Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Suddenly Glad of My Mortgage

Three years ago we bought a new home. It was perfect for us. I'd admired it from afar for over a year. Home-buying was a matter of the heart for me in this case.

I liked it because it had an amazing flower garden complete with wisteria arbour, which I absolutley mooned over. It also had a sweet little porch off the kitchen for relaxing over morning coffee. It had a laundry chute! Jeff liked the double garage and the shop-space for wood-working. And hey, the rest of the house was nice enough too. It nestled comfortably in a pleasant neighbourhood.

But it was a huge step up mortgage-wise for us. We were so close to paying off our mortgage on our old double-wide trailer trailer, our very first home that we'd owned. Maybe we should just stay where we were and be content? Wouldn't we rather have the financial freedom and all that?

After much thought....

Nahhhhh...let's do it anyway.

It seemed painfully expensive at the time but now we're glad we did. The real-estate stars and planets were all in place then if we had but known it. We're patting ourselves on the back for buying then, and not just because we left behind our grumpy-old-man neighbour, Joe.

We'd never be able to buy a nice house like this now. Our property assessment has doubled since we bought it. If we wanted to, we could probably sell it for more than that.

Prices are horrifyingly high around here. You can get diddly over squat for 150,000 dollars around here.'s what you can get. Okay, I'll even knock off ten thousand, such a deal:

Hee hee....sometimes I miss living in that old shack. It's about four hundred square feet, and when you sat on the toilet you could put your feet at the back of the shower. You could hear a raccoon family growling away under the floors---drove the cat nuts. There were no kitchen cupboards or bedroom door. And if you placed a marble down on the floor it would traverse the length of the house because the whole place sat on a tilt.

The Italians might call it le rustico.That's Italian for house-falling-down.

We did have a much neater yard and better paint job when we lived there than in this photo though. We had a little Tudor cottage look going at one point... Anyway, it's been up for sale a couple of times and each time ye olde Hut gets a little rougher-looking and the price gets a little bit higher. Must be all the prestige of backing onto a McDonald's restaurant. :)

But at least there are a few options in this town if you're house-hunting.

For instance, I'm glad we don't live in the city. I think a hundred thousand might buy you a cardboard box on Robson Street in Vancouver.

And in Victoria, (which is actually the city I'd choose to live in if I ever became a City Mouse), what can one buy there?

Well, we talked to Jeff's sister who lives in Victoria tonight. She and her new husband are very excited because they will no longer have to live in their cramped, asthma-inducing apartment: they have just been approved to buy a three-decades-old townhome. I'm happy for them. But...

It's an astronomical mortgage. I mean, criminally outrageous. own mortgage suddenly looks better.


OB Juan said...

Man do I know this feeling!

When we bought our house in Comox we paid $140,000. We had it for 8 1/2 years and sold for $213,000 (or something like that, I can't really remember). Looking back now, maybe we should have kept it for awhile after we moved 'cause I sure it is worth substantially more now.

But we had no ability to cover two mortgages so we sold it when we moved to Calgary 1 1/2 years ago. We bought a nice 4 bedroom (all upstairs) 2 1/2 baths house on the edge of Calgary (closer to the Rockies to make a quick getaway) for $236,000. We are waiting for our assessmnet this year but our realtor told us we could easily get $350,000 for it already.

House prices are going nuts in Calgary too it would seem.

OB Juan said...

PS. Crag was just explaining where you live last night and I had a mental picture of the house (I know the area all too well).

This is just too freaky that you post pictures that I had in my mind the very same night

angel, jr. said...

Yeah, real estate prices are "way" outrageous.

blackcrag said...

I laughed when I saw your post, Spider. Were you eavesdroppng on our conversation last night?

I guess if I want to own a home, I'll have no choice but to win the lottery for the down payment.

Oh well, that is several years and at least three big moves away right now.

Networkchic said...

If only....I could grow up and get a mortgage of my own. But no...I choose to live in a trendy neighborhood where I couldn't afford to buy a box left in the alley.

Tim Rice said...

Housing prices are ridiculous where I live, too. It's getting hard to find a $200,000 house. Most new houses are selling more like $300,000 and up with perhaps a few rare exceptions. I guess I'll always rent.

nicki said...

ugh...real estate.

Mad Ethel said...

Our little house that was built in '76 is a two story with 2,720 square feet and it cost $86,000. That was two years ago in the Chattanooga outskirts. My mom's house in southern Mississippi cost around $40,000 in '92 and it's a two story with over 4,000 sq. ft.
Real estate is whacky.

kimber the wolfgrrrl said...

Housing prices in Vancouver are obscene. A new bus stop costs circa $40,000 to build -- basically, if I sleep in a bus shelter, the roof over my head is the same price as a house in Zeballos. Weird.

Like they say, "Location, location, location...."

Crystal said...

Chicago actually has a decent housing market, not nearly as expensive as East Coast citites like Boston or New York. I've been a renter for a decade now and I really am ready to buy, so that's something that will be happening in the next couple of years. Smart decision to buy in and become a homeowner!

Candace said...

Michigan house prices are even suckier, if you can believe that. At least in the Detroit area. But it pays to buy when you can cuz everything just keeps going up. If we hadn't bought in CA, we could NEVER have afforded to buy when we ended up here.

OMG I'm dying over the Knitted Dead! :o) I'm sending your link to a knitting friend, LOL!

jd said...

Wow over here in the Northeast US, you can't get a normal sized family house for less than $450,000. It's crazy and only going up. And the neighborhoods are getting rougher and their cutting down all the trees. How are prices still going up!?

Pol* said...

you KNOW I relate!

Nannie Toller said...

I’m glad you felt good about getting your mortgage. You made a sound financial decision to buy in an area with an increasing house value. Some people experience the opposite, as what you’ve noticed. Also, you’re right in saying that it’s criminally outrageous to pay crazy interest rates for a property that’s going to be undervalued in the long run.

Javier Bonnell said...

Purchasing a house is a good investment. So why not choose a house that you’re certain would increase its value in the future? Buying property in an area with increasing house value is probably one of the best decisions that you ever made! Good job!

Abdul said...

It's been years since you bought your house thru a mortgage loan. How's it going? Are you keeping up with your monthly payments? Hope you guys are. You might drown in a sea of debt if you miss out on paying your mortgage loan. Also, paying on time has its benefits. ;)

Abdul Jackson