Well, it was nice while it lasted. After a few similar houses recently sold in our area, it seems *ours* is just not worth what it used to be anymore ($300,000). Which is sadly down $60,000 from the original price we paid years ago at around $360,000! Ugh…
As of now, our house is valued at $285,000.
A pretty tough number to swallow to say the least. Especially considering it’s still the EXACT same house, ya know? It’s not like we did anything worse with it over the years or it caved in or anything. Just goes to show how large outside variables play in determining home values these days, just like with gold and my ring we talked about the other day. When the economy changes, it influences so many other aspects of our lives too! It’s not going to be a fun next net worth update, that’s for sure…
Though in all honesty it could be a lot worse. The DC area got hit pretty hard, but not nearly as much as some other states like California and Florida and Michigan, etc. And the fact that houses are now SELLING around our areas are freakin’ great. It means lots of people are getting back to normal again and not foreclosing every other second! (Which I’m pretty sure was the reason it dropped that first $60k to begin with – our neighborhood wasn’t free from people walking away from their homes unfortunately… which always screws the rest of the people living there!).
There are other positive things that come out of this too. For one, we now KNOW what our house is fairly valued at. And it’s *not* what Zillow continues to think it is at $325,000 (come on now! Haha…). It’s also not “in theory” anymore either, which I love – we now know exactly what we’re dealing with here which is always a plus as far as I’m concerned. The last time I was budgeting in my head I was LOSING money every month without even a clue! You gotta know the dirty facts when you’re shooting for a goal, it’s elementary my dear friends :)
Another important thing to remember here, is that it also doesn’t even MATTER much until it’s actually time to sell the house. The whole story could change two years from now (or even twenty years from now), and it’s only at this given point of time that we know for sure it’s valued at around $285,000. Until we sell it, we don’t officially lose any money on the thing. And as much as I wish we COULD offload it and downsize into much quainter and cheaper house, it’s still not in the cards at all for the near future. At the very best we can rent it out and hope to make enough to cover the mortgage while we go exploring elsewhere. Pending baby and wife approval, of course :)
So what does a guy do from here? Well, there’s really nothing we CAN do except for continuing to pay down those dang mortgages faster and faster until we hit our goals of zero debt. It doesn’t really have anything to do w/ changing the value of our house or anything, but it is the one thing we have 100% control over. Staying on our finances and doing our best to grow them as best as we possibly can. The market and economy will do its thing behind our backs no matter what we do, but as long as we stay true to our plans and continue inching forward, in the end I believe we’ll truly pull ahead. Even if the “value” of our house dropped to $0.00, we’d still have a nice and safe roof over our head!
What do you guys think about real estate lately? Anyone else see losses in their home recently? Do you even care/watch it at all? ;) I’m gonna go and run the numbers for June’s net worth now and see how badly it affects us… wish me luck!
PS: It’s a good thing we refinanced when we did! Our house is now $75,000 underwater from where it used to be originally – d’oh! Though we’ve also since paid off $30k of that too, so I guess we’re technically $45k underwater at this point… a little bit better?
(Photo by borkur.net)
Bonus tip: Find a good "balance transfer" offer to help pay off debt faster!
If you’ve been making payment after payment (on time) and still haven't been able to get your debt under control, snatching up a good balance transfer credit card offer may be the ticket to try. That’s where in order to gain your business - credit card companies will let you transfer your existing debt to a new card and let you pay ZERO PERCENT interest on it. Saving you tons every month!
What's the catch? Usually balance transfer cards charge a fee (around 3% of your debt balance) to let you transfer your balance to their 0% interest offer. But we've found a great credit card that will let you do a balance transfer absolutely free. Click here to learn more and see if you qualify!
PS: If you don't trust yourself with another credit card, ignore this! This strategy is to help you get out of debt quicker, not risk adding more to it.