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Old 06-24-2014, 10:06 AM   #1
shores OP
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lets talk houses

selling my first home, only about 1000 sq feet plus a full finished basement
its an older home that i spent a lot of time renovating, not too much cash for outside professionals, but i did when i thought id get in over my head
market is on a low side, but i should get my money back including all the upgrades material cost, but none of my time :( thats how it goes
not in a rush to sell, and looking for that long term home

i dont have a garage currently, and refuse to look at anything that doesnt have at least 1.5 car garage or enough space to build one
what do most of youhave for your dwelling?
whats the realistic average sized home these days?
All the new ones here are 2500-3000 sq ft not including basement, and prices are 400-600k easy.

im looking more 1500 sq feet plus garage and a decent backyard, nothing fancy
anything you miss that you wish it had when you bought it, or that were good upgrades?

i'm thinking natural gas standby generator which is very handy in winter storms, and make sure even if it doesnt have a/c, that it has central furnace with duct work so you can always add ac later?
anything else?

what things are not a big deal that you wouldnt pay extra for if you had to do it again?
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Old 06-24-2014, 11:54 AM   #2
UngaWunga
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real estate is location dependent, and we have no idea where you are.

We're selling a 2000sqft house and have moved into another 2000sqrft one in a better location. We could live in smaller if we had less crap. But we don't, so we don't.

Everything you're asking depends on location. wtf are you?
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Old 06-24-2014, 12:14 PM   #3
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When you sell that home, hopefully you've kept all your receipts and records (your own labor) so you can mark all that renovation expenditure in addition to your initial cost basis against your sale price. Don't want to get hit with any taxes on gains if you don't need to.

1.5 car garage?? I bitch every day that we didn't get a 3 car garage when we built this place 21 years ago!

W.A.
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Old 06-24-2014, 02:19 PM   #4
shores OP
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I'm an hour north of Toronto in a small town of 10000
Touristy in summer months drive the costs way up

I'm looking for tips on overall must haves and things that are over rated
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Old 06-24-2014, 02:33 PM   #5
Hannda
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shores View Post
what things are not a big deal that you wouldnt pay extra for if you had to do it again?
I was advised to avoid the formal living and dining areas. You buy them, heat them, cool them, clean and insure them . . . but rarely use them. It was, and remains, good advice.

If you can control your emotions, building a home (having a home built) can be better than buying. Most homes that you buy were put up by a builder who built what the market demanded at the time in that place. That might not be what you want ~ especially when you're trying to buck the current trends and maintain a more modest (I wanted to say 'normal' but the market has changed) footprint for your home.

I say "control your emotions" because when people build they often start tossing in all the dreams. The next thing you know you've got a 10,000 footer on paper that no one can afford. But if you know what you really want, and it sounds like you do, it might be cheaper and easier to build what you want than to find it. Don't buy someone else's dream, build yours.
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Old 06-24-2014, 05:13 PM   #6
k-moe
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Never buy a house with a pool.
Never put in a pool.
Never buy a house with an oil tank that isn't in use and has yet to be decomissioned (less common of a problem now than it was 20 years ago).
Always get an attached garage.
Don't get a fireplace without an approved insert.
If there is a sump pump find out why it's there and how often it needs to be run.
Avoid a home that is in an HOA, unless you are a natural leader and don't mind the politics.

If you can find a home with this floor plan, buy it.
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Old 06-24-2014, 06:18 PM   #7
shores OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k-moe View Post
Never buy a house with a pool.
Never put in a pool.
Never buy a house with an oil tank that isn't in use and has yet to be decomissioned (less common of a problem now than it was 20 years ago).
Always get an attached garage.
Don't get a fireplace without an approved insert.
If there is a sump pump find out why it's there and how often it needs to be run.
Avoid a home that is in an HOA, unless you are a natural leader and don't mind the politics.

If you can find a home with this floor plan, buy it.

Awesome floorplan except bathroom doesn't have urinal
I guess I can have one in the garage space
Just have it drip out to the neighbour's down the road :)
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Old 06-24-2014, 06:44 PM   #8
adam_c_eckhardt
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I'll second building a home.

While it had it's moments, building ours was a positive experience and we got exactly what we wanted. (except a garage- that's coming after I'm done with school- and it's gonna be as huge as we can afford)

Aside from getting exactly what you want, you'll be able to build a tight, efficient house. We did just that, and our utility bills are very low. The cost of heating and cooling a house isn't going to go down over the years...

I've got a thread on our home build- we used ICFs, and I'd probably do it again. (Actually just poured footings for another ICF house last week for a client- he spent a few minutes in our house and decided he wanted one built the same way. )
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Old 06-24-2014, 07:45 PM   #9
CodeMonkee
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I have a 1700 SF manufactured home on 20 forested acres on a mountain.

Three bed, two bath, two living rooms (or one could be a dining room), small kitchen, utility room.

For me it is about the right size. I am single. One guest bed/bath for the occasional overnight visitor. Decent sized master bed/bath. One bedroom I use as the occasional home office.

I have a 2K SF shop with two vehicle doors - plenty of room in there for 3 to 4 vehicles depending on size, several bikes, storage and work area.

No garage - the shop is where I keep vehicles under cover if necessary.

The thing about houses under 1500 to 2000 SF is resale value. The larger houses, or at least those that look larger, are more desirable to a larger audience - married couples either have or usually will want to have a family, so they want room for the family.

Older people/couples where it is just the two of them, often prefer a smaller house, usually a single level with no stairs, as it is easier to keep clean, maintain and heat/cool.

Would I like something larger? Sure, if I was going to pay someone to come in periodically and keep things clean, but this size or maybe 2K to 2.5K SF is about right I think.

When I retire I am going to move further away from the city and quite possibly build a new house on land. I am thinking of 2K on top of a subterranean garage/shop. More heavily insulated, better heating system (geothermal with heated floors), solar too (both photovoltaic and heating) - can't do solar where I am at right now.
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Old 06-25-2014, 02:37 AM   #10
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Location (sorry for the cliche') makes a huge difference. Then, what are the houses like around you? Your house should "fit in" size and feature wise. Do a lot of research, talk to a realtor about it and then decide what you have to have and what you can live without.
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Old 06-25-2014, 03:50 AM   #11
Road Program
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I'd recommend buying in the best school district you can, even if you don't have kids. When you go to sell it eventually, that will help.

I'll also second the advice about not worry about a formal living room and dining room. Ours (in the home we're renting) serve as play areas for the kids. If you can, get a basement...you have one so you know why. At LEAST a 2-car garage. We have one and it's just big enough for the wife's van and kids' random outdoor toys like bikes and blow up pools (my bike lives in the walk-out basement).
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Old 06-25-2014, 05:27 AM   #12
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I think you're on the right track:

1500is sq ft with a 3car+ garage.
Large enough lot to build a bigger garage down the road.
NOT in a HOA/Subdivision.
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Old 06-25-2014, 05:38 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k-moe View Post
Never buy a house with a pool.
Never put in a pool.
Never buy a house with an oil tank that isn't in use and has yet to be decomissioned (less common of a problem now than it was 20 years ago).
Always get an attached garage.
Don't get a fireplace without an approved insert.
If there is a sump pump find out why it's there and how often it needs to be run.
Avoid a home that is in an HOA, unless you are a natural leader and don't mind the politics.

If you can find a home with this floor plan, buy it.
/THREAD



I'm still in my first home, and am realizing I did everything wrong when I bought it. I had no idea what I was doing and got fucked on the price, the inspection (many areas of the home were/are not to code and should never have passed and there were a LOT of problems with utility/plumbing) and ended up with a lot of features I don't like, long term (will never buy another home with a flat roof or brick "facade" on the front). I've been there long enough to have rectified the most glaring problems -- the only reason I'm still there is that at least I got the neighborhood right. The house is a pain in my ass but I love the area. Short story -- don't be me. Don't be afraid to take your time and really look hard for a good place. Make your realtor WORK.
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Old 06-25-2014, 02:10 PM   #14
tarheel rider
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We built a new one in NC and by accident we changed the garage plan from a 2 car to one with an extra 4' in the front and side. What a difference it made! I can slide 3 motorcycles against the wall on the side and have enough room in the front for my workshop. The bonus was the roof had to go up to allow for the width which changed the crawl space storage overhead into a very usable room. Very little difference in cost. Buy a house without a garage at a significantly cheaper price and build the garage that you want! Although the floor plan above has a certain charm!!!! I wish I had air conditioned the garage, heat and Mosquitos are a bad mix!
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Old 06-26-2014, 10:11 AM   #15
kruzuki
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shores View Post
I'm an hour north of Toronto in a small town of 10000
Touristy in summer months drive the costs way up

I'm looking for tips on overall must haves and things that are over rated
Well, I'm IN Toronto & belive me, the prices here are insane.
We checked out an open house downtown- 1200 sq. ft, Beautifully done up but tiny with NO parking or garage - Asking $980K & you can be sure it will bid up to more than a million. Crazy!

Our house in Thornhill, 2600 sq. ft. 6 bedrooms, plus finished basement. 2 car garage, but my crap takes up half of it.
We could get close to $800k if we sold, but we're staying put for now as our next step up would be in the $1 million range & we're close enough to empty-nesters that it's not necessary.

We'd rather have a smaller townhouse here & something somewhere tropical for winter.
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