to it cuz it just drove me batty ;)
@WinrWinrChknDinr – Agreed! Renting can be better than owning for some people! And also, I’m right down the street from you typing this :) South of Milwaukee somewhere at my boy’s place. Leaving tomorrow morning, but it just was MUCH better whether here than the last time I visited in February! Haha… bleh.
@Diane – Hah! I was about to guess San Fran ;) Love the architecture there.
@rainbowfish – Oh wow, such a different situation than the rest of us! Fascinating :) I hope that 10% gets wiped away soon!
@Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter – Another Canadian represent!
@Tamika W – Take your time until you find the *best* one! :)
@Michelle – Wonderful!
@Work At Home Market – I could buy a castle there! Right? haha… :)
@Jenn – That’s an incredible situation to be in too. Having that down payment ready to go whenever you want to pull that trigger. Well well done for sure :)
@Slackerjo – Haha… but at least you’re on a mission! Has to be a matter of time until you find the right setup for you :)
@JerryB – HAH! You sure will, sir. Although one of us is smarter to stay far away from B of A ;) haha…
@Sarah – Incredible price!!! I am officially jealous of you :)
@boomey – Well congrats!! Seems like you got a helluva bargain also – not too shabby on your first go at it :)
@Carol – That sounds wonderful :) Can’t imagine what it’s like mortgage-free, but at least I know it’s possible from some of you guys!
@Nicole – Awesome!!!! We’re sending you GOOD LUCK vibes to hurry up and sell that other guy! Have still yet to visit Cleveland but you better believe it’s on my list :) Thanks for sharing your situation with us!
@WR – I would happen to agree with your opinion too :) Owning 1 house is something, but two? *shiver* though if it’s a place you’ll go on weekends too, rather than just 1 or 2 weeks out of the year, then I can understand how that would be refreshing. If you’re one who can deal with mortgages (so pretty much the oppposite of me, haha…).
@Money Reasons/b> – Haha, I wasn’t laughing until you told me to STOP laughing! :) You have lots of neighbors here on the site today!
@
TeacHer – I don’t hate you for that – I’m envious! I don’t consider it “throwing away money” I consider it “trading money for freedom!” hehe… and I freakin’ ADORE Alexandria too – at least the “old town” part… we’re pretty much neighbors btw :)
@Homefree – Glad you enjoy these posts – they’re pretty cool to read everyone’s stories :) thanks for being a part of it and sharing yourself!
@Kim – Fun!!! Could I then come and visit your mini-farm? :)
@JMK – Amen!!! I think I may reward you for the most intriguing comment yet :) And not just because you’re a fan of renting and living as “free” as possible. One of my dreams – even though I haven’t thought it through yet OR want lots of debt, of course – is to design and build a home from scratch. From the planning process allllll the way through to manual labor and painting/etc. Kinda like you did I think? I don’t know squat about doing it, but I reckon’ I’d learn a crap ton if I hired the right team around me :) then maybe I can just sell it afterward and we’ll call it a scratch off my bucket list! But either way – really appreciate you spending the time telling us all about your background and situation. Very very fascinating for me to read, thank you.
@Steve – Sounds good to me! Though now I’m curious as to why your jobs are so “interesting to say the least” :) Do I have to go back to our career 5 For Friday to check? haha…
@Sass – haha, dad’s are great like that ;)

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84 Meghan June 27, 2011 at 7:17 am

1. Own–barely though. Just bought last December so like J Money–mainly the bank owns it!
2. Paid around 103,000 for it and they covered all closing costs.
3. I pay $800 a month–the payment is $781 though.
4. Oklahoma City
5. Do not own any other property at the moment but as I move forward I definitely hope to.
*Bonus* I am relatively happy. As a young person in their early 20s it does make me feel a little bid tied down but I really believe overall it was the best choice to make. Got a great deal on a good house, can afford to make the payments and hopefully will build equity and maybe use it as a rent house eventually.

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85 Teresa June 27, 2011 at 10:11 am

1. We own. Also, the bank not us. :)
2. We were unable to talk it down below $86,000 but did get a new roof along with a home warranty. The house was an obvious fixer upper but we loved the floor plan. Not a bad price for 3bd 1500 sq ft though!
3. Our monthly payment is about $750.
4. We live in Oklahoma City. $120 to $200 gets what we have generally.
5. Yes. We have my smaller house as a rental near the Air Force base. The little 2 bedroom pays for itself and repairs. Not a cash cow but will be worth it when it is paid off.
6. We are happy. My only beef is we are burned out on remodeling so some small things are irritating me. I’m trying to talk my husband into hiring someone. :D

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86 Nicole June 27, 2011 at 12:21 pm

JMoney…look me up when you come to CTown! Cleveland gets picked on alot, but it really has a lot of cool stuff to see and do. If you like the theatre, our cultural arts center is second only to Broadway. We have the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Whiskey Island is a cool place to sit on the beach and have some beers (especially August 6 for Krusty’s Summer Sauce Camp which is basically a big backyard cookout with 2 or 3 thousand of your closest friends!). Cleveland Zoo is great too, plus lots of great dining…Michael Symon has restaurants here, and we have a few local microbreweries that are great…Willoughby Brewing Co., Rocky River Brewing Company, Great Lakes Brewing Company! There is the Bier house and Fatheads that have huge microbrew and import selections! You’d have fun! I know you like your brew! So do I!

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87 Amy Lou June 27, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Do you “own” your home or do you rent? I share a house with a roommate who owns the house.

If you own, how much did you pay for it? (If you rent, do you think you’ll buy anytime soon?) I rent. I live in a city that I don’t care for, so I don’t plan to settle here. I will buy when I get to go “home.”

How much is your mortgage/rent payments? $500.00

Where do you live? (City or State only please – don’t tell the internets all your details! :)) Sacramento

Do you own any other property? (land, vacation home, boats, RVs) Not at this time, but I plan to build a portfolio of rental properties.

*Bonus* Are you Happy with this? Not so much. I live in Sacramento because I have a decent job here that offers opportunity. After almost 5 years, I’ve learned that I will never be happy living here.

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88 LLF June 27, 2011 at 3:41 pm

1. Own
2. 600k
3. 2300/mo
4 same as you J$,
5 yes
6 yes, sort of. would like to live even closer to the city

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89 KSUE June 27, 2011 at 6:52 pm

Do you “own” your home or do you rent? I “Houseshare” with some friends (so I rent/they own).
If you own, how much did you pay for it? They paid $875,000 about 14-years ago.
How much is your mortgage/rent payments? $600/month rent for 3/rooms/half the house. We split up utilities.
Where do you live? Santa Cruz, California
Do you own any other property? I own 1/10th of a house worth around $150,000. (It was my grandmother’s house and is paid off. We have it rented out – split 10 ways we each make about $100/month). I have owned a condo before in San Jose and I lost money on it (sold at the WRONG time!).
*Bonus* Are you Happy with this? Very happy! I’m now living in a beautiful house with an ocean view. My money is helping my friends keep their house (and the lower rent helps me stay afloat with my kids. Prior to this I was renting a 2-bedroom apartment in the same area for $1150/month for comparison.

Loved reading these, so thought I’d share.

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90 Paul June 27, 2011 at 9:39 pm

1: Live at home still rent free
2a: I G/C’ed the construction of a 2 unit next to a local hospital just under 200k
2b : I nabbed a distressed foreclosure in Florida for 19k which i currently rent (backup retirement home)
3: Live home free
3a: i collect around $3100/month on someone else’s rent mortgage around $1100
3b: rented for $600, mortgage of $89!!!!
4/4a: Albany, NY
4b: Clearwater, FL
5: read the a’s and b’s
6: Id love to move actually move out as im getting a little old living at home (27) so i just got another vacant lot and plan on building another 2 family

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91 J. Money June 27, 2011 at 11:15 pm

Thank you guys so much for dropping all these! It really is helping me put things in better perspective and making me realize that a change is DEF in order for my living situation. This is nuts! You guys are doing so good!!! :) Very very proud of y’all. Putting me to shame fo sho.

@Meghan – Yes, affordability is key! So if you get bored or wanna leave it/sell it/etc but can’t for some reason, at least *financially* it’s not hurting you or screwing you up :) So well done! You did much better than me! Haha… (also, love your penguin icon)
@Teresa – Haha, I can see that. And what are the odds you live in the exact same spot as the commenter before? Cool! :)
@Nicole – SOLD! You need to be a pitch woman for Cleveland – I’m getting all excited over here! Haha…
@Amy Lou – Where is “home” for you? I forget.
@LLF – What if we lived down the street from each other? :)
@KSUE – And I appreciate you sharing :) We really are getting to know each other a lot – I love it!
@Paul – Wowwwww, at least you know what you’re doing! Damn man, that’s awesome. Totally different than a 27 y/o at home not doing anything w/ their life. I admire you, bro.

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92 Amy Lou June 28, 2011 at 1:23 pm

Home is Redding, in rural Shasta County, 150 miles north of Sacramento.

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93 Kristin June 29, 2011 at 5:07 pm

1. Own
2. $207,000 in 2005, worth $240,000 **we DO NOT have a housing crisis where I live.
3. $993.99 for 15 yrs but we will have it paid off in 2 1/2 years
4. North Dakota
5. Own 3 cars and a jet ski fully owned by me no loans
6. Very happy with my home, don’t see use ever moving out and love our neightborhood!

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94 J. Money June 29, 2011 at 7:31 pm

@Amy Lou – Ahhh, cool cool. Unlike Reading Railroad, eh ;)
@Kristin – Nice!!! Esp on that jet ski – I still have never ridden one! I’m totally hitting you up if I ever make it over there ;)

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95 Miss Jane June 30, 2011 at 10:17 am

1. Own – bought last year
2. $79,900 for a flipped bungalow style home, I bought at the right time
3. $630 (with insurance and taxes escrow’d in)
4. Indianapolis, IN
5. Nope
*Bonus* Very happy, one of the best decision I’ve made!

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96 J. Money June 30, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Nice!!!! You give the rest of us hope! :)

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97 Meghan July 1, 2011 at 5:30 pm

Do you “own” your home or do you rent? We will own it when we’re done paying the bank :)

If you own, how much did you pay for it? 149k with 10k down on it.

How much is your mortgage/rent payments? Just the mortgage is ~$800 and it’s ~1200 with the taxes and insurance.

Where do you live? Hattiesburg, MS

Do you own any other property? Nope

*Bonus* Are you Happy with this? This is absolutely our dream house. We started making the list of features to be included in our dream house before we were married. We didn’t start looking for a house until we were 100% out of debt and then we didn’t engage a Realtor until we had ~15k to put down and for closing costs. We had already driven by all the potential houses we had looked at online. We visited this house on the first ‘official’ day of viewing houses and signed the offer that evening. It has *everything* that was on both my and my husband’s dream house wish list. It is our first house and it may very well be our last house.

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98 J. Money July 4, 2011 at 7:37 pm

Wow – you guys are GOOD!!! Had a plan out and everything so you were ready to jump on the house when you saw it – good for you :) That’s very very rare but it’s nice to know people are smart enough to do that! haha… I’m so happy for you guys :) Dream house on day #1 – that rocks.

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