Home Ownership


So we toddled off to court. This being having an illegal building structure (the temporary house we live in atm) without any approved plans.

Court gave us a slap on the wrist to the tune of R1500. Could be worse.

At least it is now over and done with as we’re gearing up to start the actual building process.


That’s a closet? Looks like a bedroom…


That’s like USD$98. Could have been a lot worse.


No joke that looks like its the size of my apartment.


It’s always amazing to me how expectations on living space differ by regions. I used to live in an old apartment building in Pennsylvania and had an apartment that was in an elderly building, but my apartment had stairs (OK, you opened the door that was one of 2 on the 3rd floor, and there were stairs to my place on 4… but inside “my” space) and a separate kitchen, living room, bedroom, bathroom. Weird layout, but tons of space.

I moved and lived with family for a couple years, then got my own place that was a more ‘conventional’ apartment. Much newer in Maryland (part of the DC Metro area) with a single bedroom and the same rooms, albeit a more conventional layout. My initial rent was 4x my PA apartment! My rent when I moved out was more than the mortgage payments on my current townhouse!

Now the townhouse I’m in is also fascinating as it’s relatively cheap for the area (Still DC Metro, but further out) but if I go to, say, the midwest, the value of my townhouse would probably get me a large single family. With some land.

Or if I go all the way to many parts of California it might get me a closet.


Being from there, I can very strongly state that this is the default state of affairs. Entire friggin state is ancient and half the buildings are crap because of it.

I wish I could refit my house with central air, but because it’s a house that I believe was built in the 1920s I’d have to either build a ton of chases with vents mounted on them, or tack a bunch of ducting to the outside of the building (which would probably piss off some code person somewhere, and also probably reduce the efficiency of said ducting)

At least I was able to get rid of the damnable oil heating (that was running something like $800/mo in the winter) and replace it with gas (which is a much more reasonable $80/mo year-round on the budget plan)


I also lived in a town that apparently was known for “failng business = arson” according to many. Which is why I made sure to always pay my landlord who also owned and operated the first floor pizza parlor.

By the way: No AC in a 4th floor apartment over a Pizza Parlor is a bad idea if you spend days there. Maybe even nights.


That sounds suspiciously close to where I am. My father’s an independent insurance adjuster and the number of times he’s had a fire claim turn out to be arson because the business wasn’t doing well or something was way higher than I’d thought it would be.


But then you’d be in the Midwest. :stuck_out_tongue:


Sooo, double bonus? HAhahaha
I thought I saw something a while back about people in the midwest having higher overall happiness or something like that. Don’t know where it was comparing to, though. But @Woodman seems like a pretty happy guy and he is in the midwest.


People in the area of CA are paying 1k+ for a 10x10Ft room, not including utility’s.


Yup. Mr. TM and I bought where we did because the only places we would be able to afford in Toronto were small and/or in places we really didn’t want to live. We bought in a suburb (bedroom community?) about half an hour outside of Toronto for about 1/5th of the price and got a 3-bedroom, 2-story house that has done us quite nicely for the past 25 years.


So, I’m in the Midwest. It’s a subdivision home. And that’s the master walk-in that was built over the garage. Yeah, it’s huge. None of the other bedrooms have closets even close. And they are all more like 12x12’ rooms. Just, this is the master.

My house is like 2700sf on a third of an acre and is supposedly valued around $330k. I did not pay that much. Also, it’s in one of the best school districts in the state, which is part of it. As is the lot size on a cul-de-sac in a sub. I got really picky 10yrs ago and it’s worked out quite well. :grin:


I live in a cracker-box tract house that is a bit less than 1200 square feet, and it’s valued at almost $600K out here in Sonoma county.


That’s. Just. Cray-cray. I will take my Midwest any day. Just keep on flying over…:grin:


I have a 1600sf 3 bedroom that zillow estimates at $150k, but that seems somewhat high to me. I’ve lived in this area since 5th grade. I am so very grateful that my dad researched the areas around here and chose well when we moved. (This was decades before the internet, so it took a lot more work on his part back then.) But, my house was built in 1981; newer subdivisions are more expensive. I am a couple blocks away from where my buddy lived when I used to pick him up on the way to high school when I first got my license. Ha!


Really only 600k? That seems low. Near my house is a house for sale that is 850k and i think its smaller than your place.


One of the better schools in the state. 20 minutes from Indy (distance in the MidWest is by time, not miles) 1300 sq foot 1925 copied Craftsman home, attic is another 800 and basement is similar size. Almost a full acre of land with two outbuildings and within easy walking distance of four restaurants, a coffee shop, a donut shop and an ice cream shop. As well as several small businesses. Taco Bell, Hardees, McD, Burger King and Wendy’s are all about 5 minutes away, we’re just off a main highway, but far enough away that it’s not an issue.

On the flip side, there is a well used train track through town. And the state max security prison is just down the road, I can hear the shift change whistles. And Juvie and the medium security prison. (Last escape was like 8 years ago)

We paid around 85k for the place and it’s worth somewhere around 150k about 4 years later. Houses leap off the market lately. In addition Indiana just got listed the 3rd most free state in the nation, though you still can’t buy cold beer at the gas station. But at least the liquor store isn’t owned by the state.

I like Indiana, and the midwest, but it does have it’s issues. The local GOP keeps thinking that we’re all bible thumping maniacs. I run a small group at my church and volunteer there extensively, most of their arguments against gay marriage and beer on Sunday fall on deaf ears for us. It’s too far to the beach here. And some of it is mindbogglingly (hunh, didn’t know that was one word) flat.


Our house is also a suburb house. We paid NZ$230K for it 20 years ago and it’s now worth somewhere between NZ$600K and NZ$750K. I’m not sure exactly where because apparently houses are going for anything up to $200K above Govt valuation (which is $600K).
It’s a little smaller than @MSUAlexis’s house at 230sqm (about 2300sqft), but it’s plenty big enough for us.


I’m trying to spend no more than $25k total in upgraded so I can sell in a few years. If things hold like they are I will clear around $100k on it, which will be a fabulous down payment on another house closer to my office that is out of a sub and maybe has an acre or two. And, since I can do the upgrades and remodels myself, I can get a fixer-upper and just work through projects one at a time. With the exception of the master bath being completely gutted, and doing countertops and refacing the cabinets in the kitchen, all I really am doing is paint, hardwood floors throughout, and new trim/baseboards. $25k is a tight budget, but I think I’ve spend less than $2k so far. I have a folder. It’s being tracked. :grin: