If you don't care to hear me ramble you don't have to read this one! I won't be offended! I just need to ramble, and if anyone does read it and responds with advice it will be appreciated!
Now where to begin my ramble....
Brian and I are looking into purchasing a house! We are still on the fence about the whole thing. We can't make ourselves commit to doing it. We have yet to talk to a realtor or loan person just because we don't want to feel rushed into the decision. Instead we have been driving around looking at MLS listings and Model homes for new construction. THe thing that really tempts us is that we could get into owning a home for about the same we are paying in rent now and sometimes depending on the home and area it would be less! Plus, very tempting, is the government tax credit if you purchase a home before Nov 30 2009 - that is $8000! Plus some of the new construction homes we have looked at are dropping their prices $20,000. Quite the incentive!
We do like our current apartment! Its gorgeous and just about the right size for now! However, we have decided to try for baby #3!! So we could squeeze a little one into the bedroom with the girls for a little while, but soon we would need a bigger place anyway. So if we would be moving soon anyway - we might as well move on up in the world and actually purchase.
Our price range is limited, mostly by us wanting to keep our payment lower than what we currently pay. So that also limits our location options. We seem to have to look towards the very west of West Jordan, but if we wanted to go even lower the best option we have found right now is Tooele. We have even considered moving up to Davis county, Bountiful or Woods Cross area.
So here are some of the options we have looked at:
West Jordan townhome with Ivory Homes. Its on the same road we are on now, just further west but still about the same distance for us to our current shopping area of choice. 1500 sq ft or more finished, but also has an unfinished basement that we could finish up and add 2-3 more bedrooms into for future or even guests. Great layout and they are gorgeous models. This is our most expensive option. They however, match the governments $8000 with another $8000. They offer a 4.9% loan but that has 3 points on the front. The question remains what could we actually get because the models apparently have TONS of upgrades so if we upgrade it may put us out of our price range. Lets face it I am picky about my kitchen! Ooo and I have read some really bad reviews about Ivory Homes -some where people have to change out their roof in less than 5 years!
Even further out in West Jordan townhome with Bach Homes. Still on the same road, but all the way to the end of roads in west Jordan. About the same sq ft wise still with a basement, and a lot cheaper but they show without any upgrades so once again if I upgrade will it be out of my price range. Not my favorite of layouts, but do-able. No $8000 match incentive, but the price is $8000 cheaper for sure! There are only a few left to build in this area so it'd have to be our quickest decision!
There are some Ivory homes up in Davis county that are the same as the West Jordan - we haven't looked at them since the look would be the same, but I think the price would probably be different.
Then there are the FIeldstone homes that we looked at previously. They are in Tooele or Magna. Tooele is a little out there. We would still be on the close side of Tooele though. Its about 25 minutes from Brian's work to the housesites. The girl was great and answered all of our questions. The benefit of Tooele is that they just came down $20-$30 thousand in price and its an actual home! Not a townhome! Of course, that could be a negative too. I'll discuss that later. They are huge! We could get it with or without a basement at a price. We could get a home with 3-4 or even 5 bedrooms then add in a basement if we finish it up it could add 6 and 7 bedrooms. The space is huge, but the layout of the construction really isn't the most creative of layouts. Fieldstone is about the square footage not really the aesthetic. But as I said a real live house that we could grow into for quite awhile. Once again they start very basic in their model homes so we get to see the base which is nice. But I wonder how much it would cost for the upgrades. I want tile or pergo, not linoleum, and I want better looking cabinets than the base models show. But these homes are our cheapest option, plus they have what is called a rural loan in that area so we'd get an even cheaper interest rate. And they have a $5000 incentive that we could use for our closing costs or to put back into the home for upgrades.
Comparing a townhome to a single family home:
I see a lot of benefits to a townhome. We would not have to take care of the exterior yet. I don't know if Brian is ready for it - mowing and all that is not his thing. Plus the exterior of the house would be taken care of by someone else - also a big benefit. Yes we pay an HOA fee, but I almost see that as worth it when you look at the stuff they do that I wouldn't have to worry about.
But with a single family home we would get a front and back yard and we would actually own the land and the house. With Fieldstone they include finishing the front yard, but not the back. So that would be our responsibility to get grass and planting what we'd want. Also I'd want a fence in place so the girls would be "safe" in my anxiety ridden mind! And then after the home is ours we are responsible for all of it! Making it presentable, if something breaks at all we HAVE to fix it! I am aware of all of those possible expenses and they worry me. Last night I was even sitting there thinking about how we would have to pay someone to come spray for bugs because there will be bugs!
In our current apartment we pay electricty, gas and water, sewer, and trash. So I feel like I'm prepared for the bills in that aspect. I'm also aware that if Brian doesn't want to do the lawn we'd have to pay someone (or if Brian does we'd have to buy a mower). Then as I mentioned I also know about paying for bug spraying. And getting the fence and backyard work in place. Then I also know about having to maintain all of the appliances and air conditioner and furnace. I know about those things. I also know about the property tax in that area including the insurance on the home we'd have to have.
Am I missing anything?? I feel like even with knowing all of this stuff I am still going to wind up being surprised by something I am now responsible for that I didn't know was coming!
Ooo something negative about Tooele that I just found out is there is not a hospital out there that our insurance covers. There is a hospital if there was an emergency about 2 minutes down the road but its not ours so it would be a higher copay etc. But if I have a baby I have to drive all the way to Murray for that. There are plenty of doctors under our plan just no hospital!
Is there anything else I'm missing??
I just don't know!
I do know that I want a house with upgrades so that is where my biggest pause comes in because I'm picky and probably snobby and maybe its immaturity, but I want a house that I want because its a giant purchase!